While on my mission I can be contacted at ashley.lynch@myldsmail.net

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

We Eat Uncomfortable for Breakfast!



This week has been fantastic! Full of great days, not so enjoyable things and lots of awkwardness as usual. There were many times this week we walked up onto people's porches who really did not want to talk to us, or stood there awkwardly on the sidewalk waiting for people to finish their conversations so we could tell them about the gospel. It's just too important not to talk to everyone, no matter how awkward it is! (That's something I have to just keep telling myself, so maybe someday it won't be so hard) it always makes for good laughs. We were laughing very hard on exchanges when we were a visiting someone they had met previously, but she was sick, so we asked her little sister who had answered the door when we could come back. She went to ask and sheepishly came to the door and said, "She said...umm....she said never." Poor kid, having to relay that message. Haha

We got to do service this week! I'm convinced that when I come home I will be a professional painter! Well, I will really enjoy it at least!
 
 
As a lot of you have noticed, our mission has been approved to use Facebook for proselyting! There is still a lot to learn with it and it will take a little bit to get used to it, but we have seen some great miracles from it already! The biggest one was earlier this week. An Elder who used to serve here previous called us and was very excited to tell us that he had made contact with someone who was baptized in the Sidney ward. That doesn't seem like a huge thing, except that shortly after her baptism her family moved and all contact with her was lost. He found her on Facebook and was able to talk to her, got her address and we were able to meet with her this week! Definitely a miracle!

Something else that was really cool, that pushed me out of my comfort zone, was when the Chorister wasn't able to come to church yesterday and they asked me to conduct the music in Sacrament meeting! I definitely do not like getting up in front of that many people, but it was a lot of fun. And good practice for when I have to get up and give a talk next week!

Well, I hope you all have a great week! Just keep smiling!
 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Lay Hold Upon Every Good Thing


Found a wall that matched me :)
Something that really stuck out to me from my studies this week comes from Moroni in the Book of Mormon.
Moroni 7
16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.
19 Wherefore, I beseech of you, brethren, that ye should search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ

This week there weren't any exceptional miracles or experiences, but we met a lot of wonderful people, did a lot of good, and were able to testify a lot of Jesus Christ. Not every day in our lives may be exceptional, there are very few that will be. I know that if we follow this counsel and are diligent in our search for those simple things that are wholesome and good then we will be able to find joy, because all good things come from God. Here are some of those simple joys we experienced this week!

I love you all! Just keep smiling!

Celebrating my Birthday!!
Being in good company :) Ward Members

Being in good company :) Ward Members

Being in good company :) Ward Members

Our Sisters



Playing sports with our district!

Friday, September 1, 2017

The Gospel's True and Made For Me and You!

This week has been a long one! But still great like always :) We have done a lot of knocking on doors though and met a lot of cool people! I have had a lot of practice initiating conversation and talking to new people, it has been great! This week my testimony has grown so much on how the gospel fits so perfectly in peoples lives. The gospel is true and it's made for me and you! There is just so much peace that comes from the truths of Christ's gospel, and such a blessing to be able to bring those to others.

Highlight of the week was getting to go to the temple today! I love being able to go to the Lord's house and getting to take in the most special spirit there. It is such a blessing, for us and those that have passed on before us, that He has made temples such an integral part of His plan. I would encourage each of you to go to the temple often, take advantage of this wonderful blessing!
 
 
There is a scripture that I have been thinking a lot about lately. Helaman 3:35
"Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God."
As we yield our hearts to God by doing those little things everyday, like reading our scriptures and praying, we will grow in our humility and therefore become stronger by relying on our Father. I have seen this promise fulfilled so many times and I am grateful for it!
I love you all! Just keep smiling!
 
Funny things we see knocking on doors!
 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Miracles!


Our friend who followed us for an hour

There were a few awesome miracles this week!
First, there is a couple we teach named the Noels. It has been really cool to see their hearts soften over time and they have been a lot more receptive lately, but the wife still struggles because she wasn't really certain she knew who God was and especially didn't know that He is her father. Well the other day we had a lesson and she was very excited to tell us about an experience she had. Her family had hit a very unexpected, very sudden trial and they didn't know what they were going to do. She told us that she prayer so sincerely, that she gave everything she had and just let go. The next day they saw an almost immediate solution to their problem. She was in tears and told us that she had no doubts that God is there, that He heard her prayers and that He is her loving Father. She said it's still hard because everything is very new to her, but she is ready to move forward. I cannot express to you how amazing it is to see God's hand in people's lives and how a single experience can change everything. This truly is His work.

Another crazy miracle was meeting Bonnie. We were out of our area that morning doing service and left a little later than planned. As we were going to our car we waved at this woman down the street and said hello, but that's all we were going to do because we were out of our proselyting area. Before we crossed the street though she called out to us and asked "Are you church ladies?!" We went and talked to her and she told us of her incredible experience finding us. She said God had told her that morning to go an walk, He said she would meet two ladies today that would pray for her. So she said ok and started walking, He directed her to what streets she needed to go down and before long she saw us walk out of the building and said our faces shone. She knew it was us she was supposed to talk to. It is amazing how God guides us if only we are willing to listen. There was a reason we were there that morning and that we left later than planned, and if Bonnie wasn't listening she wouldn't have found us. Bonnie actually lives in our area and we have met with her a few times since. It is amazing the changes she is experiencing and peace she is finding in just this short time.

It is so evident to me this week just how involved our Heavenly Father is in our lives. If you have faith and just let go you can have the confidence of Nephi and, like him, say, "I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do." Our Father will always be there to lead us if we have trust and let him. 
I hope you all remember that as you go about your week, make it a good one. Just keep smiling! :)
 
Mission Activity
It was pouring but we killed it at Tug of War

 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Hello again, Hilliard

Despite what the title may make you think, I did not get transferred. Sister Asay and I will be staying in Piqua. I am so excited for this transfer!

We did go back to Hilliard for a quick visit though, which is about an hour and a half away from where I am currently serving. BUT it could not have been more worth it! You may remember me talking about the amazing couple Rachel and Daniel from Hilliard. If you don't, Sister Speakman and I met Rachel walking her dog outside her apartment and things flew from there! She just soaked everything in and Daniel was a little more skeptical but was diligent in learning  everything for himself. I am so grateful that I got to be a part of their beginning and have grown to love them so much, they are absolutely wonderful. I was sad when I got transferred that I couldn't be an active part in their journey anymore, but the wonderful Sister Speakman kept me updated the whole time. And guess what! They got married Friday night and then I got to come see them be baptized Saturday night! The spirit was so strong there and filled me up. It was such a blessing and an honor to be able to attend and watch them make these essential covenants with their Heavenly Father. So many exciting things happening for them and it just brings me true joy that they are starting their journey in the gospel together and have their sights on the temple! 
 

Sorry I don't have much else to tell you, it has been just a short time since I last wrote. I do want to leave you with my testimony of service. We have had the opportunity to do a lot of service lately: working in a clothing bank, doing yard work, random acts of kindness, being a light to those around us, and of course performing the service of sharing the blessings of the Restored Gospel with our brothers and sisters. Us rendering service is a way we can show our Heavenly Father our gratitude for everything we have been given. I am truly grateful to have this time in my life set apart completely for the service of others because service brings joy. It's what makes the world a better place. It is my prayer that we each look for those opportunities to serve those around us, because they are always there. 
Mosiah 2:17
"And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God."

Sunday, August 13, 2017

I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go



This week has been a huge testament to me that God make sure we are exactly where he needs us to be.
We met many wonderful people this week, like a man named Larry. We were knocking on this street one morning and we both got this feeling that it's not where we were supposed to be. So we went to a different road we had been wanting to go to and behind one of the first doors we knocked on was Larry. He just recently lost his wife and is searching for comfort, and it turns out that some of his wife's family are members of our ward and actually invited his to attend church recently. We are meeting with him again later this week which surprised his family,  but it is incredible how God prepares people in ways we don't expect.
We also met a woman who was out on her porch who met missionaries and read from the Book of Mormon about 30 years ago! How incredible is that, especially since she would like to meet with us.

We met a man recently who we first had contact with when we were walking down this road and he stopped to make sure our car wasn't broken down or something. Then we saw him again later and actually got to talk with him about the gospel  and it was really cool. The funniest part though is when the next day we met this woman who asked us where we had been yesterday morning, when we told her she informed us that we had met her son! They are not ready yet, but I know that God needed us to have contact with that family for some reason.

Last night we were about to go in for the night and before we did we felt we needed to go talk to a woman sitting out on her porch. She told us how her and her mother have been looking for a church to go to. Then she said she wanted to get baptized and since she doesn't have an extensive background in religion she wants to have someone that will start basic and teach her. Ma'am that's why we are here! It was so incredible.

One of the coolest things was meeting James. We were just walking down the street and he was sitting on the porch. We waved and instead of keeping on to where we were going, we stopped and I am so glad we did. He doesn't have a knowledge of God being his Father, he experiences a lot of emotional turmoil and simply lacks hope in his life. We are just in the beginning of his journey, but we have already seen him feel the spirit and the love of his Father, feel the power of the Book of Mormon, and start to find those glimmers of hope. I love being a missionary!

I want to leave you with my testimony that we have a loving Heavenly Father who has a very specific plan for each of us. That simple but profound truth is what kept me moving forward this week. He knows us individually and perfectly and desires for us to know Him too. I am grateful for prayer and the peace it brings, that it is a way we can feel of His love. If there is anything you are struggling with, need answers for, or just need to know that someone is there for you, I would advise you to get on your knees and offer a heartfelt prayer prayer. I promise that as we humbly listen He will always answer.

I love you all, just keep smiling!
 

 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Whatever the Mind Can Conceive and Believe, It Can Achieve

Oh what a week! We had Zone Conference filled with great insights and lessons. So many things were simply inspiration to give the Lord our best. The title of my post today is a quote that President Stratford lives by and has asked that we adopt as a mission. I know that great things can happen when we show the Lord we are willing and give him our all. A key part of that though is recognizing the Lord, yes we can achieve anything, but only with the Lord's help. We talked a lot about humility and turning our will over to God and Sister Stratford presented a few simple statements: I can't, He can, I think I'll let Him. I know that when we turn ourselves over to God and rely on his strength to do what would otherwise be impossible for us, miracles can happen.

Lately we have been exhausted, so we must be doing something right. I wish I knew how many miles we walked the other day, because that's literally all we did. It was awesome. Especially walking back to our car at the end of the night when it started pouring. We were so soaked! But still smiling and having a blast of course.

Saturday morning we also spent a ton of time on our feet. We and the Elders were invited by a member in our ward to share his booth at the farmers market. We made a poster and set up our booth all about family history. I was excited about the concept, but the execution scared me out of my mind. But I applied the principles I have shared with you from zone conference and the Lord was able to give me strength beyond my own and worked the miracle of me being able to talk to many people. It actually turned out to be a lot of fun and we did a lot of good.



The week ended in the greatest way possible, with a baptism! A family that the Elders have been teaching entered the waters of baptism this weekend. The greatest part was being able to spend a lot of time with the mom helping her and above all watching her witness her sons being baptized. There were so many emotions and the spirit was so thick. It was an incredible experience!

Apparently this week's theme is relying on the Lord. Something I wanted to share with you from my study of the Savior comes from John 16
33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Christ is the founder of our peace. We have no reason to fear because he has overcome the world, so through him we can overcome anything that comes our way. I know that Jesus Christ is real and that he is our Savior. He is the source of our peace in this life and our hope for the life to come.

I love you all, just keep smiling!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Our Testimony is a Seal

I know I say this all the time, but Ohio has crazy weather. Right now there is a lot of humidity and crazy thunderstorms that usually start without warning. It always keeps things interesting!

This week has been full of ups and downs, nothing out of the ordinary. Bill is still having a hard time. He was doing so good the whole week and was so prepared to be confirmed yesterday, he even made it to the church building. But he left before sacrament meeting started. Sometimes I don't know what more to do, but the Lord knows what he needs and we will keep trusting and keep trying. God never lets his work go undone.

I don't think I have told you all about one of our new friends Damian yet (and if I have just bear with me). He is doing awesome! His cousin is our bishop so he has had some contact with the church for most of his life, and Sisters knocked on his door and he wasn't very interested. But a few weeks ago he showed up at church with his family and said he wanted to meet and we have been teaching him ever since. He is just eating it up and has already seen such great things in his life from starting on this path of living the gospel. His testimony has grown so much in the short time we have been meeting with him and I know that is because of the things he is doing outside of our lessons, like praying and seriously studying the scriptures. The amount of notes he takes and questions he has fills me with joy. I am just so excited for him and the path he is on!

Something really funny this week. The primary had a water activity, and good thing too because that was a really hot day. We had a meeting at the church and got there earlier than planned, so we got to say hi really quick to all the ward members outside. Well, we were on our way inside when the water guns were brought out. I hear some kid say,  "It's the missionaries!" All of a sudden we were ambushed and were being shot at by many of the kids. Apparently Sister Missionaries make for fun targets. It was a blast and very refreshing after being outside all day haha. 

Something that has really stuck with me this week from our district meeting is the concept of our testimonies being a seal. When we as missionaries bear our testimony in a lesson, the spirit seals the truths we have taught. And when any of us share our testimonies, it seals the knowledge we have gained. It is like having a jar that we are constantly filling as we go to church, read our scriptures, pray. talk with others, and whatever else we do to learn. We keep putting stuff in, but without the seal on the jar we can lose it. I promise you that the knowledge you gain will not likely be lost or forgotten if you seal it by bearing your testimonies, even in informal ways as you live your life and let it show through your actions and the way you interact with others.

I love you all, hope you have a great week! Just keep smiling!

lollipops from Brother Bill's stash      
Making Pizzas

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Big Bad Willie to Brother Houser

We had out first interviews with President and Sister Stratford this week! They are wonderful and have so much love for each of us already. Something that President Stratford has invited us all to do, and I would extend this invitation to all of you as well, is to really focus on our nightly prayers. That is such a  sacred time we have each day to account to the Lord the things we have done and tell him how we feel about the things we experienced throughout the day. I promise that as you come to the Lord and pour out your hear that he will ease your concerns, answer your questions and let you feel how much he loves you. Those assurances are what keep me going everyday.

"I went from Big Bad Willie to Brother Houser." Bill was baptized this Saturday! It is always a wonderful and special experience to witness one of God's children make such sacred covenants that will alter the course of their lives. Bill has already made so many changes in his life to come closer to his Heavenly Father and his Savior. I have come to love hims o much as I have served him and been an instrument in the Lord's hands to help him get here. I cannot begin to express to you the joy I feel! God is going to do amazing things with him on this journey he has just embarked on. Funny thing though, he didn't show up Sunday to be confirmed and receive the Holy Ghost....we had a nice long talk about recognizing when the spirit is telling you things and when it is someone else. He will officially be a member next Sunday, you can count on that.
 
 

I want you all to know my testimony of how much our Heavenly Father loves each of us. God knows us and loves us each of us individually. All he wants is to help us reach our divine potential he has seen in us from the beginning, because we literally are his children and there is a piece of his divinity always with us. He will give us correction, but always out of love so we can learn and grow. God only wants to build us up to reach that potential, so he would never tell us anything about ourselves that is degrading, discouraging or disappointing. If you do have these thoughts, you are listening to the wrong voice, which is are challenge many of us have to overcome. I would plead with you to do the things God has asked of you aren't prepare yourself to hear the voice of the spirit.

Galatians 5:22-23
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Strive to listen to the Spirit! I love you all, just keep smiling!

Monday, July 10, 2017

God Answers Prayers Because He Cares

Cornfields!
 Everyday I think about how amazing it is that God places us exactly where we need to be. He is so mindful of all of his children and what they need, I am so grateful to be his hands and part of that delivery system.

First off, Bill Houser. He has been working towards baptism for a very long time and recently he told the sisters that if he prayed about a date to be baptized and got the same answer they did he would know for sure it is what God wanted for him. Well, on the 4th of July while Bill was cooking hotdogs for all of us we asked him if he had been praying about a date. He said that he had, but wanted to hear ours first. We told him that we had felt that July 15th was right and as soon as we said that he stopped, his eyes got wide and said, "No way! That is the day I thought of too!" Bill is so ready and very excited for his baptism this upcoming Saturday. It is amazing that the Lord knew he needed that kind of witness and provided it to him.
 
Bill, Sister Asay and I
 
God knows the kinds of answers we all need, even if we don't. I have experienced so many answers to prayers for myself lately and none of them have been in ways I expected, but they always come. Often times the Lord wants us to make a decision and come to him for confirmation. Like one of our friends lately has been struggling with making a very big decision. She never felt a definite answer from God as she prayed, but she felt Him pulling her in a specific direction and was able to find peace in that answer. That is the key, is being humble enough to accept the answer even if it doesn't come in the way we expect or hope for.

Thursday we had exchanges and oh boy was it raining that day. It started pouring as soon as we left the apartment and all we had that morning was knocking doors. We looked absolutely ridiculous trudging through the pouring rain and now flooded streets trying to find those who were whole and ready to hear the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Despite the elements we were smiling all the way and the thought came to me that nothing is worth more than sharing the gospel, no shoes or possessions, comfort or pride. We met many wonderful people that day who I know were put in our path for a reason.

Last night was so cool. We ended the night with Tom who we met sitting in his garage as we were walking down the street. He waved us up his drive and set chairs out for us and we talked about the beauty of God's plan for each of us. He just kept saying how neat this situation was and how much he was going to thank god for it. Before we left he offered a prayer and said that he usually doesn't talk to people like us but thanked God for having him keep his garage open that day and that we walked down his street.

I am so grateful to be a part of this great work and to experience people's prayers being answered everyday. I love in the Doctrine and Covenants 103:36 where it says,
"All victory and glory is brought to pass unto you through your diligence, faithfulness, and prayers of faith." I know that we will be successful in life when we realize who has control. As we are diligent in our faith in Christ and rely on the Lord through prayer w will receive answers according to our faith and willingness to act. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week! Just keep smiling!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Becometh as a Child

This week was great! It was my first full week here in Piqua, there has definitely needed to be some adjustment but I am loving it!

We are working with some awesome people! I told you a bit about the Schaeffers last week, they are still doing awesome. It is just the coolest thing to have a whole family learning together and making changes to come closer to Christ. Everything is so much more meaningful as a family because that is how God intended it to be.
There is also Bill who has actually been meeting with sisters for about a year and now his son Chad is as well! They are working towards baptism and it is so cool that they have each other to learn from and to support each other
. I'm telling ya, learning as a family is the way it's supposed to be.

I always love that God knows exactly what we need. I have been constantly growing when it comes to opening my mouth, but I am pretty sure I am going to hit my growth spurt here with Sister Asay. She really helps me push myself and reach my goals, and most of the time I really appreciate her tough love. 

This week we met our new mission president. President and Sister Stratford seem great and I love them already. I cannot wait for interviews coming up and getting to know them both better! 

Something I have been thinking and studying about a lot lately is about learning to do God's will. I really love the scripture Mosiah 3:19
"For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father."

Our whole purpose here on this earth is to learn how to align our will with our Heavenly Father's and strive to become like Him. I know that we do that by following the spirit who teaches us to rely on and follow Christ. I know that as we do this and are humble and full of love we will have greater joy in life.

I love you all, hope you have a fantastic week! Just keep smiling!


 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Cornfields!



I am in Piqua, OH! Boy are there a lot of cornfields. We are serving in the smallest ward I have ever seen, but there are still two sets of missionaries because we cover a lot of ground. My new companion is Sister Asay and she is a blast! Missions are so bizarre, we just get thrown with a person we know nothing about and immediately go out to share the gospel together. It is truly a beautiful thing, I just hope the adjustment gets quicker each time I do it.

I was very excited to come to Piqua, but not quite as excited as Sister Speakman was for me. This is the area she served in before joining me in Hilliard and I was so excited to meet the awesome people she has told me so much about. And they are awesome, it always amazes me the capacity of love Heavenly Father allows us to feel.

There is a particular family I am so excited about. They are the Schaeffers, their father is a member and now his wife and both of their kids are working towards baptism! They are such genuine people and have hearts of gold. I love being a missionary!

Something I have been thinking a lot about is from my studies this week.   
1 Nephi 21:15-16
15 For can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee, O house of Israel.
16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.
Jesus Christ will never, and can never, forget us because of the incredible sacrifice He performed in our behalf. He knows everything we go through and everything we feel and will be by our side to help us through all of it if we let Him. So I would encourage all of you to find ways to allow Him to be a bigger part of your life and I promise that you will find greater peace and success. 
I love you all, just keep smiling!
 
 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Happy Transfers!

Well, I'm saying goodbye to Hilliard. It has been amazing here and I have met so many wonderful people, it is going to be hard to go. I am excited for what is in store though and to arrive in the next place the Lord needs me to be!

This week has been awesome! I saw fireflies for the first time, we went to a baseball game, and we had 8 investigators at church this week! 
Lately I have been learning a lot about faith and trusting in my Heavenly Father. Sometimes it is easy to doubt, because honestly it doesn't take any effort, but I know that if we put the work into exercising our faith that we will be able to experience true joy. I did a lot of that learning on exchanges this week with our amazing Sister Training Leaders, which is also when I saw fireflies for the first time.
We went to the Columbus Clippers Baseball game because my amazing companion was invited to be a part of a choir of missionaries to sing the National Anthem. It was pretty weird to be in the real world like that, but we got to talk to a ton of people!
 
 
Probably the most exciting thing though was having so many wonderful people join us in worshiping
our Savior this Sunday! Some of the Salem family was there, as well as a new family we met (The Galbans), and Rachel and Daniel! Our ward did an amazing job of making sure everyone was taken care of and had a friend. All of these amazing people have such a special place in my heart that will always be there. I'm sad I won't get to be here myself for all of it, but I can't wait to hear about the amazing things things in store for them as they continue to come closer to Jesus Christ.

This past week was Father's Day and I have been thinking a lot about all the amazing men that have influenced my life; my father, grandfathers, uncles, friends. Something that really struck me with all the talk of fathers this Sunday was the reality of our Heavenly parents. Of all the things we could call God, He asks that we call Him Father. I know that He loves each one of us individually and perfectly, and that he wants for us to turn to Him and know of that love. I am so grateful for the influence of my heavenly parents in my life in addition to all my earthly role models. I encourage you all to continue to develop your relationship with your Heavenly Father, because the closer we are to Him the more peace and joy we will have in our lives.

I love you all, just keep smiling!
 
The Salem Family
 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Being Sister Lynch

This week has been a truly great week and I feel so good! Heavenly Father has blessed us with some truly awesome experiences!
Our week started with an incredible example of member missionary work. I have talked before about how the greatest way to share the gospel is through love and service. Well a sister in our ward has recently developed a friendship with her neighbor and they talk about life and all the little and big things. Well, often gospel topics will come up in conversation. The Sister in our ward told her friend about the missionaries and how all they do is teach lessons that answer a lot of her questions, and asked if she would like to meet us. It is such a simple thing that I think we often make too big a deal out of. We were able to meet her neighbor and have a normal, enjoyable conversation where any other person wouldn't have realized it, but we taught her the whole first lesson. AND she wants to meet with us again. So many miracles can come from just the simple act of faith of inviting.

So last Monday we probably met one of the coolest people ever. Her name is Rachel and we met her outside her apartment walking her dog. We started talking to her like any other random person we meet, but it soon became a very unique conversation. I think my favorite thing about her is how many questions she asks and that everything we ask her she asks right back to us, and you can tell she cares about the answer and sees us as real people and not just missionaries. That first night she eagerly put her dog away and grabbed a blanket so we could sit outside and teach her. It has only been a week since we met her, but she has invited her boyfriend to learn as well and they are both doing awesome! They read the Book of Mormon together and probably offer the most sincere prayers I have ever heard. They are just so humble and have a true desire to learn. I have no doubt that Heavenly Father has been preparing them and that He put her in our path that night for a reason. I love being a missionary!

This week we had our last Zone Conference with President and Sister Daines, and we got to go to the temple! I have missed the temple so much and it was a blessing to be able to go again. There were so many wonderful things that I learned this conference, but the main theme that hit me was prayer.  We talk about prayer so much with our investigators, that that is how they will find answers. We teach them how to pray, what to pray for, who they pray to, and the way answers will come. We as missionaries pray so much and I have noticed that if we are not actively working on it, like with all things, it is easy to become complacent. So my focus now is going to be on my prayers, and applying all of those principles we try to help our investigators understand. Because effective prayer requires great effort.

Something I have been focusing on a lot lately is "Being Sister Lynch." That may seem like an odd thing, but I have noticed that the more I think about all the things I have to do, the more I get in the way of myself. So, I have been putting more emphasis on putting myself out there and showing my personality and things have been a whole lot different and I have been able to be more effective. I know that there are people here who need me specifically, they need my type of personality to help them understand this message. I have become a more effective instrument in the Lord's hands when I allow Him to use me, Sister Lynch, not just some person with a tag on who tells people about the gospel. So I would encourage each of you to just be yourself. Open up and put yourself out there so the Lord can use you to reach others. Because I know there are people in your lives who need you specifically, so serve others and let them see who you are. 
I love you all! Just keep smiling!
 
 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Go About Doing Good

This week has been a weird one, but still good. There have been a lot of ups and downs, and funny things that happened.
Up: we had a translator at a lesson with the Salems family for the first time this week which was so cool! It was so nice to be able to hear everything the parents were saying to us and know that they will be hearing all of our words as well. 
Down: even though we had a translator things are still going to be a challenge. It is especially hard on their mom who told us she doesn't want us coming over as often. They also didn't come to church this Sunday. We are very anxious, but we will keep doing everything we can for their family and we have faith that the Lord will take care of it all.
Funny: yesterday was a very warm day, and from what we saw on the weather it was going to stay that way. Wrong. As we were walking yesterday evening it instantly got about 10 degrees cooler and the wind picked up. We were caught in off-and-on thunderstorms without jackets for the rest of the night. It was awesome. Thankfully we met some really cool people that we talked to and got to get out of the rain for a little bit with.

This week seemed to be all about service. We got to do a lot of painting this week which was a blast! We helped out our good friend Jeannie who we met a little while back at her garage sale, and then a sister in our ward that we help regularly. We have also been talking a lot to the members in our ward about service, because it is through those small acts that others can recognize us as disciples of Christ. There is a video about gratitude from this Easter's Prince of Peace initiative that I really love that I would encourage all of you to watch. 

I know that our own gratitude for the blessings in our life is the purest drive we have to serve others. So carry with you an attitude of gratitude and I can promise that your actions will distinguish you as a disciple of Jesus Christ.
I love you all, just keep smiling!
 
 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Happy Memorial Day!

First off, I don't think I could tell you how much I love the Salem family. My love for them grows constantly. It is such a unique feeling, and I don't think I have ever been more invested in someone's life or cared about them so deeply. They are amazing though, especially their father. We have been putting a lot of effort lately into making sure their parents are included in our discussions despite the language barrier. We are working on being able to have a translator for church and lessons and have even started working on the long term goals of them learning English. There is a member of our ward that came up with the idea to have a Sunday school class dedicated to teaching English in a gospel setting that we, as well as the Salems, are very excited about. But having the children translate works well enough now and we have been able to have some wonderful conversations. The other day their father expressed how much he desires to follow Jesus Christ, and that he is ready for this new knowledge so he can do that more fully. Our last lesson with them was probably the best we ever had. Their mom was actively engaged for the first time which was so wonderful. At one point Jumana, the daughter, asked us why she had to pray and ask if these things were true if she already knew. This family has so much faith, but of course we talked about how vital that witness from the Holy Ghost is for their testimony. And at the end of the lesson, instead of arguing over who prayed last and who had to this time, they fought over who got to pray and then who got to pray first when we told them they both could. It just gives me so much joy to be a small part of this family's life and to help them make these change in their lives so they can be even closer to Jesus Christ.

Today, our ward put on a Memorial Day 5K and breakfast (which we got to participate in). It was so much fun, but to prepare for it this week we spent a lot of time visiting members and committing them to invite their friends and neighbors. It surprised me how many people were actually excited for this invitation. I have a very strong testimony of how important this is, because no matter how hard we as missionaries work, the work cannot go forward without the help of the ward and our leaders. I am so grateful for the awesome ward I get to serve in who is so excited to do missionary work and share the gospel in the best way-by This week was great and full of learning like usual!
simply loving those around them.

I mentioned before the commitment President Daines had given me to become equal with my companion in opening my mouth. Well the day before interviews, which is when he would be following up with me, I had a very sudden and emotional  realization that I had not made it there. I was a mess. Sister Speakman did not ignore the distance I still had to go, but she gently invited me to think about how far I have come lately. And then she simply asked me what I thought President would say to me the next day when I told him. The first thing that came to mind was the feelings that I have when I repent, when I recognize that I have fallen short despite my efforts and ask for help to be better. I always have feelings of immense love from my Savior because He knows I am trying. And what I felt from President Daines in our interview was a shadow of that. I am so grateful for my ability to keep moving forward, even though sometimes I slip up, because my  Savior was able to say "Thy will, O Lord, be done."

Yesterday while preparing for the Sacrament we sang that hymn and the last verse reads,
"We take the bread and cup this day
In mem'ry of the sinless One,
And pray for strength, that we may say,

As he, "Thy will, O Lord, be done."
That line really hit me as we sang that. I am so grateful that because my Savior had the courage to be perfectly obedient, I can rely on Him to have the strength to do so as well. Life may seem hard and we are all far from perfect, but through the Savior, we can keep moving forward.

We Ran!

 
Our new District




 
Sister Speakman and I