Monday, March 24, 2014

Eat and Smile Sister Aase

So this week was good, kind of an up and down week, but for the most part it was good! 

Monday- after emailing we went down to the stake center like always and hung out with the other missionaries in our zone, and a group of us ended up going to a junk yard where they had a whole bunch of beat up cars and you can take parts and all that good stuff!  While we were there, a HUGE sand/wind storm came through so by the time we left that place I had sand all in my eyes and about 1 inch of sand on my head.  After the junkyard, Hermana Dodge and I went to TARGET!!  I was in heaven.  Two pday’s ago we didn’t have time, but we actually went this time and it made me really happy.  I bought a few things :)  I sure miss that place.  And it’s out of our zone so we have to ask the President for permission to go to we probably wont be going for a while now.  But that’s okay!  I got my Target fix.  I can last another 3 months...I think. 

(Here's the Target!)

Tuesday- was jam-packed!  We visited some less active’s that are in our ward, and just introduced ourselves and let them know that we are here for anything.  And then we had our lesson with Heven and she didn’t read, but that’s okay!  So we read Alma 32 with her and talked about faith and how faith is important, and what we need to do to keep nourishing and growing our faith.  She seemed really receptive and loved the concept of nourishing our faith like it is a seed.  We still have high hopes for her to get baptized in a couple weeks.  The more I read that chapter the more I learn about faith and how necessary it is to continue to nourish it and grow and experiment with it.  Even as members of the church we need to experiment with faith.  It is a never-ending process.  We had another lesson with a less active where we taught about the priesthood.

Wednesday- We went and visited some of the contacts we made scheduled appointments with, and one lady we went to visit completely dodged us...kind of frustrating, but that happens and I guess she isn’t ready to hear the gospel right now, and I respect that because as a missionary, I don’t want to force anyone into listening to two 20 year olds when they aren’t willing to accept what we are going to teach them.  After that we headed over to a Spanish lady’s house where we teach her English (I think I’ve mentioned her before), and she ALWAYS feeds us cause that is just how the Spanish culture is, and we had literally just eaten lunch, so I was not hungry at all…!  But I ate it anyways and the food was so spicy, my mouth, by the 2nd bite was on fire!  I was not enjoying it very much haha, but you just eat and smile…eat and smile…eat and smile.  After that awesome adventure we had our lesson with Leslie and she too didn’t read in the Book of Mormon either, so we read Alma 32 with her too, and talked about faith and how we need to constantly nourish it to keep it growing.  And then later we caught the ending of mutual to go talk to a couple of the youths’ friends who were there. 

Thursday- we had to run to a quick meeting with President Wilson, and I got to talk with Sister Wilson and I told her about all our investigators and how they are going, and she asked me how my Spanish is going... haha…but she told me something that really touched me.  She said that since the first time she met me when I came to the mission, I have so much more confidence in myself and that I am not afraid to try, and that I am working hard and making things happen in North Edwards.  It made me really happy to hear that, especially coming from her, and I can see that the Lord has really strengthened my confidence with teaching and talking to people.  We got back and started weekly planning. And then headed for our dinner appointment. 

Friday- we had a meeting with our ward missionary and he is seriously so great, and has really great ideas and expectations for our ward to get the work hastening even more here, and we appreciate him working alongside us two crazy girls!  And his family is wonderful and feeds us delicious breakfast each time we are there!  We headed to our district meeting and had a really spiritual lesson about purification, and Hermana Dodge has taken it upon ourselves to experiment and make ourselves more pure.  So we fasted decided we were going to fast again on Sunday, and then as we are fasting find those things that poke at our spirit that kind of put a dent in us and to write them down.  Then depending on how many we write down, each day after Sunday we will pick one and stop doing whatever it is that pokes at our spirits and by the time we are done with the whole list we will (hopefully) be more purified and be able to teach with more power.  The mission is about refining yourself and figuring out how to better yourself and become closer to Christ.  

(Hermana Dodge and I just doing our thing.)

Later we had a WONDERFUL lesson with Heven.  We taught her about the Plan of Salvation and talked about how much our Heavenly Father loves us that he gave us this EXACT plan and path to follow to return back to him.  We taught her that she really has a purpose in this life and that there is a specific reason why we are here on the earth.  We invited her to come to church, so hopefully she comes!  Every time I teach her, I feel the spirit so strongly and it strengthens my testimony about the gospel and how true it is. 

Saturday- was a long day, and most of that was driving…See now we live in the middle of nowhere and our zone is big and covers a lot of area, so when we get together for things in our zone we have to travel an hour to get to anything.  We have zone conference next week and our zone is singing for it, so we had to travel an hour to go to an hour of choir practice to then drive another hour back home…fun right!  But we had all our personal studies and during language study I got really frustrated at myself because I’m starting to lose my Spanish and I just want to be able to understand and talk it, but I’m not patient with myself…ugh, so I was in a grumpy mood for the long hour car ride, and during the choir practice.  But I have the best companion and she said I know something that will make you happy - a cup cake. So stopped at a cupcake place and she was right. I was happier haha…something about chocolate does that to ya.

We headed straight to dinner with Tommy and Becca (they are the investigators getting baptized on April 19th!), and while we were helping Becca cook dinner, Tommy came in and took all the beer in his refrigerator and threw it ALL away!  Hermana Dodge and I just looked at each other super wide eyes and were speechless.  We had a huge break through with them at this lesson.  They are 100% committed to being baptized and starting their life over, and to see that change in them and that commitment just brings tears to my eyes. 

(Hermana Dodge and I with Tommy and Becca's daughter.  Her name is Crisi and she the cutest!  She is wearing a missionary tag and I thought it was the cutest ever.)

Sunday- was a good day! We started making our list of things that poke at our spirit.  The day wasn’t too busy, we didn’t have any appointment, just dinner.  And after dinner we did some more planning and then headed to bed.

I’m excited that it is pday again :) They come up so quick, it’s so crazy.  But I am so happy to hear from all of you and that you got my package and letters! I find it easier to send letters than email…because emailing stresses the heck out of me!  And plus, who doesn’t love to get mail!  I love and miss you all so much! And thank you for your support and prayers :) they sure so help I can tell you that! Have a wonderful week and Ill talk you next week! 

Investigators to pray for this week:
Tommy and Becca Waters, Eli Juaregi, Leslie Huerta, and Heven.

Love, Hermana Aase

Sunday, March 23, 2014

**A letter Maren sent home a few weeks ago**

(This was a letter Maren mailed home to our parents right after she arrived in Bakersfield)

(This is President and Sister Wilson - Maren's Mission President)


Hey, so I am so sorry that I couldn't talk to you on the phone.  Our flight got in on time in AZ, but we had to go through customs, then get back in line to go through security.  The security line took forever...which meant we ran to our gate and got right on the plane.  So I'm sorry.  But I'm finally here in Bakersfiled.  Boy is it a desert, but there is civilization which is good and the weather right now is GORGEOUS  :-)  And I'm so tan.  haha

So we arrived at the Bakersfield airport and went down to the baggage claim and the Mission President, plus the APs (Assistants to the President) were there.  They are way nice and seem like really wonderful mission presidents.  On our way to the Stake Center, we got some facts about the mission.  It's a big mission!  400 miles long, and 200 miles wide.  They produce almost all of the carrots in the US, and they have this HUGE almond field and the trees are so beautiful.

We got to the Stake Center, ate lunch and then headed out to proselyte, and heavens I was nervous.  I went out with a girl who has been out for 7 months and she was a pro.  She got me to explain a couple of things and introduce ourselves.  It ended up being really, really good  :-)  had a couple of people say NO, and slam the door - but hey thats okay.  I need to see what both sides of the story are.  We did give out a couple pass-along cards and restoration pamphlets, and some seemed promising.

Tonight we are sleeping at members houses and then tomorrow we have transfer!  And I'll meet my trainer and begin the life of a real missionary.

Well Family, I love you all and I'm so excited to be here in Bakersfield, CA serving The Lord.  I know there is someone that I need to teach and I know that as I am obedient, study hard, work hard, I will be able to feel the spirit with a greater abundance and I'll be able to teach by the power of the Spirit.  I love you all, and miss you so much

Hermana Aase

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Busy but wonderful week!

What a week!!  So p-days are wonderful and we had fun hanging out with the other missionaries in our zone. We played volleyball and then got some ice cream and headed home.  That night we went Domingo's with a lady from our ward. (Domingo's is like Don Pablo's, so MOM you would LOVE this place).  The Mexican food is really delicious and I am actually eating it.  We then had a lesson that night with a recent convert.

Tuesday we did some contacting and found a family that was taught by missionaries before, but then decided that they didn’t want to take the discussions anymore.  So we were checking up on them, and she told us to come back the next day after she talked to her husband.  We then had a lesson with a 13-year-old names Leslie, and she is the cutest!  And really has a desire to know more about the gospel, so I am really hoping she continues to feel this way and reads and prays about the Book of Mormon.  

We went to Domingo's again...haha yeah, there are a lot of families that love this place, and who doesn’t love to not do dishes!  And then we had a lesson with a family that is almost ready to get baptized.  Tommy is the dad and he is having trouble smoking but has such a desire to stop and be baptized, and Becca is the sweetest ever.  They are so meant for the gospel.  But they both got blessings to help them overcome their trials right now and they felt comforted after those.  It was a powerful lesson with them. 

(The sunset from the front of our house...I cant get over hoe pretty it is out here!)

Wednesday was the BEST day ever.  Let me explain...we headed out to contact after our studies and we visited one lady who told us to come back another time to teach her more about the gospel.  We then we stopped at a members house to get more info about a lady she referred to the missionaries.  But as we were over there she told us that the family we visited yesterday, the wife had to talk to the husband...the husband doesn’t want to be taught, which is really frustrating because the mom does, but we cant over step our boundaries, so maybe hopefully sometime in the future they will accept the discussions.  

Hermana Dodge and I both had an impression to go visit a girl named Heven (pronounced just like heaven) and so we followed that prompting and headed out there. We got there and she was playing with her 2 year old son outside and she let us in and we taught her the restoration and she cried during the whole thing.  It was so awesome.  The spirit was SOOO strong during that lesson and she has a real strong belief in God, and that they hear and answer our prayers (which for a missionary that is wonderful and they are what we call a golden contact), but we committed her to read and pray about the BOM and she said she most definitely would and was excited to read it, and then Hermana Dodge nudged me and I asked her to be baptized!  And she said YES!  The first person I asked to be baptized said yes.  It was so great!  And I really have hope for her.  She will be so blessed to know that this gospel is true. 

Thursday was a long day.  We went out to Rosamond to say bye to an Elder that had to go home for medical issues, and then we went to lunch with all of them and I gave the waiter a pass along card.  Now I think it’s some kind of power missionaries get, but I am not afraid to talk to people or give them a pass along card, which is so great for me cause before this I could NEVER do that haha.  After we got back we began weekly planning...let me tell you about weekly’s long and stressful!  haha but it needs to happen.  Without it we wouldn’t know what or where to go at every hour of the day.

Friday was a crazy day, so we had district meeting and that was fun and uplifting.  We talked about humility and what we can do to become more humble.  Hermana Dodge and I then ran to the store to get food because we didn’t have any food to eat for lunch, and literally as we are walking in, this old guy in a red truck backed into the fire hydrant and it burst!  So there was volcano of water and it was pretty funny!  There was this mom and daughter loading their car and they were laughing and taking pictures and all!  We then had another lesson with Leslie, which went really well, and she told her mom that she wants to be Mormon!  So we will hopefully work her to that point!  Later we had a dinner with an old couple and he took us to a High priest and family soup activity.  While waiting for the soup to get done cooking we played five crowns!  I was in HEAVEN!! haha.  It made me miss home and playing cards with family. 

(The fire hydrant that the old man hit!)

Saturday we had a meeting with our ward mission leader and they fed us delicious pancakes with homemade syrup…I don’t think I can ever eat syrup from a bottle.  We then headed to Leslie's house for her little sisters birthday party and ate some real Mexican food.  We headed over to Boron, the next town over and knocked on some doors and then went into this rock shop and ended talking to the owner for about 30 min and found out his mom works in the temple!  So he is someone we will come back and definitely talk to!  The rocks in there by the way were so cool!  He sends them to NASA and Japan and all over the world to be used in science and testing…pretty dang sweet!  Then had dinner with an older couple, who are getting back into church, and then we had a lesson with Tommy and Becca again and it was a really good lesson!  We brought them a calendar and they set their own date for their baptism!!!!  And we are so excited for them.  It was a crazy, hard, busy, tiring, wonderful, amazing, spiritual week!!  I love being out here.  The work is hard, but the work is wonderful and hastening. 

I love you all!  And miss you tons!!  Thank you so much for your support and love!  And emails!  Don’t be afraid to send me mail :) I love mail! haha!

Love, Hermana Aase

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

big city girl in a small town


What a past couple 10 days! I cant ever go that long without a pday again haha…it was killer!  But I’ve been super busy so it has been alright!  But from the last time I emailed you guys a lot has happened and I have tons of pictures!!

We had a long last day on Friday in the CCM.  It was a training day and we just learned certain tools that would help grow our finding efforts and teaching and such.  My brain hurt by the end of the day but it was really inspiring.  Our last Sunday was fabulous and sad all at the same time, gave my testimony in Spanish during sacrament.  We then watched a really powerful devotional talk from Elder Holland.  Boy can that apostle speak.  I LOVE IT!  Then later that night we watched the restoration for our movie and cried during it, and then it is a tradition that the whole CCM sings "Till We Meet Again" to the missionaries that are departing, and you all stand as a district and just cry…haha.  Then say goodbye to all the friends you’ve made, and then we headed home.  I finished the last few things for packing and headed to bed. 

(My district in the CCM.  This was shown on the big screen the night before we left.)

We got up at 2 AM and our bus left the CCM at 3 AM to head to the airport.  We got all our bags checked and headed for the gate.  I got a whole row AGAIN :) on the flight to AZ.  We landed in AZ and had to run through customs and immigration, and then we had to get back in line to go through security and by the time we got through security we had to run to our plane and get right on.  I was SUPER disappointed to not be able to talk to you guys :( so I’m sorry that I got you all excited and then didn’t get to call.  But Mother’s Day is not that far away!  Just remember that!

On the flight to Bakersfield I sat by a member and talked to him for part of the flight.  We landed in this suuuper small airport in the middle of nowhere and I knew this was home.  Our mission presidents and a couple other leaders were standing there waiting for us, and I was like “hallelujah these people know how to treat missionaries!”  We headed to the stake center, ate some lunch, and then got some rules and met the other leaders and assistant missionaries.  Then the unthinkable happened...WE WENT AND KNOCKED DOORS!  I was freaking out just a little.  But we headed to a little area and started knocking doors and you wanna know how it went…IT WAS GREAT!  I actually really like tracting.  Yeah you run into the few people that don’t want to hear our message, but then some will honestly listen and want to learn more.  Most of the people we talked to were English, which just fine for me!  haha.  Then we came back and had interviews with President Wilson and ate some dinner and then headed to the members home we were staying at.  And I’m so glad that you got that text from Sister Morris!  And funny small world, I was in a science class at BYU-I with her daughter, and I totally knew who she was! haha it was so funny!  But I got the best 9 hours of sleep, and I probably wont get that again until I come home from my mission.

The next day was transfer day!  And I was nervous and excited to meet my new companion!  We got to the stake center, had some training, and then the meeting started and our mission president starts pairing people up, and normally I’m first because of Aase, but no I was the last one called haha… so I was freaking out.  But I sit next to my companion and instantly I’m like this is going to be great!  She had the same watch on as me, was super cute, and just looked so happy.

(Me and Hermana Dodge)

My companions name is Hermana Dodge (like the car).  She’s from Texas, and has been out 13 months.  So she is almost done!  But we got in the car and headed to my first area.  We had a nice 2 hour drive from Bakersfield until we hit our area.  By the time we made it here it was 4ish and we get off the exit and literally you can see where Edwards starts and ends...that’s how small it is.  I’ll have pictures of everything don’t worry.  But I just laughed to myself.  But I was so excited to be in a small town and not have to deal with annoying people.  Haha.

We had a dinner appointment at 5 with a church member, and then a lesson with a recent convert, which was a really good lesson.  After the lesson we headed to a "family" that was less active, my companion said, to have dessert.  They seemed nice, but a little off-putting.  But we sat down and the mom served us her famous brownies with blue frosting, and me being skeptical of food, took it and just stared at it.  My companion had told me that the mom gets really offended when you don’t eat her food, so I know I had to eat it.  But they smelled really weird, and they had weird ingredients in it and I about threw up when I ate it.  I stopped and then Hermana Dodge told me to keep eating…and I was about to cry, so as I took another bite, the ENTIRE family burst into laughter and then were all like “were you fooled”, and “how do those brownies taste?” They and my companion PULLED A BIG FAT PRANK on me…I was laughing so hard, and they brought the real brownies out.  They said the other brownies had like boiled eggs, onions, hot dogs, lemon juice, just whatever they felt like, and then the frosting was cream cheese and sour cream.  WORST THING IVE EVER EATEN IN MY LIFE.  And this family's dad is the new ward mission leader haha.  It was pretty funny.

Im in this little town called North Edwards, that is all filled with family and little spurts of random families. but the town in small and I can see the start and beginning haha. But I am in an english area and ward. Hermana dodge and I are starting the spanish work up here and so we are teaching both spanish and enlgish lesson, which im really enjoying! We are the only spanish sisters in our district also. 

(My first area, North Edwards.)

My first real day in the field was like a dream to all missionaries.  We had a lesson with a Spanish lady named Elizabeth, but I couldn’t understand any of it.  She isn’t super interested anymore in the church, but she wants it for her daughter, so we are going to start teaching her daughter.  We then headed to Chipotle and then Walmart, and bought food and headed back home.  We had another appointment with a less active who is getting back into the church and it went well!  He is really nice and just wants to learn more and more about the gospel.  And then after dinner we had a lesson with a guy named Eli, and I absolutely love him!  He has already come to church 3 times, and hasn’t gotten the discussions yet, but this guy is going places.  We taught him the restoration and it was a very powerful lesson.  We knew he could feel the spirit. And he accepted our invitation to be baptized once he knew if this was true.  Which I KNOW he will.  So I’m really excited about that. 

       (Left: Our house!  Right: Our car we call "The Red Mistress".  It's the only red car in the mission.)

Thursday is weekly planning and holy cow it is in-depth, and it took us forever haha.  Later that day we had a lesson with a lady named Cristina.  She is an older lady and has been taught the discussions for 2 years now, but her husband is holding her back, this is common within the Spanish culture.  But we teach her English and she feeds us food.  And then we headed to a relief society activity.

Friday we had a Zone Training Meeting with our whole zone, so we drove out to Lancaster where the church building was.  And then guess what???  WE WENT TO PANERA FOR LUNCH!!!  I was crying haha.  I was so excited!  And it tasted so good.  SO officially I went to Panera before Target.  After lunch we finished weekly planning, and then went to our dinner appointment.  So side note, the ward is super nice here and they feed to missionaries every night :)

 (Left: Panera!!  Right:  Hermana Dodge and I were playing with some magnets on a members fridge.)

Saturday we had a meeting with our new ward mission leader to teach him all what he needed to do and the investigators and people we are working with, and ate breakfast with his family.  Then we came back and I unpacked all my stuff, which was really nice to have that done!  Before that I just had clothes laying all the room haha.  We then had our managers come over because our stove was broken and the homeowners brought us a new one.  Then our sister training leaders came over, and by that time is was time for our dinner appointment, so it was kinda a lazy day because we didn’t get out to proselyte.  Oh well, next week will be way better! 

(Left:  A flag that everyone serving in this area signs.  Right:  Our bedroom.  I'm on the top bunk.)

Sunday was good! We had choir practice and then relief society, gospel principles and then sacrament.  And they had me bear my testimony in sacrament meeting, so that was good!  The rest of the say we had another meeting and then dinner and then contacting some less active people and went and saw them. 

So today Hermana Dodge and I are getting our nails done haha, then hanging out with other missionaries at the stake center.  Then we have dinner and a lesson tonight.  

I love it here.  It’s small and everyone is related to everyone in this town, but there are people that need to hear the gospel.  I love my companion.  We get along really good and have lots of fun.  We are very comfortable around each other and are good teachers together.  I’m excited for the next 6 weeks and I hope we are together for another transfer!!!

I love you all so much!!  And I hope you have a wonderful week!  I’ll talk to you next Monday!

Love, Hermana Aase

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Hermana Aase Made it to Bakersfield!

Yesterday, Hermana Aase left the CCM in Mexico City and flew to her mission in Bakersfield, California.  She had emailed us on Sunday and told us that she was going to be able to call us in between her flights, as well as email us when she got to Bakersfield. 

Unfortunately things didn't pan out, so we didn't get to hear from her at all yesterday.  This morning, a wonderful member in the Bakersfield area sent my Mom a text message to let her know that Hermana Aase had arrived safely, and had spent the night at her house.  She said that both her and Hermana Usher were getting their companion assignments today, and that they both were very excited and nervous to start this adventure.

Can't wait to hear from her next Monday, which are her new pday's in her mission!