Thursday, August 29, 2013

oh oh! Reality hits....and hits hard!

Hey Folks, So I wasn't going to post Ashlyn's letter we received on Monday, because Ashlyn indicated we didn't "have to" but after carefully considering it... I have decided it would be good for all to see the ups and downs of Ashlyn's experience. Also, if you know what is going on with her, you might have advice or a joke or something to cheer her up and feel more  inclined  to send her a note of encouragement. ... Cleveland is a struggle for her, and she is pretty low. I am so proud of her and the  desires of her heart  and her commitment and I have all the faith in the world that she will work this out but any prayers or well wishes you could send in her direction would be greatly appreciated by her mom too. :) here is her letter.

 Hi parents, you don't have to put this one on the blog....
First thing is first, the biggest regret of my mission thus far is my phone call with you. I was just not in the right mindset but I've been so homesick this week that I just constantly wish that I could call you for advice and tell you that I love you. So I really do.... and until christmas I guess.
So I am  in Cleveland. And it's hard. It's really hard. And the thing is I knew it was going to be hard but not in this way. I was prepared for it to be hard work, and that I would  be exhausted, and  be rejected. But I didn't expect it to be hard because we aren't doing anything. I didn't expect to be in an area where I don't feel like I belong. I want to be in Brazil. I want to be working. I want to feel like I'm making a difference.  I just want to work. I want to be in an area where we can work more. My companion has been sick all week.  the president knows. We are able to maybe work an hour a day. Her last companion got really bad migraines everyday and so she went home, but pretty much I get that,  it was because she didn't want to be here anymore. I am not  complaining about my companion I actually  like her a lot. She has been out for 6 months, she went to BYUIdaho.  She is 21. I really like her a lot It is not her fault she is sick it is just so hard to be sooo excited to work and to not be able to do it. . She's really nice and the few times we did go tracting ,she was super friendly. She gets along well  with the members, she is really sweet and we get along well. She lets me try to take charge , which is good. She's a really good missionary. when she feels up to it..she  is  friendly and we plan and everything.  I just want to work more. and I want to be in an area where we can work more. I feel like I'm disappointing Heavenly Father.
My companions last 2 companions went home. I don't blame them. I understand now why people come home from their missions early.  Honestly the first 3 days there wasn't a minute that went by without me wanting to leave. It was probably the hardest 3 days of my life honestly. I felt so alone. so helpless. and so hopeless. I want to serve a mission. And I'm not. and while we are at home and my companion is sleeping, I try going through and calling the area book or less active members. But most don't have a phone or have a speech impediment and so its hard to communicate.  Also they just divided our area into 3, and so I don't really understand the boundaries. So for the first few days when I would do that, I would call the wrong areas and set up appointments for places we weren't allowed to go. I stopped doing that too. Now i spend most all day reading my scriptures or studying Portuguese.
My companion says that I'm the hardest working missionary she has  worked with. Which just depresses me more, because she thinks that we are working hard. We aren't working. at all.
Also the area I am in is so depressing. It's super poor. It seems like so many  people here have some sort of mental illness, it is hard to have any kind of conversation with the few people I come in contact with.
And I am so worried I am not  going to get my visa. They have stopped calling people from Washington to Brazil because the visas aren't coming from the San Francisco consulate...and i don't think that mine will ever come.
I am struggling with feeling like I was divinely inspired to be here. I want to be in Brazil.
Our ward is about 400 people and about 115 active. Most are part member families or inactive. Our ward is not unified at all.
I'm  so unhappy here. So unhappy. I'm trying so hard to be good and happy but it is so hard. I'm not going to come home though. If I have to struggle through every second of my mission for a year and a half I will not come home. Some things that are keeping me going are:

You guys, the example that you have each set for me in serving a mission and then how proud I know that you are of me for being here. I really want to make you proud.
My future family. I think about how if my husband or son was in my position and how i would want them to continue onward and so i need to, also.
The pioneers and early saints, and how they endured so much harder trials than this and so I can get through this.
My Savior, and His atonement. He suffered so much for me and so i can labor a couple of seconds in Gethsemane as well.
Prayer. I pray all of the time. Constantly.
Stubbornness. I'm not going to quit.
We have to go now. I love you so much and I already can't wait until next week to talk to you again. Being here has made me so grateful for you and dad and the awesome life that I have had. Please write me as much as possible!!!! 
2040 tennyson ave NE #7 
massilon ohio 44646. 
I love you a lot. 
Pray for me, I pray for you everyday.

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