Monday, July 21, 2014

Good 'Ole Hamilton

Editor's Note:  It is a double post this week to make up for missing last week.  It has been a busy time trying to get Catherine's little brother ready for his mission.  :)

Hello, hello!!

This week has gone by so fast!  We had Zone Conference last Tuesday and Sister Bonn and I had to speak in front of 3 zones (so like 50 people) for 45 minutes! Ahh! Talk about nerve wracking...but it actually went really well! And the Zone Conference overall was uplifting and just great!  Then Wednesday we had Mission Leadership Council...which is where all of the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders meet with President and discuss the mission, things we should work on, change, etc. It was really cool to be there and I feel more prepared for the future exchanges I'll go on with the sisters in our zone! 

Sister Bonn & Sister Moline (who is from Dallas) at Zone Conference!!

Then the rest of the week we played "catch up".  We met with a lot of people and had a good number of lessons! One cool thing that happened was when Sister Bonn and I drove to introduce ourselves to a part member family, but they ended up not being home.  We then slowly drove by the house next door to turn around and saw this of course we stopped to pet it! That's when the family in front of the next door house noticed us. We waved and it turned out that it was their cat.  After another minute or two, we decided to leave, but I felt that we should walk over to the family and introduce ourselves. After chatting with them, we found out that the lady had moved here a month ago and was a less-active member. We had no record of her at all. Crazy.  And she was willing to have us stop by next weekend!  Kinda cool how things work out right? We never would have stumbled into her if it wasn't for our love of pets, haha. Heck yes for animals!

Then, on Saturday, there was a baptism in our zone and the night before I prayed to know who we should invite to go.  The names of Jaime and Ed came to my mind.  I talked to Sister Bonn about it and then Saturday morning we called them and left a voice mail.  That night they didn't show to the baptism sadly, but the cool thing was that the next day at church they were there!! We were so excited, haha. It was interesting to see how acting on the answer to my prayer didn't bring forth what I thought would happen...but that it turned out to be something even better!  I just love those two and it was so great to see them there at church :)

We visited a family and the little girl gave me fake flowers, haha. tender.

A girl named Antara came to church as well for the second time and she is now one of our progressing investigators! She comes from an Indian background and is so solid! She already gives answers to questions in Young Women class! She's so great!

Last night we stopped by the house of a guy named Joel. He grew up in the church, but has had a hard life and hadn't been to church for a while.  He has such a solid testimony though and we could see that in his face when talking to him.  After getting to know him a bit, we shared the "Because of Him" video which is about Christ and the hope that comes from what He did for us.  I looked up at Joel at the end of the video and he had tears streaming down his face.  He then looked at us and softly said, "I'll meet with you again, I suppose" and walked into his home.  Ah, my heart.  I already have so much love for that man!  I could tell from his response that he knows and has a testimony of Christ and what He did for him. I'm looking forward to meeting with Joel again.

And here is a link to the video if anyone wants to watch it.

I know that because of what Jesus Christ did, "death has no sting, and the grave has no victory".  I know that I can constantly receive clean slates and new beginnings.  Jesus Christ is our Savior and our Redeemer.  He saves us from death and redeems us from sin.  I have seen the growth in my own personal testimony that He suffered for each of us and that He lives again.  As we strive to get to know Christ through church attendance, daily scripture study, and daily prayer, we will always gain that witness for ourselves that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. 

On our way to Mission Leadership Council! It's a 3 hour drive to Helena....woo! Definitely made for a long day!

I love you all!! Good things are happening in Hamilton and I'm so happy to be here for it! 

Sister Asay

First Week of the Transfer

Hello!! This week has been a great one! We have still been pretty busy with contacting referrals and introducing ourselves to people who are in our area book. 

Cherry picking with the Howards!! Sooo cool!

We had a cool experience last night because our plans for the person we were going to visit fell through and I felt we should go see a lady named *Joan. She was in our plans, but not until later that evening, but we decided to go over and it turns out her member son and daughter-in-law were there!  They were visiting from Ohio and it was such a blessing to have them there because they helped to break the ice and get a feel for the situation.  We talked about different aspects of the Gospel and were able to bond with all of them!  It's really good we saw them early because our whole conversation lasted almost 2 hours!  We talked about a ton of things since she didn't grow up with a belief in God. We talked about the Bible and the Book of Mormon and how they go together, the priesthood, and faith.  Sister Bonn and I can't wait to go back over there and teach the Restoration! We touched on it, of course, while talking about the Priesthood, but I can't wait to help her see how it all ties together!  I love teaching the Restoration :) My dad (and also Preach My Gospel) has told me that that's the unique message we have to share and ever since then I have always tried to teach it as soon as possible. We truly are Christ's full church restored on the earth today and I love teaching about how and why! 

Also, two of the less actives we visited this past week were at church yesterday!!  That was so great to see!  That was my first time experiencing people I invited to go to church there! Usually we just call and follow-up on the phone with our investigators at Temple Square, so this was pretty cool! 

The Bishop's bird, haha. We became friends before dinner or at least I became his friend...not sure about the other way around.

What's funny is that I was missing Temple Square a little bit this week!  I miss the hustle bustle there as crazy as that sounds!  I love the "go, go, go" of Temple Square and how there is ALWAYS teaching going on. But then again, I LOVE my experiences out here! I am really enjoying seeing the differences among missions and noticing how wonderful missionary work is- no matter what way it's done!  Gotta love the Lord's work :)

Something that has been on my mind lately is how there are many different churches in the world, and how one church can be completely different in different parts of the country, but how ours is still the same teaching the same principles and doctrine.  In Sunday School, we were talking about unity and I shared an analogy from Alma 50.  In this chapter it talks about Moroni, who is captain over all of the Nephites, and how he fortified the cities against the Lamanites (their enemy) with ditches, towers, pickets, etc. to be prepared for when they attacked. Moroni was a leader and a man of God who had received the wisdom to do these fortifications that were ahead of their time, and, since he did this, the Nephites were able to be unified and the Lamanites couldn't overtake them. 

While reading this chapter, I thought about how we have a similar "unity" situation with our living prophet today who leads us and guides us.  He receives direction from God for us and helps us to know how to follow Christ and live full and happy lives. If you think about it, Christ's church wouldn't have swaying doctrine.  I know that God called prophets in ancient times and I also know that since God is "the same yesterday, today, and forever" that He would still call a prophet today. 

I just love how I can meet members or missionaries from all corners of the world and how we can discuss the Gospel together and see that all of the same principles are taught in every church building across the globe! Pretty cool, right?? :) 

Got some Naps! A pretty well-known food place here. :)

Well anyway, it's been a wonderful week and I really love this ward.  The members are down to earth and Sister Bonn and I are working hard!  

Love you all!! :)

 Sister Asay

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Happy 4th of July!!

This week has flown by! Let's see...where to start!

We have been visiting a BUNCH of people this week!  We have been given a lot of referrals and names of people we need to visit and so we've been stopping by, introducing ourselves, and having lessons.  It's been pretty great!  I really love the people here in Hamilton.  They are so kind and friendly!  Just like Texas :)  One family I really like is Ed Sharp and Jamie Cosby.  It's a couple and they are just great! We definitely clicked with them right when we walked in the door!  Jamie is bubbly and loves the Gospel and Ed is kind and has started reading the Book of Mormon. They want to have us back this week for dinner and I can't wait to continue to get to know them! 

Zone hike last week!! It was gorgeous!!

This week we also went out searching for volunteer opportunities. We went to a care center called the Discovery and we now have it set up where we will go there every Thursday and do manicures for the elderly ladies there and then we help out with bingo on Saturdays!  It is super fun and I especially love giving manicures!  Their faces just light up afterwards and they're so grateful for this fun little thing!  One lady asked me afterwards how much she owed me and I was happy to explain that it was completely free!  Her expression was so tender!  I love all of the cute old ladies that we meet!  When I saw them a few days later at bingo, they were still showing off their nails to me :) so cute!! 

Also, 4th of July was pretty awesome!  Our ward mission leader, Chris Howard, had a huge pancake breakfast to celebrate!  He invited the ward members and also his neighborhood.  It was great because we got to meet a lot of people and we met this guy who was a pastor for another church.  We had a good conversation with him and invited him to visit our church.  He invited us to his, so I would like to do that as well!  I heard whenever LDS missionaries visit other churches, they call us up to speak.  So whenever we go, we will see if that happens! Throughout the day, we continued to visit people and make stops.  We visited this one guy named Michael Jones in the care center.  He used to take the lessons before his stroke, and we had a great conversation about Jesus Christ. We have an appointment to meet with him this week too, so I'm looking forward to that!  He is such a sweet man!  Then that night we got permission to stay out later because of fireworks, so most of our zone went to the Fair Grounds and watched them!  We also talked to this girl who walked by us for a long time while waiting for the fireworks.  She has a lot of Mormon friends and it was a great contact to have while waiting :) 

After cleaning up from the breakfast party, we made a little friend while jumping on the tramp! :)

This Saturday we were driving to try and see if an individual was home and we passed this family that was walking on these wheel barrel/spindle things. I said out loud, "Oh, we should totally do that and get to know the family!" Sister Bonn said she would totally turn around and I said, "Let's do it!" So we turned around and parked the car and I yelled out, "Can I try?!" Haha. And the kids got SO excited!  They were all like "yeah!! Come on over!" So we did that and got to know the mom and the kids and shared with them who we were and a bit about the church. It was fun playing with them for a bit and they invited us to come over anytime.  We will for sure take that up and visit them sometime this week.  What a great and fun way to find people! 

Walking on the wheel barrel thing! Haha. Soo fun!

We live with the sweetest couple! The Harris' are in their 70s and I think and they are like grandparents to us.  We didn't have a dinner appointment for Friday night so they had us come over and Brother Harris made turkey burgers, fries, salad, and then we made homemade ice cream together!!  It was so fun and sooo delicious. They are so sweet!  Sister Bonn and I were joking how Brother Howard is like our dad and then they are like our grandparents here in good 'ole Montana. :)

I really love it out here!  The ward is so great!!  They are just so kind to us!  Sister Bonn and I get along great and already have a ton of jokes that we quote throughout the day.  I think something I love most of all is how serving here has solidified my testimony of Christ's Restored Gospel even more.  Just seeing how the Gospel blesses the lives of so many families and hearing their own testimony is so powerful!  It was interesting.....the other night we went to a block party with the Harris's and at the home of the hostess, everyone went around introducing themselves. Once they got to the Harris' and they started talking, it was so interesting to see the difference from when they talked compared to the others.  I mean, everyone in there was so incredibly nice! But there was an extra light about the Harris' and I know it's the light that the Gospel brings into our lives when we decide to believe in Christ and follow His teachings. We all have the light of Christ, but how bright it is really just depends on what we do to help it grow :)

I love you all! Keep up the great work!

Sister Asay :)

Note from the Editor:

Random pictures that I overlooked.
All of the continents/countries we represent!!

Oh yeah, and three of us wore the same dress one day without planning it!  #TSquareProbs

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Whew, what a busy past few weeks!!
I will start off with a funny from Temple Square...

Sister Occolier and I took a French guy around on a tour and taught him the Restoration.  We then finished at the video “God's Plan for Families” and it's where you sit down in one room and move to the next (and there's 6 rooms). In the 3rd room, he sat down and I heard a weird ripping type of noise.  I didn't think anything of it and kept watching the video.  Then after the 6th video was over, we both turned to him and asked him what he thought.  He said, "I ripped my pants...." it was SO hard not to laugh! We all chuckled together, but I was dying inside. Poor guy.  He liked the video though!

            Last Tuesday was CRAZY with getting ready to leave! Packing, packing, packing. I felt like a departing sister at the end of her mission which kind of freaked me out, ha, but I got everything ready and was good to go the next morning! Sister Bondare from Latvia and I were both flying to Montana together so it was really nice having a flying buddy.  I don't really think it sank in with me that I was going to another mission until we were on the plane and the flight attendant announced where we were going.  Sister Bondare and I just looked at each other with finally hit us that we were leaving Temple Square!  

President & Sister Meacham of the Montana Billings Mission

Pres. & Sis. Meacham and Sister Bondare from Latvia

It was a quick flight and when we landed the mission president, President Meacham, and his wife were there waiting for us along with a few other sisters. They took all of us to lunch and then we went to the mission home to get everything situated and to have interviews.  I went first and he asked me to bear my testimony and he asked a few other questions to get to know me. We continued talking and he told me that my new companion was Sister Bonn from Las Vegas and that he felt that he should call me to be a Sister Training Leader. Yikes! But it was so interesting... Pres. Meacham was explaining about that and about the Billings, Montana mission as a whole and I felt the Spirit touch my heart and I felt so much peace. It was then that I knew I was meant to be here. 

Driving to Hamilton! Montana is beautiful!!

Happy to be in Montana!!

After filling out some paperwork, Sister Bonn and I drove the 7-8 hours it took to reach Hamilton, Montana.  We had A LOT of time to get to know each other, and it was pretty fun! We finally arrived around 10 pm at the Harris home and moved into their above the garage apartment. Then the next day we had our District Meeting, they moved it from Tuesday since I was new, and it was so great!! I love my zone and even though it was a different place from Temple Square, I still felt I had a good hang of what I was doing.  Then that night the Bishop and the Ward mission leader and their families had us over for dinner.  We all got to know each other and they asked us to share our stories of why we came on a mission.  Sister Bonn and I both have pretty interesting ones so they were all intrigued.  It was a wonderful dinner and I instantly felt so much love from all of them!  It was all so great and I love being in member's homes!! 
My new companion, Sister Bonn :)

Gotta love those Montana cows!

The next few days, Sister Bonn and I worked with the Elders who used to cover our ward to get the names of people and their information and learn more about the area.  Sister Bonn and I are the first full-time missionaries back in the Hamilton ward for a long time (the elders had been covering two wards). That was kind of overwhelming for both of us to try and learn everything, but President said he felt good about it! We had church yesterday and the bishop asked us to speak and to also include our stories of why we decided to serve missions, and everyone we met was SO excited to have sisters back in the ward!! It was so great! And at Ward Council that morning everyone introduced themselves and bishop asked them to see what names came up as Sister Bonn and I introduced ourselves...and every single person referred a friend! It was amazing. They love our energy and I really know that Sister Bonn and I are supposed to be here at this time. I am just so excited to be here and to work! It's great because we finally have everything organized now, have stopped by some homes already, and we are making progress! 
The stake put on something called the Mormon Chapel Run. I really wanted to run in it, but they needed help with water stations, so we were the water girls :) 
The cutest dogs in Montana!
I am so grateful I have the chance to serve here in Hamilton, Montana.  I feel so blessed and I love how the Gospel really touches and changes lives.  I love this ward, and I love the people in it. They are all stellar and so kind!  I love how the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the same in every state and every country.  And I can't wait to continue to have more experiences and adventures our here in the beautiful state of Montana!! And most of all, I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am here to share His Gospel and convey His love to all of those I meet, and I am enjoying every single minute of it! :)
Love you all,

Sister Asay

P.S. I have a Facebook! Sister-Catherine Asay.  I can't add friends or family from home, but you can "follow" me if you want! 

Thanks to wonderful Jessica Schaack for sending this picture!!  We love visitors to the Square!  We will miss you in Dallas Jessica!