Lessons on Surviving, Turning Trials into Trails, and Choosing Happiness (Part 5 of 5)

Today is the part 5 of a 5 part blog series I have been sharing all week this week. Throughout this week I have shared snippets of emails that my daughter Ashley sent home while she was serving her 18 month mission. For those who have followed along all week this week I am hoping you can see the incredible change that took place in her life over the course of this mission. Spending all day every day focusing on serving others and serving God brought tremendous growth and maturity into my daughter’s life. I don’t know that there could have been any other circumstances that could serve to teach person so much as this experience did. What I have learned is that the more we focus on helping others and the more we stop focusing on ourselves, the happier our lives become. Here are the final snippets of some of her last emails home:


I GOT HIT BY A CAR!              

True story! I literally got hit by a car this week on my bike! A little old grandpa was entering the freeway and just must not have seen me! It is literally a miracle that I didn’t die! And walked away with just a bruised up knee! He was going pretty fast and I should have been directly in front of him when he actually hit! GUARDIAN ANGELS ARE REAL! President Wakolo and the mission nurse had me go into the hospital just to solidify that I was alright and get x rays! But honestly I was fine! I think I was in shock afterwards and it took me a minute to realize what happened… But holy crazy. My bike was a bit bent up and I have to take it into the shop to get it fixed… But MIRACLES ARE SO REAL! I am so grateful for my life and health! GOD IS GOOD!!! Look both ways before crossing, kids!!

Ashley sent a follow on email to me because she obviously knew I would be panicking when I read her email. It said:

Mom honestly I’m totally fine! It could have been so so much worse than it was!! I literally walked away with just a bruised knee!! But it was def one of those life wake up calls like…. “Oh yeah, I’m super lucky to be breathing right now!” So super cool though that no joke my guardian angels pushed me forward out of the road!!! Just inches of a difference and I would have been toast!!


We each have the same and equal opportunity to choose happiness. Whether we are happy or not truly depends on US. It is stringent upon our thoughts, words, actions, and what we CHOOSE to surround ourselves with. It depends if we are willing to allow our trials lead to trails. If we let them positively shape who we become. We may not have the choice in which trials we are dealt. But we always choose the outcome 100% of the time.

CHOOSE HAPPINESS! Let us live Gods plan by ACTING and not being acted upon. We need not let our bodies, technology, media, or worldly distractions control us or who we become. We each have the divine potential to become as God is. God has given each of us the ability to be in full control. All it takes is self-mastery with His help. Then we will be able to turn out trials into trails that lead to exactly where He intends for us to be.


This is it! The last one!

My mission has changed and shaped my whole life. God has taught me more in this last 18 months than in my entire 20 years of life. I’ve laughed, cried, learned, taught, sweat, suffered, enjoyed, experienced, and walked with my very Savior Jesus Christ. It’s been the best 18 months OF and FOR my life. Yet I know the greatest works that I will ever do in this life are yet to come. I can now honestly say that I know that Jesus is the Christ.


Hermana Lewis


***I am so glad I was able to share all these emails with you. I hope they impact your lives the way they have impacted mine. And great thanks to my amazing daughter Ashley for being willing to sacrifice a part of her life to go and serve others  over the last two years and thanks even more for sharing her experiences with all of us. 

I love her reminder that happiness is a choice!!! Have an incredibly happy weekend ahead everyone!

~Amy Rees Anderson

1 Comment

  • Brenda says:

    Thank you for sharing her growth ad testimony with us. Your posts give me an added boost of positivity to start each day!

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