Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Booted to Canberra

Oh my goodness everyone! The Lord is good! I have been transferred to a new area and I already LOVE IT! It was a 2 1/2 hour drive down here and it was SO beautiful! Just farm land and open pastures! I drove down with Sister Lam who is serving with her first cousin as her companion which is soooo cool! It was a great drive! It is nice to finally be out of the city haha. I was released as a STL for my last two transfers which I am very grateful for because now I can just really focus and sprint to the finish! I am in the Woden ward in Canberra, Australias capitol city, and my new companion is Sister Manutulila. She is samoan but from Brisbane. She is 24 and her conversion is that she was LA for 10 years but finally came back and desired to serve.She has been out for 6 months and is a great missionary. She is so funny and amazing, I already love her heaps and I am excited to work with her. This area has so much potential I am blessed to serve here I reckon. Yesterday we spent a couple hours just cleaning and organizing the area book and heaps of paperwork left over from previous missionaries. I'm going to help whip this area back into shape, I don't like unorganization so we fixed that. It was really fun. And then tonight we will start with visiting people. I'm pretty excited, we both are. Sister Manutulila has only been here a transfer longer than me so we are both still pretty fresh so it will be a good learning experience for us both.
I was really sad to leave Sutherland and especially Sister Vos. We both knew it was time for us to be seperated so that we could apply what we have learnt from one another. I am so grateful for all the lessons that I learnt from her about charity and service. She is the most charitable person that I have EVER met! Seriously I love her and miss her heaps but it is good that we can both grow from these new experiences. Leaving an area is always a humbling experience because that is really when you recognize the good you did, or didn't do, I am happy I can say that in Sutherland, altough it was a tough area, I did the best that I could. I know the Lord is pleased with my efforts. If He wasn't I wouldn't have been placed in the situation that I am now blessed to be apart of. I know that there will be many challenges ahead, I expect that for that is how we grow, but I know that if I petition Him faithfully through prayer He will answer me.
We never know how long we have upon this earth and it is crucial that we live life to its fullest, righteously of course. There are no things as "luck" or "coincidences" but everything is part of a divine plan. Many things are results of our choices-good and bad. But in all things do they pertain to our learning and growth.
I hope that I can continue to learn and to grow in my last little while as a full-time representative for the Lord Jesus Christ. I know that this church is the only true church upon this earth. It is the only church that contains the FULLNESS of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that in the year 1820 that a young 14 year old boy by the name of Joseph Smith did see God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ after a sincere and humble prayer. And that through him was God able to restore His true church. I know that we are led by a living prophet and living apostles and that Gods priesthood power has been restored to this earth. I know this because I have felt that priesthood power bless and influence my life. I have come to know that as I have not only read but APPLIED the principles and teachings found in the Book of Mormon. And most of all I know this because I have prayed and asked God and countless times Has testified to me through the Holy Ghost that it is true. Even when I begin to doubt sometimes I remember all things things and then I know all over again.
Boy am I glad to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!
I love you all and hope you have a great week! Please continue to keep Sister Levine and her family in your prayers. I also pray for the Elder in The Salt Lake City West mission that he may be blessed as well!
Sister Ashley Boiteux
About to leave each other! I love Sister Vos

About to leave each other! I love these sisters

On the bus on the way to our new locations with Sister Ziegner

My daughter, Sister Burgess, is a new Sister Training Leader! Like mother like daughter :)

Sister Levines parents. They are just wonderful!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Ahoy Matey'

This week just FLEWWWWW by it is so crazy!!!  It freaks me out how quickly time is just flying by!  Transfers are next week and I feel very strongly that I will be transferred and most likely training a new missionary, we will see what happens next week. So I will email next Tuesday.
I just am so grateful for the time I have had here. I may not have seen all the success I wanted to have but I know that I did what the Lord wanted me to do, and that is the greatest feeling of success. Being able to pray and to be accountable to him in a positive way. My testimony has grown 10 fold in this area, especially about the power of prayer and the power of squaring our shoulders and thinking positively. It is funny because I had read my patriarchal blessing so many times before my mission but it hasn't really started to make sense until now.  The Lord really does know me. Sometimes I forget that and I just remind myself that I need to REMEMBER! That is how we lose our testimonies, we stop remembering. We forget the spiritual witnesses we have had that this gospel is true and that Jesus is the Christ. I cry just thinking about all that He has done for me- but then again I am a sook (a cry baby) haha.
This morning Sister Vos and I went to the Kurnell cliffs to watch the sunrise. It was so gorgeous. We just sat and talked about everything and it was so good. I love being with a companion where we can just be so completely opposite in EVERY way and yet it never causes a fight, we always work it out. I have learnt so much about myself from helping her and vice versa. We make a good duo. We are Bos!  We both loved being in nature and seeing all the gifts that God has to give us. We have struggled a lot in our area but as we have diligently continued to go out and work I know that the Lords designs and purposes are being fulfilled. The other day we were getting off the train and this 12 year old girl, who was really bright for her age, asked Sister Vos what she did for work because she saw the badge and we just talked with her. Opened the door for her to learn someday. And just barely as we went to the bathroom we talked with a girl who is talking to people on the streets about childrens cancer institute and she said "hey are you from the church?" she is a member from the north mission but her whole family has gone inactive and she tries to go to church with her grandparents. We just talked with her and asked her if she wanted to serve someday. I dont know but maybe we helped her in someway. Just because our numbers may not show it doesnt mean we aren't being successful. We are successful in the fact that we feel good about what we are doing and the promptings we are following. Just getting Christs name out there is good.  
Well I think this is long enough for this week. Remember be a powerful, and positive, influence for good!

Sister Ashley Boiteux


Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Light and Life of the World

This week I don't know what to say... like usual I suppose but I know that the spirit will bring something to my mind to share with you.
To start off many of you may have heard of Sister Levine. She is a sister in our mission, and a dear friend of mine, who was hit by a car and is in stable but critical condition. I thank you for all of you that have kept you and her family in your prayers. It is a miracle that she is doing as well as she is. I know that Gods protecting hand is watching over her.  When things like this happen it really makes you evaluate the life you live and what your priorities are. For me the top of that list is my testimony, followed very closely by my family. I pondered what I would want my last words to my family to be if I were to pass away- I know what a depressing thought but hey considering the situation I couldn't help but think- and my thoughts would go along something like this "you can cry for you but don't cry for me because I know that I am going home to my Father in Heaven and that my work will continue there. Also don't lose the faith because I want you with me but the person who determines that is you". We are agents unto ourselves. The Lord provides the pathway to eternal life but we are the ones who have to walk it and if we let Him He will walk it with us. Life is hard but in the span of eternity it is just so short. And really it isn't that hard when you learn how to have faith in Jesus Christ.  If life were always easy there would be no growth and no opportunity to be refined. We aren't refined into who we need to become without some intense heat and pressure. Embrace it and endure it folks. 
The reason I can be so straightforward in that topic is because I have felt more refinement in the past three months then in all my mission. I have a hate/love relationship with my trials ha. Im grateful for them dont get me wrong but man they are some hard trials God gives. I just always think the harder the climb the greater the view!
I have studied a lot about light and what that means in the gospel to have light and be children of light. It has been a great study. Man this gospel is so amazing! Ah it just blows my mind. I wish I could just throw my brain at all of you so you could absorb what I have learnt. But we all have to take our own journeys. Even Christ taught in parables so only the humble followers would understand. The more we understand the more we are held accountable for that knowledge. It is a bit of a daunting thought and just pushes me to be better and do better.
I have never been more grateful for a challenge in my life than the challenge of a mission. There is nothing greater than sacrificing yourself for the Lord. 
Well the miracle is that I am learning to really enjoy talking to complete strangers! I have always been so scared of finding and now I am learning to really love it. It is awesome! The big miracle is recognising all the tender mercies of the day. I love that the Lord always gives us enough to do to get through the day. Sometimes I just have to take it hour by hour, or even half hour by half hour, but we always get through it. Im grateful for that. 
Well I dont know what else to say. Live every day to its fullest. Life isnt about the number of days we are given but by how much we live in the day (righteous living of course). 
Have a good week and please keep the Levine family in your prayers, as well as the driver of the other vehicle who is probably feeling very bad right now they need love and prayers too!

Sister Boiteux
We retaught Joanne about missionary work and gave the boys missionary badges they LOVED it. So cute.

We won the first companionship to turn in our K reports (for driving) so we got a bunch of treats from the office missionaries yayyy for tim tams!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

"You are stronger than you realize.
You are more capable than you can imagine.
You can do it now."
-President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

This week has been a crazy week. Two MLC's, two exchanges, and a zone conference. My brain is overloaded with doctrine to internalize but it is awesome! So we had one of the area seventy come talk to us in MLC with helping our mission reach its true potential.. to say the least you could say our mission struggles with obedience. As us leaders come together in the unity of faith and obedience we can help those we serve to do the same. It was an inspiring Mission Leadership Council. This week I have really tried to understand and apply the principles of faith. Especially by having the faith to ask for help. It was so cool Sister Vos and I applied this principle of faith with a lesson we had with an inactive sister. She hasn't been to church in over 40 years! Woof. Well we had a really touching lesson, the room was thick with the spirit, we invited her to church and she said yes. The best part is she followed through on that promise and she came! She kept saying "im so brave for doing this" and yes she was. I dare to say that it touched her heart. It was such a powerful testimony to me that when we act in faith and speak in faith miracles happen, not only for us but for those around us.
This gospel is the truest and purest treasure we can possess in our lives. In the scriptures Christ says that when we lose ourselves in His service then will we find ourselves. I have truly learnt that principle. Deciding to come on a mission was one of the hardest decisions I've ever made. Dont get me wrong it felt completely right, I had no IDEA where my life was going at that point. School was just useless and I had no direction. But then again I knew coming was right but I didn't necessarily want to do it. Seriously nobody wants to go work all day everyday for 18 months or 2 years and give up ALL their desires and preach something to people that we are still learning ourselves. It is scary! But nonetheless I knew God wanted me here, for a purpose I am just beginning to process, so I came.
With only three months left on my mission, and don't even get me started with how I feel on that (lets just say I am a jumble of emotions), I have more direction, hope, and purpose with the life I have ahead of me. I know it will require diligence and hard work but that is nothing new haha.  It is really exciting to learn more about who I am. What i think about myself and what God thinks about me. I know that if God loves me and is pleased with my efforts than I dont need to worry about what others think because all they will see when they see me is the light of Christ.  That is pretty darn humbling.
Today I read a talk by Sheri Dew titled "You Were Born to Lead, You Were Born for Glory" and it talked about the true potential we can achieve and that we should achieve. It was so empowering! Each of you should read it and try it out. Remember application is the key to growth. Learn and apply. Faith without WORKS is dead.
I love this work! I love my Father in Heaven and His Son, my Saviour, Jesus Christ.   A quote my mission presidents wife said is from a poet by the name of Longfellow? anyways it says "Every man has his secret sorrows that the world knows not of".
Yes the world does not know what we sorrow over but the Saviour does. Only He can heal us. Only He can lead us. But we must allow Him too. We may not know why we are asked to do something, just as I did not know why I needed to serve a mission, but as we put our faith in Him we can have the calm assurance that it will be for our benefit. Give up your will to him. Give it all up and he will make of you infinitely more than you can EVER make of yourself!

I love you all and hope I left you some food for thought. Have a good week!

Sister Ashley Boiteux
MLC! love these meetings i learn so much! from left to right: Sister Vos (NZ), me, Sister Rushing (Washington), Sister Pagnin (Italy)
Eliza (now Sister Cashman) she was a member in our ward who did heaps for us and with us

Elizas setting apart