Date

January 8, 2018

Area

Morehead

Companion

Sister Alisa Campbell

"Oh Honey!"

Hey y'all!!

I wanted to start out by saying, thank you so much to everyone who wished me a happy birthday this week!! Y'all made my 20th the most amazing day!! I wouldn't have wanted to celebrate my bday anywhere else. It really was an awesome day!

We got a call early that morning from one of our members who asked us if she could take us out to breakfast. OF COURSE. Haha love Sister Ratcliff, she spoils us. We had a cool experience while we were eating. So, Sister Ratcliff is one of those amazing people who just loves everyone. For the past 20 years, she has always seen this one man around Morehead, and always chats with him. She calls him her "buddy". Well he was at the place we went to eat, his eyes lit up when he saw her, it was the sweetest thing. He told us how he's sworn off smoking and drinking, and has never felt better. Sister Ratcliff said, "now we just got to get you to church!" The man told her how he was so thankful she would always say hi to him for so many years. He said, "it's been 20 years I should probably tell you my name now!" Her simple act of kindness amazed me. There are so many people we see all the time, and sometimes all anyone needs is a kind smile and for us to say hello. You never know the difference you will make😊

My birthday also fell on our district meeting day, and after district meeting, all 8 of us missionaires went to a Mexican restaurant, no question about it, for my birthday! It was a blast!! Following that, we got to stop by to see Sister Okerman at the nursing home. Her and Brother Okerman just recently got into a terrible car accident and sadly, Brother Okerman did not make it. It's been so heartbreaking to see Sister Okerman go through this. She feels like another grandma to me, I love her so much. She's been feeling pretty down, since she can't really go out and do anything. She's very frustrated because she "can't serve anyone from inside a nursing home!" I had the idea one night to go get party hats and ask Sister Okerman to do a service for me on my bday and do a photo shoot with us. We had a good time! We asked her to tell us her and Brother Okerman's love story. Mildred gave us a big grin and said, "we will have to shut the door for that story😉" she is a hoot! I loved listening to how they came to develop and have a successful 66 years together. A happy 66 years together too! I couldn't count the times she said "oh honey!" And then just beamed with happiness as she talked about the love of her life.

My birthday night ended by The Watson family throwing a birthday dinner for me! They made me sweet pork burritos!!!! Oh how I missed the yumminess😋 and they even made Sister Watson's famous peanut butter pie, talk about amazing!! So it was a pretty darn good birthday, if you ask me! I felt like I was receiving so many amazing blessings. But I will have to say, one of the greatest blessings I am given everyday from my Father in Heaven is the opportunity I have to be here serving the Lord. I'm so thankful I am able to have these experiences, learn valuable lessons, and be surrounded by amazing people that I admire so much💛 I'm sure I've said it many times, but I'll say it again, missions are AWESOME.

The song, 'I believe in Christ' has touched my heart so much this week. There is a line that says, 'I believe in Christ, so come what may.' Wow there is SO much power in those words. Alma 58:40 is taking about the stripling warriors, "and they are strict to remember the Lord their God from day to day; yea, they do observe to keep his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments continually; and their faith is strong in the prophecies concerning that which is to come." They have faith in what is to come! I've seen how I always ask Heavenly Father for an understanding as to WHY certain things happen the way they do. Now I'm seeing the importance of not always understanding, but accepting anything and having that undeniable faith and trust in the Lord. Being a worry wart for sure comes from my dear grams, and so to learn that I can have that complete trust in the Savior for my future, brings me so much security. Choosing the Lord's will before our own will bless our lives tremendously. And trust me, that's a hard and sometimes seemingly lonely road to walk, but we are never, ever alone. Step by step we can do it because of his grace. "Twigs are bent, not snapped, into shape." -Elder Neal A. Maxwell.

WELL, I am here to inform y'all (since President Hughes suggested so) that I SURVIVED record cold temperatures this year. And really am still surviving the cold hahaha. MIRACLES. Last night we had alerts for a winter storm!! What. That's a thing haha...? Things have changed from my hands being burnt from the stirring wheel to now them freezing! The mornings are fun🤗 we've had members pick us up off the side of the road hollering at us to get inside it's too cold! If only that was possible haha! We can endure the cold, so others can know and feel the lasting happiness that comes from the gospel. But no worries I am just fine! Mesa winters got nothing on me now!

Love youinns,
Sister Lauren Ashlee Ludwig

Pictures!
1. Goodbye teen years!
2. Sister Okerman💛💛
3. Ale8... It's a Kentucky thing.
4. Bday dinner!




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Kentucky Louisville Mission
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