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

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

"Read Until It Hurts"

There are so many awesome things we experience as missionaries and I wouldn't trade any of it for the world. There was an experience last Monday that made my favorites list. We went to go see a referral and it wasn't at all what I expected. This 10 year old kid came out of the house and was sent to apologize to us for making us come, and that made us so sad.  What happened was he accidentally called missionaries in California and when they asked if he would like to meet with missionaries he said yes. So that's where we come in and we assured him that he wasn't wasting our time at all and we really do want to talk to him. After a few minutes of trying to get to know him a bit his friends at the park see him and walk over wanting to know what was going on and who we were. So we told them and started talking to them about what we do as missionaries. One of the girls sat down and before long all six of us were sitting on the sidewalk in front of this kids house eating sour patch kids this girl was pulling out of her pocket and talking about Jesus Christ. We were able to share with them the whole message of the Restoration of Christ's gospel and have a wonderful conversation. That is something I will always remember and I hope they will too. We wanted to make sure they remembered the name of our church before we left so we covered our tags and this one boy said (basically jumping up and down) "I know! The Church of Jesus and the After Saints!....or something like that." It was the best thing I have ever heard someone call us.

We met this crazy awesome family this past week! Meeting with them just makes us so happy. Last Wednesday we were trying to visit someone but they ended up not being home, but Sister Speakman had a feeling we should knock on the door across the way so of course we did. We met a young woman and we started to share the message of the restoration with her at the door, but she stopped us and asked if we would like to come in and meet the rest of her family.  Of course we would! Their family moved to the United States about three years ago and started practicing Christianity when they did. They are so interested in learning more about Jesus Christ and they wanted us to come back and share more with them. We have been going back since then and reading from the Book of Mormon with them and talking about who Jesus Christ is and what He means for each of us. Testifying of Jesus Christ and explaining the gospel to someone with little knowledge of Christianity has really strengthened my own testimony and love for Jesus Christ. We teach the three teenagers, and then they share with their parents who don't speak English. They are some of the kindest people I have ever met and are truly seeking. I cannot wait to see how having to gospel will bless their lives.

This week has definitely been a hard one. It is really hard that Satan is so loud almost all of the time and the Holy Ghost has to speak so quietly. But I am learning to listen better to the right voice, and even though it is hard right now I know that the more I do what I know is true the better I will be able to hear it. What I want everyone to please remember is to go to the right sources, don't judge or dispute anything until you have done sufficient research from notable sources. Like when you have a representative of Jesus Christ and the church in front of you, don't ignore them and then trust the first result on Google as truth. The theme this week has been for people to tell us all the reason they believe we are wrong and why our personal testimonies don't stand. It has been really hard on us, but I know that I cannot deny what I know to be true. No matter how shaky my testimony has felt because of these attacks on the church and us personally, I know it still stands. Lots of prayers and having a wonderful companion have been a huge strength in this time. Satan can tell us some pretty awful lies, like that we aren't doing our best or aren't on the right path, but I know that in the times that feel hardest if we pray and really listen our Heavenly Father will bless us with guidance and comfort. Like my very wise companion told me, if we just go one moment and one decision at a time, and choose in all the small moments to do our best, we will be alright.

2 Nephi 32:3
"Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do."

I want all of you to know how much I love the scriptures. I remember a time when it was hard for me to sit down and get myself to read the scriptures, but now an hour is just not long enough. It is so incredible to me that the scriptures literally contain the words of Christ and the things our loving Father in Heaven would have us know. It has been amazing how every time I fervently pray, and really need something, I find exactly what I need in my scripture study the next morning. I can promise you that if you humbly pray to God and really seek, you will always find our answers in the scriptures because that is how God speaks to us. We were talking to Keith last week about scripture study and we asked him what he though it meant to "feast upon the words of Christ." He said it's like Thanksgiving, where we eat until it hurts and we feel like we are going to burst. So Keith's advice to all of us is to "read until it hurts" and I can add my witness to that, because in doing that we can find great strength.