Monday, April 28, 2014


     So we did intercambios again this week with the SHEs in Málaga. I can´t actually remember what their official title is anymore, but yeah. This time Hna Flake came here with me. I was super nervous that I wouldn't be able to get anywhere by myself but it turns out Grana was actually Hna Flake's first area too. It was fun to hear her stories about the members and everything and I actually had planned on visiting her favorite member that day anyways. It was a lot of fun and I feel like I learned a lot from her in just that short amount of time. She also showed me where to find the best ice cream on the planet. Like literally it is so good. I have been there twice now with Hna Muse. mmm
A "live worm" vending machine
     Yasmin came to our Noche de Diversión this week! We made temples out of marshmallows so of course she had fun. Then afterwards we gave her a tour of the Stake Center. When we walked into the chapel and turned on the lights we could all feel the spirit so strong. I finally broke the silence and asked Yasmin how she felt when she was in that room and she said she felt so much peace and like she couldn't think any bad thoughts at all. Then we showed her the baptismal fount and she got really excited and asked us all kinds of questions about our baptismal service. Hna Muse and I were planning on challenging her to get baptized on the 10th this past Friday but she was grounded and couldn't meet with us. and then she was supposed to come with us to church on Sunday but her mom called us Saturday night and apologized but she wasn't going to let Yasmin come with us to church either because she wasn't being responsible enough at home. But Diana promised us that she would let her come with us next week and we are meeting with Yasmin again tomorrow. As long as her mom is okay with it we are thinking we are going to challenge her to be baptized on the 11th instead. Both of us really feel like she is ready.
     So we are all cutting this Día de Blanco thing a little short. Especially since to get baptized an investigator first has to attend church twice so we basically have no one. So Hna Muse and I are thinking of throwing that out the window and changing it to a White Weekend. Why limit ourselves to one day, right?
     Okay here is another cool story: We had a lesson with this inactive member mom (Glenda) and her 16 year old daughter Romina (who has not been baptized) on  Saturday. We taught the Restoration lesson and it went really well and we were closing up and then Romina asked if she could ask us a question. She said she thought she was watching a documentary and she found out that heaven was a tree. We just looked at her like she was insane and we asked what documentary she was watching and then she changed it to saying she must have read it in the bible or something about a spititual tree that everyone has to get to and eat from to get to heaven. And so then we asked where she read that in the bible (cuz it isn't anywhere I have seen ) and she told us that actually it was a dream that she had and she just wanted to know if we knew what it meant. She continued to describe that in her dream there was a ton of dark fog but then a big glowing tree and a straight path to this tree and people kept getting lost in the fog but it was everyone's goal to make it to the tree so that they could go to heaven. Hna Muse and I kind of just looked at each other because we had literally just been studying Lehi's Dream that morning during comp study. Hna Muse opened up her scriptures to 1 Nephi 8 where she glued in a picture of Lehi's Dream and then Romina's eyes got really big and she just kept saying "That's my dream! That's my dream!" So we told her what it was and where she could read it. Then she said to us "So, if my dream was in this book than that means this book is true and that means listening to you two is the true path that I need to follow, doesn't it?" We were like "Uhhh yeah. Exactly." I am not making this up. She had Lehi's Dream. She is getting baptized. Eventually. Just wow.
     Last night we had an amazing lesson too. We had an appointment with this lady who canceled on us (of course) so we were going through are list of possible future investigators and just kind of knocking doors when we remembered that we had forgotten to call this girl we had met on the street a couple of weeks ago. So we call this girl (Alejandra) and she tells us she had tried calling us before but the number she had was wrong but she really wanted to meet with us that night. That is weird because people don't normally try calling us, let alone asking us for an appointment! Obviously we didn't have anything better to do so we went to her apartment. We had inconveniently given away our last copy of The Book of Mormon to this guy earlier that day so we didn't have another one to give her and teach her about (that is normally our first lesson). So we decided to go with teaching her the Plan of Salvation. She was extremely receptive to everything we said and asked really thoughtful questions about it and agreed to everything we said. So then at the end we told her about the Celestial Kingdom and how we will be with our families and Heavenly Father there. And she really liked what we were saying so I decided to go for it a challenge her to be baptized. And she accepted right away!!!! We didn't give her an actual date because well.. the 11th is honestly a little soon and to commit her to it after the first lesson but fingers crossed. We meet with her again on Thursday.
     Which brings me to another amazing miracle. Yesterday started the week of Consecration for my mission. We are all consecrating absolutely all of our work,time, and efforts to God this week. The Granada district will be fasting twice and we are all going to be exactly obedient (that includes not saying fetch). And Hna Muse and I have already had something amazing happen. Starting tonight, We have an appointment every single hour possible this week. We are completely booked. We are thinking about taking out medio dia to fit more people in. This has never happened to me before. Remember that week when Hna Parrilla and I only had 5 lessons in one week? well we already had three yesterday. This is insanity. Semana De Consagración = Semana de Milagros all leading up to our fin de semana blanca. I am Pumped.
I love you all and miss you! Don't forget to write me!
Hermana Hannah Ashby

Here are some pictures from Semana Santa! (Holy Week)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Semana Santa


     This week was not as exciting. Time is actually going by really fast. I hope that that is a good thing.
     We got five new investigators by Tuesday and we were psyched but then once again every single one of them dropped us by Sunday. We are suddenly having crazy success finding investigators... but keeping them is a problem. Nobody likes commitment. I am willing to take advice here.
Hannah's "chapa" in front of the Alahambra
     Another issue that we had this week is Semana Santa. Okay really it was super cool. Basically, because it is Easter week, all of Spain was out on the streets and there were parades every day and just lots of festivities. But all of that is sort of an issue for missionaries who are trying to visit people. Nobody was home all week, including members. And contacting was awful because, well, normally everyone here is an unpracting catholic or catholic by tradition but they are suddenly very practicing during semana santa. It might also have something to do with the alcohol that was being sold on every street corner. Apparently the celebrations are one of the biggest in Granada. Claro.
Hannah and Hermana Muse in their new Easter clothes
that they bought at the "Chino"
     So we have this investigator that I like to call our eternal investigator. She is this old spanish lady named Araceli. she has been visited on and off by the missionaries for (get this) 18 years. And I totally get why nobody has officially dropped her. She totally has a testimony and she reads out of the Book of Mormon when we ask her to and she comes to church every once and a while and everything. But she refuses to pray. I think her problem is that she just is afraid that we are right and she will have to do something about it. So everytime we go and visit her we do it with the intention to drop her. She doesn't want to change and she has her agency. But every time we go, we either have a really spiritual lesson and she progresses just a tiny bit or she buys us something. This time she gave me a spanish grammar book from the sixties but our lesson was kind of a mess. She told us that there was no possible way that she could believe in Adam and Eve. So I asked if she had prayed about it. Of course she hadn't. So I pulled out a scripture. Well, I had read this scripture in my personal study earlier in the morning (in english)and it talked about praying but I couldn't really remember exactly what it said. and so I pulled it out and skimmed through it in spanish and it seemed good enough so I had her read it. But About half way through I realized it says something about people not praying and not receiving answers because of the hardness of their hearts. SO AWKWARD. But then she finished reading and I didn't know what to say and I just felt guilty (even though it is totally true) and she turned to me and just said, "That's true I have a hard heart. That's why I haven't received answers." This is me. Welp... yeah. So we called her  the next morning and she had prayed and she said she felt peaceful. So I geuss we arent going to drop her yet.
     Yesterday I heard the best talk of my life. It was the bishop's daughter's first talk (she just turned 12 this week) and it was probably 1 mintute long at most and it ended with "este es mi testimonio y yá está" which means "this is my testimony and that's it" and then she sat down. She said a lot more than I could've in Spanish.
     We visited Yasmine last night por fin. I really think that she is going to be baptized in the near future still. I have never seen someone with a stronger desire to know the truth. She is so precious.
    This morning we just kind of wondered through the city and it was pouring rain. But it was fun.
And this this lady was trying to get us to rent segways and so she let each of us take a turn riding one. soooo much fun. I think I might actually rent one one of these days....
Trying not to slip
So thats it!

Hermana Ashby

Monday, April 14, 2014

Creo en El Sol

Hannah's first district
Hey fam!
     This week was just a roller coaster. So much has happened but I don't even know what to write about.

The fountain around the corner from their piso
     Last monday night we had a lesson with Yasmine. She told us that she wants to be a Mormon, but the problem with her (and with everyone else that we teach, really) is that we can't get her to come to church. There is just something about the Spanish culture that makes actually attending church a ridiculous idea to everyone. Like, "Sure I'll get baptized... but wait, you want me to go someplace on a Sunday?"
Hannah's poor sunburnt legs
     Whatever. Anyways, SO then after the lesson we asked her about Nayeli again. We had tried visiting her a few times but we could never actually find her apartment complex (nothing is marked here) and she said she would walk us there. We thought she was just going to show us the way but she goes all the way up and rings the door bell. Nayeli's mom (Sonia) answers the door and we ask her about The Book of Mormon and she was excited, but busy, so we have an appointment with their family this Wednesday--fingers-crossed. So then we left and we expected Yasmine to just go home but then she told us about another Brazilian friend that lived close and she offered to introduce us. We were like, "okay whatever you want." So we get there and the friend (Gabrielly) wasn't there but the dad was and he just told us his life story and he told us that he was seeking direction to his life and that we were the answers to his prayers and he promised us he would come to church with us on Sunday. Then we left and Yasmine went home and we started walking to our piso and a man came up to us and asked us what church was true. Boy did we have an answer for him! We explained how Joseph Smith had the same question and we just gave him the watered down version of the first vision and we asked if we could visit him again sometime. He told us that he doesn't have a telephone but he is always in the same part of the street every night and we could come back on Wednesday. After we left him we were seriously just so in awe about how our night was going and then another person approached us! this little old Ecuadorian lady just had a son die and and she was seeking direction and faith. We prayed with her and the spirit was just so strong. She works constantly though and we have been trying unsuccessfully to meet with her again. That night was just seriously so insane. I hope that happens again someday.
     So now for a funny story. We were studying one morning and our doorbell rang. Well, that was weird because we are missionaries and we are usually on the other side of the door. I didn't even realize we had a doorbell until then. I looked at Hna Muse expecting her to go answer it because I don't speak Spanish but she just stared at me like you can do it so I grumpily shuffled around the corner and opened the door and this little old NUN was standing there. I was in shock. She said "somos las hermanitas de las pobres" and then something about wanting money so I said "somos las missionaras y no tenemos dinero." Her eyes got really big and she pointed to the picture of Jesus Christ that we have on our door and asked me what it meant so I told her that it is JesuCristo and I turned around to show her another picture that we have on our wall and she pushed her way into our apartment. I repeat, the nun was in our apartment. She went strait to our table with all of our pass along cards and just started sayin "que bointo, que bonito" and proceeded to take one of every single pass along card. I mean, some of them it made sense that she would like them because they had pictures of christ and say things like "faith brings hope" but she even took the ones that have a picture of Joseph Smith and say "the truth was restored spring 1820" sort of an awkward thing for a nun to want, but whatever. Then her companion comes into our apartment and looks at all of our stuff and they both just say "que bonito" over and over again and FINALLY Hna Muse comes in and her faced just looks soooo confused and then the nuns leave. Hna Muse asked "what in the world just happened" it feels like a crazy dream. That was the morning the Mormon missionaries had Catholic nuns in their apartment.

     Now I guess I'll say what happened when we tried to go visit Orlando again. Orlando was the man that approached us on the street. SO we went back to his little spot and he had a friend there. His friend told us that Orlando was busy so we thought maybe we could teach the friend. Well the first question that we asked him was if he believed in God. He just looked at us and said he believed in the sun and then tried to tell us about the special powers that the sun has. We nodded and told him to tell Orlando that we stopped by. He was just a little much.
The river just outside their piso. 
      Yesterday, and really mostly Saturday, were the most disappointing days in my life. First, our investigator Patricia called us with some bad news. Patricia had been taught by missionaries before but she worked to much to really make time for them. But earlier his week we met with her and she told us the she was reading The Book of Mormon and she knew it was true and she wanted to get baptize and come to church on Sunday and we were crazy excited. But then Saturday she called and told us her husband is very catholic and he is mad now and it is just better if we don't ever come back. So devastating. But really not as devastating as the call we got later that day. Jackson called at like 11 (we don't have to go to bed now until 11:30 in case you were wondering) and told us that he is moving back to Brazil and and it was nice talking to us but his phone isn't going to work anymore and he won't be coming to church because he will be moving. We honestly almost started crying. And of course our ward mission leader wanted to meet with all the missionaries before church Sunday morning to see how everyone is progressing towards el dia blanco. We got there and he was telling all of the elders about how he is sure that the Hermana's area is the easiest area in Granada because our numbers were so good this week and how everyone in this area listens and we barely have to work. We were just speechless. It still makes me angry. Man.
So we basically have to start over this week. We really need miracles if we are going to have 3 baptisms on the 10th of May. I don't even know where we are going to start. But that is okay. Heavenly Father is preparing people.
Now I am officially out of time. Write you next week.
Love Always,

Monday, April 7, 2014

Estamos Aquí en Graná

Queridos Todos,
     I had a realization this week. I am not in Granada (she said in a very thick American accent) I am serving in Graná. I don´t know how I missed that one. I LOVE when the locals cut off the ends of their words. I even have a hard time not laughing when people tell me they don't have time "pá ná." Fetching hilarious.
     I can hardly even remember the beginning of this week. Lets see.... I went and had tapas with Hna Parrilla!  You just go into a restaurant and tell the waiter that you want tapas and they just bring you out random miniature dishes until you tell them to stop. My favorites were these chicken on a stick thingys. My least favorite was the rabbit. That's right I ate rabbit. Except I didn't know I was eating rabbit. I asked Hna Parrilla if it was pork or something and she said she thought it was chicken and it was obviously not chicken to me so I told her she could have the rest and then later on I asked if it was rabbit and she was like "oh yeah that makes sense now! I love rabbit!" Crazy spaniards :P
     So then on Wednesday Hna Parrilla was gone and Hna Muse came. Just incase you were wondering I was indeed able to find our piso from the bus station. Every thing else I found with a map. Hna Muse is great. Shes a super hard worker. Honestly kind of the oppisite of Hna Parrila. She is going to take some getting used to, but I think that we are going to have  a ton of success this transfer. I can just feel it.
     Our ward wants so badly to be two wards and they all expect the missionaries to start kicking it up and have a like a million baptisms. Our ward mission leader decided to set a Dia Blanco for us. He wants each companionship to have three baptisms on May 10th. We are going to fast every Tuesday for it and ask a different family every week to fast with us. I am super excited. Miracles are possible.
     Speaking of miracles who watched Conference this weekend? I know I did! Conference was Amazing! The Saturday morning session I watched live and in english on a computer in the chapel at like 6 pm. then we had to wait to watch the Saturday afternoon until 2 the next day. There is an American family temporarily living in our ward and they invited all of the missionaries over and we ate classic american food and watched Conference in english. You have no idea how comforting that was. And it was probably my favorite session. Some super fuerte talks. But Hna Muse and I couldn't watch the next session in english because we brought an investigator with us! Sacrifice right? In fact, our investigotor called us TWICE to see when it was. I honestly don't know what made her suddenly so excited but it was a miracle. I even understood most of the talks. I love Conference. Sunday night we got special permission to stay up in the capilla to watch the last session. But about ten minutes before the computer crashed with some kind of crazy virus. All of the elders were surrounding it and trying to figure out what was happening. They spent probably 45 minutes there until finally I was just like "why don't we pray?" They all kind of turned around and looked at me and I said "um we are missionaries. We are supposed to pray" we all got down on our knees right there and prayed. Then we stood up and sure enough the computer was working. Not going to lie, we were all in shock. Everyone highfived me. Prayers are answered.
And that's pretty much all I have to say right now. I am still loving Graná. After we left the American family's house we overlooked the city ( they live on a mountain) and Hna Muse said "we live in the coolest city in the world" And it's true.
I love you and miss you!
Hermana Hannah Ashby