Thursday, June 19, 2014

I have been called to serve ....


I have been called to serve in the Montana Billings Mission!! Wooo!!! I am going Outbound!!!! And I leave next week! Not sure what day exactly....but this will probably be my last preparation day for 2 weeks. I was totally expecting to go to Washington or something, so I was surprised, but I heard Montana is absolutely beautiful!! And that the Billings Mission is AWESOME from what the other T-Square sisters that have served there have said! I'm so excited! :) It is kinda sad though to leave since I have to say bye to investigators, but I will transfer them to other sisters who will take good care of them.  There were also a few tears when I told Jerrica.  She has such a strong testimony now!  I know she will continue to grow and shine :)  

Twinning on T-square! Again, not on purpose :)

We have had some great tours this week! One with an awesome French family who was hilarious! It was parents with their three sons and they all really enjoyed what we had to share! At the various spots, we talked about temples, forever families, living prophets, Jesus Christ, and then played the God's Plan for Families video.  They loved it all and agreed with everything! We invited for local missionaries, but they didn't accept. We then asked to stay in touch and they gave us their email.  It was such a great tour, but it was a little hard for Sister Occolier that they didn't want to meet with the missionaries and continue learning back in France.  I did my best to give advice and share that we did our part and explaining that we are here to share the Gospel and invite people, but that sometimes they need more time than others, especially since this family had never heard of the Gospel before until coming to Temple Square.  This experience also reminded me of something my District Leader said "The key to happiness: Do what the Lord wants you to do and don't worry about the rest".  I love this! It can apply to so many things! But I think it's especially important to remember in missionary work because everyone has their agency to choose, but that as we do our part we can feel peace and be assured that we fulfilled our purpose as missionaries :)

Waiting for the other sisters in the Walmart parking lot.  I made her take a picture with me! #compys
This week has been a whirlwind! But something I enjoyed was working with the youth! There was a Youth Conference last week and we played the video "Come Unto Christ". It was the first time I had seen it and it totally made me cry! I really loved the message that it shared- that we can all overcome trials or uncertainty with the love and help of our Savior. It made me reflect on moments in my life where I really needed comfort and I turned to prayer.  Sincere prayer is so powerful. I have a strong testimony that whatever we have been through or whatever trials we have experienced, that Christ has been through it all.  And I know that He is there to comfort us.  I want to invite you all to reflect on your relationship with Christ and then do something this week to strengthen that relationship even more! Something like consistent prayer, scripture study, serving someone else, etc. Anything that you feel inspired to do, but I know that you can do it!! And I promise you will see a difference and feel more peace and joy in your life :)
I love you all! Thank you for your support and prayers! You're the best!!
Sister Asay

Busy! Busy! Busy!

Hello there!!
So many great things have happened this week! First, I met Elder L. Tom Perry!!! Can you believe it?!? We were just walking to Temple Square and I saw this man crossing the street towards us, and from far away I could already tell he looked familiar to me.  Then, as he got closer it totally dawned on us who it was!!  He was SO nice and shook our hands.  I asked him how his day was going and he said that it had been good and that he had been busy "vacuuming and cleaning the house".  He said his wife had enough work to do.  I thought, "Well gosh, I'm sure YOU have enough work to do". Haha. What a great husband to his wife!
Last Friday we took a youth group from St. George around Temple Square for a part of their youth conference.  It was so great!  It totally reminded me of EFY and how much I LOVE teaching youth!!  We went to three different spots and the last spot we took them to was a small movie room to watch a video about the Holy Ghost and how we need to "tune in" to the channel of the Spirit.  It was really cool and Sister Occolier and I bore our testimonies.  I really felt the Spirit working through me to share what they needed to hear.  It's always so fulfilling when that happens...knowing that they are hearing what they need to hear since the Spirit is in control. 
After going to the Temple last week! Kneaders for breakfast :)

Also, we took a motor coach with Korean tourists (30 + group tour) but in English!  Sister Ha is the only Korean we have since Sister Lee had to go home for health reasons, and Sister Ha wasn't available at the time of the tour. So, Sister Occolier and I and two other sisters took it.  The Koreans knew some English, but not a ton so hopefully they were able to understand! They were all so nice though and we hope they were able to feel the Spirit! Such a funny situation!
I had a really cool experience a few days ago!  We had desk assignment in the South Visitor's Center and Sister Occolier was talking to two French guys about the Book of Mormon.  I saw this couple come around the corner and the guy saw Sister Occolier (and her French flag on her name tag) and they both sat down on the bench nearby.  I figured he was probably a returned missionary from France or something and wanted to brush up on the language.  I felt I should go over to them, but I wasn't sure what for.  I waited a few seconds, and then walked over there.  I asked the guy if he spoke French and once he said yes, the two that Sister Occolier was talking to turned around and included him in the conversation.  So I stood there and then walked around him and sat down next to the girl.  We started talking and turns out she was an EFY counselor so we obviously talked about that :) haha.  And then I asked her a question and it opened up her story!  It's actually a story very similar to that of my parents about a member dating a non-member, wanting to be married in the temple, breaking up, the Spirit touching the other's heart, getting back together, choosing to be baptized, marriage in the temple, and so forth :).  But the only difference between my parents and the girl and her boyfriend (not the guy she was with, they were just friends) was that they were at the break-up part and the girl was super confused about everything.  It was really cool to be able to give her advice from the story of my own parents.  We talked about her boy a lot and where he was on the path of learning about the Gospel and also committing to it.  It was really interesting and I asked her if it would be okay if I called him to talk and see how he was and help him progress. She really liked the idea and gave me his number. There is a bit more to the story than this, we talked for over half an hour, but it was just so cool to be able to help her and give her hope!  She gave me a hug and she is 6'1 so it reminded me of hugging Brookie! So I said, "Aw, it reminds me of hugging my best friend....can I hug you again?" Haha. But I'm grateful that I had the impression to walk over to them and figure out why I needed to talk to them. I plan on calling the boyfriend tomorrow so we will see how it all goes! :) 
Music & the Spoken Word!

And the guy we are teaching in Haiti is so close to baptism! He is SO eager and it is so cool to hear his testimony of the Gospel! He would have been baptized already if it was his choice, but turns out he was going to the wrong ward and was being taught by the wrong local missionaries.  He met the missionaries that were for his area this past week and he told them he wanted to be baptized, but the locals said that they still needed to teach him the lessons (even though we have already taught almost all of them) so he set it up so that the missionaries would come by FOUR times this week to teach him.  He is the best! It's been so cool to see his desire and testimony grow so much within the past few weeks :) He is so ready and excited to be a member of Christ's restored Church!
Well, I love you all! Another busy week ahead!! Have a great week :)
Sister Asay

Saturday, June 7, 2014

You are my best friend for 6 weeks....or more!


This is something that Sister Occolier tells me! It will definitely be "for more"!!  This week has been pretty great with lots going on!!

I don't know if anyone remembers me talking about a guy named Donny that I was teaching (or if I even mentioned his name in email) but I had been teaching him from October to January.  He had recently gotten out of jail in Oct and called and I was the one who answered!  I helped him get in touch with the bishop, sent local missionaries to teach and share more about the Gospel, and gave the number for LDS Employment Services.  I kept in touch with him to see what he was learning with the local missionaries, answer his questions and expound on subjects he didn't quite understand, and help him with his smoking addiction.  My companion and I always called him and he really came to trust us! He was someone I enjoyed teaching and had so much love for!! But then his phone was disconnected in January and I was never able to get a hold of him again. It was pretty sad because I wasn't sure what happened.  THEN, on Sunday, Sister Occolier received an inbound call.  She wasn't going to answer it because we were about to go, but then she decided to answer it.  She said hello and added me to the line and then this guy started talking.  He said that he had been taught by a missionary here and her name was Catherine and that he was wondering if he could talk to her.  I thought it was a prank or something, because he had a similar voice to someone we had talked to earlier in the week, but then he said his name was Donny!  I gasped! Then Sister Occolier said, "Well, that's actually my companion and she is on the line now".  I said hello and just teared up.  What a nice little reunion!  He is doing great, meeting with missionaries still, and goes to church each week!!  Not baptized yet because of some things he is working on, but we will help him to get there!  But the reason he called in, after having to dig through old notes and papers to find my number, was to refer his cousin to me!  His cousin just got out of jail and Donny said that I had helped him so much spiritually that he really wanted me to do the same for his cousin!  How cool! Ah, such a blessing!  Missionaries LOVE their investigators, and I think I was on Cloud 9 that whole day after getting that call!

Our district went hiking last P-day up at Ensign Peak! So fun! And windy!

More wind!!

                Sister Occolier and I have been taking a TON of French tours and it has been awesome!! Sis. Occolier is great at translating for me and when they ask questions she will tell me and I'll answer in English, and then she translates back (or sometimes they already know a bit of English, so that simplifies things too :)  But we had one cool tour with 4 French Jewish people.  It was 2 couples and one couple was particularly curious.  Lots of questions and we shared a lot about the Gospel.  We taught about the Book of Mormon and at the end of the tour we offered them a copy and from the body language I could tell that they basically said no.  We left them with a card and we went up to the Teaching Center to grab our bags.  Sister Occolier turned to me and said that she really felt that we should give them a Book of Mormon, but was bummed since they didn't want one.  I asked what had happened exactly and she said that she offered for them to receive a copy of the Book of Mormon, but that they said if they wanted one they would buy it later. I asked if they knew it was free and she thought for a second and realized she hadn't made that clear. I said, "Well, let's go back and give them one!" She laughed and said, "Really?" I replied, "Yeah!  Why not?" So we went over to the desk and grabbed a Livre de Mormon with some pamphlets that pertained to things we explained on the tour.  Sis. Occolier got a little nervous because she felt funny going back, which is understandable, but then I said, "Well, I can give it to them if you want.  If they say no I will have no idea!" So we went downstairs (and I asked Sister Occolier how to say "a gift" in French) and we saw the couples right away.  I walked over to the man who had been the most curious about it and said "un presente!" with a huge smile on my face! He took the Book and said something- no idea what -and smiled back.  He flipped through and I could tell he was glad that we gave it to him.  :) 

I love this story because, really, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is contained in the Book of Mormon, truly IS a gift. It's a beautiful gift that brings us joy, peace, and lasting happiness. It's a gift that blesses every aspect of our lives and helps us become our BEST selves. Who wouldn't want this wonderful gift?? :) 

I learn so much each and every day out here at Temple Square.  I love my experiences, I love my investigators, I love my companion, I love the Book of Mormon, and most of all I love my Savior, Jesus Christ.

AND I love you all!! :) Have a great week!
Sister Asay