My name is Ashley Smith. I am a Logan, Utah native, a freshman at Brigham Young University, 19 years old and starting my papers this week to become a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! I am so excited for the opportunity to serve a mission. It is a fantastic blessing in my life to be able to serve right now, at age 19. I know that the Lord is preparing those whom I will share the Gospel with, and I can't wait to meet them and share my testimony of the truthfulness of this Gospel with them.
In preparation for my mission, I was asked by my bishop to complete a "missionary preparation plan". The whole purpose of this plan is to "decrease the influence of the world" and "increase the influence of missionary work" so that I will be ready when I enter the MTC and the mission field. It has only been a week since I have started this plan, but I can already feel my love for the Gospel and missionary work grow even more!
One of my goals is to study at least 100 General Conference talks before I leave on my mission. Tonight, I read the very inspiring talk given by Elder Neil L. Andersen in last October's Conference, titled "Trial of Your Faith". In this talk, he quoted George Q. Cannon, and is now one of my favorite quotes:
“No matter how serious the trial, how deep the
distress, how great the affliction, God will never desert us. He never has and
he never will. He cannot do it. It is not His character. He is an unchangeable
being; the same yesterday, the same today, and He will be the same throughout
the eternal ages to come. We have found that God. We have made Him our friend,
by obeying His gospel; and He will stand by us. We may pass through the fiery
furnace; we may pass through deep waters; but we shall not be consumed nor
overwhelmed. We shall emerge from all of these trials and difficulties the
better and purer for the, if we only trust in our God and keep His
As a missionary, I am sure I will have hard days - without a doubt in my mind! But I know that my Heavenly Father loves me, as He loves all of His children, and as long as I put my faith in Him, I will make it through all of those hard days. It saddens me so much to think that there are so many people in the world without this knowledge, without the knowledge of their one true Friend. If I am able to teach to even one person that they have a Heavenly Father who loves them so much, a Savior who atoned for all of their sins and heartaches, and that they can return to live with them again, then I will consider my mission a success.