Another week, and I'm still tired haha nothing like saving souls!! There's been LOTS of laughs from the Morehead Sisters due to some very awkward and uncomfy (love you Camille) contacts... but we are embracing the awkward moments and just enjoying every minute of this time, because it only comes around once. And you get a good story out of it😊
Monday was a day filled of goodbyes! And a restless night for both Sister Campbell and I. The nerves were there but we got some sleep!! Then we got up early Tuesday morning and headed out to Louisville to send Sister Campbell home to her family, and I got to pick up my fresh companion!
Sooo, my new companion is Sister Ashmead! She is from Layton, Utah (could've guessed that since all my companions are from Utah) and she is the cutest person ever!! We clicked right off the bat and are having a blast!! It was also SO fun to see all my past companions at transfers! We're all training so we got a sick generation picture!!
I'm surprised how terrific things have been going.. like I'm just expecting for something to go incredibly wrong, but things are better than ever!! Seeing Sister Ashmead so tired reminds me of my training days. Everything is so new and exciting and I really love serving with new missionaires! Their fire and drive is contagious! Sister Ashmead came out of the gate running! We've been quite busy here too! Finding people left and right and teaching a ton! She will be very comfortable with teaching. We've taught like 15 lessons just this last week! It's been stellar!!
Actually cool experience for ya... We had a lesson with an investigator, one of our first days and it was a tear filled lesson indeed! Sister Ashmead shared a personal experience and it helped our investigator really open up. After walking out of our lesson, Sister Ashmead said, "I know now why I had to go through these trials in my life, so I could relate to others!" She went on to explain how thankful she is for Heavenly Father and that he knows his children and where they need to be😊 This is a marvelous work, with NO coincidences!
One thing I've been working on is to more fully be open with others. Sometimes I catch myself getting caught up in feeling weak or strange if I am struggling or having a hard time. I worry about others looking down upon me and feeling like I am being pitied. When others ask, "how are you doing?" we generally reply back good, even if we really aren't good. I was reading a talk by Elder Bruce R. McConkie and he explains how "...all who suffer for Christ and his word, all who are chastened and scourged in the Cause of him whose we are- all shall become as their Maker and sit with him on his throne and reign with him forever in everlasting glory." To sit with him, means sometimes we have to suffer. Walking the road of discipleship is an incredible road, with its ups and downs. The downs are okay, the Savior had to bear his griefs and sorrows. But what is overall important is that when we suffer certain trials, it is part of God's plan. It isn't abnormal or weird for us to go through hard things, we don't have to ever feel ashamed because all who endure this, "BECOME as their Maker."
And overall, the most important event in history, is Christ's atoning sacrifice. Yes, we may suffer at times, but we can know and believe that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, because the Savior himself suffered, even for you and me, we don't have to suffer! He has given us a way to feel peace. He paid the price, so we can turn our pain, headache, and mistakes over to him. We can enter into his rest. We are so loved!!! We can live again and be resurrected because of him. To suffer at times is normal, and even greater it is possible because of our Lord. And don't get me wrong there will be JOY, along the way we won't always suffer. Christ will be with you not just once, he is willing to face it a second time by our side. Let us always remember the hymn...
I know that my Redeemer lives.
What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, he lives, who once was dead.
He lives, my ever-living Head.
He lives to bless me with his love.
He lives to plead for me above.
He lives my hungry soul to feed.
He lives to bless in time of need.
What will you do to endure or suffer what God needs you to do to become who he knows you can be? As I pondered this I of course reflected on suffering as a missionary.... and how can I, from the story, go to the 4th floor, last door? This is a time that I can be completely and totally, 100 percent selfless. I can let go of my worries, concerns, and issues and fully focus on that one who I can help that day. Each morning I wake up, I really feel this powerful drive and determination that someone can use a friend today. Someone can use a smile or a wave. Someone needs the gospel, and I can be that someone who can deliver what they so desperately need. Yes, it may feel like I am suffering at times, but i have the Lord by my side, and I know it is worth it and I find joy.
We even find joy when we legit have a movie experience when a car drives by a big puddle and splashes us head to toe with nasty, dirty street puddles of water! That tasted real good😂 we got a good laugh out of that one!! And I know this is a total basic Kentucky comment, but lately we have been getting fed a lot more fried chicken, and my clothes and hair have started to smell like it!! Never would have imagined to smell like fried chicken! Oh blessed Kentucky💛
Ahahha so I'm convinced it's a tradition for you to get lost while in training!! Gotta absorb all the experiences... My first day in training, Sister Draper and I got lost... Sister Wilcox's first day of training we got pretty lost. And not Sister Ashmeads first day, BUT second day we got ridiculously lost! Gertrude our GPS failed us miserably and we were an hour late to a dinner appointment, but we made it and guess what we ate?! Yes, that's right FRIED CHICKEN😋
Someone suggested a talk for me to read by Bruce C. Hafen this week (shout out... you know who you are haha😉) and it was awesome. He said, "If we are not willing to grapple with the frustration that comes from facing bravely the uncertainties we encounter, we may never develop the kind of spiritual maturity that is necessary for our ultimate preparations."
It got me to thinking... How often are our hearts yearning for something in the past, or something to come? As I was reading in Helaman 7: 7-9, the son of Helaman, Nephi is having a hard time with the people he is surrounded with. His life is rough. All the people are being wicked and abandoning God. He says the phrase, "Oh that I could have" and yearns to be in the days of Nephi their first father's when they came out of Jerusalem. Then, people were righteous. At that time, people would walk after the commandments of God. And he goes to say if this were the case, "I could have joyed." It made me do some deep thinking, and made me realize how often I do this. If only yada, yada, yada... then things will be better or I'll be more happy. What a sad way of thinking. Being stuck in either what has already happened to feel joy, or waiting in the future to find joy. Well Nephi goes on to realize that's not his reality, he says, "I am consigned that these are my days." Yes for him these are days of sorrow, but these are his days and he can change how he feels about his days. He can find joy in his journey. We can't be expected to be given something, if we don't give it ourselves. And in this case, we can't expect to feel joy if we're stuck in our past memories, or waiting for the future moments to bring us such joy. Right now, we can put forth all of our power, and rely on Christ's power to make a happy life for ourselves. Because these are our days!! Make the most of them, these days only come once.
We've been doing a lot of tracting lately, the blister on my knuckles can prove it😊 but I've been praying specifically that people would recognize my face, so they would want to talk to me and listen to our amazing and unique message. It's been crazy the amount of people that have told me I look familiar and asked if they know me. God answers our prayers. And we've come to see successful tracting is when you get the person to cry by feeling the spirit, because that happened a couple times! Pretty cool yooo!
What we do really does matter!! Almost a year ago, Sister Draper and I decided to heart attack one of the families we were teaching. Sadly, getting into contact with the family was becoming impossible and we had to drop them. Well we found out on Tuesday, from some Elders while they were tracting their apartment complex they saw a bunch of hearts all over a door. They looked at the things written on the notes and saw there was Book of Mormon scriptures on them. Confused out of their minds, they saw at the bottom... Love Sister Draper and Ludwig. Hearing that they had left those hearts up all this time was so heartwarming for me. We really don't get to see the fruits of all of our labors and however big or small they may be, it's worth it. Just the chance to make someone feel special is SO important😊
Welp.. stay tuned for more to come next week😉 hopefully it won't be an eternities length next time haha but I'm sorry just too much good stuff was happening, I couldn't help but sharing!
Sister Lauren Ashlee Ludwig
Ps... I think dogs think I am a fire hydrant... I've been peed on TOO many times this week!!
1. 3 of my favorite people ever!!
2. The dopest generation picture, y'all ever did see!
3. Elder Madrid will be a general authority someday, mark my words!
4. The ward had Sister Ashmead speak on Sunday and introduce herself, afterwards they all gave her a hard time about looking so young! I told her it's okay we can be 12 year olds together😂