December 19, 2009

Hello all you Ashleigh fans !!

I apologize that I've been too busy to post her latest ramblings ... err ... letters home into her blog! She did send a great letter last Monday (see below), just before she left for Phoenix. AND ... she got to call home from the SLC airport while she was waiting to catch her fight. :) We had a wonderful conversation ... it was so good to hear her voice! It sounds like she is doing great and was really looking forward to her mission work in Phoenix. Ashleigh also talked to her dad, and I know that really made his day!! In typical Lewis fashion, he was so excited for the chance to talk to her, that he barely slept the night before !! LOL ... I was really glad that they had a chance to talk - I know it meant the world to Ashleigh AND Lewis !

After Ashleigh arrived in Phoenix, I got a call from the Phoenix mission president saying she arrived safely. I learned that the "temporary" address Ashleigh provided before will actually be her "permanent" address the whole time she is in Phoenix. Sounds like they move them around between apartments/different areas some ... and it's a hassle with the post office to deliver/forward mail.

Ashleigh's personal day will be on Mondays still, so that is the day I can expect to get an email from her. Between now and then however, I will have to wait for an email from her on account I don't have her new email address yet. I will be in ORLANDO with Chad next week, so won't be updating her blog. Of course I will have my trusty Blackberry with me, so I will get her email, but won't be pasting all the details into the blog until I return.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas !! I know I will ... sitting poolside in Orlando waiting for Ashleigh to call. :) God is good. :)

As promised, here is Ashleigh's latest ...

After 60 days here at the MTC I am happy to report:

Hundreds of Spanish words have been learned.

Hundreds have also been mis-used ... Just the other week I said "When we keep the apples God blesses us". Manzana is apple and mandamiento is commandment ... after the 1st 3 letters I just went for it. Oops!! I heard a Portugese Elder said "We should all be striving to become women". Apparently the word better and the word woman are VERY similar!! One of my favorite Spanish finds is the word "wife" is "esposa" and the word "handcuffs" is "esposas". I thought that was oddly fitting. :)

3/12 of the apostles came and spoke to us! (Including Elder Holland who is my FAVORITE)
No weight has been gained or lost after approximatley 180 cafeteria meals (no bake cookies and chili on SCONES (which is like HEAVENLY toast) were among my rare favorites! Approximately 360 hours of "formal instruction" were spent in class. Approximately 50 letters were sent. Approximately 35 letters were received. Approximately 12 care packages were also received.
2 Birthdays and 1 holiday (My companion Hermana Barker and Hermana Smith turned 22 on Thanksgiving!) My companion and I spent approximately 1500 hours together. Me and any one of the other 7 members of the district spent approximately 1000 hours together. No one killed anyone!! There were no injuries to report (although I almost fell out of the window once hopping down off my bunkbed onto the chair below with stuff in my hand and a window (it was closed) behind me. We still laugh about that one!

There was also a fire alarm this week at approximately 12:30 am and the girls "dorm" was evacuated. 400 sisters in their pj's were scuffled into the gym. It was somewhat traumatic because a lot of the girls don't speak English or come from America where it's an everyday thing ... so there was weeping and wailing and scared confusion!! LOL even Hermana Brodhead (a sister from my district and my roommate) was a little confused when I was putting on my coat and shoes to evacuate and she was trying to turn off her alarm!! It was only after she unplugged it that she realized it was the fire alarm. For no reason whatsoever Hermana Barker put on her name tag and Hermana Smith put her alarm clock and a flashlight in her pocket!! Of course there was NO fire but it was a funny false alarm!! Another key moment was when Elder Brown (the red head who is the funniest person I know) did a shotgun caulking action and said "GO BACK TO BED ASHLEIGH" in his Lewis impersonation voice. (We were all telling stories about childhood Christmases and I mentioned Dad would always joke that he was going to shoot and eat Ruldolf. It was HYSTERICAL ... we've been laughing for a week!! Everyone loves the moose jerky and thinks it's a riot !!

Of course I'm very excited to head out to the mission field tomorrow. I feel completely overwhelmed but excited regardless ... I dont' know what I'm going to do if I get a native Spanish speaking companion ... but I'm excited to "test out my stuff". :)

It's been just fabulous at the MTC !! More than anything else I think I've learned planning, love, and personalizing (and might I add patience:) I am shocked to report I've had a wonderful time at the MTC. I've meet people from all over and going all over literally!!!


December 8, 2009

In true "Ashleigh fashion", I got another email from her this week, complete with instructions, to-do lists, and follow-up items. I'm starting to feel like an administrative assistant more than a lonesome Mom!!! :)

After 8 weeks here it all comes down to the next 8 days!!! I am SO excited to go and SO scared to be immersed in spanish (but mostly excited). We will be leaving next Tuesday bright and early (6am to make the 10am flight ... the airport is approximately 1/2 an hour away and the flight is about an hour long ... you do the math:)

My new address will be:

18001 N 79th Ave Suite C-50
Glendale AZ 85308

** Please know that this address is only temporary, until she gets settled into an apartment with her new companion. For those of you who are wanting to send Christmas cards and presents however, it is probably safest for you to send to this address rather than waiting for her permanent address to be communicated **

Mom - I will be sending you 2 discs of pictures. Please enjoy, and pass them along appropriately. Maybe you could upload them to the computer and e-mail some out to all who are interested. DON"T LOSE THE DISK! They're from the cameras of 2 people in my district and I want them when I return.

Tell everyone they can go to and look at Hermana's Smith's blog HER mom is doing for her ... I hear there are pictures there (and you can check out the competition:) Her mom sounds fun ... maybe you can become friends. Hermana Smith is going to Nashville so we will soon part but you can keep me updated maybe.

TELL EVERYONE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF DEAR ELDER BECAUSE I LEAVE THE MTC SUPER SOON!!! Mom I love you lots! I hope you have a great week of work and are enjoying the holiday season!

** For those of you who aren't aware ... there is a website that you can go to and send Ashleigh emails. While she is at the MTC, the emails are FREE to the sender and they are delivered the same day. When she is in Phoenix, there is a 44 cent charge for the letter, and I'm not sure how frequently they are delivered. **

Happy Holidays everyone!