Monday, December 29, 2014

La Navidad!

My Dearest Family,
     It's Christmas! Well, sort of, not really. But it was! Christmas is the best. We have been told that Christmas doesn't end here until the Three Kings' Day so we will see what that is all about.

     Last Saturday was the ward christmas party. I don't think I talked about that. It was sort of super chaotic. They had us be the servers and so we obviously had a lot of angry Spaniards telling us how to do things correctly. I think in the end it was all good though. I didn't really eat anything, but the cake was good.      They told my campanion that she would give a talk on Sunday and we spent the whole week preparing it for her and then at the last minute they called and told her nevermind. At least she has a really good missionary Christmas talk all prepared for next year. Plaza de España (which apparently is in Star Wars) and then just kind of walked around down town. It was fun. Their piso is way cold. I'm happy to have our nice warm piso in Cádiz. We have a heater.
     Monday I went and partied it up with Hna Hurtado in Sevilla while our campanions went to do resdiency in Malaga. That means I got a pday in Sevilla! Way cool. We went to the

     And Wednesday was Christmas Eve. We didn't have to work so that pretty much meant almost all day in the piso until night time when we went to a member's for dinner. Christmas Eve is a big deal in Spain. Lots and lots of fancy food. We had a a lot of food. Then it was Christmas! We went to El Peurto de Santa Maria for breakfast with the rest of the zone. We had "make your own omeletes" boiled in a plastic bag (yes Dad, coolest thing ever). Then on the way back we took the ferry and we saw a dolphin! (Comes in as a close second with the omelet bag thing.) Christmas miracle. How many people can say they saw a dolphin on Christmas morning on their mission in Spain. Pretty sure that's only me and the other missionaries with me and then maybe some other people.. I don't really know. But percentage-wise in the world that is very very few. Pretty sweet.
     Then we went home and chocolate overdosed on all the goodies are families sent us, slept and then we went to the member's house again to skype our families.
     All and all a pretty good Christmas. Work right now is awful, but I'm sure it will pick up eventually.
Okay have to go. I love you.

Hermana Hannah Ashby

Monday, December 15, 2014


     I have my new companion! Her name is Hermana Evelo! She is from Florida. She is super awesome. I was really nervous about this whole training thing, but I am actually having a lot of fun. She doesn't know when I mess up! I spend half of every lesson translating what is going on to English, but she actually speaks a lot more Spanish than I did when I came in. I have just had fun teaching her all the cool things about being a missionary and being in Spain.
     I am trying really hard to think of something more to say. It's been raining like crazy. Hard to talk to people in the street when there aren't people in the street. We saw the Christmas devotional last night. It was pretty. I miss America.
     Today we are going to visit the castle and the cathedral. I have somehow become the designated pday planner for the zone, so if nobody else wants to decide, we are going to do the same thing we did a few weeks ago because I like it.
     And that's it. I love you! Have a good week!
Hermana Hannah Ashby

Friday, December 12, 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

Training and Christmas

     We had a pretty busy week. Lots of traveling. Trainers Training was a lot of fun. I am kind of afraid to have a brand new missionary. I hope that I don't mess her up for the rest of her mission. In this group they are all from the US or Albania (weird,right?) so I will have to help her to learn the language, the lessons, and the rules. Our schedule is a little different than the rest of the mission. We will have two hours more in our apartment for language study and a program called 12 Weeks where I'll have to teach her some weird missionary lessons.
     I'll be with a brand new misionary for Christmas! That's what I have the most fear for. She's going to cry. And then I'm going to cry. A couple of members invited us over and that's really good, like I'm excited, but at the beginning of my mission members were terrifiying. They spoke gibberish (spanish) and gave me weird food. I hope she is more courageous than I was.
     Saturday was zone meeting in Peurto de Santa Maria. We took a boat to get there. AWSOME. The english branch made us Thanksgiving dinner. It felt like home. And then afterwards they had their christmas party and we were all invited to stay. They sang a ton of christmas songs in english. Super weird. I felt like I was in America. We had a lot of fun.
     Transfer calls came for realsSsaturday. Hna Volpe is going to Malaga 4 to be with a sister that just got out of training. I totally called it. She is excited.
     Has anyone seen the "He is the Gift" video? The church is putting a TON of money and energy into advertising this video. Each companionship of missionaries has been given a GIANT box of pass along cards and we have been asked to hand out at least ten every day. That is nearly impossible I have discovered. Actually, I found out that they accept them if I point out that "the virgin" is on it. Fetching Catholics.
And that is it.

I love you all! Have a fun christmas season!
Hermana Hannah Ashby

Monday, December 1, 2014

Planchando las Orejas

     I'm training next transfer! Cool right? I am excited.
     What a week!
     We spent all week begging people to come to church and three came! We've had more here, but three was the minimum goal that we had so it worked out nicely. There isn't much else to talk about but church, so I'm starting with that. One of the investigators that came was an 87 year old friend of a member that we called to tell her happy birthday. (Well let's be honest, it was really to invite her to come to church.) But she came! Little things count. We are going to visit her this week. I hope she gets baptized. That'd be sweet.
     Another investigator that came was Paco. I can't remmeber if I've ever talked about Paco for reals. He is the brother-in-law of the less active who's mom died. They all live in the same apartment. When I got here he was very very very atheist and he was not afraid to tell us that every time we invited him to church. We got him to come to church once before the death of the mother-in-law and then he dropped of the face of the planet. He resurfaced yesterday. He told us he came to church to tell us that he wants to get baptized. I'm pretty sure he doesn't actually understand all that baptism entails, or even what the bible is, so we are going to have to take it a lot slower with him than he suddenly wants. I'm worried that he's snapped a little bit, but I didn't have a lot of time to talk to him yesterday so we'll see.
     The other is Rosa. we started teaching her a couple months ago and she has come every week. She would get baptized, but has a live-in boyfriend. Problem. Maybe they'll get married before I leave?
     That's pretty much it for our investigators right now actually. Well, we also have Pepi and family and friends but their beliefs are rooted in reincarnation and have told us more than once that they are too catholic to change religions. I don't get it either. They loved The Restoration movie.
     And that's my life.
     Wednesday Im going to Malaga for "trainer's training" and Friday we have Zone Conference in El Peurto de Santa Maria. There is a military base there with an American branch and they want to make us a belated Thanksgiving dinner. I am pretty stoked.
     You will know more next week! I love you!

Hermana Hannah Ashby

Monday, November 24, 2014

Tu Sabe

     This has been a weird week.
     So MaAngeles is still having problems smoking, so we came up with a genius idea. We decided to fast for her. We went to her house on Tuesday and told her that she was going to stop smoking and we were going to stop eating (for one day.) And everytime she wanted to smoke she had to think about us and about Heavenly Father and how we were there helping her. What a miracle it turned out to be. She has not smoked one cigarette since. I am really in awe.
     Wednesday night we took a train to Sevilla and stayed the night in the piso of the Hermanas there and Thursday morning we traveled to Málaga for a conference. Elder Kearon, a seventy, came to visit. It was super powerful. And it was super cool to see everyone.  Now as a mission we are attacking our days. We have to jump out of bed in the morning, pour our soul out to God, excersize like fanatics, shower with cold water, eat a healthy breakfast, pour our soul out to God again, and then study with purpose. Basicially start out with lots and lots of energy. I actually think it helps a lot. I'm into this thing. And since we are just a bunch of 20 year olds, it's cool to have a new phrase to shout at eachother. ATTACK THE DAY!
     Now I am back in Cádiz.
     Luis recieved the priesthood yesterday. He was really excited. The Elders Quorum President bought him a a whole set of new scriptures and the manuals for all of the classes. What a ward.
     We are ready to start a new week with energy. The goal of the mission is to have 250 investigators in Sacrament Meeting this next week. I have no idea how many normally come but we are totally going to meet this goal and it'll be exciting.
   And that's it.

Have a good week everyone!
Hermana Hannah Ashby

Monday, November 17, 2014


     It really happened! Se bautizó!
     I literally have five minutes. I am the worst time manager in the world. but I will relate what I can.
     We had a noche de hogar with Luis, his brother, and his sister-in-law on Tuesday in the house of a member. They were all super happy. We did a fun little object lesson about having a firm foundation. Mangeñes comitted to stop smoking once and for all. And Miguel comitted to staying active for the rest of his life. Without us saying anything to them. Mostly we were just focused on Luis. On Wednesday we went the house of a different member and watched the long movie of The Restoration with Luis. He liked it. Thursday... I don't remember. Oh! We went to his house with a different member (everyone wants to be involved when you have a baptism) and talked about priesthood. He wants to have it. Friday he had his interview. Our District Leader was surprised at how prepared he was. It's mostly bacause after every lesson he has with us he goes home and studies the topic thouroughly on the church website and then prays about it. He almost knows more than us now. Saturday was the baptism! It was incredible. The spirit was so strong. Afterwards, he asked if he could tak to us and he thanked us for saving him. I almost cried. It is all worth it.
     We also had more than 10 investigators at the baptism. There were more non-members there than members. I really don't know what happened. Cádiz is on fire.
     There was a family in Sacrament meeting that nobody recognized. Luis got up and hugged the father and it was super weird because it seemed like they were members, but they had never been to this ward before and we didn't have time to ask Luis who he was.Then when it was time for his confirmation the man got up and stood in the circle to confirm him. Afterwards we found out that the man was Luis's bestfriend from school but they hadn't seen each other for 20 years or so. He lives in Chiclana, about an hour away. He and his family "just happened" to decide to visit Cádiz this week. WHAT.
     We had a cita Saturday night with a new investigator and after church Luis asked us how it went and we told him we talked about The Book of Mormon but we aren't sure thas this guy is really interested. Luis got really serious and he asked us if we rememebered to tell him to pray about it. we told him "of course" and then he told us that this man was going to do it and in a couple of weeks he was going to be baptised. Like that's what always happens. duh.
     Well okay so now I have to go. For Reals.

I love you and I miss you! Thanks for all the prayers.
Hermana Hannah Ashby

Monday, November 10, 2014

Que yo no...

     AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are going to have a baptism!!!!! It's like really going to happen!!!!! If it doesn't, it's because a bus ran into Luis, so we are all going to pray that that doesn't happen, okay?
     We met with him three times again this week and he is ready to go. We reviewed the baptism interview questions with him and he was almost offended at how "easy" the interview is.
     Us:"Are you willing to live the law of tithing for the rest of your life?"
     Him: "I'm getting baptized... so, like, duh."

     Everytime we have an appointment with him I'm nervous that he's going to back out. But he's still going strong. He cancelled on us on Saturday, and I was momentarily devastated but then he told us it was because a member invited him to go to a Family Home Evening activity for Single Adults (mayores). Way to go members of Cadiz. I am proud of them all!
     In Sacrament meeting yesterday, they asked him to stand up and they announced his baptism (THIS SATURDAY AT 7) and he waved at everyone and I felt like a proud parent. But then he leaned over to us and whispered that the whole world was going to show up except for him--and we just stared at him. Then he laughed. And we just stared at him. I think my companion made a nervous giggling sound.
     I hope he was joking.
     Actually, yesterday was a miracle itself. We had four investigators in church and five less active members. Cádiz is blooming.
     I am just excited to be a missionary!

And now I have to go! Ill send you pictures next week!
Hermana Hannah Ashby

Monday, November 3, 2014


Querida familia y Amigos,
     I'm sorry I haven't written a ton of details, but I will try to feel you in now.

     Cádiz is a city of miracles.
     Okay, rewind.
     Like my first week here Hna Volpe brought me to a cita with a menos activa. Name: Mari Angeles. Hermanas have been visiting her house once a week for like 15 years now and she hasn't been to church once within those fifteen years.
     She was too busy to talk to us, so I asked if maybe we could come back the next week and watch a movie with her. Her husband's whole family was there and so I invited everybody but they kind of laughed at me and made some jokes about watching another movie about Joseph Smith And I was like "awkward, it was going to be a movie about Joseph Smith." So then I told them all that we could watch a different movie, and to just show up. Then we went home and panicked because the only other cool church movies we have in Spanish are either really girly or about Jospeh Smith. So we returned the next week with the plan to watch Saints and Soldiers. Neither of us had acuçtually ever watched it before. We got there and little surprise only her and her husband, Manolo, were there.
Basically it was a disaster. we didn't even have time to finish the whole movie. And as we left I told her that we were going to have an activity on Saturday in the capilla. She said, "no" right off the bat. But then Hna Volpe told her that it was my birthday, so then she asked me if I was really just inviting her to my birthday party and I was like... "yes?" and she told she would come!
     And she came! It was a miracle! She had never even been in that chapel because it was built about twelve years ago.
     And then she showed up the next day to church!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     I did a little dance in the hallway after church when she left.
     And she has not missed a week since.
     We have no idea what changed, or why she has suddenly reactivated herself. But Heavenly Father has let us watch the gospel change her life for the second time. She has to quit smoking and she will officially be açcounted as "rescued" and will be ready for a calling. She told me she didn't smoke even one cigarette yesterday, so it's going to happen. And about three weeks ago we saw her non-member brother-in-law (Luis) walking down the street and invited him to come to church and he came just like that. The next week he brought his inactive brother with him. We started meeting with him last week and he is GOLDEN.
     Tuesday, he asked us what he had to do to be Mormon and we taught him about baptism, then invited him to be baptized on the 15th and he accepted! Then we met with him again on Thursday (we teach him on a bench outside of McDonald's because he is a single man and lives alone) and gave him a calender with the baptism date and a list of what we were going to teach him before and he kind of flipped and told us he wasn't ready, and so we asked if we could meet him again on Saturday in the chapel so that we could show him the baptismal faunt and talk more about what it means to be baptised.
     Saturday we had a member from Chiclana come with us (she just got her mission call to Argentina, woohoo!) and we had a really spritual lesson in front of the baptsimal fount about the Atonement and how we can use the Atonement by being baptized and through repentance and that is the only way to be free from sin. Afterwards, the member asked him how he felt about meeting with us and he told her the story about how we invited him to be baptized, but he had a lot of doubts. And then he told her that it seemed like now all of his doubts had disappeared.
     He came to church yesterday and was inviting people to his baptism.
I am just so happy.
     And now I literally have no time.
I love you all,
Hermana Ashby

Tuesday, October 28, 2014



     So... Week of finding! It was miraculous! We worked hard and prayed hard and we found at least one new investigator every day. With a total of 10! We made our goal! It's cool because we normally only find about two every week. The mission found 897! That is more than our goal! Normally we only find about 200 as a mission in a week. So like big jumps here. It really was really cool.
     This week starts a new transfer. We are staying the same. And we are starting the transfer strong. With a ton of investigators, and menos activos that are on the edge of being counted as active. All in all we are pretty excited.
     Oooo! I learned how to roll my R´s this week! I know that I have been here for over 9 months now and I should have learned to at least make the same sounds of the language of the people here, but I didn't learn very fast. I had actually given up on that one. But it was not impossible! I can now say arriba.
     So yeah. Got to go!

I love you all! Have a good week!
Hermana Hannah Ashby

Monday, October 20, 2014

So Close!

Hey folks!
     So like I forgot about the whole everything closes in Spain at 2 oclock rule, so I am going to have to make this quick.
     Tuesday, Hermana Brown came to stay with us for the night because her companion had to go to the mission home for a night. Hna Brown is the one from Benton City. It was a blast. Hey, geuss what! We found an American store! It is super sweet. They sell Reese´s and Rootbeer and Bisquick and Syrup. And like a bunch of other stuff. I have begun to teach my companion America. And she teaches me Italy. Sometimes I even speak to her in English and she relplies in Italian and we just have whole conversations like that to the point that we forget that other people can't understand us. It's pretty weird.
     Yesterday the chapel was full! It was super super exciting! So many people came! We had a ton of menos activos and investigators there. The Elders did too. It is way more than I have seen in my mission.
Then after church we had ward council. This is the first ward council that Cadiz has had in a while and it sort of showed. It lasted almost 3 hours. An entire hour was spent with a conversation about what kind of drink was healthier and less expensive to bring to ward activities. Not a joke. Part of the problem actually is that the missionaries always bring cookies to the ward activities and that is just way too much sugar. Although I am pretty sure that the final decision was go coke or go home. I hope that you can imagine my headache.
     So like less than 5 mintues!
     This week is finding week! We have a goal as a mission to find 888 (o mas)  new investigators this week! That is a LOT. Like more than ever. Hermana Volpe and I are going to find at least 10 for sure. The most that we have found together  in one week is three, so we are expecting miracles. I am seriuosly pumped. This is going to be an awesome week.
Okay, thanks for everything. I love you all!
Hermana Hannah Ashby

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mama Mia!

     This was probably one of the most dramatic weeks of my life.

     Monday, we went to Jerez to play futbol. Woot. Hey geuss what! There is an Elder in Jerez that went to Richland High his freshman year and there's an Hermana that's in San Fernando that is from Benton. Cool, right? The things you learn when you wear your bomber shirt to pday.
     Tuesday morning, the Relief Society president called us to tell us that the mother of one of our inactive members died and she asked us to visit her. Well, we went right away and I was really surprised to see a ward support system. The Bishop and her visiting teacherss were already there. Three cheers for a functioning ward.
     Wednesday, I hit 9 months. Super weird.
     Friday, we had Zone Conference. Then we did intercambios. I went to Jerez again. This intercambio was actually pretty fun because we woke up on Saturday and went and played futbol all morning with members and investigators. Yay for not having to work in somebody else's area.
     Yesterday. Welp last night we went to go visit this member who's mother died. She invited us in and we went and sat down and her nine year old son ran in and sat down next to us and we were talking to them both when we could here yelling in the next room. So the member ran to the next room and the yelling escalated. We sat there trying (and failing) to distract the nine year old. then they all migrated into the kitchen and I didn't really see it all because I was focused on the kid, but the sister of the mom took a knife, and then the mom yelled at us to take her son and run. Hna Volpe says she saw the brother in law trying to strangle somebody. So we did as told and we could here screaming almost until we got to our apartment building. Then we sat down and tried to call the Bishop but he didn't answer. And then we called President because, like, we were stranded with a kid and in a pretty dramatic situation. Then the cousins of this kid came to the park next to where we were at, and a huge group of teenagers gathered around them and they started fighting each other and so then we ran again. It all kind of felt like a big nightmare. President called the Elders and ordered them to jump in a taxi ASAP and come to our rescue. So we went back to our buliding and the mom was sitting there waiting for us, crying. Then the Elders showed up, and they all came up to our apartment (totally not allowed but like the rules were already out the window at this point) and the Elders gave both the kid and the mom blessings. The boy was going through our stuff and he found my robot fish and I gave it to him. Sorry Mom, that was a birthday present from you. Then they all left and we were at peace again.
     So I called President to tell him everything was fine and he didn't have to worry. He told us we aren't allowed to go back to their house at least for the next several weeks, which I am not all that uspet about.
     He also told me that he was just in La Mancha and the second son of the Montes family has started preparing for a mission. He is a little on the older side to be preparing for a mission, so President asked him what made him want to go all of the sudden and he said it was because of the two hermanas. I just started crying. I still feel very emotionally about Peurtollano.
And yeah, that was my week. Good times.
Talk to ya lata
Hermana Hannah Ashby

Monday, October 6, 2014


     So a lot happened this week and I don't have a ton of time to write it all. So bear with me here.
Hannah and her enormous birthday box
     Tuesday, I got a giant package from my mom! We threw a mini birthday party during medio dia. My companion made me pasta and I opened everything--it was great.

"This one really excited me"
     Wednesday I went to the trizone conference in Sevilla. That was cool. I like actually knew people there this time. Like Most of my group from the MTC was there and it was super fun to see them all.
So in Spanish there are two forms to say"you": tú and usted (formal). In the white bible [Missionary handbook] it says to use usted and in the mtc they taught us to use usted but a lot of people get angry here when you speak to them in usted. So it has become our mission culture to use tu. And when I first came to the field everyone made fun of me for using usted so I dropped it quickly and never fully learned. Just lately I have even been perfcting my Vosotros. But at trizone conference President Deere called us all to repentance and told us that we all have to switch to speaking in usted form ASAP with absolutely everyone.
"me and a statue"

What a struggle this week has been.
     I feel like I am starting all over with my Spanish. More often than not I conjugate everything in tu and then add the word usted at the end of my sentences. It is terrible.

"Oraste anoche?.... I MEAN ¿Has orado.... usted?"
Nailed it.

     And this weekend was Conference weekend! I love General Conference!
This time I got to watch everything in English. They set it up in the Relief Society room for us, and all the missionaries in our zone came. It was fun and inspiring and just great. There is nothing like listening to a prophet's voice.
     And that's it. We are going to Jerez today to play frisbee or something I geuss. woot woot.

Until next week!
Hermana Hannah Ashby

"And now I'm a gangsta missionary"


Me and the ocean"

Monday, September 29, 2014

Aío, Hia, Aío

     So Cádiz is a blast. Literally everyone just loves us. They are a very warm people here.
Remember when I would make fun of the accent in Granada?
Me in front of the ocean
Well, here it is the same but ten times more pronounced and they talk ten times faster and have their own vocabulary. Instead of Adios it is Aío. Andalucia (the southern province of Spain) has its own phrase, "Que hay?" which is another way of saying "What's up?" I heard it every once in a while in Granada but it's the go to saying here and instead it comes out more like "¿Kaí?"
Cadiz: Isn't it adorable?
     A member this week told me that she liked me because I have a face of Pillina (by theway their ll sounds more like the Argentina ll) and I had never heard that word before so I went home and looked it up. Not in the dictionary. So I asked someone else and apparently it is like the Gaditana way of saying mischeif. You learn something new everyday. This really is an awesome city.
The Mar
 Saturday was my birthday! Woohoo! 20 years. We decided to plan a small activity with a few members. Hna Volpe is Italian so therefore she makes great pizza and so that is what the activity was: her teaching everyone how to make pizza. I didn't really tell anyone it was my birthday but somehow they all found out and a ton of more people came than was expected and they brought like three different cakes and a ton of food. They all chipped in and bought me a really fancy journal. I have only been here like a week and a half. I haven't learned anyones names yet, but I love them all.
Hna Volpe is great. She makes me delicious Italian food like every day, so of course I like her. We speak Spanish most of the time, but she really wants to learn English so when I remember I speak English when we are in our piso. We both need to learn Spanish so it's our go to language.
The view from our piso. You can see the ocean in the distance.
Me, Hermana Volpe, and a member. People are so nice here!
     Hna Parrilla called me for my birthday and I anserwed the phone in Spanish because I didn't know who was calling and so we just kept talking in Spanish and about halfway through the conversatoin  she realized it and she was like "You understand me!" I didn't even notice. It's weird how fast time has passed.
Arroz con Leche. Normally a plate
this size is enough for a family of four!
     Sunday, I gave a real talk to a real ward. The ward is big and self functioning. It's beautiful. I translated during Relief Society for a German lady. She knows English but not Spanish. She asked me to and I was terrified and I told her I didn't know if I actually would be able to and she asked me if I could just kind of give her the main subjects. But then I did it and I did fine enough. It was actually a pretty good lesson too. I haven't had Relief Society in a long time and I appreciate it more now.
This week we have Tri Zone Conference in Sevilla. That's pretty exciting.
So yeah, until next week!

Hermana Hannah Ashby

Hannah said she was super behind on pictures, so sent a bunch this week! Most of these are from Puertollano

Last Sunday in Puertollano. Kind of a random group of people. Including are our one and only real investigator to ever come to church. Had to be our last Sunday.

Presidente and Hermana Montes

Two of their sons

Ramona y familia

They dumped water on us on pday. Alicia Montes took this picture. Sghe wanted to make sure the door got in the picture so that i wouldn´t forget where she lived. Number 20, Granados

Rosa and Raul. Rosa has been inactive for like 25 years now and her son is 9. They gave me a soccer jersey.

The sun setting on my last day in Puertollano

Fernando y Perla

Fernando(padre) and a small fraction of his familia. Most frustrating family in the world. But I love them all.

The Hermanas of La Mancha

Belen and Sabrin. They gave me a pair of shoes

Antonia and her son Demetrio. They were some of our red zone miracles.

Monday, September 22, 2014


     This week was kind of a rollercoaster. Saying goodbye to Puertollano was way more difficult than I ever thought it would be. There were a lot of tears. We basically spent all Monday and Tuesday bareing testimony of Elders and begging people to listen to them even when we leave. I hope they have a lot of success.
     Bright and early Wednesday morning we took a train to Sevilla, because they wanted us out of there before the Elders got in. Then I said bye to Hna Hoffman and took a Train to Cádiz.
Cádiz is GORGEOUS. I have been told that it is actually the oldest city in Europe, but my source wasn't super reliable so someone should check that for me. Nevertheless, it is a beautiful city. It is kind of on a weird peninsula thing so the ocean is on both sides of our area. We have a full ward with a real chapel and everything. I don't know how big the ward is because we had Stake Conference this weekend. That's right, we are in a stake. It's pretty nifty.
     I also get PDays back. We are going to Chiclana today to do something or other. I don't even know but like other missionaries invited us because there are other missionaries here and traveling is cheap.
     I don't have a lot else to tell. Just figuring things out here.
I love you!
Hermana Hannah Ashby

Monday, September 15, 2014

Zion's Camp

Hannah's peternal Grandfather died last night. Her mission president's wife told her over the phone. As a family we have been trying to all think of two or three words that we think of when we think of Grandpa. This was Hannah's response:

I don't know what two words I would say about Grandpa. I kind of just have no idea. I know he was faithful. I know he cared about his family. I know he was creative. He invented some crazy things once upon a time. He was very smart.

And here is her email:

     Im outtie. We're outtie. Peace Puertollano.
     This weekend was transfer weekend. President Deere called us Friday medio dia. That is very early for transfer calls so we were double surprised. I answered and he asked me if we wanted to hear what was happening for transfers together. I didn't really care and I have always done it one at a time before so I told him one at a time was fine. He hesitated but then he told me that he was taking us both out. My heart dropped and I stopped listening and immediately pressed the speaker phone button and interupted and told him to repeat it so that we could both hear. Hna Hoffman imediately started sobbing. It took him a while to explain everything to us because we kept interrupting him with questions like, "what did we do wrong?" and "why were we here in the first place?" That was probably bad. Okay that was really bad. Poor, poor President Deere. There are a lot of Hermanas leaving this transfer and not very many coming in. And there are like 20 Elders coming in. And we don't really have any priesthood members in this branch. So Elders will probably be more effective anyways. We just cried. More than is socially acceptable. It is mostly just upsetting because the area was only open for Hermanas for 3 transfers.
     After he heard us react so strongly, Presdient Deere asked if he could actually taslk to us seperately. He told me that Puertollano was our Zion's Camp. Good thing I have read Our Heritage. If any of you know Church History you will understand how that might not be extremly comforting. It made me feel worse at first but actually I feel beter about it the more that I think about it. So I am headed to Cadiz. I geuss it's the oldest inhabited city in Spain. Or something like that. And Spain is old, so Cadiz must be, like, really old. I am going to be with Hna Volpe. Her first transfer in the mission was my last transfer in Granada. She started in Jaen. She went to the Alhambra with us. She seemed like a nice girl. She's Italian, so that's pretty sweet.
     We gave goodbye talks in Sacrament Meeting yeaterday. I am pretty sure that literally everyone cried. That was surprising. They liked us, who knew? We are going to go spend the rest of our Pday hanging with the branch president's family because they begged us to spend it with them. When you leave, everyone loves you. They said they would come visit me on my birthday in Cadiz. I told them that that was completely unecessary.
     We set two baptsimal dates with investigators this week. The Elders better baptize them.
It is nice that I will be in a ward again. There will probably be a Ward Mission Leader. We will probably go to a Ward Council. I bet there will even be a Relief Society President. Weird. THREE HOURS OF CHURCH. I didn't think about that until just now.
     Well got to go. I love you all.
Hermana Hannah Ashby

Monday, September 8, 2014

You Know You Live in Spain When...

     So today is the day of "La Virgen de la Gracia" the patron saint of Puertollano. So we were not able to have computer access this morning. Literally the entire town was lined up this morning to give flowers to the virgin. The line was longer than the line for Space Mountain at Disneyland. Some people were even dressed up in weird black lace nun type dresses. I can still hear the marching band from the town square.
     Thankfully, Mom, you are an ANGEL and you sent us The Work and the Glory. We watched all three of them today and yelled spanish insults at the mobers that called Emma Smith guapa. Literally saved our day. The grocery stores are also all closed, so for lunch we ate all of the potato chips we had hidden from ourselves. I feel a little sick. Hopefully things open up again tomorrow so that we can eat.
     This is pretty much the most exciting thing that has happened to me all week. Guess how many people we had at church on Sunday? 19!!! Remember how last week there were 10 and we were excited it hit double digits? 19 is a big jump. By far the most I have seen. There is a whole other family that lives here now. Everyone is coming back from summer vacation and it is so exciting. I can't even remember what it is like to have a full ward. I feel like that would just be overwhelming.
     My companion and I bought matching key chains that say I <3 Puertollano. They are SWEET. Only souveniors we have been able to find. Everyone at zone meeting laughed at them like it was a joke and I was offended. I love Peurtollano.
Yep that was my week.
I loveyou! Have a good week everyone!
Hermana Hannah Ashby

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Así es la Vida

¡Buenos Días!
     Sort of an uneventful week. 

     We picked up two more investigators that are sweet. Fernando y Perla. He is 20 she is 19. They are dating secretly because he is a gypsy and she is not and their parents aren´t allowed to find out. It is all very Shakespeare-ey. We assigned them to read a story in The Book of Mormon and they came back very animated about it and told us the story back in detail. They are cute. We gave Fernando`s dad a lecture about how it is a commandment to love eveyone and invited him to invite his son and his friends to church. He is a member by the way. Then we told Fernando about it and he kept saying "Las Hermanas son guays!" (the sisters are cool) over and over again in surprise. Won them over. 
     We are still teaching that guy we found last week but he works a lot.

     A new member moved in and it got our sacrament meeting assistency up to 10 this week. He also loves missionaries and that is always nice. 

     Okay, that is it. I love you!
Hermana Hannah Ashby

Monday, August 25, 2014

Jesus es mi Luz

Dear Everyone,

     This week felt a lot more successful than last week. We like stayed and worked.
La Sagrada Familia
Typical Spanish Dancing
     Last Monday we got a new investigator and he is awesome! Back round info first. A couple of weeks ago we went on a street contacting spree. We were desperate for new people to teach so we literally tried talking to everyone. Within like 2 or 3 days we had conversation with 30 random people in a row and every single one of them rejected us. This is not counting all of the doors we knocked. We were kind of losing hope, which is bad for missionaries. We finally talked to one women who gave us her number, which broke the strike but she has yet to actually answer the phone. So that was what we were going through and feeling when one day we are walking down the street and from pretty far away we see a man running towards us and we both felt like we needed to talk to him. So we cornered him. And asked him where he was from. It was not a very smooth approach. The man was jogging so he was sweating and breathing heavily and looking at us like we were nuts. He'd tried to go around us but we wouldn't let him. So he told us he was from Columbia and we continued with awkward random smalltalk until we told him that we are from America and we are missionaries. He asked us if we were Mormon and he told us that his best friend from high school is Mormon and he was always kind of curious about what we believed and he gave us his address and then went running away.
In Jerez
Again in Jerez
     So then Monday we stopped by his apartment. He told us to come in (which does not happen here) but we told him we couldn't because there was not another woman there. He accepted that very well and let us teach him about The Book of Mormon right there in the doorway. Literally best first lesson I have experienced on my mission. He just got what we were saying so easily and asked thoughtful questions. Then we came back a few days later and had another really smooth lesson on the restoration of the church. He just got it. He even accepted a baptismal date so fast, which we have not had since I first got here. He committed to coming to church but then called Saturday night to apologize because he works/studies at the hospital and Sunday morning it was his turn for the guardia. Honestly I don't know what a guardia is but apparently it's something the medical students have to take turns with. We decided that he had a pretty good excuse and we are totally getting him to come to church with us next week.
     So like I realize that was only one story but it was a long story. And I don't have anything else very exciting to say.

Hermana Hannah Ashby