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 you will love it!

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!
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.
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!

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!

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)