Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My Last Email

Family and Friends!!!
My heart is so full as I write this....I can't believe I am down to the last 2 days of my service as a full-time missionary. This morning we had a meeting where all of the departing sisters shared their testimonies and gave advice to the rest of the mission. I kept crying throughout it because I saw how each sister in my class has grown and also because I kept reflecting on the experiences I've had on my mission and I just felt so grateful!! This truly has been the best 18 months of my life and I know I'm going to miss it so much. I have gained a testimony of this Gospel and of my Savior, Jesus Christ that I plan to keep and nourish for the rest of my life.
I think one of the most valuable lessons I've learned on my mission is that if we have a desire, God will help us to achieve it.  I remember at a certain point on my mission I was going through a really hard time and I wondered if what I had been sharing for about 5 months was all true or not.  I had prayed my heart out for days to receive answers and guidance.  After one particular morning prayer, I had the thought, "Read the Book of Mormon every single day".  I just sat there and pondered and realized that I had been studying each day from the scriptures, but it was never consistently the Book of Mormon.  I had finished the BOM at the beginning of my mission, moved to the New Testament, and then was reading Doctrine and Covenants.  I will never forget the minute I started reading the Book of Mormon and this overwhelming peaceful feeling came over me and I just started to cry.  I then knew that it was true- that Jesus Christ was my Savior, that Joseph Smith was truly a prophet of God, and that this was Christ's church restored again on the earth- but that if I just continued with faith that I would soon develop a stronger testimony of it.  It took some time, but with fervent prayer, diligent scripture study, and being open to the testimonies of others, I was able to gain a firm and unwavering testimony of those three things I just mentioned.  I know that God was with me through it all.  Not just once, but multiple times I received small and subtle answers to my prayers. I know it took time, but those answers came. I had the desire, I yearned to know, and God helped me every step of the way. 
I know and testify that God can and will do this for every single one of us.  I want to invite everyone who is reading this to come and see what we have to offer, what this Gospel has to offer you for your life. Whether you choose to read the Book of Mormon, meet with missionaries, or come to church...choose something and ask God for help in knowing and finding if it's true. I know and am a witness that Heavenly Father will help us and lead us as we seek to know truth.
Love you all! Mom and Dad, see you SOON!! :)

Sister Asay
Also, it has been a really great and successful week! We have been teaching a lot, Scott is continuing to progress, and we have found more new investigators! It has been kind of sad transferring people I have been teaching to other sisters, but I know they are in good hands! And I wrote down all of their contact info so that I can stay in touch with them once I'm home :)

We went to the Temple as a class on Saturday! It was so wonderful to be there with 23 sisters who I love so much! Plus others I love like President and Sister Poulsen and others in the mission presidency :) 

Love the teaching center :)

Sister Palmer!! My companion in my 3rd transfer :)

Sister Gee!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Go BIG or Go HOME...or both!!

Hi everyone!!!
Gosh, when people say the mission goes by faster and faster they weren't kidding! This week literally feels like it's been 2 days to me!
Anyway, what a week of miracles!!! We have been working really hard and have taught probably the most lessons ever in my whole mission this week! We have taught 17 purely investigator lessons. Outbound we always have a goal of at least 20, but that's with member dinner lessons included. So it's been a really good week! Plus, the Lord has been blessing us!

One big blessing happened on Tuesday. We were in the Teaching Center and I received a call from a guy named Scott. He told me that he wanted to get in touch with the missionaries in his area. I said I could help him with that and got all of his information. Then I asked a few questions and found out that he had taken the missionary lessons in 2012, but had moved away right before having the last lesson that he needed to be baptized. Then he told me that he had it confirmed to him in a dream that he needed to be amazing! I told him that I would send his information to the local missionaries and that it usually takes a few days for them to stop by, but that my companion and I would be happy to review the lessons with him in the meantime. He liked the idea and agreed! And guess what? We have taught the Restoration, the Plan of Salvation, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the first 4 Commandments, and he went to church AND he has a baptismal date for Feb. 15th!! Talk about blessings!! I was kind of down last week because Manuel fell through and I was praying to Heavenly Father that my only desire was just to help someone this last transfer to progress and be baptized. And then that Tuesday, like a day after the prayer, Scott called in!!  I really know that God hears our prayers! And I won't actually be a missionary when he is baptized and we probably won't reach our baptismal goal this transfer, but I feel so blessed that I have been able to teach him almost every day this week and can help him progress toward his goal. I think it's cool how it's not what I had thought the answer to my prayer would be, but that it actually is what I prayed for!

Well, I have a week left and I'm going to work hard until the end!! This is one of my favorite scriptures! Not sure if I've shared it before, but it's 2 Nephi 31:20.

"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life."
I love how happy and hopeful it is. Also, "press forward" is mentioned twice! That's what we all must do! Press forward and keep having faith and doing our best :) Love you all!!

Sister Asay 
I saw my second parents, the Romneys!! They came to SLC to get set apart to be MTC presidents for the Dominican Republic!!

FroYo :)

I took this lady and her family on a tour last April! We walked by each other last night and then we both turned around at the same time and said, "Wait! Hey!!" haha. She said when I'm back in Provo she'll have me over for some real Mexican food!

Happy 2015

Wow, I can't believe that it's a new year! However, I'm so grateful for 2014 because it is the year where I spent all of my time as a full-time missionary. Gosh, what an amazing year it has been! I have learned so much and I know I couldn't have picked anything better to do for that year, and for my life, than to be serving as a missionary :)
"Meet The Mormons" has come to Temple Square!!!! We are now playing it in the Legacy Theater for guests and also in the Visitor Center Theaters. We watched it the other day with Jerrica and it is so good!!  I love how it focuses on individuals and their families and that it simply shares how the Gospel affects the way they choose to live and that they're really happy because of it! 
Meet the Mormons with Jerrica and Sister Jones!

This week we have been teaching a lot and have seen many little miracles. There was one man, Manuel, who we met on a tour. We taught him the Restoration and then invited him to be baptized and he said yes!! He even agreed to a date, but the sad thing is that we set an appointment for him to meet us at the Square the next day (he doesn't have a phone or email since he just recently got divorced and got rid of everything) but he never showed. I was so bummed!  He has been to church 3 times in San Antonio already and at the end of the tour we told him where the church by the Conference Center was so that he could go. He was so excited about it and was looking forward to seeing us the next day.  I'm not sure what happened, and I was let down that he wasn't at our appointment, but either way, I know he will progress! I was grateful to meet him and whether he learns with us or not, he is searching and I know he will be baptized one day.  I'll keep praying that he comes back to the Square and we cross paths!
Yesterday, I was able to share my testimony about my Savior during sacrament meeting. I didn't plan on it, but I feel that Heavenly Father just floats us up there sometimes.  I just felt so blessed to know that Christ loves all of us so very much. He willingly came here, knowing that He would suffer pain and afflictions down the road, but did it anyway because He cares about every single one of us. I am thankful to know His purpose and feel the hope of His light in my life.
Have a wonderful day everyone! Love you all!
Sister Asay

My step- posterity! Sister Mathias (Germany/ England), Sister Nogueira (Brazil/ Georgia), and Sister Oliveira (Brazil)

My cute companion!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

White Christmas!

First of all, family it was so nice talking to you!!! I didn't think I'd cry, but when mama cries I cry.  It was so great to hear all of your voices :) Even Danny's through Skype!!  Also, it snowed on Christmas!! Literally hasn't snowed all winter until that morning! So cool! All of the sisters were so excited!   I couldn't believe that we actually had a white Christmas.
Walking to go call the fam!
Christmas breakfast! Pancakes and ice cream :)

This week has been awesome!! We have found so many new investigators!! I'll talk about a few. One, named Dinesh, who is from Middle East but lives in Seattle.  We met on Christmas Day.  We were assigned at a theater to play the Nativity and he walked by and we started talking. We literally talked about SO much.  Jesus Christ, faith, our purpose here on earth, the Book of Mormon, the background of it, Moroni's challenge, the blessings of the Gospel, etc.   It was so interesting because his questions and thoughts were so good!  Like "I'm just trying to figure out what my purpose in life is" or "I have all these little goals, but I just want to have an ultimate goal".  In my mind I was just like "Um, wow!! Our Gospel is for you!" and I told him that we have all of the answers to his questions and that by reading the Book of Mormon he will be able to find what he is looking for.  I hope we will be able to stay in touch.  In the beginning, I asked for his phone number, but he was unsure about giving it so I gave him a pass along card with our texting number on the back.  Then in the middle of the conversation, I told him I wanted to share a video with him and asked for his email- which he gave. At the end, I gave him the Book of Mormon, invited him to start reading, and testified of the blessings of reading it.  He seemed excited to read it so hopefully he will text us!   Something cool too is that before all this happened, we were closing the doors to start the movie and out of the corner of my eye I saw him walking toward us and I said, "Come on in! We are just about to start!" and then I felt something, not sure what, but it made me actually focus and look at who this individual was. Then I kinda forgot about it because I started talking to other people, but after the video finished I saw him walk out, remembered my little experience, and I knew I had to talk to him!  It's truly amazing how things happen and how, after he left with his new Book of Mormon, I realized that what I felt earlier was the Spirit and that the Spirit was making sure I remembered this man so that I could share the Gospel with him. I pray that we are able to stay in touch and keep teaching him! But if not, I know that he at least has been introduced to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and has the resources to find what he is searching for.

Then, on Saturday night, we met Cesar!! My companion is awesome and in-tune with the Spirit and felt that we should stop and talk to these two teenage boys. We talked about Jesus Christ and families and had a nice conversation where we all shared our testimonies about Christ and our families. We then asked if we could stay in touch and share more with them and the first boy didn't want to, but the other one, Cesar, did! We actually called him last night too and taught the Restoration! It went so well and he is very open to what we have to say.

Also, Humberto is doing well! We taught him the Restoration last week and he understood and liked it all except the fact that Joseph Smith saw Jesus Christ after praying in the grove. Humberto said he couldn't believe that could happen since he felt Christ was only supposed to come again at the Second Coming. So, funny thing is that there actually had been one scripture on my mind during the week prior to this lesson and it was Acts 3:19-21.

"19 ¶Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
 20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
 21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began."

After reading this scripture to him and explaining what it meant (that the "times of refreshing" and "the times of restitution of all things" are referring to the restoration of the Gospel) he was just quiet and said "Ohhh, that makes sense".  I love when people are so open and willing to learn! He knows so much about the Gospel and loves what we believe already, we will just keep filling in the gaps of what he doesn't know. We have an appointment with him tonight so we are excited!

I love the Temple!

We also had a "Finish Strong" meeting this week for the departing Sisters and it was awesome because Sister Sindylkova and I set some really good goals! We are going to work hard until the end!! No regrets!

Thanks for all of the love and support everyone!! Happy New Year!!

Sister Asay

Editor's Note:

Pictures sent in by people who found Sister Asay on the Square!  Thanks for sending them to me.  I love every one of them!

With sweet Cousin Maylee!!
Karen B. from Sis. Asay's home stake in Texas.

Singing on the Square with the other Sisters.

Bryce!  Chums since childhood!