Monday, August 29, 2016

week 6 and week 4 in the MDM- "Miracles brought through crappy days"

Hey Y'all! In all honesty we spent most of this week away from our area, so this email is gonna be kinda lame. Between new missionary training on Tuesday, district meeting with the Zone leaders and splits on Wednesday, Sister Lindsay's 1 year temple trip and my Trio in Clarkston on Thursday, and President and Sister Cleveland coming up on Friday we were super busy! 
So because of the blitz the President has opened the Elders area to us so we can help them with all of the referrals and he gave us unlimited miles. So that's way cool! 
I have told you all about the push to talk to everyone, well now they have made a new key indicator category in our mission called 'finding lessons' which is basically anyone we have a conversation with and share a simple restored truth with (no prayer included). It is a lot harder than it sounds ok. Especially in Oxford, because no one is out. At district meeting on Wednesday the zone leaders specifically challenged Sister Lindsay and I to have 10 finding lessons everyday. We only had 50 min of finding that evening in Meijer, and the parking lot, and we needed to buy water because there is a water crisis happening here right now. So we set out and embraced the awkward and started talking to everyone, we talked to about 14 people and only 7 of those counted as 'lessons'. While in the check out line I asked the man in fount of us how his day was going. He angrily responded 'Crappy', I was determined to get 10 lessons so I asked why. He was thoroughly surprised and then proceeded to tell us about his awful day. Well we, being missionaries, told him about what we do... Leave our family for 18 months, fly wherever we are called, ya know the whole bit. And he was amazed! He asked all these questions and his countenance changed! He was no longer Greg with the crappy day but Greg who was smiling and laughing in the grocery store. We set up an appointment to come see him and his grandchildren. He was almost finished checking out when he told the cashier to scan our water too. I almost cried out of gratitude! We are going back to teach him this week and we are so excited! 
So I guess what the point in writing this email is to tell y'all to do something kind for someone else! I know you will receive blessings if you do so!  
Love Sister Ashlee Evelyn Witt
Your Favorite Michiganary!

Monday, August 22, 2016

week 5 and 3 week in MDM~ "Nephi, the blitz and the screen door struggle"

Ha! That subject line sounds like the beginning of a very interesting story, sadly they are three separate things. I started the BOM again this week and was asked to give a spiritual thought in pec, I was going to talk about how faithful and diligent Nephi is and then the Bishop asked me to talk about something else so I'm going to share my thought here. OK I love Nephi, because he is the prime example of exact obedience and learning for ourselves. Like with Laban, Nehpi was ready to follow the Spirit but thought it out in his head and learned for his self why he should do it. When he was instructed to build a ship he was like "I'm down, show me where the ore is so i can make tools" he knew that he was going to be led the right way when he was following the Lord but he still had a brain of his own and used it. I love when he asks to see the Vision of the Tree of Life, because he believed the words of his father wholeheartedly and believed they were from God, but he wanted to know, nothing doubting, for himself so he asked. Its literally as simple as that. All we have to do is ask, really wanting to know, and being willing to act on our answer and the Lord will show us the way. #How-Cool-Is-That?
For zone activity the entire zone came to Lapeer and blitzed the area. 33 missionaries! It was so cool, Sister Lindsay and I were able to see a miracle through my scriptures. I grabbed them as we were jumping out of the car, but we were going tracting so i was going to put them back in when Sister Lindsay said something like "maybe you grabbed them for a reason" So i just kept them with me. We tracted our way into a farmers market and started talking to a man named Jack, He was disabled in a motorcycle accident 30 years ago and can see how the Lord had blessed his life since then. While we were talking to him, his friend Ken came up and asked me what we believe pertaining to the Bible. Since I had both of my scriptures there we were able to explain to him about the Book of Mormon and the Bible and how they both testify of Christ. We left them with our testimonies, the Elders card and an invitation to come to church. While we were at the Bishops home discussing the activity Ken called the Elders and said he was ready to be taught more that night. He is so prepared! The Elders got 23 new investigators out of the activity and have been asking for our help to teach them all! We are excited for the upcoming week and to see the out come of that. 
Now onto the screen door struggle. What first started as a joke is our biggest problem. Everyone here has screen doors and no one opens them! They all talk from behind them and it created a major divide, between us and them. Honestly if y'all have any ideas we are open to anything!  Its so hard we were unable to get anyone to open their screen doors on Sunday and one woman just yelled at us from her couch. We also got a call from a card we left in a door. The woman told us in a very rude tone that she would be praying for us because we defiantly need it. I told her we would do the same for her. Well i guess that's the joys of missionary work. We were unable to see David and Evelyn this week but plan on seeing them next week! Thanks for all of your prayers! I can feel them and I love them! 
Love Sister Ashlee Evelyn Witt

Monday, August 15, 2016

week 4 and 2 week in MDM ~"many miracles in the MDM"

Hey y'all! So this week went really well and really fast. We were able to see lots of amazing things! the best experiences came later in the week, after we had the opportunity for the Lord to teach us what we need to improve on. This opportunity came when Sister Lindsay and I were invited to attend MLCM on Saturday. MLCM is a meeting where all of the leaders in the mission, (aka zone leaders, sister training leaders...) get together and talk about the mission. Well we aren't leaders in our mission so we were super confused. When we got there we found out that one third of the mission was asked to come because Elder Bennett of the Seventy was coming to council us. What was supposed to be a 2 hour meeting turned into a 6 hour meeting but we didn't care, because it was so good! He spoke to us about getting over our fears, and proclaiming the Gospel. He told us how there are thousands of people in the MDM prepared and ready to hear the Gospel, how they woke up knowing they were missing something but not knowing what it was. He told us how hard satan is working in our mission to stop the work, and how we can't let that happen. He said, "Satan tried to stop the restoration by binding Josephs tongue, by closing his mouth. That one single act would have stopped the entire restoration. But it did not, because Joseph over came him. Don't let satan succeed with that same stupid plan today! Open your mouth! Don't let satan stop you! Don't even give him the chance to." 
That is so powerful and it's just what Sister Lindsay and I needed. We committed to open our mouths and be more bold right there in that meeting. Then we went out into the world. We got home rather late because the meeting turned out to be so long, so we didn't get a chance to act on our newly found courage but I'll tell you of the miracles we saw on Sunday
So on Wednesday while we knocked on Cheyenne's door. Cheyenne is the sweetest 12 year old girl you will ever meet. She told us her mom wasn't home but she didn't work on Sunday's and they would be open to hearing our message. We went over on Sunday and her mom, Heather, was super kind too. She told us that her work schedule is all sorts of messed up right now and she will call us with a day that we could come and teach. And you know what? I honestly believe she will. 
Later we met a man named Marco. He is a non-denominational minister but he did have some honest questions about our beliefs. we talked to him for sometime and right as I started to share the First Vision an ice-cream truck came around the corner playing its jingle super loudly. It just goes to show what dad was trying to tell me before I left and what Elder Bennett was telling us less that 24 hours before. Satan is trying everything to stop that message from being shared! While Marco will probably never convert I know he will never forget that day and how kind we were. Now he has a good positive association with The Church. 
We were in our car driving out of Marco's neighborhood on our way to dinner. My head was down writing about Marco, when Sister Lindsay pulled the car over and said "There is a man outside, with a little girl and chalk, lets go." We hopped out and went to talk to them. I grabbed the first pass along card I saw which was on the SLC temple. The man, David, is in his early 20's and looks a little rough around the edges. His almost 3 year old daughter, Evelyn, (What a fantastic name), is super cute. She was dancing around in a pink dress. Sister Lindsay was talking to David and I was praying to know what I should say/do. I noticed he was really closed off and that Evelyn was standing right next to me. So I knelt down and handed her the pass along card of the temple. She was memorized. I told her it was like a castle and it belonged to a King, God. She was so excited when I told her she could keep the card. I stood up and noticed David's whole manner changed. He said he would meet with us to hear more of our message. 
Those are just my favorite miracles from my part of the MDM this week. They really showed me that all I have to do is open my mouth, put my faith and trust in God and go. He will provide the way!
I hope y'all can see miracles this week too!
Love Sister Ashlee Evelyn Witt :)

Monday, August 8, 2016

week 3- 1st week in Michigan

Hey Y'all! 
I love being here! My companion is Sister Hannah Lindsay and she grew up in northern Nevada. She is the cutest ever. I am her first 'daughter' or trainee, but she is already so amazing at training I couldn't believe that she hadn't ever trained before! She attended college at SUU before coming on her mission and was an elementary ed major! She probs knew Emilee without evening knowing it! She did say that she voted Innovate so you know she is super amazing! My area is Lapeer south and we are in the town of Oxford, look up some facts about the gravel pit that is in this town and you will know why this is my first area. ;) The area has a good mix of poor and rich. 
I feel like I have been out here for a month already and it has only been a week. The sisters had a baptism on the 23 of July so we have been focused on helping her endure to the end and getting her to the temple. Her name is Tabetha and she was golden when the missionaries were led to her. She has an amazing desire to grow and learn in the gospel. I got to teach her on my first day.We are also teaching a recent convert named Bill. We study The BOM with him and help him apply it to his life. It is really an amazing thing that I get to teach this at the beginning of my mission because it is helping me read with the 'mindset of an investigator' and making my personal study a lot more effective. The other less active we teach is named Deavon, he has no motivation. He literally sits in his house all day and plays video games until he has to go to work. He is the palest person I have ever met. The sisters challenged him to read his BOM before he plays his video games and he says he has been doing it but he doesn't see how "a bunch of wars and dead guys can relate to (his) life." He will be difficult but I believe that I am bold and daring enough to be able to teach him with the Spirit. His mom is one of our investigators I haven't had the chance to teach her yet but her name is Tonya, she will be a fun one. We do a lot of service to non-members that were investigators at one point, I don't really understand why we keep going over there when basically they are a lost cause but i love them already and will try to find ways to teach them. One is Peggy, her husband, Dick, has Huntington's disease, I don't really understand it but i guess its where your body starts to shut down. He can't move and can't speak but they tell me his mind is all there. Anyway we go to her house to help with yard work and cough assist. Cough assist is where they hook this machine up to his lungs and clean them out, I couldn't help/watch because I was nervous I would pass out so next time I will bring my BOM and read to them while they work, hopefully that will help Peggy.  We teach this very catholic woman named Cheryl, she loves the BOM but can't seem to find the connection it has to Joseph Smith. She has done a lot of incredible/terrifying/crazy/weird things in her life. She has had cancer 5 different times and won the fight every time, she was almost beat to death once, she had her throat slit, she knows a lot about cars, she has been 29 years sober and there is so much more that I don't even know yet. It is hard to teach her a lesson because she has a story for everything. 
Guess what Mom! I got to go into the hood! Who would have guessed that my first week here and they already let me into a part of Detroit where the crime rate is way up and they have drive by shootings all the time. Don't fret, we went for a mission wide service project where they cleaned up 300 blocks of Detroit. We did yard work to make neighborhoods look more presentable so the crime rate will go down. I'm not even kidding. I almost got to drive a trackhoe but I didn't have my drivers licence on me and they said I would need that... And i probs needed President Clevelands permission too but a girl can dream. but mainly we worked with clippers and rakes and shovels. I wish we had dads chainsaw we were hacking at these tiny trees forever trying to get them to come out.  It was so much fun! We spent all of Saturday with half the mission and 10,000 other volunteers making Detroit beautiful again. The name of the organization is Life Remodeled and they do with every year. They see crime drop in 10 out of 11 categories in the areas they clean up. Crazy huh? Well I am almost out of time and haven't read any of your emails yet! I better do that! 
Love Sister Ashlee Evelyn Witt!!