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

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Monday, February 27, 2017


Well, Wednesday morning at 3:30 started our adventures! The three of us going to Ohio were up and ready, carried our luggage down the stairs from the fourth floor and were in the bus to the airport by that time. And it was snowing! There were fifteen new missionaries all traveling to Ohio together and it was a blast. Actually, it wasn't too fun. I have never been on a plane for that long and even though it wasn't too long of  a flight it honestly felt like an eternity. But how excited Sister Hansen gets about flying made it fun, or funny, take your pick.

When we finally landed in Ohio the amazing President and Sister Daines were waiting for us at the bottom of the escalator, taking pictures and waiting to shake our hands. I was so excited to meet them! They are so sweet and honestly such a fun couple. But we were only with them long enough to shake hands, take a picture and load up our luggage. The Assistants to the President then drove all of us to the Ohio State Institute building where we met some other missionaries who had already been serving. Now here's the fun part. We were each paired up with one of those experienced missionaries, given a Book of Mormon and sent out contacting on campus! I was paired with Sister Gruver who is so cool! OSU is actually where she serves so it was neat to be with someone already comfortable in that setting, and she made sure I got comfortable real quick too. I was scared out of my mind, but she had me talk to people. A lot of people. I was so nervous at first because the first people we talked to wouldn't even give us a sideways glance or even two words. As we were walking away she told me those were the rudest people she had ever talked to on campus, and I let out a huge sigh of relief that it wasn't the norm. Talking to people and bearing my testimony to strangers started to come more easily and I even placed the Book of Mormon I was given! I love being a missionary!

We spent that night at the mission home where the Daines had prepared a wonderful meal for us. We had a small testimony meeting where each of the new missionaries shared an experience and bore our testimony of Christ. The spirit was so strong and there was  such a great sense of unity among our small group. I was sad we would all be going our separate ways but I was more than anxious to meet my new companion! 

The next morning we were off! We listened to so many presentations and orientations, it made me even more anxious. Sister Hansen was laughing at me all day about how I could barely hold in my excitement. It was very obvious apparently. We did some more activities and role played with the missionaries that could potentially be our trainers. I had a very strong feeling that my companion would be one of the sisters I had interacted with that morning, which included Sister Gruver, who I was with the night before, Sister McClelland, and Sister Hall. Well it was finally time to meet our trainers! Sister Hall's name was called and as she stands up to go to the front President Daines told her she didn't have to go anywhere because she was already by her companion. I couldn't tell if she was standing behind me or Sister Hansen. President Daines looked at me and said "Yes, Sister Lynch, she's yours." I was so excited! I sprung out of my seat, not gracefully, and gave her the biggest hug ever. Sister Hall is amazing! She has been on her mission for three months, and actually just finished being trained herself about a week ago. She loves the work and is obedient, which is honestly all I wanted, but she is also so much fun and reminds me to relax. 

I am serving in the Hilliard ward, which is amazing. I got to meet them all yesterday. I am horrible with names and I met so many people, it is going to take me a while. But I had this really cool feeling all day of not knowing anyone, yet everything feeling so familiar and like I was home. It still amazes me that no matter where you go, the gospel is the same. It strengthens my testimony of how true this church really is and of it's inspired organization. We are in a car sharing area, so this week the Elders in our ward had the car. Honestly, being on bikes is so much fun. Except for when we have to carry them up the stairs in our apartment or when it's freezing cold, and the hard snow is hitting your face. I just laugh because the weather has been different everyday I have been here, everyone keeps saying that is normal Ohio though. 

We are teaching so many people! I didn't realize how full a day could be until my mission. We actually have two investigators on date for baptism! One of them accepted the invitation to be baptized the first night I was here. Crazy stuff. But we have a handful of progressing investigators and when we are not teaching lessons we are street contacting or reaching out to people who have been contacted before. I love being a missionary! Sister Hall is giving me many opportunities to get over my anxiety about talking to people. She has seen a definite change in me since I first arrived which makes me so happy. I owe that to a lot of prayer and faith that Heavenly Father will give me the strength to face those fears. There is no doubt that I have improved and I know that God answers prayers if we have the willingness to act on the answers we receive. 

I love you all.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

O-H-I-O It's Off to Work We Go

This week has been an adventure! Full of the spirit and so many emotions, although when I think about it not a lot happened haha. Our time here is just coming to a close and it's hard to handle, but here are some of the big things that happened and some of the things I have learned this week.

Tuesday night's devotional was amazing. As we were walking up to the building they had locked the main doors and Elder Wiest said he saw a lot of security out front so we assumed someone pretty important was coming to speak to us which is so exciting! During the prelude hymns the music director casually mentioned, just for the sake of knowing, that when an apostle enters the room we stand and remain standing until he says we may be seated. This casually placed bit of information got us all even more excited! That evening we had the privilege to hear from M. Russell Ballard, one of the Lord's twelve apostles, and some of the things he said were honestly life changing. He told us that we are building our lives. Every moment affects our destiny, so take control. We don't need to wait to be great; make righteous goals and go to work. As long as we have the drive and the faith to make it happen, we can do all things. Going along with that, he said, "Do not hesitate to press yourself a little bit to find out who you are." I'm realizing that I tend to stay in my comfort zone, but I will never improve unless I push myself. That is so applicable to my struggles with teaching right now. I love teaching and meeting people, it's just the opening my mouth and actually speaking that is the issue. But I just need to have faith to press myself and the Lord will take care of the rest. Everything he said that night was wonderful and impacted me so much, but there was one thing that has honestly changed my whole way of thinking. He said that if at the end of the day I can honestly say to my Heavenly Father that I have done the best I can then I am a great missionary. I think that is applicable to life in general, that if we do everything we can then we are doing alright. No one's perfect and sometimes the outcome isn't what we hope for, but it is so comforting that my Heavenly Father recognizes my efforts and what I did to get there and that's all that matters to Him.

We had our last lesson with Hely this last week which was really sad because we absolutely love her. But our lesson went very well and Sister Garza said my contribution to the lesson was 100% better and that makes me so excited. She said she almost didn't know what to do with me talking so much because the change was so huge and we are actually teaching as a companionship now. Let me tell you, the power of prayer is real. I have been praying  to have the courage to follow the spirit and open my mouth and it has been amazing. So pray and have the faith to act and you will be blessed, I can promise you that.

Friday we had what's called In Field Orientation, which honestly was a huge reality check.  I can't believe I leave the MTC tomorrow to face the real world! Look out Ohio, here we come. Sister Hansen and I are going to rock it. Something that really hit me from orientation was the fact that people should know my purpose when they interact with me. They should see Christ through me and know that I am His representative. Every moment counts and I'm not going to waste a minute of the Lord's time that He has so trustingly granted me.

I have had such an amazing experience here at the MTC. There has been so much growth since the first day I got here, it's crazy. I have become so close to my district. They are basically our little family here at the MTC, we do everything together. Goodbyes will be very hard, and I'm not sure I'm ready for that. I also didn't realize how hard it was going to be to say goodbye to my teachers, Brother Anderson and Sister Petrie, but they are amazing and have influenced me so much. Despite all this, I am so ready to go! I love you all so much and can't wait to update you all next week from Ohio!!!

Our Zone

Brother Anderson in front

Sister Petrie in the middle

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Little More of Something

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! I  hope your week has been wonderful because mine has been! Something super cool that happened this week was that Sister Garza and I invited our investigator to be baptized and it went so well! We are so grateful that we were open to the spirit to have the strength and confidence to do that and know what she needed. Having the companionship of the spirit is such an amazing thing!

I don't know if I've told you all, but exercise time is the greatest thing ever. It is so wonderful to have that break and remember that we are all just normal people who like to have fun. That time of the day is a blessing we eagerly look forward to. Also, I'm totally killing it in basketball. Everyone is always surprised by my capabilities, including myself ha ha.

New missionaries came in Wednesday and more are coming tomorrow! It's crazy to think that my time here is almost over. I've loved every minute here, but the closer it gets to my time to go the more excited I get. I can't wait to get out there and do some work in the real world.

Brother Anderson, one of our amazing teachers, said something that has really been hitting home as I go throughout my week. I hope it will be as inspiring to someone reading this as it has been for me
         "Courage is never letting your actions be influenced by your fears."
Sometimes life and our very real fears make it hard to do what we know is right or to act on the feelings or promptings we receive. I know that if we have the faith to look our fears in the face and move past them we can accomplish anything.

Something very amazing happened this week. Have I told you how much I love our Elders? Well, sweet Elder Flores had a bit of a hard time preparing for his mission financially. He has a lot of things that are necessary, but there are a lot of other things he has less of or had to go without entirely. Seeing this need, the Elders from our district and the one ahead of us all chipped in and got him his own set of scriptures with his name printed on them. He just about cried and so did everyone else. What he didn't know was that waiting for him in their residence was a suitcase that they filled with other things no missionary should have to go without. They got him a nice satchel, ties, more shirts, exercise shoes (since he had been borrowing an extra pair of sister Garza's) and many other things. I am so grateful to be surrounded by such loving, selfless people who care so much for each other.

This week we were assigned two more investigators to work with and we got to teach both of them yesterday! One of them is named Hely and she is probably the most amazing person I ever met. She is from Guatemala and has had an incredibly hard life. Growing up during a civil war made her childhood very different from others and put her family through great hardships. Despite everything she experienced she never lost her faith. She relied on God in times when most people would be to hurt to turn to Him. She is inspiring to me and I cannot wait to meet with her again tomorrow!

Yesterday morning our whole district was extra tired for some reason. Our teacher, Brother Anderson, just looks at all of us. He finally stretched His arms out wide, and with his big cheesy grin, shouts "Welcome to the mission!!!" I know I am going to be tired every day, and I know I haven't felt anything yet. I know that no matter how tired we all are the Lord will be on our side to help us push through because I'm sure He doesn't want a bunch of zombies doing His work haha.

The district ahead of us slipped out in the wee hours of the morning and are headed to their various missions. It's crazy to think that in about a week I'll be doing to same thing. Including the crazy early hours. We got our travel plans last week so that makes everything even more real. I am loving the MTC, but I'm not really sad about my time flying by. I am so ready to get out there. 

I wanted to leave you all with one thought from President Gordon B. Hinckley. "We must be a little better, a little kinder, a little more generous, a little more courteous, a little more thoughtful,  a little more outreaching to others." I  know that as we do these things we will become closer to Christ and more like Him which is our whole purpose in this life. If we were all a little more of something each day the world would be an amazing place. 

I love you all! Until next week!

Welcome to the mission

"That's my companion!"

My District

Travel information

Our zone

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The MTC is the place for me!

I have arrived at the MTC! The greatest feeling ever was having my tag put on. I look around at all these missionaries and it's the coolest thing ever, and what's even more exciting is when I remember I'm one too! It's taken a bit of adjusting, especially trying not to call everyone "guys" or say "dude" every other word. Anywho, I have the coolest district ever! Everyone is super nice and we mesh together very well.

My companion is the amazing Sister Garza and she is wonderful! We are very different people so I was worried at first, but we compliment each other very well! It was crazy because on the second day we were already teaching, I was pretty nervous. But let me tell you, I've been getting a lot of practice since then. Currently, Sister Garza and I are teaching three people which is awesome! It is wonderful getting to study and plan for specific people.

I have been learning so much in the short time I've been here. We're doing some awesome things with role playing and teaching each other. I think my favorite exercise though was when our teacher had us give the first discussion in three minutes. I thought she was crazy, but we did it. Then she told us our limit was one minute, and we finished with a time limit of thirty seconds! It seemed crazy, but we did it and it really made us focus on the key points and the real purpose of our lesson. Which really, out purpose in any lesson is to bring others unto Christ. I love teaching!

I absolutely love all the conferences and devotionals! Sunday was absolutely filled with wonderful things from sacrament meeting, missionary conference, our temple walk, the devotional, and an amazing talk we watched that evening called The Character of Christ. Favorite message of the Mission conference: "The joy we experience in this life will be in direct proportion to how well our lives are centered on the teachings, example, and atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ." That could not be more true. I have never been happier than I am right now studying and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. A huge theme of the Character of Christ film was to turn towards others when our natural tendency would be to turn in. That's really something we talk about every day because all we really need to do is love selflessly and everything else will fall into place. I realize I just said "all we need to do" but it's hard and it's something I'm making a conscious effort to be better at everyday. 

I know I keep saying how amazing everyhting is, but it is so hard. We are exhausted all the time and don't know what the people we're teaching need, and companions are hard sometimes. The past two day's were the most stressful of my life. There were a lot of issues within our district but through a lot of prayer we have worked through it and are stronger for it. Sister Garza and I have definitely grown because of it. The last lesson we had I knew without a doubt that for the first time we were teaching by the spirit together! It was such an amazing feeling!

Things are great and I can't wait for more! I would like to leave you all with one thought: "If a testimony is knowing something to be true, conversion is being true to what you know." If you don't have a testimony of your own I would encourage you to get one, if you have a testimony remember that it's not worth anything unless you act on it.

All my love,
Sister Lynch

Sister Garza and I

My District: Elder Meservy, Elder Flores, Elder Burnett, Elder Wiest, Sister Garza, Sister Smith, Sister Holt, Sister Nielson, Sister Hansen, Me.

Our classroom (where we live)

Sister Hansen (who I met through facebook and filnally got to meet! And even better, we live together!) and I doing laundry

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Hello My Name is Sister Lynch

After much waiting I am finally on my way! Sunday evening I was set apart by my Stake President, so I am officially a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!  The feeling that comes with that is wonderful.  You may now call me Sister Lynch.  I am so grateful for a wonderful family and many amazing friends who love and support me.  Thank you everyone who wished me well on my way!  One of my favorite things that we did while here in Utah was to go to the Salt Lake Temple.  I was able to go with my parents and wonderful friend Tanille, it was such a beautiful and spiritual experience.  I love the temple!  It is truly the house of the Lord and I am thrilled that I will have one in my mission!  We were able to see many of my friends here in Provo which was a blast! On Wednesday, February 1st I reported to the Provo Missionary Training Center!  I could not be more excited!  I am going to miss everyone so much, but I know that this is what I am supposed to be doing and I cannot wait to serve!  I almost felt bad that I wasn't more emotional leaving when my family was, but being here felt right and I couldn't feel anything but excitement