Saturday, October 31, 2015

Wake Village

Hey yall! 

Another fantastic week! New place, new family (missionary district), new adventures await! So this week was transfers and as yall know I got moved to Texas. It was a 12 hour t-van ride from Gulfport to Texarkana...long story short Tuesday was a very long day! But I got to see the whole mission! Literally met everyone in the mission! 

So this week I met a 100 year old lady! ONE HUNDRED YEAR OLD! Like woah isnt that sooo cool! She cant really understand anything but no one visits her. So we are gonna go over every week to make her laugh and let her have some company:) 

We also met some amazing people. Shanika just lost her 4 year old grandson and it was like perfect timing for us to come by. We've met with her 3 times in the last week and she says there is a reason why we came by the way we did/when we did. She wants to be baptized she just needs time to overcome some things. We also met Darrell who goes to houses and preaches to people. We brought up baptism by the priesthood authority and he says "well I already have that authority Jesus Christ came to me and gave it to me." So that is our hurdle with him right now...he thinks JC has come to him and made him the most powerful preacher in the world. This is gonna be fun!

It's also rained buckets here for days! In Gulfport it was a warm rain and never got very cold. Here though is SUPER cold and the rain is FREEZING! I can tell its gonna be a cold winter here! :) Good memories I guess:)

Also shoutout to my bro ALEX...i mean ELDER DURTSCHI! Getting ready to leave in a couple days for New Zealand! You'll be a fantastic missionary and a great leader! I love your guts! Miss you!

I'd love to hear from yall! My new address is:

523 Redwater Rd #29
Wake Village, Texas 75501

I love yall and hope you're having a fantabulous day! #rolltide

Sister Durtschi
My hubby and son #ElderGardnerPhotography

TEXAS #6months

Hey Yall!

Well this is the last email I'll be sending from Mississippi for a bit! I'm getting transferred to TEXAS! Yup going from the bottom of the mission to the very edge of the mission. But at least I'll get snow for christmas now!:)

This week has been crazy! Sister Elms turned TWENTY!!! I feel so young next to her!:) We went to Picayune again for a triple baptism! So fun to see my girl MOZINGO again! We went tracting in the ghetto again and got bashed on really hard by a JW and it really hurt us, so we really didnt want to keep tracting. BUT we turned down the road and we just felt like we needed to keep we did. And we run into the greatest homeless man! His name is Bill and he LOVES the Book of Mormon! He was reading it right there in front of us! He just totally made our day by being the sweetest old grandpa in the world! 

I also hit SIX MONTHS! What the! I feel like I just left yesterday! I know I still have a lot to learn but these are 6 things I've learned so far:
1. pray ALWAYS!
2. Nothing happens on your path unless you do something about it.
3. Communication is the only way to understand people.
4. I LOVE the 7 habits as a missionary! (never thought id say i love em #highschooldays)
5. The Book of Mormon is the best book I have ever read! (please try it)
6. Have FUN! Life is to short to be serious all the time!
Sorry I dont have a lot of time this week because I have to pack. But I love you all and hope you have an amazing week!
Sister Durtschi

Crimson turns ONE:) 

We kind of got into it as well:)

My girl MOZINGO! #MTCComp

Southern Week

Hey Yall!

Well this week flew! I think most of it was because it started out crazy! This week was CRUISE THE COAST...which means the oldest and coolest cars were everywhere! People literally go to the beach all day everyday to watch the cars go by! It was a great time to do some additional inviting! We got to walk along the beach and talk to tons of people! It was just an addition that we got to see some sweet cars! 

We also got to see a member shoot this squirrel! It was soooo cool! He shot it in the house. They opened up the window and boom it was down! It was the greatest thing I have ever seen! #squierrelfordinner

We also spent a lot of time tracting in the ghetto this week. We met so many nice people. I think its funny how people tell us to be careful in those areas when those areas are when people actually listen and are nice to us. We go into nicer looking areas and its not as successful and the people are rude. The best part is we took some member with us and they LOVED the ghetto! 

Sorry got to run, but I hope yall are having the best MONDAY ever! Yall are amazing and enjoy this week!

Sister Durtschi
Elder Price, Gardner, Me, Sister Elms

Ghetto Tracting:)
Beach Night
Totally US:)

I'll come back to church when BLUE BELL comes back

Hey Yall!

So first off its not transfers but I'm emailing on Tuesday because we had specialized training yesterday...I've been out almost 6 months and had never been to a "greenie meeting." So we got to go do that all day yesterday. 

We also got to go out with Sister Olson (the mission presidents wife) yesterday night. It was really fun to get to know her and to let her meet some members as we had family night with them. 

The subject of this email is the greatest story yet! We get talking to this guy named Chico and he was loving what we were saying till we brought up church. He said he wouldnt "be walking into a church building till Blue Bell ice cream came back!" So when the best ice cream in the world comes back we will be checking on him and inviting him to church....again!:) 

We also went with a member to eat at Wendy's. As we walked in the cashier lady kept staring at our name tags. She later tells us she wants a job like ours so she can wear a cool name tag all the time. We didnt even explain who we were! We leave and get into the car and talk about how she came up and this is pretty much how it went "Hey, I like yalls name tag! -her- Yeah, cuz it says Jesus and not Wendy's -Us" Everyone needs a Jesus name tag!:) 

As we were doing our tracting early that week because of conference taking some time we did a lot of tracting each day. We ran into this one house that as we were walking to the door we just heard this couple and the kids screaming and fighting with each other and since we dont want to disrupt them with the negative attitude that they had we just left a couple Jesus picture pass a long cards in their door. Made me want to tract for another 7 hours! :) (we also tracted on my first sidewalk ever! In all my time of mississippi i've never tracted on sidewalk...its just not something they have in my area!)

We also got to go to a Kindergarten's lunch:) My favorite little girl Karli is going to school and was saying how no one ever visits her for we surprised her on our lunch and had the best lunch with a bunch of 5 and 6 year olds:) Reminded me of all the little kids at school! I hope yall are having the best school day yet! 

Well I hope yall are having a great week and are enjoying the spiritual high after conference! 

Love Yall!
Sister Durtschi


Sooo true...go to church peeps!
Karli's lunch:)

Saluted off a porch

Hey Yall! 

This week is another great week! (I feel like I say this every week...but its so true! Like every week is the best week!) Sister Elms and I are loving it and working to build our teaching pool. So in the process of finding people we run into this man named Mike...and at first I thought this guy was pretty cool...but then 27 cats later I find out he isnt so normal and he loves cats. So we left him with a book of mormon which he said he would read to his cats. The scriptures can be read to anyone peeps! 

This week we also did another first! We did some phone call tracting...why? because why not? Like lets just try this out and see how it goes. So we open up the phone book and get the people in our area and start calling away. We actually ended up having a few people interested in what we had to say...just from a phone call! And this is why they call us #longbeachlegends JK, it was just a new way of finding. We wont end up doing it again because it was awkward. But hey we got some awesome people to teach from it:) 

Now the reason for my subject...So we are tracting (actually knocking on doors) and we are in the ghetto (mom we dont go there at night so its ok) and there is this nicer looking house that we both agreed would be the house we share a message with em. So we walk up the two flights of stairs and what do we do? We knock on his door...because we're missionaries and thats what we do everyday! He then comes to the door and asked us if we were JW's, we say no, were missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He then turns straight to us and gives us a salute and then slams the door. I thought it was the greatest way to be shut down! If only everyone would salute us for going door to door! 

Anywho I need to send a HUGE shout out to my sisters HAPPY 16TH BIRTHDAY! because I'm a turd of a sister and forgot to do it last week. Brooke, Breanne...I LOVE YOU! also Happy Birthday to Grandma Goldman! Sorry I missed out on all the CAKE! 

I hope yall have an amazing week! 
Love yall!
Sister Durtschi
What happens when you find shades in the car:)
Found the greatest plate of mississippi yet!


Hey Yall,

What a week! So as yall know we had transfers last week. I'm STILL in Long Beach and am loving it here! It was so sad to only have Sister Rodriguez for 6 weeks but she is using her spanish in another area so it was for the best. My new companion is Sister Elms and let me just tell you...she is a beast! We have only been together a week and have decided we wont have a better companionship for the rest of our missions, we go together like steak and potatoes!

So idk if yall remember when I talked about Myrna waaaaay back in August? Well things just weren't working out with her and her baptismal dates, so we kind of dropped her for a bit to let her find her way through the Lord....well we go over Wednesday and she says "Im ready for baptism Saturday." Say whaaaat? so guess what we finally did Saturday? Yup thats right a baptism. Myrna has been investigating the church for over a year and when I got here (5 months ago) she was just getting ready for baptism, so I'm so happy for her and the decision she made to finally take the leap of faith.

We also were out tracting on Saturday (saturday was just a big day for us) and we were able to teach three families who are super interested in what was said. We also handed out 5 book of mormon's that day! Like woah that was a first!  I just love mission work!:)
I know I've talked about prayers a lot but I can not put enough into it! Prayer is the only way to communicate with God. I like to think of it like a teenager and a cell phone. Teens love to text and talk on the phone, but what happens when they lose/break the phone? they feel lost. that kind of the way prayer works. We always have a chance to communicate and when we do, we dont feel so lost anymore. We dont have to have a phone to call...we can ALWAYS be in contact with our Heavenly Father! I'm so grateful for the comfort and peace of prayers! I will never go another day without saying a prayer. I know without a doubt He is listening and always will be. He loves each of us and will always be there for us!

I love yall!
Sister Durtschi
Myrna and I are never serious!

Transfer #3 accomplished

Hey yall!

sorry i missed last week. I have had kind of a crazy two weeks and am just now getting a chance to email. So this will be a make up for two week really fast:) 

two weeks ago: 
we had an amazing lesson with a member of the bishopric and his family and got to dress up and act out book of mormon characters. we ran into this awesome guy one day while eating and has been loving the book of mormon and loves everything we've told him which is just that God loves we are really excited about him! i also was able to go on exchanges with my old companion/mom sister winkel! it was just like old times!

last week:
sooo first off....i had a cow tongue taco! like never gonna have that again! but i can say i've had it! that was really the only big thing that happened....oh and i will no longer be training! sister rodriguez is leaving me:/ and i will be getting sister elms. That means 6 months in long beach! I love this area so much! 

Sorry it's short and sweet but thats all that i remember happening:)

i just want to say thank you for all the prayers and emails yall have sent my way. i know the passing of family members is hard and is one of the hardest things i've had to handle on the mission so far, but i have grown so much and i can feel my testimony touch people know when i testify of the plan of salvation. i know without a doubt that we are all sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. we are loved and no matter what you are going through He knows and if you turn to him, you will have comfort! i love each of you! you all mean so much to me! Families are together forever! LOVE YOU!
Sister Ashley Durtschi

p.s good luck to all those starting/started school!:)
Met Elvis:)

Four Months...FLIES

Hey Yall!

Monday was a great pday! Well all pdays are great but especially when you get to play basketball (with someone other than yourself)! The Elders are so nice and invite us to play, because hey when your the only sisters with 6 elders there isnt a whole lot we all do together. We also went to a families house who's son just got his mission call to LONDON ENGLAND! Like whaaaat! So we went over and just gave him advice and good idea's for the mission. It was actually fun to look back on things I wish I knew before the mission to when I'm on a mission.

Tuesday was our day of meetings. We had our first interviews with our new mission president. It was actually kind of weird as he was just praising me for training...I still cant believe I'm training someone! Like woah! But it's been a good learning experience...4 weeks down, 8 weeks to go:) Our new mission president and his wife are very nice sweet people, I am grateful for the opportunity I have to serve around them for the rest of my mission:)

Wednesday was a great day!  We went to two lessons before noon and had set them both with baptismal dates! Like thats the best way to start your day off as a missionary (of course prayer comes first and study and all of that but this is great as well)! 

Thursday is harvesting day...we try to use very little miles on our cars and talk to everyone we see. So we melted but we met so many cool people (as we always do)! We even ran into a "high"group of kids and started talking about Chicago Bulls (thank you growing up in a little town and watch sports) and then somehow tie that into the gospel. They then stopped smoking when we brought up Jesus. It was just so great to see the effect one name had on their actions. They actually were pretty interested so we'll find out next week when we go see them:)

Friday was great! While doing three hours of tracting we only had 1 lesson. That is rough BUT the lesson all started because he was wearing a JOHN DEER watch! No one in Long Beach Mississippi knows what john deer is! But this guy did. Somehow as a missionary you can relate anything and everything to the gospel. So I put John Deer and the gospel together. He wasnt very interested but it totally made my day! 

Saturday was full of active member lessons so Sister Rodriguez can continue teaching/learning how to do things. She is growing up way to fast! 

Sunday was a day of miracles. There is a spanish speaking family investigating the church and the bishop called someone to do a spanish gospel principals class. So since we are in a zebra companionship (Sister Rodriguez speaks spanish, I speak english) We went on splits and she went to that class to help them and I took our investigators to english. It was actually pretty fun to hear her stories of them actually understanding what was going on. We then had lots of tracting to do. BUT we had so many nice people come into our way! It just made us so happy to be following the spirit and seeing the people the Lord wanted us to see. 

This week has been great! I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to be a missionary. I cant believe how fast time flies but that is what makes it that much more precious! Please remember how fast things go in life and always remember the Lord never made you too busy for Him! 

Love yall!

Sister Durtschi
Random field of flowers:)


Hey Yall!

So this was just an amazing week of HEAT! I know yall took my advice and everytime you were in AC you took an extra second in it for me...because it never felt to hot to be outside. Which means I was ok with doing SIXTEEN hours of tracting! Sister Rodriguez is a beast and just kept saying "lets tract." So if your wondering...we won the tract-a-thon, and our whole zone (the smallest in the mission) had almost 80 hours of tracting. Mission work is so FUN!

On tuesday a less active family asked us to come over with the elders and give their son a blessing because he was going in for heart surgery. We get there, and what do they have as a pet? a RACCOON! Like no way! So were sitting there with a raccoon just chillin with us! (Only in the south) So I got to pet a raccoon! Check that off my bucket list! 

While we were in out 16 hours of tracting we ran into a man that was just bashing us. Like it was a hard bash and I felt bad for Sister Rodriguez because this was her first real bash. He is telling us we need to find the truth and stuff and she starts crying and telling him she has. He just kept throwing punches (not literally mom) and so we finally just tell him we will read the bible and find out. We leave and Sister Rodriguez is just so mad that he would do that. In the meantime I'm just praying and hoping we will find someone nice to make up for him. The Lord always answers! Four doors down we run into this guy, who as soon as we said Jesus Christ, got super happy and energetic. Told us how we are so special and just exactly what was needed after a hard bashing. It really was a miracle for the day!

So for those of you who live around me (in idaho), yall remember the story about Acey Shaw on ESPN? Yeah so we are tracting (of course) and we run into this guy who asked exactly where I was from after I said Idaho. He goes well how close is that to Dietrich? I said actually 45 min away...we play sports against em...and all that jazz. Anyways he was like do you know Acey Shaw? I was in amazement as he said the name! I said yes! He asked all these questions and just wanted to hear the whole story and know how I knew him. Anyways I bring up the fact that he is mormon, and he goes no way..can I be part of that? Of course you can! So we set him with a baptismal date! But I just wanted to say thanks to everyone that has been examples! Yall never know who is watching ya and is learning from ya! Just keep that in mind!

Also yesterday in church the primary asked us and the zone leaders to dress up and tell the story of different bible characters...It was actually so fun! We came through the time machine door and got to just feel the love of little children. We all wanted to take the costumes home, but the primary president wouldnt let us:( 

Love Yall!

Sister Ashley Durtschi
Our tracting GAME FACE #BeatTheHeat

Time Machine #BibleStories

Mission Mom

Hey Yall! Its that time of week again! :)

So I finally got to meet my baby! Actually before I met her the mission president calls and tells me her name (Sister Rodriguez) and where she's from (Mexico) and the language that she speaks (Spanish) and in that time I drop to my knees.... in the middle of the library... with tons of missionaries... because umm...She speaks SPANISH! How am I gonna do this! I dont know enough spanish mormon terms to help her learn English! This is gonna be a long three months i kept thinking. Finally the t-vans show up and there she is...speaking english!:) I was very happy by that moment! She does have a hard time still but she knows the just of our crazy english language:) 

So yeah my new campanion/baby is Sister Rodriguez, she's from Mexico, and she is a convert to the church! It's so fun to have her here in Long Beach because she has a great personality that everyone here loves! The first time we went tracting I wasn't sure how well she would like it or want to do it, but the Lord answered that prayer! We are in the GHETTO! I mean that's most of our area but this is bad ghetto. I just keep telling her sorry your first tracting spot is this but the spirit was strong there. But this is why we were there! The first 3 doors we knock on are all hispanic and keep telling us that no english so go away...then Sister Rodriguez jumps in and boom they are all interested! It was a dream come true! 

Also this week was a first for Relief Society! So we are all sitting there listening to announcements and one of the ladies, that doesnt come very often but we see a lot because her boyfriend just returned from deployment in Spain and we are teaching him, gets up and tells all the ladies thanks for your help while he was gone, then tells him to get over by her. We were wondering what was going on until....BAM she gets down on one knee and proposed to him! Like what in Relief Society! So we all awkwardly sat there in shock for a second he said yes and we all still sat there then someone started clapping so we all did. Then they left...SO AWKWARD! But a first for Relief Society:) 

There is a poem that kind of explains what a mission is like. An elder just returned home in a ward next to us and shared this with us. It goes...

A mission is a strange experience, it's a trial and a test.
A mission throws at you the worst, yet it teaches you the best.
They told me this would be the best period of my life
But I guess they didn't explain all too clear.
I came out looking for a bed of roses, I just wasn't expecting all the thorns i've found out here.
Since I've been out I've never been so depressed. I've never felt so blessed.
I've never been so confused, my mind has never been so clear.
I've never felt my Heavenly Father so distant, I've never felt Him so near.
I've never been so discouraged, I've never been so full of hope.
I feel i can go on forever, I think I've come to the end of my rope.
I've never had is so easy, I've never had it so tough.
Things have never gone so smoothly, Things have never been so rough.
I've never traveled through more valleys, I've ascended so many peaks.
I've never met so many nice people, I've never met so many freaks.
I've never has do many ups, I've never had so many downs.
I've never worn so many smiles, I've never worn so many frowns.
I've never been so lonely, I've never had so many friends.
Man...I hope this is all over soon...Gosh...I hope it never ends!!

I know most yall aren't on missions but this is true in life as well. Please just remember how much the good overcomes the bad and always look at the positive of everything! I love you all and hope your week is gonna be great!

Love Yall!
Sister Ashley Durtschi
Lunch with some members:)

The South

Hey Yall!

Well this week has just been great! So many people opened the door to us/the Lord! We met so many wonderful people. I learn so much from each person that we meet. We've run into drug dealers, rappers, preachers, atheist, deep southern people, and so many others while I've been out. And the best part of it all is...we are ALL HIS! Each one of us is a Child of God! 

So I've been out almost four months and none of our investigators have come to church! NONE! It is so hard each Sunday to have no one we are teaching come to church...BUT this Sunday was different. The CRUMPTON family came to church yesterday! It was the greatest feeling yet! To actually see them enjoy something that we've been telling em so much about. There are 5 kids in this family and a single mom. They have a hard life, but for them to sacrifice and come to church just meant so much to us and them! Church is just the best place to be to find answers and peace in life! 

So this week we are doing a Tract-A-Thon with the zone...whoever tracts the most this week gets 100 extra miles...and missionaries love miles! And Sister Rodriguez is one of the most competitive people I know (next to Sister Winkel). So we will be tracting a lot this week. Another thing that adds to the best tracting experience ever is the heat. This week is suppose to be the hottest week of the year! Over 108 everyday! But the gospel is more important than dying of heat stroke. So whenever yall are inside with AC please soak in extra for me...I will for sure be feeling it when we are out and about:) 

Yall are the best! Keep up the great work and Love EVERYONE!

Love yall!
Sister Ashley Durtschi
Just random things of the south:)

Sister Winkel, Rodriguez, and I



I hope yall are having a great day and are so looking forward to each day of this week! 

so sad news! Sister leaving me! My trainer is leaving to the town right next door so I will still see her but shes in a different zone...but she is gonna be a SISTER TRAINING LEADER! WHAT! I am so excited for her. She is one of the greatest sister in the mission and her being called as a STL just proves it! BUT i will for sure miss her.

Now that brings up the fact that I'm getting a new companion. And I dont know who it is yet because she is brand new. Just got here from the MTC . A baby...this is so weird! I was just being trained, I just finished my training, I've only been out THREE MONTHS! I cant train someone when I dont know what I'm doing! HEHE I think the Lord likes to put us in funny situations sometimes. But she will be great and all will be well. :)

We spent a lot of time this week saying bye as sister Winkel was leaving. I never realized how big of an impact the people you meet on your mission really do have on your life. Even if you dont know them very well. They are your family! It just made me realize how great family is and how great the gospel brings us together as that giant family! No matter where you are or what your doing, the ward/branch, the stake, the members, everyone means so much and will take and love you like you are family! I love my family...everyone that has come into my life is my family! 

Love yall!
Sister Ashley Durtschi

Elder Peck, McCurdy, Gardner, Hendrickson, Sister Winkel and I 

Pass Along a SMILE

Hey Yall!
Can't believe it's already Monday! Time flies as a missionary! 

First off Shout out to my AMAZING FAMILY! Yalls letters were a miracle as we had 3 hours of tracting for that day and were not so motivated to do it in over 100 degree's. We figured we would knock on three houses and then read one of yalls letters. They were all so great and so funny! Thanks!! So I'd say yall made our day a little "SPICY" (thanks Luke)! 

Monday was a crazy day! We had a member come with us to see Myrna (our investigator with a baptism date) and he straight up asked her to be baptized that Saturday! We were like woah are we really doing this. She said YES and so we were kind of freaking out for a bit! We didnt know what to do because the spirit was so strong, yet that is really soon! So we got things worked out and we met with her everyday but she was drinking tea (who would've known someone to drink tea in the south:P) so she will be baptized this FRIDAY! It has been so AMAZING to see the gospel take flight in her and to have the spirit help her learn and grow! 

Monday we also went to see our investigator that had just returned home from surgery and has two little boys and her husband is in a wheelchair. This was 8:30 at night, she was trying to move herself out of their house because they were getting evicted. She was going to move all by herself! No one was going to help her! So Sister Winkel and I decided no matter how long it took we were gonna help her...why because that is what Jesus would do and we are representing HIM! We didnt get home until 1 in the morning...but it was so worth it because she said she would take the missionary lessons still from the sisters in the town over. She said we made such an impact on her that she would want to be baptized! We will miss her but we know we were doing what we were suppose to be doing right then!

We also got to meet our new mission president this week! I didnt realize how weird it was to get a new president...but it is sooo weird! You just dont know what he will change or leave the same. It would be amazing if we didnt have to do 7 hours a week of tracting during the summer:P but that will probably be kept the same...but we can still hope!

The greatest thing happened Saturday! We were leaving an appointment at 9 and realized we hadnt eaten since breakfast so we stopped by little caesars to get some breadsticks. While in there I realized we should give the cashier dude a pass along card. Now the dude never smiled or even showed he looked mad at everyone that saw him. When he handed me the breadsticks I asked him if I could trade him for a picture of Jesus. He got this giant smile on his face and was soo grateful as he said he wasnt having a good day. It just made my day at how just a small thing as a picture can make someones day so much better! 

One thing that I can testify of this week is PRIESTHOOD BLESSINGS! As we were struggling for an answer to help Myrna we felt so overwhelmed with everything going on. We asked our Elders for a priesthood blessing and as soon as it was over we felt the weight of everything being lifted, our hearts were more open, and it just felt so much better as we went about our day! For those of you who dont know; the priesthood is the power/authority of God to do work on this earth, because God's not here walking around he needs people to be his hands. So a priesthood blessing can be all sorts of different things, a blessing of healing or comfort, they help give us direction or relief in our lives. But they all depend on your own faith! THEY WORK! if you have faith that they will! In the Book of Mormon (if you want a copy let me know) 2 Nephi 31:19-20 it states "Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save." I just love that! Dont let ANYTHING shake your faith! Hope yall have a great day and enjoy the week!

Love Yall!

Sister Ashley Durtschi
The new mission president and his wife

The HEAT of Mississippi

Hey Yall

Well the heat isn't kicking us out of work yet....but DANG is it hot here! I never knew my body knew how to rain :P You just sweat so much it comes out like rain...we end up changing outfits like 2 times a day because we smell/look so gross. But we keep on pushing through and drink tons of water.

So this week was pretty great. We went on exchanges with the STL's. I stayed in Long Beach and Sister Winkel left to go to Diamonhead. It was so fun to be with Sister Garry and learn so much more from a new companion even if it was just for a day. 

I also got mono this that was not fun. We ended up staying inside all day Thursday because I was so sick. I felt so bad that we couldn't go out and work. Sister Winkel was so nice about it though and just kept saying "You get better now or we end up staying indoors for a week because you just kept pushing yourself to hard." So long story short I got better and we got back to work:)

So Myrna's baptism didnt happen...sad day. BUT it will! Her husband Kevin wasn't able to get work off for it so we ended up changing it. I'm just gonna say it will happen before August because we never know whats gonna end up happening until then...but she is still super excited to be baptized she just needs the right timing for it to take place. We just hope its this next week because transfers are next tuesday...gah thats crazy! Time is flying by!

We also ran into a man this week who was living in a less active house. He was this 84 year old guy that can only see 1/4 out of one eye and is totally blind in the other. He was cracking all these joke and just having fun, totally made our day as we didnt have much luck tracting for 3 hours that day. 

So one thing thats been on my mind a lot since I got to Mississippi is temples. Yall that live in Utah and Idaho are soooo lucky to have em so close to ya. The people here have to travel for 3 hours to get to Baton Rouge but they've had construction for the last 2 years on the road to the temple that it takes 5 hours just one way. While on my mission I dont have the opportunity to go to the temple. I really dont mind as I get to have so many other spiritual experiences, but I never realized how much a temple means as it was so close to wherever I lived. Take the chance to go to the temple as much as possible. Even if you arent old enough to do a session, go do baptisms for the dead! You will be the best missionary ever as you would be baptizing at least 10 people in one day! Like that is a dream as a missionary and yall have the opportunity to do that in just taking the time to go to the temple. So please this week strive to attend the temple. It is such a special and AMAZING place. 

Love Yall

Sister Ashley Durtschi
Sister Garry on exchanges:)

Water fight in the apartment...shhhh

Save a TURTLE!

Hey Yall!

What a week! I cant believe another week has passed! Time goes by so fast as a missionary! BUT you get sooo much out of each week!

First off...Myrna! Missionaries have worked with her for a LONG time. Her husband was baptized last year and she took the lessons with him. She also had the lessons in her home country too. So this week we went over to teach her husband, because she hadnt been very interested in the lessons for a while. We walk in and the whole atmosphere of the house had changed. Her husband says they have BIG NEWS and goes on to tell us Myrna wants to be baptized...GAH we all freaked out a little bit because it was so good to hear she was accepting the gospel! We taught the plan of salvation and set her with a baptismal date! It was so spiritual and so amazing that everyone was crying! Best moment on the mission so far!

We met a guy tracting who is 89. He was so funny and had so many stories to tell. We were talking to him for 2 hours with us trying to add in our message. We talked a little bit about God's love for us and the world. He turns to us and says "well I'm almost as old as God so I would know." haha he was dead serious too! Sister Winkel and I just started laughing and then stopped when he didnt laugh....awkward. But it was a good thing we ran into him. He was a miracle for the day as no one else in the area would talk to us.

Yesterday we were driving down the road in the GHETTO! which is actually like all of our area...but they are all nice...most of the time. But we're in the middle of the road and Sister Winkel and I both see a turtle crossing the screet(how they say street down here). Sister Winkel screams TURTLE and opens the door and jumps out....I was still driving! She like fumbles around a bit, I pull off the road, she grabs the turtle and runs him to the other side of the road...this has been her dream her whole mission to save a turtle from the road. So of course we had to take pictures with the turtle that she saved. She has such a kind heart...she doesnt even let me kill bugs!

Sister Winkel has also never tracted in the rain! EVER!! And she's been out almost ELEVEN MONTHS!! soo it poured all day yesterday and we had 2 hours of tracting left for the she finally got to tract in rain! I mean not drizzle's actual rain that gives you welts just walking in it. It was a great time because people would take pitty on us and invite us in, so then we taught them. It was so great! We decided we need to go out tracting when in rains from now on. Which it rains everyday all the time!

The 4th of July! Man do holidays make missionaries homesick. We have 4 elders and then the 2 of us in our ward and we all agreed that holidays are not so fun. We know exactly what the family is doing back home at that exact time as you are out doing missionary work. Luckily we went to a members house who let us eat tons of food and watch their fireworks. They have a huge family and even a town named after it was flippin cool to see all these people, who are all related and all look the same too! So the picture below is Karli (one of the family members). She is already the best missionary and is only FIVE! She knows all the missionary lessons better than I do. She cant wait to be a missionary!

Life is soo good in Mississippi and I'm loving the people! I hope yalls week has been great and the heat isnt killing yall!

Love ya,

Sister Ashley Durtschi
We saved our friend Murtle the Turtle:)

"they look better when you turn and watch upside down"-Hendrickson

Missionary Work

Hey Yall,

So this week we were trying to get into contact with some of the Less Actives (la) in the ward...because our ward has over 1,000 members but only about 200 are active. We ran into this guy named Lemuel. His cousin was there and is not a member so we started talking to her and asked Lemuel to explain what the Book of Mormon is. He starts going off about Joseph Smith and then he starts talking about how the Book of Mormon is Joseph Smiths translation of the Bible....long story short he didn't really know any of the restoration. So we pulled the "I'm a new missionary" card so we could teach him the correct restoration. 

That is one thing about down in the south. People are so nice that they just dont say no. We have a wonderful time finding people to teach and they seem so interested....but then when we come back for our appointments they hide and dont open the door. So we have had a hard time keeping them on our list of investigators. I love how nice everyone is, it just makes things hard sometimes to do missionary work. 

This is our last week with President McDonough (my mission president). They have served their 3 years and are ready to be home. President Olsen will be here Thursday and we are so excited for him, but it's a sad day to have a friend leave. President Olsen will be a great leader to us all though!

We had stake conference this weekend. It was so weird because out of the whole stake it filled just the normal chapel (which is smaller than the one back home). It made me realize that there are so many people in this area and we can barely fill our tiny chapel. I know we have a lot of work to do. The Lord really does help missionaries find and teach people. I have a testimony that He does answer our prayers and that as we ask Him with a sincere heart and with real intent we see the answer. It may not be the way we expect, but He does bring blessings and show us the way, so that we can return to live with him again.

I love you all! Keep up the love and prayers! Yall are AMAZING!

Sister Ashley Durtschi
Sister Kelly and Garry:)


Well hello yall! Hope all yall fathers had a FANTASTIC fathers day!

Since transfers last week we changed our district around a bit and because of that I am no longer the youngest missionary! We have a new missionary that everyone gets to tease now instead of me!:)

This week was kind of a crazy week. We spent 5 hours tracting yesterday in 100 degree weather! I really feel bad for the people we run into, because we really look and smell gross! BUT we are doing what we LOVE! There was one guy that opened the door, we didn't say anything and he just yells, NOOOOOOO and slams the door. That was pretty much this whole week. Which makes it really tough because they are all smiles and fun until they read our name tags and they see Jesus Christ and then they slam the door. Its hard, but it makes you realize how much Jesus Christ means to me and it just adds to my testimony of who He is!

In the process of knocking on 61 doors, in those 5 hours, we ran into 4 people that listened and were open to hearing more. We met a lady who had just walked out of the door when we knocked. She said that we were sent to here because she needed us and we invited her to church. She was so excited and said we were an answer to her prayers. When in reality she was an answer to ours. We hadn't had much luck in finding or teaching people last week and she was able to let us know we were following the spirit and let us find someone to teach.  We also ran into a man who stalked us on a golf cart after we had knocked on his door and said he wasn't interested. He said he still had things to talk to us about. We found out he is a youth minister and loves his Bible. He was so open to us and really liked what we said. The fact that he got up and found us after we had knocked on our door means a whole lot to us!

Since Sister Winkel was sick, we got to go on splits! It was actually really fun to get members more involved with the work, and get to know them more because when yall are in the hot/humid sun and knocking on learn a lot about a person.

This week has been great and I know the week to come will be too! I love yall and hope everything is going good!  

Sister Ashley Durtschi
Snowballs in the summer heat! #lifesavor


Hey Yall!

So to start off with....ALEX(my brother) got his mission call to NEW ZEALAND! He leaves November 5th, and going to the NEW ZEALAND MTC! I am so excited for him and his wonderful opportunity to help serve the Lord! One proud sister right here! #missionsiblings

This week was transfers...I'm staying in Long Beach with Sister Winkel! I am so excited to get the opportunity to learn so much more from her! It was great because on Saturday you get the call from either President (you're leaving) or the AP's (you're staying) so everytime the phone would ring we would have a mini heart attack. The time finally came and President called...but he said we were staying together, he just needed to talk to Sister Winkel. So we're staying in Long Beach! 

This week was also zone conference. It was kind of different because this was the last one for my mission president before he goes home, so it was a lot of goodbyes and pictures...but I was able to learn more about becoming a Christ like missionary:)

This last week we were out tracting with a member...were down this sketchy street, but everyone was really nice. As we're walking down the street we realize that one of the houses was really catholic. I mean the brick walls even had crosses in it!  So we knock...and then we was a church! #awkward We then walked away feeling very foolish but now the member always says "remember that one time we knocked on a church?" I guess it makes for great laughs/memories:)

We have an investigator that is progressing really well! She loves reading the Book of Mormon and loves the members we bring to teach with us...but she has a husband who is paralyzed and she cant leave him for more than an hour. This is a problem because he doesnt want to be any where near the church. So she isn't able to come to church because she cant leave him and he wont come. We are kind of at a standstill with them...but with the Lords help all things are possible! My mission has really opened my eyes to see how much the Lord really does play in our lives...not just as a missionary but a normal everyday life.

Life is going well and I am loving the work! Hope everything is going great for yall!

Love ya,
Sister Ashley Durtschi
Get to stay with this crazy girl for another 6 weeks:)