Tuesday, June 30, 2015

This week has been a very stressful, drama filled week. This question has been one I have been comtemplating over and over this week. Who is Sister Clawson? Now? past? Future? Who do I want my posterity to know me as.
   We didn't see very many people this week but we were able to do a lot of service. We have a member that let her daughter, our recent convert, go with her dad to the east coast after he totalled her car and was charged with a DUI with her daughter in the car. So we had FHE up on table rock which was a blast, I got sunburnt, of course! It's that time of year again, and we were able to talk about the ups and downs of life. We shared the scripture Helamen 5:12 about planting your feet on the our Savior Jesus Christ. That scripture help both me and Sister Dale A LOT this week. 
  Boise is a remarkable place with all the service opportunities and all the charity work they do. I just LOVE it! We were able to help two days this week sort books that were donated from everywhere to clean up and hand out to other places that gave them to kids that don't have anything! I was so dirty the first day on the ground in big boxes sorting dirty books! I never knew books could be so dirty! But it was THE best feeling to just get out of yourself and do work for other people! The second day we went we were filling orders by putting books into boxes and labeling 500 books at a time to different organizations. They do sooo much for people! I never knew what one book that looks semi new could do for a kid that had nothing! I have found that situation a lot here on my mission that families have nothing! It's the hardest thing to watch and not have anything to help them out with! Except the Gosplel will do more for them then any monetary thing can do, I have seen it change the lives of people in the homeless shelters and given them that drive to do for others what others did for them. Its amazing!
  We were invited to teach the mission prep class this tuesday! I was able to see one of the kids from my first area whose ward met at the same building Cloverdale ward's did and he recieved his call to go to Mexico on his mission in a couple of months! We taught them how to teach the restoration and did a little role play. I have learned to love role plays on my mission, somtimes they are still a tad awkward! That's when you just embrace it tho! Right?! 
   We play Uno every week with a less active couple. They know the church is true but work and family keeps getting in the way, and Sister Dale is pretty good at Uno and has beat him every time we have played! hahaha It's great to see because every time he looses he swears revenge on her, in a playing manor! hahaha 
  I love the people in my wards. they have become some of my best friends for life! I know that this church brings people together in and through Christ!  Now back to my original question that has been plaguing me. Who is Sister Clawson? Who will Ashley be in 8 weeks?  
       "We may plan things in life. But have you planned your greatest work? Have you envisioned        who you will become?  Do you plan for what kind of person you want to become? Can you see           in your mind who you want to be? Do you know?" " you not only can change but you do             change all of the time." " you are right now the sum total of what you have thought, said,             seen, heard, and done. What you think, say, do, hear, and see, causes you to change; to change for good or evil, to become either stronger or weaker, to either internalize the  qualities of light of the qualities of darkness. You are responsible for who you are and you  are responsible for who you will become." 
  "Do you know what kind of person you want to become? Do you see in your mind who you want to be? Do you know?"
  These quotes come out of a talk called the Fourth missionary, yes its for missionaries BUT these questions apply to ALL of us! We ALL need to ask ourselves these important questions of who are we and who we want to be and who we will become and HOW we will achieve these goals! I love you all and I ask that you keep Sister Taufa in your prayers! She is a sister from Tahiti that I live with and part of this crazy week involved her falling down the stairs, loosing all her memory including English, she speaks French. She has most of her English and mission memories back but home life is not there and its a struggle for all of us. I don't want any prayers for me, just her PLEASE! I love you all and you all mean soooo much to me!!!! I know that Heavenly Father will heal her through all of your prayers! 
<3 Sister Ashley Clawson
  Here you go, David!
Look how much the Meridian temple has grown!
We went as a district
 Elder Hann teaching how to teach people not lessons using a video game that I forgot the name to...I didn't really get it! I love this kid!!!

 .BOB strikes again! He knows me soo well!

 Bob and my duckie!

My favorite answer and be4! hahah get it?!

 I was trying to get to the book service project but somehow found my way to the airport! I paniked!
 I swear I'm not trunky!

Creepy tree but sooo awesome!

Barb cut Sister Dale's hair it needed it! ha she's the best! Bob's wife!

Holiness to the Lord is up!


BSU colors, not to be confused with Westwood colors, she wanted everyone to know. LOL!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Two Months exactly and a Chance to Catch Up!!!

Monday, June 15, 2015

16 months!!!

This week was pretty awesome like most! hahaha So I am known as "the Claw" in our zone now! We play ultimate football a lot and I've always been pretty proud (in a good way) of my throwing abilities! I made a couple catches to win the game! I LOVE football! One of the funniest things is when missionaries get together and you can see who they really are past the name tag! I have made some of the greatest friends out here on the mission!
   It was bout 8:30pm and we were driving down Rossi going to see Sister Stidmon and we see Mark Aims sitting out on his porch smoking and has a can of something (turned out to be beer) sitting right next to him. We were pretty sure it was him but hadn't met him yet so we go to Sister Stidmons to set up an appointment but instead talk for a bit and turns out that she is going to go to church with a friend up in Garden Valley this week! Such a step for her! She's coming back! The whole time I was praying that Mark would still be outside and when we parked the car he was still sitting right where we saw him! It was pretty awkward at first he said that he was  very embraced and then proceeded to put down the cig and tell us about his mission to Italy! Things like this turn out to be very good experiences for people to help them realize that what they are doing is wrong and they know it and help them rekindle their faith! He committed to start reading from the Book of Mormon again! 
 We had a great lesson with Neiva and Isemale about having faith to get out of their comfort zone and try what we have been teaching them. It's from one of the articles in the Ensign for this month titled Faith to leave the harbor, go read it is great! They came to church for all 3 hours and really enjoyed it! Things are starting to move forward with them! It's quite exciting!
  I'm running out of time so I will catch ya'll up next week! love you all soo much!  --
<3 Sister Ashley Clawson

Just for you David! Picture time!
 Double rainbow! And all of the colors so bright and vivid!
 We moved last week! By old house!
  My trunky papers! Can't believe its almost here!

 We do bingo every week! It's always fun getting to know these folks!

 Our little room! We use to have bunk beds but I couldn't deal with hitting my head on the ceiling every morning so we changed it. Not a lot of room to move around but it fits its purpose!

  When it was a bunk bed!
 It was Bob's birthday and we did paint the town! I'll explain more next week! Love this man! There is no one quite like Bob!
 Yes, I got more on me then I did the house!


Friday, June 12, 2015

...Pic from a member

Susie Curtis, a member in the Emerald Acres ward, has an aunt who lives in one of the wards that Ashley serves in. She fed them dinner and then sent this picture to Susie.
Thanks, Susie, for passing it on!!!

Monday, June 8, 2015

What a week!

We had a great week with lessons and seeing people change and grow! Monday was a great night! We had a lesson with a less active family, the Borens, who have a daughter that just turned 8 but she has not been baptized yet. She wants to but the problem is that she has only been to church a handful of times so her parents asked us to teach her so she can be ready for baptism and understand things. The kids are so cute and ready to participate in everything concerning church but the parents are just fine without going....So thats kinda hard but the kids always have fantastic questions about the lessons. when we were teaching the Plan of Salvation. The boy asked what happens if you die without getting baptized and so we were able to teach about baptisms for the dead and he really liked it and wanted to do it! He will be 12 next year and I hope the parents will let him go to church and to do baptisms... We will see tho! Sister Pavalak is another Less active member that we are working with. She has been reading a bit here and there and is getting even closer and closer to coming back to church! She has decided that she just needs to set aside time just to read the Book of Mormon! Otherwise she won't ever get to it! Priorities as SOOOOO very important! 
   We had a service auction for Relief Society and Sister Glover bought an hour of service (with fake money of coarse) and we had a BLAST! We cleaned out two of her daughter's rooms, who are now married and have been for a couple of years, closets and updated her grandkid's wall. We laughed soo hard and just had a blast doing it! While I was on the floor of the first closet it hit me that I was in some strange ladies basement that I have only known for 4 1/2 months....It's crazy what happens on a mission and how many people that you grow relationships with real fast! We went on splits with the ward missionaries that night and I went with Sister Powell and we saw quite a few people. We went to this one house that the lady pretended not to be home, although we heard her, and Sister Powell told me about when she was in Japan on her mission they had video cameras that would turn on a light to see who was outside and who the rang there door bell then just ignore them... Ha! People! 
  Wednesday we had SUCH  a great lesson with Neiva! We talked about faith and what it means to her and how it is everything in our life! I like to say if we don't have faith we have nothing! She has a lot of friends of different religions and she loves to learn about them and experience them by going to church. She told us that every time she talks with her friends about their religious beliefs she always comes back to what we have taught her! There is a PULL!! My friends, that is the Holy Ghost testifying to her spirit that what we are teaching is true! She just hasn't connected the two quite yet, but its coming! We are so excited to see her and her family progressing! Sister Smith, the sick sister I was in the MTC with, is now in the district!!! We had lunch the other day at Costa Vita! yumm!!! I love being able to just have lunch with good friends! We volunteer at an assisted living care center and call out Bingo! It is really fun to go and have them remember your name! We also went to make paper flowers and there were some real flowers there that they get for the residence to have fun arranging them, like last week. We worked on the paper ones while some other ladies fused about not having knives to cut the flowers with....man these workers have sooo much patience....it's a good thing that I'm working on Charity this transfer :D! hahaha 
  On Thursday we are suppose to do weekly planning where we plan for the week and for the lessons we will be teaching but,like always. we never get it done on Thursday. And this time we never even started! Right after we finished saying a prayer to start we got a call form Elder Sorensen. He is the  housing coordinator for the mission, and he told us we had to move out and move into a basement apartment that some other sisters are living in. So we started packing and then went to a lesson with an investigator who said the most wonderful prayer and thanked her Heavenly Father for everything Jesus Christ has done for her! She really wants to be baptized but her parents don't make an effort to get her to church or themselves. Then back to packing and cleaning...I've learned I have turned into my mom, which isn't bad, but I couldn't leave that apartment to the Elders without cleaning it really good! So we spent most of our day doing that and moving into our tiny bedroom and bunk beds. I keep hitting my head on the Ceiling when I wake up in the mornings...plus the lady is trying to sell her house as well so we most likely will be moving again....Oh the life of a missionary! hahah LOVE IT!!!! 
    So this week I got my travel itinerary, which I'll send a picture of next week! It really hasn't sunk in that I'll be leaving soon and I don't think it will till I get on that plane. During Zone meeting tho Elder Scott went around the room and "Released" us from our missions to prove a point that we only have this short time to serve and we need to understand our role and how important this time is. I had another Zone Leader do that about a year ago and this time it hit even harder and then I "released" him and we both just sat their with tears rolling down our faces. I will never forget this time of my life, that I have put so much of my heart out on the line for others and have really understood my purpose in life and what REALLY matters! Anyone and I mean ANYONE who is thinking even contemplating the idea of serving, whether young or old, just DO IT! You will NEVER regret it!!! And it will help you through the rest of your life, I promise! I love all of you and wish I could just pour out everything I feel in my heart but there aren't enough words or time to do so! I pray that my example will be able to help those I serve around and my family and extended family back at home! Like Elder Holland has said lean upon my testimony if yours is waving till you can find your feet planted firmly upon our Savior Jesus Christ! I love you all so much and can't wait to be reunited as a family and friends! Till then Stay strong and carry on!

<3 Sister Ashley Clawson

Monday, June 1, 2015

3rd 6 month area!!!

  I think I might just have set a record! hahaha nah! So me and Sister Dale are staying together this transfer! We are super excited! There are soo many Less Active members that we are working with who are changing and coming back to church again! Sister Pecora has come twice now after not coming for the past 20 years! AND she has a desire to read the Book of Mormon! Its AMAZING!!  The change I have been blessed to see in her! Linda also came to church again this week! It is the most exciting thing when people come to church that have never been to church or haven't been in a long time!  We received some referrals this week for Less Active members that we didn't know lived in our ward boundary's and one that just moved in! Holly has lived by BSU for about 6 months now and she's been up and down with religion and guys. She was baptized back in 2001 but hasn't been coming for about 15 months, and her daughter is about 15 months...get the picture? I wish the culture of the church was different. If people make a mistake, which face it! We ALL do, we should be there to support them and love them through their trials, not make them outcasts! Now off of my soap box which I'm sure I'll jump back on in a bit! hahaha The other family who just moved in is the Larrson family. They are from Utah and they have moved here for a change and to start going back to church! He is a convert and she has been a member her whole life, just has gone down some undesirable paths. But the fact in it all is that they are making the change they sought out help and guidance!
  We were able to do some good old hard work this week! I mowed the Andersons yard and then we raked all the leaves that were pretty solidly compressed on the ground because of the early snow fall this year! It was good to work hard again! Its been a while! Sister Dale told Brother Anderson who was worried that I would hurt myself "She's tougher then she looks!" hahaha 
  I love watching people grow and being able to help them build their faith on Jesus Christ! I have such a testimony about becoming like a little child, meek, submissive, humble...we are teaching an 8 year old whose parents aren't active whatsoever and she is so excited to be baptized and really wants to go to church and so does her brother. Next year he is able to get the Priesthood and go do  baptisms for the dead and pass the sacrament but his parents wont take them to church so they can grow...This kiddo know what is right because the world isn't a distraction to them yet! I know its easier to say that i wont let the world be a distraction for me out here on my mission and I know it will be a challenge when i get home but i hope and pray that i can keep my eye single to the Lords and that i can focus on what really matters in this world! Yes its great to have things that can help us  in this life like a car a house money food and even fun things that we can enjoy as a family but if the gospel is not our strong center in the gospel then all of those other things really don't matter! 
<3 Sister Ashley Clawson

 I think Debbie Farr would be so proud of my beautiful arranging skills! hahah only if the flowers weren't almost dead!
This was one of the most alive flowers and it fell off so I wore it in my ear for the rest of the day! hahaha
  We got Beenie Babies from Sister Pecora!!! 

 She thinks she is Sister Clawson now! hahaha