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Monday, November 16, 2015

has the last year and a half gone by really quickly, or is it just me?

Hey family!

I hope you all had a great week! Thanks as always for your love and support.

This week was a great week. We worked really hard and were super busy, and it was worth it! We saw a lot of progress both in the work with the members and in the area in general this week, which was such a blessing. We had a couple of investigators come to church for the first time yesterday. We´ve been working with one of them to come to church for a while now, and last week she told us that she wasn´t going to be able to go, but promised us that she would come this week. So when we went to teach her on Wednesday we agreed to meet outside of our apartment to walk to church together. When we walked out yesterday she was waiting for us and as we started walking she started telling us about how the night before she was running around at 9:00 trying to find a place where she could buy more minutes to call us and tell us that she wasn´t going to go. She said she went to like four different places that normally sell credit for cell phones and every one was either closed or told her that they didn´t offer that service. We told her, "See? You obviously needed to come to church today." :) And the most interesting part is in Sunday School the week before we finished the course and the teacher decided to wait and start over in January, so instead of giving the normal lesson she gave one on Faith. We´ve been working with this same investigator a lot because she feels like she´s completely lost her faith, and the lesson was perfect for her. It was amazing how everything worked out! And she had a really good experience at church.

Today we went to el Centro with the other sisters in the Zone, and it was the best P-day I´ve ever had! We arrived in the center of town just in time to see a parade (this Friday is a national holiday, Día de la Revolución de México). After watching the parade for a while we went all over town seeing a few of the tourist sights- we went on a museum tour of the mining history here in Durango and a museum, and we were going to go on the Teleferico (gondola to see the city) but it was closed because of weather conditions, so I treated the other sisters to smoothies and brownies in a little café that we found. It was so fun and so sweet of Hermana Vázquez to think of doing that for Hermana Hernández and I. 

To be honest, I´ve kind of been avoiding writing this email.....I just don´t know what to say! I seriously can´t believe that it´s already been a year and a half, and I honestly don´t have words to express my gratitude for the opportunity that I´ve had to be a missionary. It has definitely been hard, but I have grown and learned so much, and become so much closer to my Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. I learned so many things on my mission that I wouldn´t have time to list them all, but I just want to share that I know that this work, this Church, and this Gospel are true. God is our loving Heavenly Father who created this plan for our eternal progress and we have eternal potential as His sons and daughters. I am so grateful for His Son Jesus Christ; because of Him each of us can have a new beginning and eternal joy.

Last transfer, an elder who was going home said in his final testimony, "Thanks to the Atonement, I have no regrets about my mission." I loved that. I was definitely not a perfect missionary, but this work is perfect and I am grateful for the Perfect Being who accepts my humble offering. He has given me so many blessings that the past year and a half haven´t been a sacrifice at all. It´s just another blessing, one of the biggest ones I have ever received. 

Mom and Dad, I´ll see you on Friday. Everyone else, I´ll see you on Thanksgiving. I love you all so much and I know that this Gospel is true. 

Love forever, 

Hermana Ashley Rose Southard
Misión México Torreón