August 27th 2015 Week 3

¡¡Hola Mi Familia!!

This time here en la CCM has seriously gone by sooo fast!!! I feel like I am learning something new everyday, even if its not from the language or from class. Today we went to start our visa process to stay in México and I´ve learned a couple things. The first is how stinking lucky we are to live where we do!! You´ll probably here this from me a couple (give or take a few) more times. We went to the center of México City and apparently they are getting ready to vote here as well and lets just say, things can get crazy fast. Police have barricades everywhere and in times when there is not any riots or fights going on, police sit on the street with the shields ready for when they do.

Mexico City Barricades prior to Voting

Mexico City Barricades prior to Voting

Police

Police

Barricade

Barricade

Police

Police

(I´ll attach some photos). Also because the past couple weeks I haven´t been able to post so many photos… be prepared. I HAVE A LOT!! Pero, I´ll probably only give you a few.  Also, I totally took for granted toilets that can flush toilet paper, clean water as well as HOT WATER!! La CCM is really really perfect, but sometimes in the mornings there is barely any water. It´s fine though because we are so blessed to be here in this little paradise! We also had our VERY FIRST street food!! I am not brave enough to try the tacos yet, however we did have some churros and something else for lunch… we´ll wait and see what happens!!! 😉 Also another Hermana´s companion was shipped off to Téxas because of some visa issues so we are a trio for today and tomorrow. Her name is Hermana Scholls. FUN FUN!!

First Street Food

First Street Food

Hermana Scholls Hermana Ashby Hermana Neff

Hermana Scholls
Hermana Ashby
Hermana Neff

Again.... Hermana Scholls Hermana Ashby Hermana Neff

Again….
Hermana Scholls
Hermana Ashby
Hermana Neff

Hermana Neff being CUTE!!

Hermana Neff being CUTE!!

Yesterday Elder D. Todd Cristofferson came to speak to us, I guess this rarely happens (yet another reason to be thankful for the place which we live) and he and his wife both spoke. I learned a lot about charity and the privilige yet again which I have to represent Jesus Christ. I have also learned a lot about building “Christ-like Character” (Mom you will love the devotional we watched last week… you can probably find it on youtube it was on Dec. 25 MTC Devo by Bednar… I don´t know what year but you´ll love it). I´m also re-reading the Book of Mormon, just felt like I should so that is also fun. Also… learning a new language is hard!! When we teach lessons I come out of them like “PFFFT!! I can sooooo speak spanish!! I´ve got this in the bag!” and then I talk to our native house mates or people on the street like today or people in the comedor or even investigators in TRC and I about pee my pants because guess what???? I CAN´T SPEAK SPANISH!!! Me and Hermana Neff have fasted so much because we are struggling, but what we learned from the special devo with Cristofferson is that we don´t need to be proficient in the language as much as we need to be charitable and love the people. So since we are both going to Hermosillo, we pray for those in Hermosillo. I was praying for them before, but these prayers are different in some way. We pray for those Christ-like attributes so we can build Christ-like Character. I think about how lucky I am to have the gospel in my life. It is something I don´t think I really “took for granted” but I don´t think I realized the actual effect it has on our lives. This is something I have learned from another district in our zone. They leave on Monday!!! :´( We love them so much and will miss them soooo much!
I am grateful for everything I have had in my life pertaining to the gospel. As I was thinking, I was reminded about the time you went to Japan and the little old lady put her hands over your eyes because they had seen the Prophet. We really are lucky not only to live where we live and know what we know, but because we have an older brother, friend and Savior. He suffered unimaginable pains for us. He is literally the only one in the world to have ever done something “alone”. When suffering and dying the Spirit withdrew so that he could finish the work. He needed to feel our pains, our sufferings, our trials, temptations and infirmities. He knows us truly better than we could ever know ourselves. He has experienced the rejection. When I am truly in the mission field and experience that rejection I will know I am not doing it alone. I know this because He has had such a big hand in my life these last couple of weeks. I am so grateful to have you as my family. I am grateful for the opportunity to be here and to feel the Savior´s love to such a degree. Thank you so much for letting me have this opportunity, I cannot begin to thank you enough!
Love with all my heart,
Hermana Ashby

August 20th 2015 2nd Week Mexico City

We are currently teaching two “investigators” (they are our teachers) and then one day a week, volunteers come and talk to us, THEY TALK SO STINKING FAST!!! I am learning to completely rely on the Holy Ghost to know what they are saying. My companion knows more spanish than I do, but it was kind of awkward yesterday because this lady would NOT break eye contact with me!!! She just kept talking ssssssuuuuuuuuuuppppppppeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrr fast!!! Even nuestro maestro thinks she talks fast!! So I was just sitting there hearing some words, when all the sudden she stopped talking and asked me what I think she should do. I took a second and then words came from my mouth that were not my own. IT WAS SOOO COOL!! I said words I honestly do not know. My companion understood a bit more than me, but man o man!! She had concerns about her family and I shared a personal experience and went into praying and inviting for them, always loving them. My companion just stared at me.

The little old lady cried… I believe it was because the Spirit was so strong (or because of my terrible spanish) PERO, This week I have learned a couple of things. First to rely on the Atonement and the Holy Ghost, for comfort, for strength, for help in learning, and sometimes even for speaking. Secondly, I don´t think I ever really quite understood how real Satan is. David A. Bednar talked in a devotional about “Christ-like Character”. I GOT SO MUCH OUT OF IT!! IF YALL CAN READ IT PLEASE DO!!! However, in it he talks about Christ and Satan “tempting” Him. The biggest thing he tried to do to tear down Christ as well as the rest of us was not necessarily with food or with pride, but rather the fact that he wanted Jesucristo to second guess His name, His heritage and who He was. He wanted Him to second guess His calling and His power. I have the privilege to call myself a representative of Jesus Christ. That mantel was placed upon all of us when we are set apart as missionaries. No one else except for the apostles can say this. There have been times when I have gotten completely frustrated with myself, with the language with the lessons, with everything. In these moments of weakness is when Satan tries to discourage us. We can get frustrated all we want, however discouragement is completely inappropriate FOR ALL OF US!! Discouragement indicates giving up, and not having faith, it indicates a lack of humility and turning towards the Savior. Me and my companion, just in this first week have had some tough situations. But let me share a tender moment that we had two hours after writing letters.

Meraly is her name, she is the sister to my teacher, we met with her 4 times. Thursday was the last lesson. She does not have any desire for prayer, going to church, reading scriptures, NADA!! She grew up Catholic and does believe in a God however does not see the need for doing anything else but believing. We fasted and prayed, because we could not get through to her!! Anything we said she would say she didn´t see the need, she wouldn´t keep all the commitments, it was frustrating. Anyways, we decided we should teach on the Atonement. I have not cried so much in my life!!! We went 10 min over our allotted time (which is a lot) and she didn´t even care. We shared a couple of scriptures, Alma 7:11-16.We didn´t really teach as much as we testified. The spirit did it for us. It was only after we testified of Christ´s Atonement. After a moment of silence, we asked her ¡Que Piensa? She then started to cry. We didn´t realize how scared she was, She was putting up a front the entire time. She completely opened up! WE COMPLETELY LOST IT!! Hermana Neff shared an experience about her family. We testified again, and then it was done. We hug our female investigators because well, we can´t hug anyone else, and she hugged me so tight, it reminded of a “mom hug”. That was a tender mercy, after that lesson, we went and said two prayers of gratitude. This is why I am here. We´re asked this literally all the time!! “Why are you here?”After that lesson I know why I am here, I want people to feel the Savior´s Atonement in their lives, I want to see the change in their faces, I want to testify and let them know that I do love them as does our Father in Heaven. I want more of these tender mercies in my life. I need to serve the Lord with everything I have. The Lord has asked that I do this with all my might and I will. I want more of those hugs, those hugs the hugs as 2 Nefi 1:15 “I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love.” I am so grateful for you all, for the blessings and prayers you have, for the things you have taught me and for the privilege we have to be sealed forever and ever. I love you. Please remember who you are and what you stand for. We truly are blessed to be in this gospel.
I love you all so much!!
Love, Hermana Ashby

August 13th 2015; First E-mail Home

¡Hola Mi Familía!

So first off, I am sitting here in the computer lab absolutely filled with tears. We´ve just been so busy and it really hadn´t really hit me until just now. Hermana Neff is looking at me like “we have to do this every week?!?!?! We are struggling right now to keep it together. ……………………………………………………………….DSCN0016 DSCN0040

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Pero, so much has happened. We´ve been so busy with learning Spanish, reading scriptures, studying scriptures, teaching investigators. Even though I am in México, it doesn´t feel like it because of la muy bonita CCM. It´s crazy nuts!! I´ve never had so many spiritual highs y lows in my life!! Hermana Neff is my companion she is going to Hermosillo too (if I haven´t told you). She is so awesome, we get a long great and have tons of fun both of spiritual matters as well as temporal.

I always thought I was a pretty good studier, pero aprendo that there are so many different ways to apply scripture to our lives! En la classe con nosotros district we read 1 Nefi 1. I´ve never been able to apply so much stuff to being a missionary or investigators or anything else for that matter in my life. It´s a different mind set here. Everything we do, me and Hermana Neff are learning to rear it towards our investigators (next week we get 2 more). We are preparing differently, praying differently and even speaking differently than we were in the beginning, its kind of hard to explain. (IT´S ONLY BEEN A WEEK!!!)

My favorite days are Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Sundays we don´t teach but it is soooo spiritual!! I absolutely love our zone as well as our district. I have needed to know so many of these people, I feel like I¨´ve learned so much just in this past week. There´s a devotional on Sundays as well as Tuesdays. Also on Tuesdays we have Costco pizza!!! And of course Thursdays is another one of my favorites because it is P-day and I get to talk to mi familia!!

The mosquitos are crazy… I have so many bites… Colton would not do well here!!! In our casa we have only 10 people living with us instead of 20!! It is soooo nice!! In one of the rooms there are a bunch of Latina sisters… one day I will have the courage to speak with them en español!! Mostly we´ve just asked how they are, where they´re from, what they like to do, how they like la CCM and everything.

Our district is super fun. We have a lot of spiritual moments as well as loud fun moments. We play a game after every devo and sometimes just random times at night with another district. It´s called Scripture Roulette. Basically we share our thoughts with eachother and our favorite scriptures or just scriptures that we feel we should share. It´s way cool because its exactly what I need to end my day!!

Our Branch Presidente is from México and doesn´t speak much english. He gives each group of missionaries one of four topics and asks that we talk about them. We do this every week and prepare it in español!! He then chooses four people to speak on the topic and one to share their testimony. It was “super fun”?!?!? It was actually kind of cool!! I understand more spanish than I thought I did.

Also we can only get packages en la CCM from a specific site…. www.missionarypackagemx.com. super Also I do need a couple things, but not until I´m in Hermosillo. Today we did laundry and I was freaking out because I thought I had gone through so many garments and when I did laundry I only had 9 pairs!! I found some others with my temple clothes! *wink wink* The Mexico City temple has been closed… it opens for endowments the day after I leave!! Pero we get to go through the open house for it so its kind of okay. I just hope our mission president will let us go!! I´m really really missing it because I feel like I´m learning a lot that applies to the temple.

I miss you all. I hope you can feel the Spirit as much as I can. Things that I thought were so important before really aren´t anymore. Things I thought I would miss I don´t. I have a greater wanting to read my scriptures and pray for others. I have a greater need to discuss scripture with others and ask questions. I have an even greater need to rely on my Savior, Jesus Christ. Even though it has been a week, I´ve already gotten a little bit sick however it was a 2 day thing. We prayed and fasted and everything went back to normal. Even though my feet hurt from the blisters, they are callousing over because we are walking for His cause. Everything I am and everything we do here is because of Him and His Atonement. I want others to feel the way I feel. However, we´ve also learned to be patient and to teach simply. That quote I had on my wall from HBL didn´t have as much meaning until I got here. In many ways its also kind of nice to prepare and study simply. That´s how the Lord taught; He taught so that no matter who He was speaking to or what their spiritual maturity level was they understood and they learned from it. I want to teach like that, however  can´t teach like that… the Spirit does. I just need to be converted myself so that the Spirit can testify through me… even in my broken spanish!!

I am so glad Colton has a greater want to study!!! I am so proud of Him. Tell Michaela that I do miss her… I feel like having someone with me 24/7 is not as weird for me because I have had her in my life. AARON!!! HOW TALL ARE YOU GOING TO GET BOY?!?!?!?! It´s good to grow up, I feel like you´re pretty mature for your age, but like I said… media isn´t as important as we might think it is. And… MOMMY!!! I am so grateful to you. I didn´t realize how much I have relied on you, until I was gone. I didn´t realize how hard it was for you to completely rely on the Spirit and the Atonement in all you did. I feel like I´m living that right now and is increasing with every day. Thank you for being so good to me and teaching me all you did. Thank you for being an ejemplo for me and my life. I can´t thank you as much as I want to.

Thank you family!! I love hearing from you… I wish I could send you stuff but it takes 5 weeks to get to you unless you have USA stamps. So instead I think I´ll ask for you to send me some in Hermosillo. For right now we have e-mail.

I am so grateful for la opportunidad to be here en la CCM and to be a representative of Jesucristo. Yo se Iglesias es verdader.

So… until next P-day… I love you all so much!! Please remember how blessed we are to have the truth and knowledge of who we are as well as living where we do!!

This is the Mexico City Temple. It is closed right now! It will open the day we leave for transfers.

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With all my love,

Hermana Ashby

August 5th 2015 Leaving Home and Arriving in Mexico City

The night Natasha was set apart as a missionary.
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Natasha flying out of the Pocatello Airport.
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I AM HERE!!! It has been quite a day! It is raining quite a bit here in Mexico City, Mexico. The CCM is quite pretty especially with the rain. We’re doing things back to back, but I am so glad they have given us time to write to you.
My Address for the CCM is
Sister Natasha Ashby
14/09/2015 6A
Carretera Tenayuca-Chalmita #828
Colonia Zona Escolar, Gustavo A. Madero
07230 Mexico, Distrito Federal
Mexico
It still has not quite hit me that I am in  Mexico and this is all really happening. On the plane ride over I sat beside a woman that does not speak ANY english at all. It is certainly going to be an adventure. I got by with bits and pieces of Spanish, I was surprised to see how much I could actually ask her! However, when she responded I was kind of lost. That’s okay though, when I am headed to Hermosillo I will be speaking Spanish I’m sure (say a prayer!)
Anyways, I am alive and well!!!
Love and Miss you all!!
Hermana Ashby