Monday, July 10, 2017

week 51 and week 49 in MDM- Best Birthday Present Ever

Hey Y'all, 
I hope you had a fantastic week! I am now serving in Rochester Hills. It is an awesome ward the boundaries are about half the size of Flint, but so far I love it here. My new companion is Sister Reheis from Arizona. She has been out for 6 months and has had more companions that I have. We have been working hard to find new investigators because we reopened an area so we had none when we got here. We have been walking trails to talk to people and mostly everyone is nice but no one wants to meet. Until Dave, we were walking on the trail near our house and we had gone pretty far down. We felt like we had been far enough so we turned around and started to head back home. We got to the only cross walk and there were these two men standing there waiting for the light to turn green. One of them is also newer to the area and the other was showing him around. We introduced ourselves and started to walk with them. At first their hearts were really hard and they didn't want to talk much about church, but as we walked with them their hearts softened and one of them gave us his number. The other one Jim said he wasn't interested but I am positive his view of Mormons has changed forever. 
Oh I am sure you are all intrigued about what happened on Saturday. Well we had a special missionary meeting. They told us all to dress nice and show up and hour and a half early. We thought it was super weird but we followed as told and when we go there the chapel was set up with seats reserved for all the missionaries in our mission. We found ours and sat down. Everyone else reverently filed into the chapel and I started to read my Book of Mormon. I was reading in the best part of Alma where all the missionary work is happening. My apt 410 sisters walked in and all gave me hugs. Then the assistants announced that we were having a visiting general authority. We all pretty much figured it out by that point. They told us that President Uchtdorf and his family would be arriving and to continue preparing ourselves reverently for this amazing experience. We all couldn't believe it! They moved us into the gym to set us up for a picture and then he walked in. His smile was so bright and Sister Uchtdorf was right beside him. We all got to shake his hand when we were walking into the chapel. During the meeting Sister Uchtdorf told us that we are like fireflies spreading light where the world needs it the most. She told us that we are exactly where we need to be to do the most good. Which was what I needed to hear being in a new area, with a new comp feeling lost. President Uchtdorf left a blessing on our families back home. He told us to continue repenting. He was so sweet. President has been pushing repentance for the small things a lot the last couple of transfers so I am sure it made him extra happy. President Uchtdorf told us that our efforts are not wasted. Even if no on will listen to us, even if everyone is dropping us, even if we just feel like we are planting seeds. He told us about his wife's conversion story and how grateful he is forever for those missionaries that when to the 4th floor last door. I know that he is called of God. He has the most amazing spirit about him! I am so grateful that Christs Church is restored to the earth and that His Priesthood power is here too! 
Love Sister Witt 

Monday, July 3, 2017

week 50 and week 48 in MDM- "Firework or Gunshot"

Hey Y'all, 
Transfer call results are in and Sister Witt is leaving Flint. It will be hard to leave this place because I love it so much but I am so excited to see what the Lord has in store for me in my new area. I won't find out where I am going until tomorrow so stay tuned.
So I will explain my subject line now. We live in the hood, well actually our apartment is in a fairly safe place but with all the fireworks going off sometimes it sounds like guns. At the beginning of the week there were just a couple random fire works but by the end there were so many. We all slept in the living room because we knew someone was going to be transferred and everything would be dead silent and Sister Rice or Sister Craig would hear a firework and ask if it was a gunshot. It was so funny. Don't worry 99.9% of the time we think they are fireworks. 
My favorite miracle this week comes from establishing relationships. I never knew what that meant but President Cleveland would always talk about how we are building relationships everywhere we go. Well there is this one Meijer (grocery store) we keep going to in Burton to go contacting. We always buy a few things and talk to people throughout the store while doing it. We have never found much success there but we always get drawn back. Eventually we became friends with Allen the door greeter. He is a sweet heart, he noticed us coming in all the time. He would ask us questions about the church and we would answer them and offer to share more. He never found time to meet with us but when I told him I was leaving he was so sad. He wanted to take a picture with me. I love how everywhere we go people recognize us as something special. They can see the light of Christ glowing so brightly in us and they want to know more about what we know. It truly is amazing!
After this week I am going to be the lone missionary from Heber City in the MDM. Elder Wade goes home. It has been fun having a missionary from my home town serving around me.  

I hope you all had a great week! Happy Fourth of July! Happy Birthday Dad! 
Love Sister Witt

Monday, June 26, 2017

week 49 and week 47 in MDM- Blow it up miracles

Hey y'all, 
I hope you have been having a great week and have been able to see miracles. I know they happen around us everyday. Some days its harder to see the miracle but I promise there is always one. The work has been pretty hard because of the slow summers on campus and sometimes it gets pretty discouraging. Sister Craig and I have been working hard on whatever gets thrown at us but for the last transfer it felt like we were just running into the same brick wall just to pick ourselves up and run right into it again. At a Zone Conference at the beginning of the transfer President Cleveland talked about if something wasn't working we just BLOW IT UP and try something new. He used the phrase 'Blow it up' probably 35 times in his instruction and well that is exactly what we did these last couple of weeks. We made it our project to call all the ysa's on our ward list. There are 130 ysa's in the Flint ward and about 3 active. We were able to find a lot that had moved and A LOT of disconnected numbers. But the miracle in it all was the Alcorn Family. Their daughter that is ysa doesn't even live in the home and hasn't for about 9 years. But when we called Brother Alcorn was more than happy to have us come over. We went over for dinner and a short lesson which turned into a 3 hour talk with the family. Mom and Dad are members but none of their 7 kids are. We shared the story of Lehi's dream with them and all of the kids (ranging from 6-19 years old) wanted to know how they could eat the same fruit that Lehi did. Well ever since that day we have been working with the parents to come back to church and the kids to get baptized. When we read the Book of Mormon with them you can feel the spirit enter their home. Its so unreal how it happens. Like just weeks ago I'm sure that home was chaos, but now with a little of faith and a lot of feeding the sisters they are starting to come back to the iron rod. 
Another BLOW IT UP miracle we saw is that we have been going to UoM because we thought it would be the most effective of all of our campuses in the summer because it is the biggest. But we decided to go to Mott on Wednesday just for the heck of it. There was a good amount of people there. The first guy we talked to wasn't interested but the next guy wanted to learn right there on the spot. We sat down and taught him the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was touched that Heavenly Father had reached out again to His children. We gave him a Book of Mormon and he was so excited to read it. When we taught him the Plan of Salvation the following Friday he was blown away by the kingdoms and Gods mercy towards us yet again. Right after we got done with our lesson with him we met Megan. We taught her this last Wednesday and she thought it was about time that we had the Priesthood back on earth. 
I am so glad we are starting to find success this summer. This week is transfers and I hope I get to stay in Flint so I can continue to see the miracles that come from blowing it up. 
Love Sister Witt

Monday, June 5, 2017

week 46 and week 44 in MDM~"backpacks, bunk beds, and baptisms"

Hey Y'all, 
Sorry it's been a minute since I have written one of these group emails. Things were pretty crazy here for a bit and then slowed down to nothing. I'm still on campus and I still love it. Its been a lot harder to find people because there are a lot less students here during the spring and summer terms. I am still with Sister Craig and we are keeping ourselves busy by taking parts of the Elders are to work in. But we love being on campus. The best part about it is that everyone is super willing to talk to you and most of them either need our message or don't so we find the elect pretty quickly. Also Pres. Cleveland is letting us wear backpacks when most missionaries don't get to so that's pretty nice. 

The ward I am in is so so great! All of the missionaries love it here. Its the only ward in our mission with 4 sets of missionaries. 2 sets of Elders and 2 sets of Sisters. We share an apt with the other sisters and sometimes that's crazy but its cool to talk with them every night about the miracles we have seen through out the day. There are so many miracles around us every day! Like the other day we walked into a store and this guy named Cory walked up to us! He told us he was less active and knew he needed to come back to church. He is coming to church this week! How amazing is that?
We got a bunk bed so now we have room for our study stuff in our bedroom. Because boy can those sisters talk! Sometimes because our secedule is so different being on campus it would be hard to have our full studies because they would come in and we would all want to talk about our day. But now it is so much better. #BunkBedsBringMiracles We are also the only missionaries in the mission with a bunk bed so that's awesome! 
Caroline was baptized a couple of weeks ago. She is the sweetest 9 year old ever! He mom wanted it to be her decision to be baptized so she was waiting until she knew it was true. Teaching her was such a great joy! That little girl has more enthusiasm for the gospel of Jesus Christ than most people I know! We got to teach really simply to her and it helped remind us what the focus of each lesson and commandment is. 
I finished the Book of Mormon again. I know that book is true with my whole being! I love it. If you ever have a bad day or know someone who does tell them to read that book! I promise if they do it searching for answers, searching for joy, searching for peace it will happen! The Book of Mormon is true! We get the oppertunity to read it and share it! I just love it so much! 
Love you all!
Sister Ashlee Witt
9070 N Saginaw rd #410 Mt. Morris MI 48458