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

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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Transfer 1 Done!

Growing up we are always told not to talk to strangers, and then you come on a mission and you are told to forget all that and literally talk to everyone you see. Last Monday after a wonderful lesson with Keith our plans were to walk home from the Bishop's house and talk to people on the way. Our bishop was not thrilled with that idea and either was Keith, but we were grateful for his wife who made the compromise that we would only call if we were going to be late getting home. She helped us out the door and we finally escaped our "stand in dads" arguing about our safety. We did talk to a few people and had some great conversations. So at the end of the night we would have been late getting home, but just before we called the bishop's wife a car pulled up next to us. It was a cute little family we had talked to earlier who didn't like the idea of us walking at night either. So they came and found us and offered us a ride home, which we took without hesitation. I didn't really think about the fact that we just jumped in a stranger's car until we were safely home, but it was a great opportunity to share more of Christ's gospel. Moral of the story, our plans are inspired and talking to strangers is ok as long as the spirit doesn't tell you otherwise and if you give them a pass along card.

In case you didn't know, I love being a missionary! I love teaching lessons and I have had the opportunity to lead quite a few of our discussions this week. That seemed a little scary at first, but it was so much fun. Sister Hall has been helping me a ton with being less awkward. Everyday during our companion study she will chooses a pamphlet at random. I get a few minutes to look over it, and then a few minutes to teach the lesson. That is probably my least favorite thing to do, but also something I wouldn't want to go without in our day. It is helping me so much and we always talk about ways to improve, that list gets shorter and more specific everyday. I am so grateful that prayer works and Heavenly Father is blessing me with this progress so quickly.

I love General Conference! And I love the wonderful members of our ward who invited us to watch it with their families. Something I did this time was not only listen for things I like, but pay close attention to counsel and instruction given. There was so much about the importance of teaching the gospel in the home and the huge roles that families have. There was also a focus on the importance of the little everyday things, like prayer and scripture study, that have a huge part in building our testimonies. Our spiritual experiences are great, but they are only the foundation that we need to be constantly building on through our daily efforts to come closer to our Savior. I think what is so profound to me about conference is that there are a limited number of speakers compared to the many people listening, yet they are so inspired that if we are prayerfully listening we can each receive personal counsel or answers to questions we may have. Something that really spoke to me this conference was when Elder Ransband talked about being a Spiritual First Responder. We need to show the Lord that we appreciate the promptings He blesses us with by acting as quickly as possible. When we do that He will trust us with more. I have been focusing on applying that lesson every day since then and it has been a profound experience. When I am able to look past my fears and just act, I notice so many more promptings from the spirit. And sometimes I don't see an immediate result from my actions, but I know that sometimes the Lord just wants to know if we will follow Him before He entrusts us with something big.

Monday was an amazing day! We actually only had one scheduled lesson, and it was our last one with Steven. We are very sad that he will be moving, but I am so excited for him to start the next phase of his life with this foundation in the gospel he has worked so hard to build. The rest of the day though was full of finding. It was amazing and so much fun! We found the same number of new investigators in a day that we found all of last week! How crazy is that?! Effective planning makes a difference and applying what we have learned from General Conference did amazing things. There was this one family who was hilarious. We knocked on their door and this girl about 15 years old opens it and was super nice. As we are talking to her a lady in the background yells, "Who is it? Is it church people? Tell them we like Satan" The girl just shook her head and apologized that her aunt had a little too much to drink and invited us inside. We were a bit hesitant, but we went in and were able to share a message with their whole family and we are coming back! I love meeting crazy, funny people.

Also, I will be staying in Hilliard this next transfer, but Sister Hall will be leaving. I have loved being companions with her and she has taught me so much. Transfers are way too short, but I am happy to know that it's not the end and I know I will see her later. I am excited to have a new person to be able to learn from!

During this Easter season, the church has put out the Prince of Peace initiative. I would encourage all of you to visit mormon.org and share it with your friends and on social media. On the website there are also eight videos on people's experiences and ways we can all find peace through Christ. It is amazing how many people we have been able to talk to because of the video. I know that through trying times, and even good times, the most effective way to find peace and comfort is by relying on Jesus Christ. 
Roll Tide! Our gifts from Keith. He said it's a trade off, he's going to help us convert now