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Sunday, December 7, 2014

His Enabling Power

WARNING:
This email is VERY long, read at your own risk. 
Sacrifice from reading this: Your time
Blessing from reading this:....well you wait and find out through the spirit
This is the hardest email I think I've ever had to write. My currently sobbing my eyes, runny nose, and looking like a hot mess.  I keep asking myself "how can I possibly put into words the last 18 months of my life? How can I possibly express my heart to anyone other than God?" I knew that I would be a complete wreck so after last p-day I started to write down a few words but even now I don't know if it is even adequate. I can't explain to anyone how I feel unless you have served a faithful mission and stood where I stood, it still isn't the same but you can relate. We each experience things in our own unique way. WOW I'm such a freaking mess right now..... don't worry folks I just ran to the restroom to grab like 10 handfuls of toilet paper. My pockets are bulging but hey it is better than having a runny nose in public hahaha.  If my state right not doesnt show you how much the last week on a mission out right stinks I dont know what will. It is the best and the worst! I feel grateful, humbled, eager, anxious, devoted, weak, powerful, blessed, pure, sanctified, unworthy, repentant, submissive, more patient, hopeful, faithful, faithless, and SO MANY other words ALL AT ONCE!!! So you can imagine it is a bit to handle. As I have tried to pin point one emotion or feeling that overtakes them all I know without a doubt that that one words would be ENABLED!
The dictionary definition of this word is "1. To supply with adequate power or opportunity; make able. 2. To make possible or practicable."
Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and learning about Him He has enabled me to achieve greatness. Learning to rely on His enabling power has been a very painful and humbling experience but I would not give it up for all the riches in the world. It is the greatest gift we can receive, the knowledge that the course of life I am living will lead me to return to live with Him only because I've learnt to rely on Him. Of course I will always continue to learn and grow in my ability to draw strength from His sacrifice but it is a quest of a lifetime. Im so delighted that the mission has helped me to start. I'll be honest before my mission, I didn't know a darn thing. Yes I knew they said Christ was my Saviour and that this was His church. I heard about Joseph Smith and I'd even read the Book of Mormon a time or two. But I didn't KNOW it! Now I KNOW IT IS TRUE!!! Im still learning to strengthen my conversion, it is really hard but man oh man is it exhilarating when you feel the spirit. I feel like the people of King Benjamins time. I view my carnal, or worldly, state and I too know that I am less than the dust of the earth. I have learnt to cry "o have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that [I] may receive forgiveness of [my] sins, and [my] heart may be purified; for [I] believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who created heaven and earth, and all things..." (Mosiah 4:2)
As I have given my will to Him time and time again, sometimes compelled to but most of the time willingly, what I first viewed as a major sacrifice became an A-List trade-in of a small happiness with the top manufacturer of "ETERNAL JOY". Becoming sanctified is a painful process but the end result is astronomically better than the beginning product of the "natural man, or woman".
The whole mission I know He has helped me fulfill His work but it wasn't really till this past week that I realise how much! He helps me get out of bed at 6:30, run for exercise each morning with Sister Sunday (and you know how much I love to run...which is not at all), be obedient to all the mission rules big and small, not take a nap in the car while my companion is driving and the warm sunlight beats down on my face, not stopping and getting icecream at the gas station every time I'm hot and hungry, learning to be patient and not discouraged when plans and backups fail to happen, keep going even when EVERYTHING (but the Holy Ghost) is telling me to stop. It is because of His enabling power that I exist from day to day. Because He is I am.
This past week we had a lesson with our investigator Lauren. We watched the Restoration DVD with her and bore our testimonies of how we know this is true. Sister Sunday testified how when she prays she just has the thought "You KNOW it is true" and she can't deny it. I said how I know it true is because I often ponder what my life would be like without these truths. If I stopped believe in the Book of Mormon, in modern day revelation, of proper priesthood authority, of saving ordinances (like Baptism and Temple covenants) under that authority, of true knowledge of the magnitude of the Atonement of Christ. That that away and what do I have in my life... nothing but a meaningless, dark, and confusing world. Because I know these things have been restored through the prophet Joseph Smith and are here today I feel complete! Yes there is still heaps I dont know and a lot to learn and understand- we are infinite beings who will infinitely be learning- but in my heart my search, that never really began because I've always had it, is over. Man am I blessed. Lauren simply said "wow, I wish I could feel that too" we testified that she could but it requires faith- and faith without works is dead (James 2:17). Just as Joseph Smith, and every humble seeker of truth, we must study and ponder the word of God and then ask of God. We will know the truth of all things by the power of the Holy Ghost (Moroni 10:3-5).
My time here in the service of God and His children has taught me lifes most cherished lessons including
-How to align my will with His
-How to gain and keep a conversion
-What I need in a future spouse (mom no I will not discuss this that is just awkward)
-How I can raise my future children in righteousness and make our home a safe place from the world we live in
-How to use my time effectively and be diligent (well I've always been diligent but now I'm just more refined)
-How to budget and be thrifty (man expensive taste dies hard hahaha)
-How to be patient with my shortcomings, the shortcomings of others, and of the timing of the Lord
-Most importantly I've learnt how to be dependent on the Lord. We cannot make it on our own (Mosiah 3:17; 4:6-8)
I am so eternally indebted to my Father in Heaven. I am so so so grateful He took me... a prideful, shy, terrified, and lost 19 year old girl and made me a humbled, powerful, capable, and dedicated 20 year old woman. You really can learn a lot in 18 months! I now know who I am and who I can become. 

So that folks is what I have learnt in small part from my 18 months. The only way I learnt that about myself is because I devoted myself to the service of OTHERS! We don't find ourselves till we lose ourselves!

Now to quickly share some highlights from this past week....

So Sister Sunday and I were going to the car and where walking out of our elevator into the garage. Just as I was stepping from the elevator to the carpark my usb with all my music and mormon messages slipped out of my hands and landed on the metal rim of the elevator floor. Sister Sunday shouted "what are the chances!" and just as she was talking it slipped away forever down into the elevator shaft :( I was soooo ticked but luckily I have everything backed up. My companion teased me for a bit about my sad mood and I realised she was right and I just needed to relax it wasn't that big of a deal and it was actually a bit funny. Now I chuckle but then I wasn't hahaha.

Next story. So this morning Sister Sunday and I decided to go hiking for our last p-day here in Canberra (she is getting transferred to the spanish program in Sydney so we are both gonners). A member told us about this beautiful hike but it was kinda far away but we thought it was worth it so we drove out there. We woke up at 5 to go. The drive was GORGEOUS!!! Australian country side is stunning! Well be got to the turn off and it said the car park was 3k's away. But to get there we had to drive on this really crappy dirt road that was pretty steep. We drove for about a k and a half and Sister Sunday kept asking me if we should keep going. I really wanted to get there so I was like yeah yeah lets go it will be beautiful. Well we went a little farther and the road got worse and we were so confused. The member said that our car would be fine that the road was paved. We were both getting anxious and our moods were getting bad. We recognised that the Spirit was warning us to stop and that because we weren't listening we were getting agitated. So we stopped and carefully turned around. We got out and hiked a bit to see if the car park was up the road and could not find it. We were both anxious to get back to the safety of a paved road and cell service. We raced back to our car, said a prayer for safety that our car would make it back and started to drive in faith. It sounds dorky but it was a bit scary. We didnt get to hike but we made sure to take good pictures to capture the experience. I don't know what would have happened had we kept driving, i'm not kidding the road was bad and very narrow there wasn't really much room to turn around so it was lucky we did it when we did. It was just such a testimony builder to us both of following the spirit even when you dont think anything would really happen. Most people would have kept driving but we knew to follow the still small promptings of the spirit before he left us due to our own stupidity. It was humbling.  Last p-day we are going to make it good.

I know the Lord will enable me to get through this week! Love you all and look forward to seeing you!

xoxo.
Sister Boiteux

 
Beautiful Sunset

Helping a member set up their Christmas tree

Sister Sunday and all her spanish loot! Man she is amazing!!

Driving to our hike

Massive Kangaroo

Our hike!

 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! Gobble... Gobble...

I hope you all had a FABULOUS Thanksgiving! Man the holiday seasons always put us missionaries into retrospect of how much we really love and appreciate our families, and our country. Man I love Ameria! Actual Thanksgiving day was a bit of a bummer for us. We woke up having 4 set appointments and a Thanksgiving meal and one by one they all cancelled. That was a bit of a bummer but we stayed optimistic and kept doing our best. We went to a members to pick up some cherries and she ended up making us a very lovely meal. She felt so bad when she found out it was Thanksgiving and wanted to buy us a Costco pumpkin pie but the pie machine broke haha. We were so grateful for the meal she cooked us though or we would have been having cereal so it was a Thanksgiving miracle! Then we had Thanksgiving Take 2!
We went to the Scotts house (he is in the bishopric and is from Utah) on Saturday for a Thanksgiving dinner. They got permission for all of us 6 missionaries to come over because they had lessactives, and nonmembers there, it was fantastic! Honestly I think it was one of the best Thanksgiving meals I have had, it was yummy! I love the spirit of Thanksgiving! 
The best part of this week was that is was Brodies baptism! Brodie was an investigator that I was working with in Woden Ward. He is 9 and the funniest kid ever! I got so teary eyed at his baptism and so was his family. He was telling everyone it was his baptism and he was so excited! 
Afterwards the senior missionary couple, Elder and Sister Stenlund, took Sister Sunday and I out for dinner. They are so lovely!!!! They are like our grandparents away from home! I admire them so much and they have really helped my desire to serve a mission with my husband grow 10 fold! In my future family I will show my children and grandchildren that "in this family we serve missions!"
This is their third mission and they just love serving the Lord, even though it is hard to be away from their loved ones. They also give us giant tubes of pretzels from Costco that we go through in like a week, I was going to take a picture but... I forgot so stay tuned ha. 
The work is going as well as the Lord wants it to for us at this time. We are working as hard as we can. I have a strong knowledge that this is the Lords work. Only with His enabling power am I able to keep going. Somedays, okay lets be real EVERY day (especially between the hours of 1-4) I am always SOOOO tired and don't think I have the energy to keep going. I pray in my heart and mind that He will give me enough strength to do so, and always, always I am able to. I know it is because he aids me. I remember the first time this happened on my mission. I was in Oatlands area and Sister Pea and I were out walking and I was exhausted mentally, emotionally, and physically. I prayed that I could keep going and honestly I was given added strength and felt less tired. I had the slight impression that angels were helping, especially my Nana, and that thought more than anything gave me the boost I needed. I know that there are seen and unseen forces aiding in the work of Salvation. It is exciting!
This has probably been the fastest and the longest transfer of my mission life! Every morning I mentally refocus myself to keep my heart, might, mind, and strength on the mission. I dont allow myself to let my mind wander and when I do I control back to the task at hand. The only time I try to think of coming home now is at night after planning and the area book has been updated. Man coming home is SCARY people!!! But it is exciting too! Well I am going to end this now. Just warning you next week will probably, most likely, 99.9% my longest and most spiritual and sappy email so be warned! I love you all. Keep praying for missionary moments! Also check out christmas.mormon.org you will love it!

Love
Sister Boiteux


 
Brodies Baptism



i just loved this because it says california hahah

With Elder and Sister Stenlund

Thanksgiving, and with the Scotts little girl



DESSERT!! yummy pie!


Elder Hammond, our district leader, and his mountainous pile of dessert after like 5 servings of food, man elders can eat!
 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Another one bites the dust!

In the words of my dear mother "Another one bits the dust" thanks mom for that kind reminder that my time here is drawing slimmer and slimmer, like I need the reminder haha.
This week was hectic as! It was good though. Our area is slowly progressing which is exciting to see. One thing I am starting to realise is that I won't fully understand the effect I've made in the mission until I go home and most of not until I return to my Father in Heaven. That is a bit sobering because I want to know how I've done right now. But I know that the Lord needs me to be patient so that I can continue to work.
We have had so many funny/awkward experiences this week ha. The most awkward was this... so this past week I have felt prompted to just give a Book of Mormon to our neighbors. They are a lovely couple from Europe and so nice. We don't know them to well but just see them in passing. Well anyways I was afraid to give them a Book of Mormon because we live right next to them but anyways I knew we had to so we did. Saturday morning we knocked on their door and he answered in his underwear. We were like "what the heck!" haha him and his wife acted like it was nothing and he calmly said "oh hey sisters how are you." We quickly stated our purpose for being their and gave him the Book of Mormon. As awkward as it was he was very grateful for the "gift". We saw them later that day (he was fully clothed this time thank goodness) and he again stated how grateful they were.  They are catholic but I dont think they actually practice so hopefully they will take the time to read the gift we left them. Yup the reign continues of shirtless men.
 
For a real miracle anyways we went to do service for this man named Alan. He isn't really religious. Well we went hoping that by serving him it would help soften his heart. So we helped in his garden in 37 degree (that is like 100 F) weather to say the least we were dying! I just kept reminding myself of Moroni 7 about giving a gift with a our heart. Luckily our service paid off. We shared a short message about how God is our loving Heavenly Father and invited him to pray, which he did. We then invited him to church.  We didnt really think he would come but much to our astonishment and joy he rocked up to church yesterday. I think he really enjoyed it! It was a bit sad though because all his family is in the Phillippines and are working on getting visas to move here. Well he turned to me and said "This really is a place for families isn't it." I said "yes it is" and he responded just kind of off the top of his head "I wish I had my family here with me too" it was sad. I hope his family can join him someday. I hope he comes next week too.
 
A funny story of the week. So I had exchanges with Sister Tito and she came and worked with me here in Tuggeranong.  We went to visit an investigator but she wasnt home yet and was running late so we decided to tract her street while we waited. Now the thing about tracting here... almost every house has this security screen which is like a heavy duty fly screen. Some of them are one way so they can see us but we can't see them very clearly just due to the screen. Well on one such house as this this grouchy old woman answered the door. She had a heavy accent from like India or something. We complimented her on her beautiful rose garden. She quickly cut us off and said "yes what do you want". We told her who we were and she started yelling at us "how dare you come here. Do you see what I am!?" I innocently just said "well um no we can't really see through your screen" she said "I am a hindu and I dont like jews, I don't like muslims, and I DON'T LIKE CHIRSTIANS! All you do is kill people. Now go find someone else to kill!" And she slammed the door. In a matter of 30 seconds it was over. Sister Tito and I just stood there in astonishment. Wow. I don't know how some people can be so shortsighted and judgmental of a whole group of people just from the wicked actions of few. I hope she took a happy pill later that day. Oh the joys of tracting I LOVE IT hahah (no sarcasm). Always an adventure.
There a for moments where the day just drags on, especially when you know every single person pretty much on your ward list and half of them just plain aren't interested. It is sad.
 
Biggest miracle: We heard that Sister Levine is talking!!!! That made our day! So amazing!
Please continue to keep her in your prayers!
 
The best part of my week (besides hearing about Sister Levine) was that Aunty Becci, Davem and Kiki (from Oatlands area) came to visit me before I go home. It was so good to see them. They are such a lovely family! Im so grateful for all the people that the Lord has placed in my path here to leave it for the better.
 
Well that is from my leg of the neighborhood. Life is going on. I pray to stay sane the last couple of weeks. For the past 2 I have had serious nightmares about coming home... no joke. I think it is just a sign that it will in reality be good haha. Last night was the worst because our AC broke so we were sleeping in a flat which was at like 28 degrees it was soooo hot. I was grateful I wasn't in Sydney where it was even hotter. Hey at least it made me sweat, maybe i'll lose some weight that way hahaha.
 
Well this is long and I think I should wrap up now. Love you and hope you have a fantastic week!
 
Love,
Sister Boiteux


Zion Zone... AKA Canberra Zone (we're all freaks)
 
Exchanges with Sister Tito and Sister Burnett

Mom we are cooking! You'd be so proud of us!!!! This was taco salad! Deliciouso!


At lunch with the Pembertons at our favorite place Hogs Breath

With Aunty Becci I love her she is the best

With Kiki it was so hard saying goodbye to her
 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Look to the Stars

Man the night before I email I always have the most wonderful things that I want to say to you and then I get on here and look at the blank screen and the little cursor going blink...blink...blink and so my mind goes blink...blink..blink. It is fan-freaking-tastic haha. Now I'm sure you are all just dying in anticipation to see what I did this week haha. In the drama department things are better now. I have a great companion who I love with all my heart, we are freaks together as our pictures will testify about. However I have learnt on my mission that very rarely do you get an easy companion and an easy area. This area is wonderful it is beautiful but it is a bit slow. It is very small with what we have to work and none of our investigators are to thrilled about learning they have more of a "she'll be right" attitude. We are really putting in the time to find new people who the Lord is preparing for us. Our mission has a standard of excellence for three new investigators a week and we are struggling to meet that. But I know that if we remain positive and work diligently that the Lord will provide.
This past week we decided to do some knock knocking a.k.a TRACTING! Super fun! We prayed and told the Lord where we were going and for how long. No we did not get any new investigators which was a bummer but we know that we did the best we could and maybe it was just necessary for us to put the name of the church out there. We got some potentials we will follow up with later this week. Man tracting can be so dang awkward sometimes (bytheway that is my favourite word as a missionary because more often than not it feels awkward but you push througgh ha). Anyways we meet a couple shirtless old men who should not have been shirtless especially in front of sister missionaries. They had no shame. We meet heaps of people who only believe in science and call us naiive for believing in a God. People who just have no interest at all and would rather open the door see our badge and immediately proceed to slame the door in our face all before we can even finish saying "hello". There are those who say they aren't interested but in your mind you can see them being a great bishop, or young womens and relief society presidents. When they still decline after you've said all you can you just pray for their souls and feel sadness they said no right now but have hope that you planted a good seed for the future. On one street we went to for a bit we knocked on this door and this lady looked familiar I said without thinking "I think I've seen you before" and my companion also stupified said "yeah me too!" the lady just stared at us. We began talking and she said she believes in science not faith.. haha which is crack up because if you believe in science that is a faith ha. Anyways that isn't the point, as we were talking to her I realised we had street contacted her the week before for like a split second and given her our number, she wasnt interested. If wasn't a coincidence that we found her again-maybe someday.
Man I think my hair decided to go blonde this week because I have had so many blonde moments with names... EMBARRASSING! When we were tracting we were talking to this man named Alex (who also believed in science) he was running in and out of the house with buckets of water because he was emptying his giant fishtank. We would take for like 90 seconds then he would run in grab the bucket through the water on the plants then run back inside with the bucket to let it fill again. We just stood on the doorstep talking to him. Well at the end I started to bare my testimony and I said "Well Jereme I know"... and I hear my comp cough and go "Alex his name is Alex" MAN IT WAS SO EMBARRASSING!!!! Jereme doesn't even sound like Alex it doesnt even start with the same letter hahaha. Good thing it didn't seem to phase him. I stumbled over my words and just tried to fix it and make it not awkward...yup... Then the next day I did the same thing while baring my testimony again I called a man named Steven Shaun. Slap to forehead Sister Boiteux. When we got in the car my companion just died laughing as I tried to hid my face ha. I just came up with the cool excuse that maybe I just remembered their premortal life names hahaha. Fat chance.
We got a new investigator though whos name is Lauren she is golden and super awesome. She is 19 and a bit of a flower child. She is hilarious and I hope that we can see her baptised before we both go.
Hmmmm what else... well we had a really spiritual zone conference and I bawled like a baby when I bore my testimony of my mission. Seriously I cry so much when I think about it. Thus I try not to. Every night I have nightmares of coming home and just being miserable. It makes me wake up feeling anxious and sad. I just read my scriptures and try to get my mind off my future life and just focus on the work. I love work. Even when it is hard I love work and I love being busy. I love teaching and preaching. I love being able to testify and promise blessing. I love saying "As a represtentative for the Lord Jesus Christ I know....(promise blessing that I feel inspired to say)" Man I get the chills just thinking of the power of this gospel message. I LOVE IT!!!
Folks when I come home please dont expect me to be who I was before and dont expect me to like what I liked before. If you love me you will help me to continue to keep the habits I have made and will try to make them habits of your own because they are good and true. And I promise that I wont be pushy and preachy but just try to continue being who I now am. I want you to know that I am not the same person that I was nearly a year and a half ago. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ and always will be. I'm here to help you be better and you are there to help me. Together we need to become and live up to our potential as Sons and Daugther of a perfect, all mighty, just and meriful, loving Father in Heaven. 
I am eternally grateful for the past year and a half and will always be in debt to my Savior. I hope that I continue to be diligent, valient, and exactly obedient even when it would be easy to just give up and wish for the future to be here now. A quote I found this week that I love says
 "Two men look out through the same bars: one sees the mud, and one the stars." -Frederick Longbridge
I hope that we can all look towards the stars of our future and not the mud of our tough times.
I love you all and can't wait till I see you again in a couple weeks.
 
Love.
Sister Boiteux

 
tracting in the rain YAYYYYYY

Purtty bird! Birdie want a cracker?

Look mom we cooked! We made pizza and "death by special K" which is like rice crispy treats yum!



We got americano food-ish. I got reeses and gummy bears and american lemonade. My comp got dorritos, hersheys and lemonade yum #fattiesforlife
 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Sacrifice Brings Forth the Blessings from Heaven

Man where do I even start with this week... this week in one word was: hell. I'm grateful for it no doubt because I have learnt SO many lessons I wouldn't have been able to learn otherwise. The biggest lesson is this- the power of one. One person does/can make a difference, and if that difference is for good or evil it is our choice. I love the scripture Romans 5:19 "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous."  Seriously being obedient is not that hard because it is the easiest and smartest path to happiness. Because of some missionaries disobedience not only has their area been effected but we've been effected and so has our area-it is dumb. I'm grateful for the lessons that I've learnt to be WILLINGLY OBEDIENT. The Lord can make infinetly more of us than we can ever EVER make of of ourselves. If you are wanting to serve a mission (especially you Carly and Blake) make the goal this very moment to be obedient to every commandment and every mission rule. For those of you back home please follow the admonition of our beloved prophet and the leaders of this church. Keep your covenants and keep the commandments-it is the only path to TRUE joy and happiness.
This week I learnt that we can not change the will of God. We can not force Him to change our situations just because we are not happy. Yes we can come up with solutions to propose to Him but in the end we need to learn to just trust Him and take things one day at a time. Focus on the bigger eternal picture, I forgot to do that from Monday to Thursday and it resulted in a lot of hurt feelings and pain.... just see the eternal picture and take things step by step and we will see the Lords merciful hand.
Okay enough of my lecture (honestly I just vent and right novels on my emails because I know this will become like a journal after my mission for myself and I want to be spiritually edified myself haha... it is more for me than you).  Just like my title says "Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven" well this week I sacrificed my pride and as a result our 9 year old investigator Brodie committed to be baptised! His mum is an inactive member so she is really excited for her son, I hope she will start coming back too.  We are really excited for Brodie we were fist pumping just a bit (not in front of him of course ha).  
The biggest miracle is probably in regards to Sister Levine and hearing about how much she is progressing. I really miss and love her.  she is such an example of faith and enduring till the end, she is such a fighter. Please keep praying for her fast recovery! 
Well as for the big news of my area and life.... so I am now companions with Sister Sunday, she is from Morgan Utah. I freaking love her! I have known her a long time and we lived together last transfer so we are pretty tight already haha. We are covering both Tuggeranong ward and part of Woden. Both areas are MASSIVE so it will be a lot of work but we are eager to accept the challenge and help in the Lords work. I'm glad I can still serve in Woden for the time being and meet heaps of other wonderful people.... We are going to be exhausted!!!! Mom I still look forward to the massage when I get home ha.
Well I love you all. Remember 1:Be obedient 2: Trust the Lords will and timing 3:Keep praying for Sister Levine!

Love you all have a good week!

Love
Sister Ashley Boiteux
p.s. sorry no pictures this week my camera is broken

Monday, November 3, 2014

Happy Halloween

Man as usual there is so much to say that I don't even know where to start. I suppose I'll start with saying Happy Halloween! Hope you all had a splendid day and didn't rot your teeth to much haha. Halloween this year was way better than last year. Our ward did a trunk or treat for the kids and it was really fun, a lot of nonmembers and less-actives came which was awesome! We were able to catch up with Kini and he said he is still super keen to learn so hopefully we will be able to see him this week!
As for the big news about transfers... drum roll! I am still in Woden but have a new companion her name is Sister Fuatimau and she is from the beautiful island of Samoa. Sister Manutulila is now in Tuggernong ward so she didn't move very far (just a couple of feet to the other room hahaha). We still live together which I like. The next few weeks will be an adventure and will require a lot of relying on the Lord but I'm excited to draw closer to my Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ.
Especially in the past 24 hours I have learnt how much I really have grown and how much my Heavenly Father really does love and trust me. Im grateful for that spiritual confirmation. The past couple of weeks I have really prayed for the ability to see how I can improve and that He would help me to reach that potential only He can really see in me. With this new transfer I can already see that happening. It would be easy to ask "why me? why can't I just have an easy breazy last transfer like I see some people will have? Why do I always have to be the leader, etc. etc." But I learnt that asking "why" to the Lords will never results in spiritual growth. Instead I ask myself "what can I learn from this experience? What Christlike attributes does He want me to develop and exemplify? How can I become more like my Saviour from this trial?"  With that I have really come to rely so much more on the Atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ-which enables us to be supported in our trials. 
My mission has meant EVERYTHING to me and Im so grateful to have 6 more weeks to give all that I am and have to the Lord. This past week was a bit rough teaching wise but we found a goldmine of old potential investigator sheets from missionaries who worked here YEARS ago. Man this area has been so disorganized for so long Im happy I can help it! We started contacting them. Most are moved or not interested but some have been open to learning. Once we can decipher the handwriting we are good to go visit more hahaha. It really exciting stuff!
Well folks I'll keep this one small, for your sake ha. Love you heaps!

Love
Sister Boiteux

P-Day last week:
 
"Who's that walking on my bridge?"

my old comp Sister Manutulila and me!

Zion of the mission (Canberra)
 

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Lord is my Light

    1. The Lord is my light; then why should I fear?
      By day and by night his presence is near.
      He is my salvation from sorrow and sin;
      This blessed assurance the Spirit doth bring.
    2. (Chorus)
      The Lord is my light;
      He is my joy and my song.
      By day and by night he leads,
      He leads me along.
    3. 2. The Lord is my light; tho clouds may arise,
      Faith, stronger than sight, looks up thru the skies
      Where Jesus forever in glory doth reign.
      Then how can I ever in darkness remain?
    4. 3. The Lord is my light; the Lord is my strength.
      I know in his might I'll conquer at length.
      My weakness in mercy he covers with pow'r,
      And, walking by faith, I am blest ev'ry hour.
    5. 4. The Lord is my light, my all and in all.
      There is in his sight no darkness at all.
      He is my Redeemer, my Savior, and King.
      With Saints and with angels his praises I'll sing.
So I added the lyrics to this song for 
1. I have no idea what to say to you all today
2. This song speaks the words of my heart #cheesy
This week has been really good. I have prayed so hard that the Lord will help me to continue to focus and you know what it has really helped. For my companion to. Sad story... so Sister Manutulilas little sister just got married on Friday and her older sister gets married this Friday soooo needless to say there have been a few tears dropped, we have really tried hard to be busy to keep ourselves focused on our purpose.  
We had a cool miracle this past week. We decided to just ward list it and visit heaps of inactives and less actives. We wrote down this one lady's name but she wasn't home. We decided to knock her neighbors and talked with some teenagers walking down the street. Nobody was to keen so we were getting into our car to go to the next place when she pulled up. We went up and introduced ourselves, she was busy at the moment but invited us over for dinner in two days. We went back for the appointment and she told us, as she began to tear up, that it is funny how God works. She had prayed just a couple of days before for help (she doesn't even remember really what she was praying for) but then we decided to roll up.  She hadn't prayed in a long while and when she did we came. She said every time she prays the missionaries turn up. It must have been a while because nobody in the ward or any of the other missionaries have ever heard of her. She was baptised about 20 years ago in a different branch and quickly feel less active due to a lack of support from family but she still has a belief in it. She says she isn't interested in coming back to church but she is more than happy for us to reteach the lessons to her. We are going back in 2 days to teach her about the Restoration and read the Book of Mormon with her.  I felt funny because she was crying and my companion was crying and I was just sitting there...not crying. She offered me a tissue and I just held it. Man my many prayers to help me not be so emotional have really paid off...except for when i'm alone and personal pondering things. I'm still a soke (a cry baby) but not just more of a private one haha.  It was a really humbling experience. We have a goal to meet with at least one member family a day to get to know the ward better and it has been GREAT! We feel a lot more connected and have learned so much from their conversion stories. It has shown me that no effort in this great work is ever wasted, even if we can't see the result behind those efforts. Yesterday I kept reminding myself of that when nobody was home it really helped me keep going and to follow every small prompting. 
Today I was able to finish reading Jesus the Christ and all I can say is WOW. I am so grateful for the simplicity of the gospel and the blessings it has brought into my life... I could just go on and on and on but I know you are already probably falling asleep from my monstrosity of an email hahah. I think the length of my emails just go to show how grateful I am for the time that I have been allotted to serve Him. I will continue to press forward with faith, faith that I can help bring people to the waters of baptism, faith that I can help convert myself and my own family and friends, faith that I can be with my family for time and all eternity, and most of all faith in the great atoning sacrifice of the perfect creator of this earth. I recognize my time is short and I am learning how to have that motivate me rather than cripple me. Learn from the past, look forward to the future, but live in the present for it is a gift.

Love you all.
Ofa atu!
Sister Ashley Boiteux

 
I found myself some kangaroos... if you look closely the one closest to me has a joey in its pouch. Man they are freaking scary! Don't mess with kangaroos mate!


 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Kaleidoscope

Wow where do I even begin! Writing emails is just as hard as writing in my journal. Words just can't express everything I am actually thinking and feeling. I feel like a kaleidoscope- you know those things that you look into and it changes shape and designs when you move it. Well that is how I feel but those shapes and designs are my feeling and emotions and the thing that moves it is time and my thoughts. And just like you cant control what picture you see I can't control what emotions the time brings up.  Im happy but sad, scared but excited, anxious but hopeful, prepared and completely unprepared ALL AT THE SAME TIME!
I pray and pray and pray that the Lord will enlighten me with what He wants me to keep working on. The past few weeks-i'm not gonna lie- have been a bit hard to focus and I think it is due to the fact that I am focusing to much on coming home and not enough on how I can still be perfected here in the mission field. So every night when I account to the Lord I ask Him to help me be aware of my weaknesses and how I can improve. I know that my prayers could probably improve to. I dont really like praying for myself but I know that He wants me to be humble enough to. I have to practice what I preach right?! 
We have seen so many cool miracles this week.  I will start by listing some of them. Im just copying what I wrote in my journal pretty much... these occurred while on exchanges with Sister Sorensen (my STL) she is awesome! She worked with me in our area.
1. We had a lesson with Sue (a potential investigator) but she cancelled, sad day. I felt prompted that we should visit with Jeanette (another potential). We'd originally had her planned for back up for our lesson with Sister Skinner and her son later in day at 4:30 but nonetheless a prompting is a prompting and I'm trying to get better and follow them. Well we get there, knock on the door, and go figure she wasn't home. Great! well we wrote a note and left. Sister Sorensen noticed a lady we could talk to named Robyn. She is kinda athiest and wasn't interested but we had a good conversation with her. After that we got in our car to drive to another backup. The time was about 3:50ish. Well my stupid as GPS decided at that moment to stop working. And I have NO idea where to go without it, i'll get there eventually. Well Sister Sorensen suggested we prayed, so we did. I thought it would pop on but no luck. So we did the only practical thing to do at moments like this. We got out and talked to people on the street. Nobody was interested. We were wondering what the Lord wanted us to learn from this. We could view it as a hindrance or an opportunity to see a miracle. Well no apparent miracles just yet.  Well by this point we are late for our lesson with the Skinners but I had no idea how to get there. As we got in the car again we talked about what to do when I saw this little figure walking to Jeanettes. "HEY IT'S JEANETTE! Should we go?" We looked at each other and we went. MIRACLE!  She is very interested but just so overwhelmed! There is so much she needs to change but cant see that God is the best source to help her do that. We talked on her doorstep she was to sick to let us in (she had been getting back from the hospital). Before we left we explained the power of prayer and Sister Sorensen said a prayer. At the end Jeanette was looking away from us and said "I have to go inside now or I'm going to cry" we invited her to say her own personal prayer and she said "oh yes Im going to go do that right now" It was so sweet. Prayer is powerful, especially when it is a heartfelt and sincere prayer for someone you love.

2. We went to a members house that I didn't know verywell because they are older and keep to themself. We were just going to get to know them and share a message but she made a nice meal for us (which was a miracle in and of itself because we hadnt scheduled dinner in because we had to much to do). Well as we shared a message about letting out light shine as found in Matt 5:14-16 and 3 Nephi 18:24 she began to get emotional. She took us to a different room because her husband is a bit pessimistic about sharing the gospel so she took us to a different room and gave us 5 REFERRALS! Folks, that does not happen. In this past week we have gotten more referrals than I have my whole mission put together probably. And these are solid names. She is going to go to temple and put them on the prayer roll and then we will fast and pray with her this week for them and then go WITH her to contact them. Now that is how missionary work is supposed to get done! I hope it will happen and that her hard work will pay off. She is very afraid- it was such a tender testimony to me that these names are precious, that these souls are precious. I look at my own nonmember and inactive family and how precious they are to me- it takes a lot of trust to hand them over to strangers. I hope I can live up to my calling as the Lords representative. I hope that someday I can trust missionaries enough and have enough faith in the Lord for my family and friends too. Because their souls are precious to me. 

As hard as missionary work is I LOVE IT! They say that "the bad outnumbers the good, but the good outweighs the bad."  That is so true! I have seen soooo many disappointments and spent so much time worrying, crying, and hurting for these people most of whom will never know in this life how much I have given for them. But then I think of the Saviour. He who gave His LIFE for me, and each of us. He willingly gave His life. He died so we may each live. We are engraven on the palms of his hands (1 Nephi 21:16). If only these people knew. If only I knew what He truly did for us. I often wonder why I have never really received a "manifestation" of all of these, mostly that He is my Saviour and I realise and tell myself that I dont need it. Because I know that I would and will not ever deny my testimony of Jesus the Christ. I may not have seen Him in a dream, or felt His presence physically, or heard Him speak but I know through the power of the Holy Ghost that this is all true. He has born countless moments to me that are true. I have seen numerous miracles, and seen miraculous changes in the lives of those I share this good news with. Jesus Christ has felt and will fill all that I feel and THAT is what keeps me going. 

I know that this church is true. I know that missionary work is the life blood of this church. I know that the spirit will manifest to a humble heart the truth of this message of glad tidings!  I hope that I can live my life worthy to be an instrument in the Lords hands to bring many more souls back unto Him. And I leave this testimony that I have, born of pondering, praying, and applying sound gospel truths, with you in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Love
Sister Ashley Boiteux
 








 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

I Know

There is power behind the simply phrase of "I Know". How many times I have stated that simply phrase over the pulpit, to my family and friends, to strangers on the street I do not know and cannot count but this I can say that each "I Know" statement carries power to the ears of humble listeners.
We are told that the greatest way to keep and sustain a testimony of faith needed to traverse the trials of life is to share it often. 
The other day we knocked on the door of a proclaimed aithest. This man said he grew up in an athiest home and had troubles believing in a just and merciful God. Where was the justice for the wicked? Where was the mercy for the righteous? "Life is not fair" he professed. Well I remembered all the words I had just heard from the Prophet, the Quorum of the Twelve, and the other general leaders of the church and I testified that I KNEW that there was such a being and that He loved us, each of us and that we have evidence of this in a book called The Book of Mormon Another Testimant of Jesus Christ. My companion double testified and added her own sincere witness to this man on his doorstep. He could not refute what we knew to be true. Many people ask us to tell them how we know what we know. Well I can not say how I know just like I can not describe the taste of salt to someone who has never heard of it before. We must each come to the being of all truth and ask Him to send us a confirmation, this is what we call personal revelation. This man, who said he was athiest, said we can come back and share more in his words he said "i've changed before I could change again". Yes sir you can. Because we shared our testimonies of what WE KNEW he helped Him draw one step closer to The Being who knows all.  I have met so many people of other faiths but not once have I ever heard someone say "I know what I know to be true" it is always I believe, or I think but never I KNOW. Only latter-day saints lay hold to that claim of I KNOW because we do know but we cannot explain to others how we do.  Just as Christ invited others to "Come and see" so to must we. He couldn't force anyone to believe, or know, He was and is the only begotten son of the Father but He could merely invite His elect to follow Him.

One of the sisters I live with told us a story. She met a young man on the street to professed to being a member of another christian church she replied "oh that is awesome! What makes your church different from all the other christian churches?" His reply was a stupified look on his face "Well I don't know" he said. This dear sister replied "Well let us tell you what we know makes our church unique from all else" she and her companion then went on to teach and testify of the restored gospel. Why? Because they knew what they know to be true and that it is unique. 
DONT KEEP THIS KNOWLEDGE TO YOURSELF!! Share it now, this very instant! Get online and share your testimony on facebook, through instagram share a pic of the Book of Mormon with a caption of it, share pictures of the temples where the power of the priesthood can seal us with our families for time and all eternity. Not even death can brake the power of those sealings, they overcome the bands of death through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

My time remaining as a full time missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints grows short. 64 days as my flatmates like to remind me. But I know that my time as a full time DISCIPLE and Representative of Him and his true gospel is eternally going. My badge may come off  :( but that does not mean I stop everything I am doing now and unlearn everything that I have sacrificed so much to obtain. I can honestly say I know more than most religious leaders in this world because I know that this church has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith and that it is today guided by the same priesthood authority that has existed in His true church since the beginning of time. That President Thomas S. Monson is the only true and living man with all the keys and authority to exercise those keys upon this earth. That the Quorum of the 12 Apostles are also prophet, seers,and revelators called to stand as sacred witnesses of Christ. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has the same organization that existed in primitive times and has the power of God to usher in the work of salvation unto His children.

I dont know why I haven't had all the success I would like to have seen during my time here but I know that I have seen and done enough. I know that I still have cause to repent and progress. I can do better. It is hard sometimes because you feel increasingly inadequate the more you learn but at the same time you feel so privileged.  I know that my studies can be more inspired and that I can help my companion to progress more to. I know that if I can account each night, knowing I did my best, that the Lord finds my sacrifice and efforts acceptable- no matter the results I see or dont see. I dont need 3 baptisms a weekend to know that I have been a successful and powerful tool in the Lords hands. Baptisms mean nothing if the people aren't converted. Conversion is the key and if my simple smile and invitation-which is rejected at first- is enough to help them be converted in the future than that is enough for me. 

I love you all and I cant wait to see you in 64 days ha. I know that great things lay in weight for me and I am so excited to see them. Bumps, bruises and all.

Hope you have a fantastic week!

Love,
Sister Ashley Marchel Boiteux
 
At Floriade- a big flower festival held here in Canberra

 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Pressing Onward

Man time is just zooming by. It freaks me out! It is amazing that when we fully immerse ourselves in the work of the Lord, even in the hardest of times, things work out for our benefit-eventually. This past week has been a roller coster of emotions. We were blessed with the opportunity to say goodbye to Sister Levine and see her off at the airport on her medical flight. We miss her every day. She was the best part of the day. Thank you everyone who has kept her and her family in your thoughts and prayers! She is an amazing sister missionary and I have been blessed beyond measure knowing her. It was a sacred opportunity to go sing to her. It was funny because we were singing for her, and for us because we enjoyed it, but I do realise that we have helped many others. People in the hospital would open their partitions, give us thumbs up, smile. One lady was in the elevator with us and asked "Are you the singing group? My husband and I loved listening to you but now we are in a different room." It made us chuckle because it was so sweet. There is power in the hymns that we sing, why-because they are filled with gospel truths that others are searching for. I will cherish those memories forever.
My area is great! There is A LOT of work to be done but I'm always up for a good challenge! My companion and I have been on a roller coster ride! So many blessing and fun times but also sooo many challenges. The bad outnumber the good but the good out weighs the bad. That is the epitomy of missionary work. It is wonderful and I LOVE it! So I will start with saying the bad because for those preparing for a mission you need to see that missions are peachy happy-it is hard stuff. Yesterday we tried to visit like 20 people and not one was home. We tried members, less actives, in actives, former investigators, potential investigators, investigators. No one wanted to open the door ha. But we did have one interesting/sad experience. We went to see an inactive (who was home yipee) but get this she was baptised into the Jehovahs Witness church last year. She said that 7 years ago she lost her husband (at the point she was already inactive) and she said when he died she was in a very sensitive place searching for something. She waited for someone from the church to come see her and rescue her but nobody came- well not from our church. The JW's came and study the bible with her so she got baptised with them last year and is now very active in their church. It was good that she is happy but it is sad that she has no desire and testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It was such a testimony builder to me that we need to help others and ourselves build a strong and firm foundation on Jesus Christ. It also testified to me the importance of home and visiting teaching! That is the life blood of this gospel! We promised to mourn with those that mourn and comfort those that stand in need of comfort (Mosiah 18:9) and we do that by fulfilling our callings.  I know the members who should have come and helped her will be held accountable. All Sister Manutulila and I could do is testify of Gods love for her and leave our number if she ever needed anything. It was really sad.  I know that our planning was inspired yeterday even though everybody and their dog was gone. The Lord just needed to teach us a lesson I suppose. We sang hymns, quoted scriptures, and cracked jokes in order to keep our spirits up. Luckily we saw two members who helped lift our depressed moods haha. It is the worst when you are working as hard as you possible can and just not seeing the results you would like. However we have the calm assurance that God is pleased with the labour we put into His vineyard yesterday
Now lets get to the good stuff (are you bored yet... sorry I'm not sorry-keep reading haah).
So this past week we got a referral from a member for one of her friends who is from Tonga nd is a less active member and her husband is a nonmember. We called her and set up a time to come meet with her and her husband and the members would be there too. Well we roll up expecting a really nice spiritual lesson and a good Tongan feed.... well it was that.. minus the spiritual lesson part. They were having a huge family and friend party for the last footy game of the season. The mean were outside watching the game on TV with a pig roasting on the spit and all the women and our potential Kini (he is the husband) chilling inside. We went in because we didn't want to be rude and just leave and we figured making relationship as normal people is just as good. We sat and talked with them. Vika ( the less active) asked everyone what they thought if her husband was baptised and they all laughed and Kini made a joke, I thought to myself "oh man he isn't ready or want this his wife is just pushing him" i felt so sad but I kept smiling. well a couple minutes went by and all the nonmembers drifted outside to grab the kids. So it was Sister Manutulila and I, Sister Taka, Vika and Kini. Kini leaned over and whispered "Hey Sisters" we looked up at him "Can you come back tomorrow when everyone is gone because I want to talk and I have a lot of questions." He said it in the most sincere voice. My heart lept for joy at the softness of his hear that I saw. So we are going to go see them tonight actually and i am so excited! Him and his wife were best friends before they even started dating so their relationship is awesome! And Vika is really wanting to come back to the gospel strong! They are very prepared.
As a side note is was funny because they gave us both a heaping plate of food and I killed mine so fast (mind you it was fast Sunday so this was my first meal ha). Kini leaned back in his seat and laughed. Him and his wife were like "weww that is the first time we've ever seen a palagi (a white person) finish before a polynesian (i finished my plate before sister manuntulila). It was crack up. I think I won some gold stars from that act alone hahah. 
Man I wish I could tell you all the miracles and fun experiences we have had over the last couple of days but I think you'll get tired of reading them ha, I will save those for when Im home in person. 
Right now I am currently reading "Jesus the Christ" and it is AMAZING! I have learnt so much about the Saviour and I feel like I am learning to not just know of Him but to actually have a real relationship with Him and trust IN Him and not just OF Him. It is a lot easier said than done. Words can't explain how much I love Him and the example He has set for me. I hope that day by day I can continue to exemplify in my life His light.
Well I love you all and hope you have a great day!
 
Love,
Sister Boiteux