Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Pueblo Life

Well Hello,
     Another week passed in Puertollano. Just preaching the gospel, strengthening church. Yup.
     We did intercambios with the SHEs in Dos Hermanas. I found out what SHE stands for finally: Super Hermana Entrenadora. Woohoo. I kind of hate doing intercambios. I am trying to gain a testimony of it so hard. I stayed here and guided poor unsuspecting Hermana Moreno around. I was happily surprised that  I can actually find my way around the town by myself. Also, I spoke nothing but spanish for 24 hours and I like didn't have a problem. Didn't know I could do that. We also lost our top investigators to long term vacations but I guess that just means we have more room to find and teach new people. A lot of room.
     At least we know crazy Pedro will never leave us. Have I ever talked about crazy Pedro? He's crazy. He tells us he can't leave his piso and come to church because he is waiting for an ambulance to come and get him. He called them 74 days ago (he counts) so they really should come any day now. But he really likes the Plan of Salvation.
     We were just walking along the other day when an old lady stopped me. I couldn't understand what she was saying because she was old and spanish so I made her repeat herself like four times when I finally realized she was asking if I would help her cross the street. I said sure so she linked her arm through mine and we began the long procession of crossing the street. I expect my boy scout badge to come in the mail any day now.
     Yesterday we went to lunch at the house of the Montes family again. The main course? Rabbit leg. I ate a rabbit's leg. He kept calling it Bugs Bunny and I wanted to die. It was attached to the bone and everything and even looked like Bugs Bunny's leg. My stomach has become strong.
     So that's pretty much all I can think of right now. I love you all. Have a good week.
Hermana Hannah Ashby

Monday, July 21, 2014

Las Perdidas Hermanas de Puertollano

Hey peeps.

So I really don't have a ton to write about this week. Pretty much same old same old. I really really hate public speaking in spanish so I think that is why I am here- to get used to it. I gave a taller (I don't even know what that word is in english) for district meeting and gave a talk on Sunday. So fun.

Hna Hoffman made cinnamon rolls for the district meeting. We brought them in tinfoil and told the Elders that she made them for them and so they thought that that meant that they were just supposed to bring them home.... so they took them all and didn't give us any. We never even tried them and our apartment has smelled like cinnamon rolls that we didn't eat all week. We have been fuming about it. My comp swore she is never making cinnamon rolls again which is super said because I really want some!

Sabrin, an eight year old daughter of a member was baptized this weekend. She is super adorable. More members showed up for her baptism than showed up for church so you can tell she is really loved. Like the pride and joy of the branch.
I will try to send pictures. We had planned on bringing our cinnamon rolls to share with the branch but well that didn't work out....
 And we told Presidente Montes (the branch president) what happened and he demanded that we give him the elders number so that he could yell at them. We didn't give it to him, but that made us feel better.

So yesterday, Hna Hoffman went into the bathroom to take a shower, turned on the faucet and only dirt water came out. Somebody was messing with our pipes outside. Super gross. But don't worry everything was back to normal this morning so I have showered!

And that was my week! Love you all!

Hermana Hannah Ashby

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Baptisms, balloons and prayers

Life is good out here in the middle of no where. Things are never boring in the life of a missionary.

     Long story short we are teaching this giant gypsy family. The dad (Fernando) and the oldest daughter (Remy) were baptized when the elders were here. We set a baptism date last week for the youngest daughter (Chiki) and Remy's oldest daughter (Natalia). They are both twelve years old. Natalia stole 20 euros out of Hna Hoffman's wallet though last monday though so we dropped her date. Chiki is probably the most sane out of them all though so she would be getting baptized this coming up Sunday if the branch president lived in Puertollao and was actually here sunday night. If he weren't the only worthy priesthood holder in the town and therefore the only one who actually affect the baptism we would probably just do it without him.... but thats life. we are going to watch the best two years with her today for our pday... hopefully it makes sense to her...
     We had a district (not stake) party thing here on friday. In total, from all over La Mancha, there were probably enough members to make up a ward. It was really excting to see our chapel that full. Although our branch president pulled our cone leaders into his office to tell them that he was disappointed in them because they weren't helping us. Then on Sunday he pulled us in to tell us he had this vision or dream or what have you:

Maybe we would have more success if we tried picking a building and then just knocking on random doors in that building, even if we didn't know the people that live there, and then just talking to people.

I thought it sounded  genius but then I remembered that we already did that and that we don't actually need to do that as much now because we have people to teach. He was pretty much shocked to hear that. Then he was mad we didn't tell him. I don't even know what anybody expects anymore.
     My favorite people in Puertollano are these two Ecuadorian sisters. The first time we knocked on their door the oldest told she was atheist but we talked to her long enough that she agreed to let us come back. We have now taught them three or four times. In our lesson on saturday she finally prayed for us for the first time and it was the most sincere thing I have ever heard and kind of exactly like the prayer by the king with Aaron in the book of Mormon. She just like started and said "God I don't know if you are there or not but these girls told me that you are and I hope that you are and I would really like to know if you are there and I am thankful for my family. Amen."
     It was beautiful and then she passed out. Just kidding! She is still conscious but I am sure she still felt the spirit. And that God was listening.
     Okay one more story and then I am out. We were sitting on the church steps the other day waiting to meet an investigator and this old man walked up to us and asked us what we are. We tried telling him that we are missionaries but he couldn't hear us so he rolled up a magazine and put it in his ear and made us talk through it. Don´t worry the story gets weirder. Then he asked us to blow up his balloon. Just go ahead and imagine our confusion. But then he begged us and we said fine to get him to leave. So then he left and we laughed about it and then we just kept waiting there for our investigator to show up. When up walks this man holding a balloon. Like an actual balloon that he got from who knows where. Then he forced each of us to blow it up and he stuck his ear on the balloon. Then he said thank you and walked away. Literally the weirdest thing that has ever happened to me in my entire life. I am serious, everyone is crazy here.
     Oh I forgot to mention anything about zone conference! Málaga is paradise! we spent the night with Hna Read and life was good. The actual conference was good too. I learned a lot. Some General Authority is coming in like October or something... I dont remember....
Welp that's it! Have a good week yáll!
Hermana Hannah Ashby

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

¿Chad o Javier?

     I thought I´d mix things up a bit.
La Mancha
     So like this is hard. But it's good. I am having a hard time thinking of any stories to tell. We walked around a lot. I am sunburnt. On the fourth of July the American family took us up to see a windmill before they left for good. Now we have no members to go to lesson with us.
A Don Quixote Windmill
 But the windmill was way cool. Then we had a combined district meeting in Ciudad Real. We had to take a train. A senior couple is serving near by and they made us some real American hamburgers and cake and that all felt really nice. We even sang the National Anthem. 
     There were only 8 people in church yesterday. That includes us. And then the branch president, his wife, and his son, who all live in Madrid. So like that makes three real members. But every single person in the congregation stood up to bear their testimonies. I bet very few people have seen that happen.
 Our 12 year old investigators drew on the board for us.
At least somebody appreciates our hard work :)
     Then the branch president invited us over for lunch. That's the first time someone has given us food here. They are a really nice family. Except for when the mom told me that  I am never getting married.... but then she gave me a bracelet so its all good I guess :P
And now it is PDay. This week we are going to have a zone conference in Málaga. I cannot even express how excited I am. Especially since we have to stay the night the night before and Hna Read (my MTC companion) is serving in Málaga right now. We have been begging everyone in a leadership position to let us stay the night in her and her companions piso because Hna Hoffman is friends with her companion. I guess we will see!
I love you! Have a good week!

                                                                                               Hermana Hannah Ashby
Hermana Hoffman made me tortilla de potata!

Her Brazilian food turned out much better. (She's half Brazilian)Yum!

Us by the windmill

And us again

Monday, July 14, 2014


     So I am here! Wow. So I left Wednesday morning. Jose Rafael insisted on driving us to the train station so I didn't have to worry about dragging my suitcases across the city- that was a blessing. Then I boarded up and was off! Honestly I was too nervous to be sad about leaving. Hermana Hoffman met me at the train station in Sevilla but then we missed our train to Puertollano (yes, surprisingly there is a train station here) so we had to wait at the McDonald's there for like 4 hours until the next train came. Some good comp bonding time. When we were on the train the closer and closer we got to Puertollano the less green it got and the less.. stuff there was. We are literally in the middle of nowhere. This town is smaller- like half the size of just our area was Granada.
     Friday we had district meeting. There are four of us in the district, us and the Elders that are in Ciudad Real. So I taught both a twenty minute taller and the missionary handbook. But it was fun being so small. It is not nearly as intimidating. Like I feel important now.
Saturday we hiked a mountain to pray and rededicate the land for missionary work. That was really cool. We could see our entire area from up there. We decided that our boundary line must be the distant mountains because we couldn't see any civilization before then. La Mancha is nothing but rolling fields.
     Then it was Sunday. We had a Sacrament attendance of 11. That includes us. And the American family of four that are here visiting. The branch president and his family actually technically live in Madrid for most of the week, but they come down here for the weekends to be able to conduct and like pass the Sacrament and stuff because other than that family no one holds the priesthood in this town. I did not know what overwhelmed felt like until I came here. I gave a talk in sacrement meeting and Hermana Hoffman taught sundayschool. Apparently we switch off every other week. We dont even have relief society and Priesthood- its too small. So church is only two hours long. This is the exact oppisite of Granada.
     I like it though. Like honestly its small but hopeful. And it is a super lively place. There is nothing to do here so everyone is always out on the streets talking to everyone else. It has a fun vibe. And missionaries are sooo important to the few missionaries here. It just makes us work harder :)
There is literally nothing to do here so our plan is to go to the church and watch movies. But I will try to find a nice windmill to take a picture of at some point this week. Love you all!
Hermana Ashby