Monday, December 5, 2016

Happy 20th Birthday! "This year has been a year of the most growth in probably my whole life!"

Ashley didn’t have time to write an email letter this week (I think because she was responding to birthday greetings), but she did send me her journal pages, so I will share a little from those!  She is super happy, she LOVES her companion and she says that the Lord has really blessed this past week. One thing she shared in her journal this week is her testimony.

 “This year has been a year of the most growth in probably my whole life!  I left on a mission and I thought I left to help others, and I have, but more than anything I feel that the Lord has helped me.  He has opened my eyes and heart to really understand and feel the realness of this gospel in a way I have never felt before!  I have seen so many hearts touched, and lives changed from this gospel.  I have seen my life change completely!  I know God is my Heavenly Father, and He loves me SO SO much!  So many times I have been astonished by the love He has for me!  He has a perfect plan for me and He is always giving me second chances, moments of hope and he’s placing people in my path to help me get back to him!  But the biggest reason why I know He loves me SO much is because He has sent his son, his perfect son, to suffer for me so I could have someone who perfectly understood my challenges, my problems and my weaknesses in a way that no one else can understand.  The atonement of Christ is real.  If there’s one thing I know it’s that there is power in the atonement of Christ.  And I have felt it, I have seen it, I have lived it, and I can’t deny it!  And because of the grace of God, and mercy of this plan, I can be happy!  I can have hope!  And I am happy!  

I feel joy in my life every day!  And nothing brings me more joy than sharing this light that I have discovered!  I never thought I could be so happy!  I love this gospel!  I know it is true!  I am so grateful to know it!  I know the Book of Mormon is true and that God talks to his children today!  He is a God of miracles!  I see miracles every day of my life!  I am a disciple of Christ!  And I know I am far from perfect, but I know the Lord really blesses me in my efforts to be obedient and keep his commandments!  I just love Him.  I just love Him so much!  It’s true!  It’s just all true!  There’s no other way to be so happy!  And that’s my lil’ testimony!”  J

And one more excerpt from her journal:

…It’s just little things like that that make the mission amazing!  I feel like I don’t have crazy huge miracles or anything but man, it’s a sequence of mini miracles constantly!  I can’t believe it!  I found B!  Her face lit up when we shared the Book of Mormon with her!  And we contacted this lady, who was awesome and really Christian, and she was going to let us in, but she couldn’t find her keys.  And she was calling her husband and everything.  So I said a little prayer of faith in my head and 2 seconds later I heard, “Oh, here they are!” and I had just finished my prayer!  I can’t even believe it!  And yesterday!  Talk about miracles!  Hermana R is amazing!  She wanted us to contact her neighbors with her!  And at one home, the whole family came out and we watched the Christmas video!  And we are going to visit them next week!....”

Her roommates surprised her with some birthday cake to the face!
Cake Face Ashley!

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