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

Monday, August 18, 2014

To Jerez and Back Again

     This week was just kind of weird.
     We dad Pday last Monday. I slept and wrote people. Then in the afternoon we worked. Mostly just walked around trying to find somone who was willling to let us teach them. Then Tuesday morning we went to Ciudad Real for District Meeting. Even though it is way expensive to have to go all the way there every week, it is completely worth it to have a giant district. We feel way less stranded now.
     Then I left straight from Ciudad Real to go to Jerez de la Frontera for intercambios. Jerez is a beautiful, magical city. Since it's so far away the trains were hard to schedule, so I stayed there until Thursday. It was nice to have like a mini vacation there but I really just like being in my area, with my companion, teaching my investigators. Jerez really is great and people are sooo much more open there than they are in Puertollano or even in Granada. But... yeah.
     So then on Friday we did a branch family home evening thing. I love our little branch. They are all nuts, but it is starting to feel like home. I just love them all.
     Some random less active that we had never met before showed up church on Sunday. That was exciting. It is nice to see new faces.
     We ate lunch again with the Montes family and afterwards we showed them the Best Two Years in spanish. We sacrificed our Medio Dia to watch it all  with them. It was totally worth it. They got really into it and thought it was hilarious. Good times. Last week I started helping Hna Montes cook the food and now she has decided I actually will get married someday. Score. My potato chopping skills won me over.
     And thats it. Thats my week.

I love you!
Hermana Hannah Ashby

Monday, August 11, 2014

Another Amazing Week in Puertollano

     So Last Pday we played Ticket to Ride (thanks mom) and I conquered Eastern Europe. Pretty impressive, if I do say so myself.
     Tuesday we finally found the piso of a reference from the Elders in Ciudad Real.  They gave us an address of a family they had contacted a few weeks ago in their city but they actually ended up living here. We went to this address probably four or five times and kept finding new people to teach- but not the actual family we were looking for until finally they called us and asked us why we hadn't stopped by yet. We told them that we had, in fact we were in their building right then, they just hadn't ever been home. They said they lived in building one, we told them that we were in building one. They said to go outside to the street, we did and turned around and it turns out we had been going to building 13! That 3 had literally never been there before. We are positive about it. Then we went to the real building one and met this family. Well really just the dad and his adult daughter. They are golden. The Dad, Manuel, just started asking us all kinds of really good sincere questions and then asked, "so what happens if I listen to you today and then I pray about it, and I feel like this is the one true religion and I want to be mormon tomorrow, what would I have to do?" That one kind of caught us off guard but then we explained that he would have to get baptized and then explained the baptismal covenant and like what he would be promising or whatever and then he asked us what the difference was between our church and every other church and I said one of the main things is that we have The Book of Mormon and I pulled it out and he said, "I promise you that I will read that book! How much does it cost?" I fought the urge to tell him to slow down. First he is supposed to look at us like freaks, we are supposed to bear our testimonies and invite him to read just part of it, he is supposed to tell us he doesn't have time and then we are supposed to promise him that if makes time, only 5 minutes a day, to read just a little bit, God will bless him and his family and then he is supposed to say well I'll try and then we are supposed to leave slightly discouraged. I did not say that-- instead I told him that the book is free and then we explained it just a little bit and he told us how historically it completely makes sense that 600 years before Christ people traveled to the Americas from Jerusalem. Like he just backed us up. Then he asked when we could come again and explain when and how our church was formed. Which indeed is lesson 1, we meet with him again on Tuesday and I am excited for it.
     Wednesday night, we got home and tried to open our door and the key snapped right in half inside of the lock. It was like 10:30at night and we kind of freaked out. Have I mentioned how we our literally in the middle of no where with not even members around to help us? Like the branch president has our spare key but he lives in Madrid. So we called the Zone Leaders. They didn't answer so then we texted them 911. Maybe in hindsight that wasn't the best idea, but we were seriously worried we would have to spend the night in the street. So the Zone Leaders called us and they were freaking out. They thought we were dead. Then they calmed down and told us to call a locksmith- problem: first you have to have a number to call a locksmith, know the word for locksmith in spanish, and it would have to be normal business hours- hence all the freaking out that was going on. Well actually apparently none of that is true the ZLs told us the number was probably right on the outside of our building, it's called a cerajero, and they work 24/7. They also repeated that we should never text 911 to someone. Then the locksmith came and got us in to our piso. We slept in our beds. Then we spent all morning running around trying to get a copy of our broken key. But don't worry, now we have one and the problem is solved.
     Friday we had zone meeting in Ciudad Real. That was exciting. And then on Saturday we had to go to Ciudad Real again for specialized training and interviews with President. Even more exciting. And President told me that Puertollano is officially the smallest branch in the mission. That is quite the distinction.
     Sunday, a senior missionary couple came and visited our branch. They spoke and taught Sunday School and we didn't have to do anything but direct the music. Now that was exciting. I forgot what it was like to just sit and watch church go on.
     And that was my week.
I love you all!
Hermana Hannah Ashby

Monday, August 4, 2014

One Down, Two to Go

Dear everyone,

So we honestly just did a lot of walking this week.

We ran out of ideas so we started working in the red zone.. Everyone told us that it is perfectly safe in the daylight and there are a bunch of inactive members that live up there so we decided to give it a shot and everyone was so nice to us! The first house we knocked on we braced ourselves to sprint when the lady opened the door and invited us in! This was the first time I have ever been invited into a house (other than by an active member) since coming to Puertollano. Literally, I never been in a house until this week.  This was a serious accomplishment. And then everyone else we talked to invited us to come back this next week. We call it: red zone morning miracles.

Transfer calls came this week! And... drum roll... nothing is happening! I survived my first transfer without a transfer call! Woohoo! I am pretty relieved to be honest. This transfer is probably going to be the most chill transfer of my mission so far.

And they are combing our district with the district in Valdepeñas because there were only four of us before so now i will have to participate far less and we will see other missionaries. Life is good.

And that is this week! Love you!

Hermana Hannah Ashby