Friday, January 24, 2014

Meeting the New Mission President!


Wow, where to begin? I feel like I just wrote a weekly email yesterday!  Last Thursday, the Gillette's were in their offices at Temple Square for the last time and Friday morning we had a meeting with our new Mission President and his wife.  And they are just AMAZING!  Everyone was kinda nervous about seeing the Gillette's go, but I had a feeling that the Poulsen's would be just as wonderful!  And guess what? They are!  They are kind, loving, and have strong testimonies.  I seriously love them both so much already!  I'm excited to have a year serving with them!!  I have ONE year left. What?  Where has the time gone?! 

One of our roommates had a birthday this week! So after our Planning Meeting that night, we threw her a little party!

Eating cake and ice cream :)

A few cool things from this week -
- I was on exchanges and we gave a couple from Ethiopia a tour of Temple Square! Ethiopia! They were pretty interested and asked a lot of questions. Such a neat experience!

- Sister Mathias "announced" Sunday morning in German and there were four German men that came up to her afterwards and wanted a tour!  They could speak English, so it was pretty funny when we were teaching at the Temple Model because Sister Mathias would explain something in German and then they would ask a question, she would translate it for me, and I would respond in English.  Then they would respond to me in English, ask another question, and then Sister Mathias would answer them in German.  It was so cool!  And everyone understood each other, besides me when they would speak German, but it was awesome to notice that whenever I would stay focused and pay attention to the German, I kind of had an idea of what was going on.  Not every time, but most of the time, and it was a great experience to see how the Spirit will work in us to help us understand when we put in effort!  It was a great tour and we gave 3 of them a Deutsch Book of Mormons! :)

Mustache time! haha...

One of the many things that I love here at Temple Square is something called an "investigator lesson".  This is when Elders or Sisters from the surrounding Salt Lake City missions (there's like 8 or 9 SLC missions) bring their investigators to the Square for us to take them on a tour and to teach and focus on different Gospel principles specific to that particular investigator's needs.  I have given about 3 or 4 of these in the past few weeks and they are amazing!  It's cool to see how prepared and open the people are!  I love sharing my testimony and seeing the light in their eyes as they learn and feel the Spirit from walking around the Square!  For example, last night we had an investigator lesson that I feel was meant for Sister Mathias and I because it's so crazy how it all worked out!  We initially had an appointment at 7, but it didn't work out.  Then we were asked to give an investigator lesson at 7 with a pair of SLC sisters, but then around 4 pm we found out it was cancelled. THEN, at 5:30pm, we were asked again to be present for a different investigator lesson at 7 pm with elders and their investigator.  And let me tell you, it was one of the most spiritual experiences I have had during an investigator lesson!!  We looked at the paintings of Christ and answered all of his questions, then we went up to the Christus and testified that He is our Savior, and then the investigator testified as well of God's love and shared a personal experience with us!  His story made me tear up because he had prayed and felt the love of His Heavenly Father.  It was amazing to see his new and unshakable testimony that God IS there and listening.  Then we took him through “God's Plan for Families” (the video presentation) and at the end he said, "This is what I want...this is what I want for my family".  And he committed to baptism right then and there!  I know that the Gospel can bless so many lives and so many families.  I teared up again after he committed to baptism because he was so happy and I was so happy for him!! 

We ate so well this day! We had fish (which I cooked myself, what? I cooked fish?), salad, bell peppers, and peas and carrots. So yummy!

On another note, something I have learned this week is that attitude is everything! I was sick from about Sunday night until Monday afternoon and I just felt horrible.  I was sad and frustrated about not feeling well and I just wanted to be back on the Square working. I had started writing in my journal about it, kind of complaining, but then I took a second and decided to write about all of the things I was grateful for in my life.  I starting writing different things like my family, my Savior, the opportunity to serve, good friends, my companion, and even things like yogurt, a comfy bed (my bed last transfer didn’t have springs, haha), my name tag, etc.  Once I started, I couldn't stop!  I started realizing all of the things I had in my life that I was grateful for and my attitude went from negative to positive within about 5 minutes!!  I learned then that we really do have the power to control our thoughts and how we act in situations.  There is something called the 90/10 rule where 10% is what happens to us and 90% is how we take it.  We can change any situation just by how we look at it!  Glass half-full everyone! We have so many things to be grateful for in life :)

A cool story along the lines of this is when Sister Mathias and I were teaching our investigator Roshin on the phone. We were talking about commandments and explaining more about our prophet who leads and guides the church today.  It was a great lesson and at the end I asked him, "Roshin, will you strive to follow the prophet each day?" And he responded with, "No..I won't strive. I WILL follow the prophet each day".  So cool, right?!?  It's all about our attitudes!! I strongly believe we can do anything that we put our minds to :)

Well, this week has been great and I am constantly learning each day! I love you all!!

Sister Asay


Saturday, January 18, 2014


This week has been pretty great!  I have gotten to know my companion better and she is fun and sweet.  She is such a good missionary with a strong testimony!  We also have been working out a ton and trying to eat healthy!  (I cooked and ate fish the other day! Look how much I'm changing on my mission ;)  We run up this huge hill every morning to go to the other building where Zumba is held.  We do Zumba for a while, and then run home.  I love exercising and it's an awesome start to our day!  We both also have a goal to be able to do the splits by the end of the transfer.....ha. We will see if that ever happens. 

Here are a few funny things that have happened this week with companion:
The other night we were walking across the Square and she starts telling me this story. She says, "So my family would travel a lot around Europe when growing up.  We would drive for days, and during those car rides, I would just spend long hours staring at the moon".  What? Haha.  It was not where I thought that story was going, so I just began to laugh. She is such a hoot. 

This girl is one of my faves.  Sister Liao from Taiwan!

The other morning during Companionship Study, we were role playing how to teach the Word of Wisdom (abstaining from alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, coffee, and tea, and other addictive substances) and she was being the missionary first while I was the investigator and then we switched. I began teaching the Word of Wisdom to her as someone who hadn't heard of it and then all of a sudden she interrupts with the question, "Are you good at math?" I was thrown off by the question and just said , "What?" And she repeated, "Are you good at math?  Your reasoning for not partaking of those just so logical!  So I thought she HAS to be good at math!"  Haha. I love her so much already. We are seriously laughing alllll of the time. It's great!

Being a trainer is a very interesting assignment.  I have been able to see myself have increased love for my trainee and also more patience.  I really do feel like a mother figure because I have to explain things and go back to the basics to help her improve her teachings skills.  We had a great talk the other day after a tour about the importance of double testifying.  Double testifying is when one missionary will explain something and share their testimony and then the other missionary will "second it" and add on with their own testimony or thoughts.  Like in 2 Corinthians 13:1 it says that "In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established." For example, the Bible is a witness that Jesus Christ is our Savior and the Book of Mormon is another witness that Jesus Christ is our Savior.  So, similar to this, missionaries are put into pairs so that people can hear the words of the Gospel from more than one person.  My companion mentioned a worry that she didn't want to repeat what I said during tours, but I explained that testifying of what one of us shares, even if it's somewhat repeating, is the point.  The Gospels in the New Testament repeat each other all of the time.  I told her that if she double-testified about what I say that the Holy Ghost will guide her as to what she needs to say next.  When we testify of truth, the Spirit will be there to lead and guide us to know what to say to each person we come in contact with.  Anyone can have the blessing of having the Spirit with them! That's why baptism is so important and wonderful.  When we are baptized, we are given the gift of the Holy Ghost which means we are promised to have the Holy Ghost with us always- as long as we are obedient.  How wonderful right??

Speaking of baptism, Dana met with us again on the Square last night and she will be getting baptized on Feb. 15th!!  Ah, I'm overjoyed for her!  *Lisa is so ready and this step will bless her life in so many wonderful ways :)  Also, last night with Lisa, we taught about the Restoration of the Gospel through Joseph Smith and we showed her the movie "Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration".  We didn't initially watch it with her, but we found out a bit after we started it that we were allowed to watch the movie with our investigators, so halfway through we joined her in the theater :)  It made me cry!  I Iove that film because of how strong the Spirit is when watching it.  I have the faith and knowledge that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God and I have found that out for myself by reading and studying the Book of Mormon and then praying to God in the name of Jesus Christ if the Book of Mormon is true, and I then received the confirmation from the Holy Ghost that it was indeed true scripture!  What's amazing, and what is promised, is that when we know the Book of Mormon is true, we know that Jesus is the Christ, and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.  I love how this church invites everyone to know for themselves if it's true or not :)


The Temple!!! I'm the one crouching down in the back

Every Sunday after Music and the Spoken Word, the Sister Missionaries do something called "Announcing".  It's where about 10 sisters who speak different languages stand outside the Tabernacle for when people come out from the program.  We then announce that we are giving tours and we do this in our native language :)  So cool right?!  Well, I was able to do this on Sunday and it was so much fun!!  A big group of people came up to me afterwards wanting a tour.  One guy said he wanted it from me (we have two English that announce) because I was from Texas, haha. Yeahhh Texas!  That tour was 2 different groups and it was probably one of my favorite tours ever.  The Spirit was there, they were interested and asking questions, and they each had member friends who were on the tour with them answering their questions as well.  I love having members on tours with their non-members friends because I can ask them questions like "How has marriage in the temple blessed your life?" when we are at the temple model and people really get to see an example of people living the Gospel and the blessings that come from it!  So great!  But anyway, pretty much all of the pictures I'm attaching are from that Sunday where I announced.

Saying what I know best....English! Haha.

Love you all! The Gospel is true! :)

Sister Asay

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Growing in the Gospel

Transfers have officially happened!! I am still in a Square Zone and my P-Day is still on Wednesday, but I am senior comp, phone coordinator, and a trainer!!! Her name is Sister Mathias from England.  This is her second transfer, so I am finishing up her training since her "mom" went home today! She is fun, wonderful and fun-loving so I think it will be a pretty good transfer.  We will work well together and work hard! :)

My new companion, Sister Mathias!! It started snowing and we only had our scarves to cover us!

               But wow, what a week it's been!  It was seriously an amazing last week of this transfer!  We have had two investigators come to the Square for us to teach them.  Fernando, who we met during Christmas time, met us on Monday afternoon.  We took him all around Temple Square and invited him to go to church next week!  He said he would!  I love how open he is to the Gospel.  He takes in what we say, but also has great questions! It has been such a blessing to teach him.  Then, Lisa* (who I think I have mentioned before) came to the Square yesterday since she goes to school up here and we were able to teach her about the Plan of Happiness that God has for us.  She has a date to be baptized at the beginning of next month!!  Ah, so many wonderful things!  However, because of transfers, Sister Palmer and I aren't companions anymore so we can't teach our investigators together.  I will continue teaching Lisa* and Sister Palmer will continue teaching Fernando.  We feel good about who will continue teaching who and I have prayed about it and know it's what's best.

At the station at 7:00am to ride the Trax to the Provo station!

               I was at BYU this week!!  The sisters of Temple Square had the opportunity to go see the Carl Bloch exhibit that is currently showing there!  At first, I was confused as to why we got to go when it was announced, but here's happened…  Turns out that the secretary to the Queen of Denmark (or Sweden?) and two other representatives from other European countries, the main people who gave BYU the paintings of Carl Bloch and other painters, had come to Temple Square and were given a tour by 2 sisters.  The BYU representative in charge was so grateful to those 2 sisters for their help that he wanted to make sure that we all went to the exhibit!  He figured out all the logistics of getting the sister missionaries to Provo and offered to feed us lunch!  The mission was split in half and my half went on Thursday morning.  I was seriously dreading going back to BYU and going "home" in a sense, but when we started walking around the campus, I was so excited!!  So many memories there!  It was funny too, because when it was time for lunch a group of sisters (including myself) got separated from the group heading to the stake center building for lunch.  But no worries, I came to the rescue with my Provo knowledge and led the group to lunch ;) haha, and all was well! But anyway, the paintings at the exhibit were BEAUTIFUL.  I think my favorite one was when Christ was suffering, but there was an angel holding him and comforting him.  Reminds me of us when we suffer and go through trials and how Christ suffered so much for us so we wouldn't have to suffer.  We have the wonderful and amazing power of the Atonement to utilize in our lives!  What a blessing! It was an amazing exhibit and I'm grateful we could go!

Waiting for the van to take us to BYU! Love these sisters!!

On top of the Tanner Building at BYU!!

One of the things about my mission that I absolutely love is teaching!!  Ah, it's the best! Sister Palmer and I have had so many teaching opportunities this transfer and I have been able to see so much growth in myself!   I taught my first and second transfer, but my third transfer we have had TONS of people to teach either on the Square for tours or on the phone!  We have a good number of progressing investigators and I just enjoy how I now fully trust in the Spirit and just let the Spirit guide.  It's really amazing to see the Spirit work in ourselves and how the words come effortlessly.  Everything just flows and meets the needs of the investigator!  I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father trusts His missionaries and I know that we each have to do our part to have the Spirit with us.  If we have the desire to be tools in God's hands, He will qualify us for the work!!

Something else I have learned a lot this transfer is that sacrifice brings blessings.  If we really want to see success and grow, we have to put in the extra effort.  Sister Palmer and I have made those small, but major decisions that have affected our work!  Like yesterday, we had Tabernacle assignment and chose to be there instead of having someone cover for us so we could finish the phones.  While there, a woman came up to me and we had an amazing Gospel discussion!  We talked about temples, how families can be together forever, the Book of Mormon, and more!  And when I asked if we could stay in touch so that I could continue to teach her, she was more than happy to do so!!  Then...the sisters after us were late, but we decided to stay until they arrived, and during that time we were able to meet a man who claimed he was atheist, but I could tell he had a desire to learn, besides just to know about other religions.  He asked me a few testy questions, but then opened up and shared more about himself and what he believed.  He, too, gave us his information to call him and teach him!  THEN, we were asked to take a tour and at this point it was about 1:30pm and our lunch hour was supposed to be at 1, but we decided to take the tour anyway!  It ended up being a guy who had Mormon friends growing up and was really interested in what we had to say.  He didn't refer, but I gave him my number if he had any other questions and, overall, it was a very good tour!  We ended up eating lunch at about 2:30- which is a sacrifice on my part....I am always hungry, haha- and I was feeling very light-headed, but we talked to so many people and were able to share our beliefs with others! Sacrifice brings BLESSINGS! :)

Well, this has been a wonderful week and a great transfer!! Can't wait to see what this next week brings!

Love you all!! Remember to enjoy the little things in life!

Sister Asay

Bonus!!  Over the holidays, we received lots of pictures from people saying they found Sister Asay!  Here are just a few.  We loved every one and are so grateful that people would take time to find her. 

Kezia!  She was in Sister Asay's EFY group.

The wonderful Peterson family!!



Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!!

Hello!! Happy New Year!! 

Our mission got together and had Martinelli's Sparkling Cider and had a countdown of our own! It was great, but because of that we were up until 10:45pm and didn't get home until a bit after that.  So I was laying in bed right before midnight, but then I heard of all these fireworks go off and I hopped out of bed and went to our balcony!  It wasn't a great view, but then our roommates told us to go into their room because they could see part of the fireworks that were going off at the Salt Palace!  So, there we were, five sisters crouching on one bed and looking out the window.  It was so great!  We even saw Tangled Lanterns going up into the sky and I think that's what really made my night!  Our celebration was great, but all of us having the same awe and child-like enrapture with the fireworks and lights was so cool to experience!

Happy New Year!! Martinelli's Sparkling Cider and noise makers!! :)

This week has been a good one! We found a new investigator named Lisa* (name changed) on chat and we have started teaching her the lessons over the phone!  She is golden and is so open to everything!  One of her best friends growing up was LDS and she has always been intrigued by the way she lived her life and how happy she was.  Lisa goes to school here in SLC so when she comes back from break we are going to start teaching her in person on the Square!!  She is so sweet and I just have so much love for her!

There was a duck as my screensaver!!! I forgot how much l loved ducks! Haha

A few nights ago it was pretty much "Troll night on" annoying.  Just a bunch of people getting together and asking rude and dumb questions.  I probably took like 26 chats that night and disconnected with them after only a few minutes.  But there was, however, a chat miracle!! We were talking to this guy named John* (name changed) and he seemed pretty interested.  He asked a lot of questions and then we offered the local missionaries to bring him a Book of Mormon, he said, "Sure!" But then said a trolling comment..... my companion (who was Sister Klemm that night- we were on exchanges :) and I were like "Oh great".  But after he sent the trolling comment, he paused for a long time, and then typed out that he was initially going to troll, but then actually really wants to learn more about the Mormon doctrine and what we believe.  So, we continued to answer his questions and turns out he lives in SLC so he gave us his phone number and real name so we could set up a tour on T-Square!  However, the chat disconnected right after that so I was skeptical that he was still a troller.  BUT Sister Klemm started talking to another sister and saw her chat and it was John* again!  He said that he was talking with some nice ladies and how his chat said "loading" and was then disconnected.  He wasn't sure what to do but that the previous missionaries said they would call him.  The new sisters who got the chat said for him to just wait and they would call the next day!  He was appreciative and left the chat.  I was so excited that he actually really did seem sincere!  The next day we called him, set up the appointment, and we are giving him a tour tonight!!  Woo! So we will see how it goes!

I got to meet Santa on Christmas! (It was Elder Creer, haha- he and his wife served here and just went home a few months ago)

Last week at the Christmas party we watched "A Christmas Dollar" and then "Happy Feet".

The past few days I have personally been so exhausted because of all of the extra crowds for Christmas lights and late assignments.  I literally fall asleep at night and I feel like the alarm goes off just 30 minutes later.  These past three mornings I have been praying to Heavenly Father to give me strength and energy during the afternoons (when I'm usually the most tired) to talk to people and to be alert and share the Gospel.  And do you know what?  I have had so much energy and stamina the past three days!  I have turned to the Lord and I definitely have been able to "walk and not be weary".   It's been really cool to see that if I do my very best and give what I can, that He makes up for the rest!!  That's also something I have learned about the Book of Mormon. People read part of it and pray expecting an answer and confirmation that it's true.  We have to do ALL we can and then He will manifest to us the truthfulness of it!  I always urge investigators who seem doubtful since they are in 2 Nephi and not receiving an answer, to ask God for guidance and focus as they read, but to read the ENTIRE Book of Mormon before they ask in prayer if it's true.  How can someone receive an answer that the whole book is true if they haven't read all of it?  Missionaries are encouraged to read and gain knowledge of the scriptures on their missions so that the Holy Ghost can help us testify of what we know and have read.  It's a two way thing.....we have to do our part and then God will do His :)

I invite you all this New Year to have a New Year's Resolution that will help you improve your spiritual side! Whether it's praying more fervently, reading the scriptures, serving others, or sharing your testimony with others....whatever it may be! But make that a resolution for this year :)

I love you all so much!!

Sister Asay