Sunday, December 28, 2014

Week 20-December 15, 2014

Week 20-December 15, 2014
how is everyone?
anyway my week was good. tons of singing christmas hymns to contact and using the video ¨´he is the gift´´ (el es la dadiva- if you guys havent seen it, look it up! its fantastic!).ive never sung so much in my life...haha but tons of new investigators!! still having trouble getting people to church though..
also there is so much fruit in the streets! haha there are trees of cherries, apricots, peaches, and BOYSENBERRYS! in the street. we just walk around eating fresh fruit all day off the trees..its the best!
we also had interviews with the president this week and Hna Flores is a sister leader (like a zone leader but for sisters)  so we had to do divisions, too. so i was in a different sector on thursday but its fun to get to know the other hermanas and their sectors! the hermana i was with is in her second week in the mission and is from brasil.  
also mom can you send me a recipe for cinnamon rolls? hna flores wants to try some :)
also cant wait to talk with you guys for christmas!
love and miss you all and hope all is well!!

i just barely got this and my time is up and i gotta go but i scanned it and sounds like everyone is doing well!!! ill read more and respond more next week! love and miss you all!! we live near Arauco Maipu (a mall) on the street Americo Vespucio in Maipu (pajaritos in particular)
love and miss you all!

Ashley with Hermana Flores (2nd companion)
Mission Christmas Lunch

Week 19-December 8, 2014

Week 19-December 8, 2014

wow sounds like a good week as always, haha tell benjamin i miss him too!!! 
and glad lydia is healthy and natalie is a great teacher for YW and that mandy is still a super star in all her activities :P 
 my week was awesome :) Hermana Flores is fantastic. she seriously is awesome. super fun to be with, we are already friends and she is super funny and super patient with my spanish and the spanish 24/7 thing is awesome for me. i feel like im improving tons.she doesnt speak any english but because she is from honduras her spanish is more clear and slow than chilenos. basically every other spanish is easier than chileno. haha  i can understand everyone now except young men haha and i can say most of the things i want to say, its just still a little choppy in grammar and sounding natural i think lol but its all good.
also funny story for dad, we are doing practicas of interrupting now because hna flores is super good at interrupting chilenos and i am not haha but its completely necessary here and not offensive like in the states haha. these people just talk and talk and talk and if you want to teach you just have to jump in and take control haha but i told hna flores that you had always taught us not to interrupt and we laughed about how when i get home you may have to retrain me not to interrupt...
we may have also contacted a couple of drug dealers this week, one who was named Fu, so that was fun :P
also i am learning that missionaries are very annoying but its a good thing :P its the funniest thing to wake someone up for church and they are mad at you and then a half hour later when they are in the chapel they are teasing you and worried about how they saw you walking with some sketchy guy in the street. its our JOB to be super annoying and not leave people alone. haha hna flores even told off an old man yesterday because he said he didnt have time to share with us but his wife just died so she said that NO this was not just a product we were selling, it was his salvation and that YES we were going to come back and teach him the plan of salvation and if he listens and reads the pamphlet and doesnt feel anything we will ¨´leave him in peace´ but not until he gives us a chance. lol he was like ´then you will leave me in peace?´¨ haha it was super funny but you could see in his eyes that he understood that we cared about him and he wasnt mad. i learned that i need to be persistent because that way the people see how important our message is and know that we care...  anyway all is well and cant wait for christmas! and ya maybe ill be home for the next one! and to answer moms questions..
yes we eat with members every day. our bishop is fantastic and our ward is huge (200 people yesterday in church). the primary is like 30 kids or something and they bless babies every week haha and ya there are members that we know better than others or who work with us the most or who make us pumpkin pie for thanksgiving and we stop by their house all the time to use the bathroom :P i think because there are so many missionaries in the ward and everyone is a convert (the church has only been here for like 50 years), the people know and are connected to the missionaries much more. its totally different than our ward where we sometimes knew who the missionaries were but we never really talked to them and we only ate with them like once a month. but anyway, im doing well :) miss and love you all!! can we skype chirstmas day or is another day better? and no i havent gotten the small package yet..

haha i still have a stocking! haha and you have pictures up of me?? haha also i really wanted to send you guys a nativity from here, there are some really pretty ones here and hna osterloh bought a couple for her family, but i will have to bring one home next year..

soooo we recorded a video this morning singing for you in spanish and everything but the computer wont let my camera work so we cant send it :( and now i have like no time left..but know that i love you and will be thinking of you and hope you have a fantastic birthday!! thanks for all your love and support always and your fantastic example for me all my are amazing. love you tons!!!

Week 18-December 1, 2014

Week 18-December 1, 2014

wow sounds like a busy and fun week!!! lots of thanksgiving stuff and more soccer and taylor being home :) glad to hear it was so good for everyone :)
this week was crazy for us, it was hna osterlohs last week so she had to go do stuff for her visa, classes to get a job when she gets back, her farewells and such, so basically the week was a blur of divisiones and such. but i got to go with her to visit her former sectors saturday, which i was super excited about because we got to visit the coast!!! it was raining so basically we just drove to the beach, took a picture, visited one family and left , but i was thrilled to see the beach!! ill try to send pics next week..
friday we said goodbye to people in our sector and basically everyone gave us food lol they say if you come home fat its because the people loved you :P but it could be true because we got a lunch of all of hna osterlohs favorite chilean foods from Sara (our investigator) and then pizza from a menos activo family and then Hno Borquez, our other recently reactivated member, made us french toast because i guess some gringo elders taught him how and nobody makes it here :P it was a lot of food but was fun to feel the love from so many people here. i think that really is a huge blessing of a mission, you get to personally get to know so many people and the people here are so loving..its the best :) then sunday the 8 yr old daughter of our menos activo family that we have been working with got baptized :) it was a great way to end hna osterlohs mission ..
but today we had the change meeting and i was super nervous about hna osterloh leaving but my new companion seems super nice, so we will see what happens .we were just really happy our sector didnt get white-washed (when both missionaries get replaced by new missionaries). her name is Hermana Flores from Honduras. i will send pictures when hna osterloh emails me them ...anyway, it was a good week, just kind of crazy, so it will be good to get back into the regular groove of things this week..
love you all and miss you tons!!!

also i got your package!!! the big one! should i open it or wait for christmas?! :)

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Week 17--November 24, 2014

Week 17--November 24, 2014

sounds like everyone is doing well ! :) glad to hear it!!!
and sounds like lydia is going to be a professional singer! congrats ! :P
and congrats to BJ on the reflections contest and what is IGC gymnastics?
and wow dad that sounds like a super successful conference! so glad it went well! and interesting point with the scripture..i think that is something i struggle with. i need more love for the people and need to think less about the numbers (which is hard when the mission is CONSTANTLY asking about the numbers and such). sometimes when i get frustrated i just go into contacting mode and contact everyone so that i feel like at least we will have done a lot of contacts, but they arent very meaningful at that point because they are just numbers in my mind. but im working on it and praying for love..also its hard to stay focused on our purpose and why people actually need our message in particular when everyone is already so religious. the biggest challenge is to help people actually understand why our church is different and that we arent just there to talk for hours about God. but its all good :) i think its a good learning experience for me haha
and congrats to hilary miller, is emily engaged yet? and to Cindy too!! thats exciting!
and we have a member that promised to make us pumpkin pie for thanksgiving so we are excited for that! this week is going to be kind of crazy since hna osterloh is leaving, we have to do lots of divisions for her to go to the temple and such and do visa stuff all day tomorrow. this last week was better, we had another investigator at church so that was awesome! hopefully something more will happen with her!! we also helped a new inactive family come to church sunday which was exciting! all is well and i will send pics this week :) love and miss you all!
sunsets are the best here, also sunrises..the view from our apt again..

last pday at the park for a bbq with our zone. our fanny packs :P

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Week 16-November 17, 2014

Week 16-November 17, 2014

haha it was fun to read everyones emails :)
also THANK YOU for the package!!!! super fun to get!!!! also tell benjamin i did his puzzles and loved them! i took pictures but cant send them :/

my week was good, although a little frustrating too. tuesday we found 5 new investigators (three of which was a family who seemed super awesome) but then the rest of the week wasnt as great... on sunday after calling and visitng tons of poeple and doing everything we could think of to get people to church, everyone canceled on us. it was tough and we were both on the verge of a breakdown basically the entire time during church but we had a recently reactivated man there who bore his testimony in sundayschool about how he could feel the Spirit every time we passed by and so that helped me feel better because preach my gospel says a successful misionary is one who through whom others can feel the Spirit, so as long as someone can feel the Spirit through us, we cant be complete its just hard because the elders are finding all knds of people and it makes us feel like we are doing something wrong. but we decided we just need to keep being obedient and patient and have faith and keep working hard :) so all is well
anyway funny fact of the week, ¨"whats up" is literally a verb here! lol i cant even take people seriously when they say it. they use it as a spanish verb to describe using social media (any kind) basically. lol so they will say things like "esta wassupando?" or "ustedes tienen wassup?" lol super funny..
oh also we found boysenberry trees in our sector the other day! super yummy ! haha
anyway yes i finished the book of mormon in time :) and i was thinking the other day about my experience with missionary for a day and was thinking how it wasnt that fun and i was terrified of tracting and how actually being a missionary is completely different. i have absolutely no fear of knocking doors and its totally different when you are teaching and contacting people you are actually going to see again and when its your life. missionary for a day and accompaning the missionaries is nothing like the real thing,...
but love and miss you all! have a great week!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Week 15--November 10, 2014

Week 15--November 10, 2014

sounds like everyone is doing well!! congrats mandy on her medals at state!!! and good job at all the soccer games everyone :)
and dad, i get 1 hr and 15 min to email on pday and ya taylor and taylor and emily and some other people write every week too. its great to feel loved :) haha we will see how long it lasts..
and mom, yes im super tan  i get burnt every day i have tan lines everywear and i wear 60 spf sunscreen on my face and still every day at least one person tells me i look burnt ..this week i also got asked if im chilean and someone joked that i almost look Haitian (there are lots of them here haha).
no i havent gotten the papers you sent yet, maybe this wed  we only get mail every other wed
ya christie is doing well :) working and doing BYUI online
This week the biggest news was that we had a conference on sat with Elder Nelson!! super cool. He shook hands with every one of the 500 missionaries there and his talk and his wifes talk and the other couples that were there were amazing!! i felt the Spirit super strong as soon as he walked in the room and he talked about our role in gathering the house of Israel in the last days and such with a ton of interesting facts and knowledge about the topic....super interesting..
haha funny story. while contacting thursday we knocked on a door and a woman answered and we introduced ourselves as always and talked about our beliefs and such and asked her if she had shared with missionaries before (tons of people have) and she immediately said that No and that she didnt like our church.(usually people just say they are already Catholic and therefore already have faith in Chirst and all religions are really the same) We asked why and was there something in particular that she didnt like? She responded ¨"ustedes son extranjeros, no puedo entenderles¨" lol of all the things to turn down salvation for lol just because the missionaries have we died of laughter afterwards. my plan is to go back next month when i have a latina companion and see what she says :P we meet the funniest people contacting sometimes..its the best lol

anyway, it wasnt the most successful week ever but next week will be better and i refuse to wear the 100 dollar ecco shoes i bought anymore (i spent an entire day in them walking around and got so many blisters and my feet were so was the worst) haha ...oh well. it was a good week though :)
love and miss you all! was going to send pictures but we are on a diff comp this week and so i cant figure out how to work week i will

love love love,

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Week 14-November 3, 2014

Week 14-November 3, 2014

hey everyone!
loved hearing about everyones week :)
sounds like everybody is killing it in all their activities..
how did state go for gymnastics?!
here goes for moms questions..
for breakfast this week we have made eggs with spinach and onion every morning, or yogurt.
for Pday we go to the mall to use internet and get groceries and meet up with other sisters sometimes, or we have zone activities, or today we are at estacion central  (a lot like down town LA or something) to buy souveniers for Hna osterloh and a fanny pack for me :P theyre all the style here and a lot better than a big backpack ;)
yes there are tons of little kids,. we blessed two babies this sunday. but i dont think they have as many kids as american morman families because they think our families (6 kids and 8 kids) are huge..most have like 2_4
i like both, i have more time to read and respond to real letters but i can only get them every two weeks and sometimes i cant always go send letters back on Pday, so emails are the best for hearing from everyone every week. but letters are fun too :) 
haah ill have to send another spanish one for you to work on ;)
as for dad´s questions, 
the cold water is extra motivation to run every morning, so we usually are at least a little warm when we get in :P
and ya i think the divorce process can be long and complicated, so they are both still in that process..
i literally busted up and told my companion about your laser pointer im sure you at least scared all the neighbors by convincing them that you are crazy ;) lol just kidding, its actually a fantastic idea haha if we have a tree house in the front now we might as well use it right? 
haha taylor emails me every week like he promised :P maybe i get to hear more from him than you guys! haha does he call you guys every sunday or anything? is he still using my phone?

My week:
this week was good. even better with new investigators! we found 9!! but we fasted yesterday to find a family to baptize before Hna Osterloh leaves..we will see what happens.
monday we found the daughters of one of our investigators and they both grew up in new jersey for a few years so they speak english and so we tried to speak in english with them but as soon as we started teaching and testifying, we had to give up lol its so hard to teach in english what i only learned to teach in spanish! and i havent talked about the gospel in english in a while! haha Hna osterloh is worried about her homecoming talk because she has forgotten all the gospel terms in english :P
We learned how to make Chilean bread on wednesday with one of our menos activos and it was super fun. its basically the same as regular bread but in a different shape.. but made me think about how you only get to have experiences like that on a mission. tourists dont get to speak spanish and have someone teach them how to make bread and listen to spanish music. i was grateful to get to be here on a mission :) 
Halloween was fun also! they just barely started celebrating it here, so its not very big yet but the glowsticks mom sent in my first package were perfect to give out and contact with!
saturday one of our menos activos families who we had been trying to track down and visit with the mom´s visiting teacher (we have visited them before and their kids just got baptized in the last year) texted us and said they didnt want us to come or call anymore. that we were bugging them. it was just the mom, im pretty sure the kids still like us, but it was out of nowhere and it kind of ruined out morning. rejection from contacts is one thing but rejection from someone you know well and such is a lot harder..the rest of the morning we had investigators who told us they didnt really want more and such and so it was a hard morning. but we are good now:)  we also realized why missionaries study for so many hours every morning.. we talk to so many people every day with questions and doubts and who tell us we have been tricked by the bishop or such into believing that we need strong testimonies to not be shaken by it all. but my testimony has definitely only grown. 
also we had an investigator in church yesterday who smokes and he smelled super strongly of smoke in the chapel and it made me think of the quote by a general authority or someone who said that the best smell at church is cigarette smoke because it means someone is trying to change/repent ..haha  unfortunately he still has a lot of doubts and questions to overcome so i dont know if he will be baptized anytime soon but he listening, so we will see what happens.
anyway, it was a good week. love and miss you all!!!

"Halloween with the glow bracelets you sent-we gave them out while contacting"

Monday, October 27, 2014

Week 13-October 27, 2014

Week 13-October 27, 2014

haha wow love the great costumes everyone :p
and no we dont have warm showers still...they came to fix it but no luck...
and hmmm..i think making church first priority my whole life and all the traditions we had that incorporated the gospel that i look back on now and realize the best moments of my life and my best moments with my family are all memories of Easter and Christmas and blessings and such...i think things like that make me realize how much of an impact the church has made on my life and family and that is what made me want to serve...
and no i didnt get a package yet, but apparenly taylor wood sent one like two months ago that hasnt gotten here so im not sure how long it really takes..
tell benjamin congrats on his soccer game and mandy with gymnastics! where is her state meet?! thats awesome!
and im sure lydia did fantastic with chanteurs! also tell natalie good luck with whatever decision she makes :P either way she will have fun im sure...
anyway my week was good, SUPER HOT though...
we have seen so much success this week, its been awesome and super fun to see the blessings from all our hard work the last couple weeks with not many results..this week we found 7 new investigators! we even surpassed our goal of 6! first time ever,..
we are also trying to be more direct in our teaching...we taught an inactive woman this week and her son ( a returned missionary) wanted to share with us too and gave a killer lesson to his mom with super direct questions and got her to agree to read the BOM again even though she stopped believing it years ago...we were amazed and realized we need to be kind and loving but also direct and call people to repentance sometimes. haha
i dont know if it was in the ensign too but the Liahona did an article on the church in chile last month and one of the pictures is of my teacher in the CCM and one of the statistics said 1 in 30 chileans are members..we werent surprised because we meet people on the street all the time that say they were baptized years ago..many stopped attending right after they got baptized though and everyone has faith in Christ here but no one wants to go to church...ive had to learn more about the purpose of church and such..
but Hno Borquez, one of the men we reactivated recently, is awesome and we have decided to set him up with Hna Silvia, another recently reactivated woman who is super awesome now. They are both separated but have killer testimonies and we had her accompany us for a lesson with him and they hit it off and now we are all making French toast tmrw night and she is super maybe we cant baptize anyone right now but maybe we will help create an eternal marriage ;) lol that adventure madefriday extra fun :P
also i have been called fat or pregnant twice now by people on the street and its been a joke of ours for a while until this week when the same thing happened to Hna Osterloh, twice in one week! lol now we are even and we are going on a diet this week :P lol these people are just super and its not offensive to call people fat here, so people do it all the time.
anyway, it was a good week :) glad all of you guys are doing well too!
love and miss you!

sunsets here are amazing..also sunrises when we are running every morning! crazy cool with the Andes in the background and i guess the ozone is thinner here or something so the skies are awesome but we also get sunburnt super easily... and a house with some creepy statues we took a picture of, but thats what the houses we knock look like. and my district before the last change...

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Week 12--October 20, 2014

Week 12--October 20, 2014

fun to hear from everyone :) sounds like all is well and everyone is busy and having fun..also cant wait to see pictures from halloween from everyone! :)
my week was good, we had the change meeting today (every 6 weeks) so it was a marking point for me. i made it through my first change and my companion is on her last! haha its kind of hard to not think about home and normal life thought when she is on her way out...oh well
our water heater broke this week so we have been taking ice cold showers every morning..part of the adventure i guesss :P
we found some new investigators this week but we have been having trouble holding onto them, they keep disappearing. we will see what happens though...we had a ward talent show sat night and Sara (the investigator who is basically a member but needs to marry her ¨husband¨first lol) brought Omar (her partner who has never really been interested but is now listening in on some of our lessons with her and has come to a few activities!) and this guy we found knocking doors showed up and i ended up talking deep doctrine and teaching the entire first lesson and discussing all his questions (he has read a TON about religion and had a bad experience with the church before but told us we were the answer to his prayer the day we stopped by and has been happy to talk with us so far) while we waited for the activity to start..haha kinda crazy. we sang a few hymns in the show and it went pretty well! sorry my emails are crazy all just comes out stream-of-consciousness style and sometimes its all over the place, also i forget what ive said in past emails :P
but ya so saturday night was good. also jocelyn is our investigator who came with Ornella, the daughter of the menos activo family to church when Ornella brought her pelolo and she has a son who is about 4 but she didnt really like church cuz it was so long and she has problems with depression so it was really hard to track her down and help her and teach her last week and we almost lost her i think but this week we stopped by and she was so much better! we invited her to baptism again and she said no right now but maybe later on and she wants us to keep visiting :)
we also found a lady this week that was super interesting..her name is pamela and she basically told us her house is haunted and she is very sensitive to spiritual things, such as the bad energy in her house and she has had some crazy spiritual experiences in the past. she was pretty receptive and we are hoping she will be able to feel the power of the book of mormon and start praying again (she is scared to becasue in the past when she prayed scary things would happen to her daughter). it made me think about how one time dad and i discussed how Satans tactics have changed since the time of Christ and how now he mostly just tries to convince us that there is no devil and therefore no God and that is why there arent possesed people anymore or something..but i guess people like Pamela are common here and i realized its probably different here since everyone already believes in God. Satans tactics can be different. its a little scary to realize how real the power of evil is..but we are excited to see what happens with Pamela´s family.
the family that came to the english class was the one who said they arent really interested (at least the mom who has family that are members), but maybe the husband and daughters (the ones that dont know english and are in our class) will become interested. the daughter is the one who gave me the bracelet she made...they are so sweet. i really want something to happen with them...
also i dont know if i already told you but we have 6 missionaries in our ward, 4 elders and us. its crazy to be in a ward with so many missionaries and the members know the missionaries well since there are so many, not like our ward where there are only two..
ok im going to finish reading emails now and such but im glad everyone is doing well :) love and miss you all!
ps...i lost my camera cord but took more pictures this week..will try to get a new one or find it and send some next week, just takes like 10 min to upload them on this comp, so i might just print some and send them...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Week 11-Oct. 13, 2014

Week 11--Oct. 13, 2014

anyway heres my week since i dont have a ton more time :
we did a lot of contacting this week because we desperately need new investigators and didnt have a ton of success but we are being patient. Hna osterloh has had like two companions go home early because of back problems, so she is a big believer in working hard, but at a reasonable pace lol .. so now we get chocolate or some sort of snack every 9 rejections :P it makes things more fun... (there are tiny little corner stores owned and run by people living there on almost every corner).we got to start our english class this week, which i was really excited about. we only had one student because we hadnt announced it yet, but she was an 18 yr old girl that the elders are teaching (with her family) and it turned out to be super fun and it sounds like her family might get baptized so thats awesome :) it was pretty funny though becuse the elders have been having tons of sucess and now we are spending our time helping with their investigators :P but its all good, it was pretty fun to teach someone english.a also we met a family contacting the other day who wanted to come to the class and i think they will come this week but we stopped by to visit them and they are awesome. unfortunately the mom has already been taught by missionaries and was honest with us in saying she isnt really interested, but is happy for her family to come to our class and such and they are super nice. maybe one of her two daughters will be interested or her husband. her 9 yr old daughter who is super shy gave me one of the bracelets she made :) super sweet.
also im learning to develop a fear of men. my comp has a deeply ingrained wariness of men in general now lol and is constantly worried about me when i say hola to men on the street or something. we get a lot of creepy man whistling or making kissing noises or calling out when we pass and i have learned (with her help) to not look or respond in any way lol its been somewhat entertaining. i feel super ignorant sometimes cuz i will say hi to someone on the street while we pass and they will start talking to us and ask us where we live and such and my comp has to walk quickly away so that ill catch the hint and follow lol. also we taught a lesson to this guy the other day who decided to confess his experiences cheating on his wife with us, including a lot of details and such that we didnt want to know and we had to bail out of the lesson quickly. obviously my companion was the one who said we had to leave suddenly because i was just trying to figure out what he was pretty entertaining. anyway i am learning never to trust any of the males here i guess...
but overall i am doing well and can understand so much more every day and i am starting to really feel comfortable talking to people without my companion by my side to help. so that has been exciting!
in general, its fun to be so fully involved in something so important. its weird to have your entire life revolve around the work. rewarding though when old women tell you that you are their angels or little girls give you bracelets :P i cant wait to have real success with an investigator that wasnt already basically a member when i got here ( like Sara) haha ..we are praying for a miracle to help Jocelyn..we arent sure how to help her depression but maybe we will have success soon :)
love and miss you all! i will try and send pictures...

Ashley and Hermana Osterloh in District T-shirts!=)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Week 10-Oct. 6, 2014

Week 10-Oct. 6, 2014

as for my week..
tuesday we did service for one of our investigators, who we are no longer teaching because she didnt really have any desire to read or pray, but it was fun to do something different. we helped her clean her house and i washed her dog :P it was such a mess and literally had dreadlocks in its fur, so i took scissors and sawed dreadlocks and washed it and that was fun :P i love scrubbing and washing things, especially animals haha we also got to visit Pablo, the 17 yr old boy we found that was inactive. he makes us so happy cuz he is so sincere and told us coming back to church had made him feel more ¨complete¨ and he is praying for peace in his home, which is inspiring coming from a teenage guy..he also always buys chocolate milk (there is no real milk here reallly) and cookies for us ..haha 
tuesday and wednesday we had tons of lessons and our people were doing fantastic and we were on fire! but then thursday we had was a loonngg day of knocking doors basically all day and no one would answer and the only people who really talked to us answered because they wanted to practice their english with us (which is always funny haha). But there were a few potentials, so we will see what happens. at night i pet one of the dogs in the park and so it and its friend decided to follow us the rest of the night and as we went running the next morning and it made us so frustrated because the dogs would make all the dogs at the houses bark like crazy and it made it impossible to talk to people the rest of the night...but basically we came home sunburned, my foot was bleeding from a blister, and we were freezing cold. haha so we made chocolate chip pancakes...haha
friday we ran into a jehovah witness, of which there are tons here, but we didnt know who she was until she started asking us allll kinds of questions and accusing us of not knowing God because we didnt know the Bible and such,... it was kind of crazy. she wouldnt even tell us what religion she was but we knew. its very good that i cant speak spanish well becuase i would have a really hard time not arguing with people like that....its completely pointless because conversion is by the Spirit but its hard not to get defensive of what you know is true. a similar event happened yesterday when a lady and a man in the street that we contacted told us that Joseph Smith story was impossible. it was right after conference and i thought of the talk about Joseph Smith being known for good and bad and had to take a deep breath and testify and walk away..haha
as for conference, we watched it live and in english! (its just 3 hours later here so it was at 1 and 5 oclock). i was so grateful we got to watch in english because there is no way i would have gotten as much out of it in spanish..there are just so many good one liners and beautiful wordings that the general authorities, who are fantastic speakers, use that i would have missed in spanish. and yes the different languages were fun :) we watched in the stake center, where they show it for everyone in spanish, but we were upstairs in a room watching it with all the gringo missionaries in english ...
anyway, hope this week goes well for everyone! love and miss you all!

All the Hermanas in my District....

Monday, September 29, 2014

Week 9-Sept. 29, 2014

Week 9-Sept. 29, 2014

ok here goes my email...
this week was kind of intense again because of the noche de blanco (night of baptisms). i already told you we fasted last sunday for more success and we had another meeting with our zone on tuesday and basically our zone leaders are crazy lol they basically just lectured us like crazy about how we should baptize 40 people sat and the mission changed the rules for church attendance before baptism so that we could invite everyone to be baptized this month before they send the numbers to salt was kind of weird for me because i feel like we have so many menos activos and such that we really shouldnt be baptizing people unless they are really ready and committed, but maybe i just lack faith haha  but we fasted again tuesday like they told us too and challenged our investigador (the one that needs to get married) again to get baptized, this time for this last saturday. she of course said she still needs more time to decide what to do about her partner but she told us more about her fears about marriage and stuff and we were able to help her i think so it was good. she is a better member already than lots of the members of the ward! haha comes to church each week in a skirt with a notebook to take notes and reads her scriptures every day and attends all the meetings during church, its pretty funny... also her partner came to the baptism night with her to watch with her which was awesome since he has never been interested! we also had one of our other investigators there, but she wont read the BOM so we might have to stop visiting her soon...which is sad because she is obviously a lonely old lady and could talk to us alllll day. seriously the chilean people love to talk. we never have problems getting them to talk or tell us things about their lives and lots are just happy to chat with someone. The trick is to get them to talk about the gospel and listen to us teach :P the other problem of chile is that basically every family we visit has problems with the men in the family. none of them will come to church and so many of them have problems with violence in the home and adultery. so many of the ones we meet with are cheating on their wives or on trial for domestic violence or something. i have no idea how to help them :/ ...also its totally normal to be a young single mom. they all have kids and are either just living with the dad or are single. we have one investigator that has been really exciting for us because she was not at all interested at first but is friends with a menos activo family we are also visiting and has been going through some hard times and the hermana from the family told her to listen to us and so she has been meeting with us and came to church yesterday with the family and brought her little son! the daughter of the menos activo family is her age and had not been active at all until this started happèning and now she is coming too and helping our investigator (her friend) and even brought her pololo yesterday to church too! fun to see how missionary work can help members too... (also pololo basically means boyfriend, its my fav spanish word right now haha, its even a verb-pololear haha basically means to date someone or go on dates) but anyway it was a good week and basically all of our menos acitvos came to church so that was amazing!
im doing well and the food is good ( just kind of painful because you dont get to serve yourself so they give you soooo much food, so thats hard because you have to eat it all or you will offend them) and my companion is great and my legs are holding up with all the walking, so thats good :P
this week is conference and we are excited and hopefully we will get to listen in english! womens conf was in spanish...elder holland just isnt as powerful through a spanish translator...not the same. so grateful to speak english haha
i got a new camera but dont have a lot of pics yet so i will try to send some but these computers take forever....
love and miss you all!

first pic is the view from our apt! love it!! second is my comp and i :) haha not the best pic but i needed something to send :P

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Week 8--In Cinco de Abril

Week 8--In Cinco de Abril

hey so i havent read any emails yet but im going to write mine first cuz otherwise i forget everything and dont write every here goes.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TAYLOR!! hope it was fantastic!! ur an adult now! how does it feel?!
so this week was Dieciocho de septiembre, which is their independence day here, so we had a ward party all day wednesday with Chilean dances and food and games and such, pretty fun :P we found a great empanada place afterwards on the way home and we decided empanadas de queso are delicious but we DO NOT like ones with pino, a weird meat and such thats just gross. but of course one of the inactives wanted to make us some because my companion told them i hadnt tried any homemade pino empanadas yet so now we have some in our fridge that we will have to try sometime...haha fantastic..
also they barbeque all week, TONS of meat, for the holiday (which basically lasts all week), and we ended up having two lunches on thursday because one of the less active families that we visit a lot got us cake and also barbequed for us and they serve SO MUCH meat when they barbeque that we literally had to eat like four was pretty
during the ward party, we invited a random woman and her granddaughter off the street and they ended up coming, which was exciting, so we had some nonmembers there as well as a bunch of our inactives! Our ward here is fantastic compared to some of the others here in Chile, ive heard. We reached our goal for attendance last week at church and had 209 people in the chapel! the members are all super welcoming and helpful and some of them even speak english :P like our ward mission leader who served his mission in sandy, utah. my challenge to you guys this week is to go ask the missionaries in the ward if they need help and make an effort to befriend or at least welcome every inactive or investigator that comes. i never understood the importance of this until i came here cuz we can work all week to get the people to church, but once they are there we can only hope that the members befriend them and make them want to come again...
its pretty cool the relationships we have with the menos activos though, they love the missionaries and we visit them at least once a week. the only problem is that some of them dont come to church unless the missionaries visit them..they are basically converted to the missionaries, not the gospel, and they get offended if we dont visit them all the time, even if they are too lazy to get up for church..kind of frustrated.
The other group of people we work with a ton are old seriously we as sister missionaries spend entire days just going from lonely old woman to the next. its nice to feel so appreciated and feel like you are helping someone not feel lonely, but we are supposed to be reaching out to men, too because the church needs more priesthood leaders, we have lots of faithful woman :P
our zone leaders are super intense and promised us that if we fasted yesterday that we would reach our goals for the month, so we are hoping things will get better and we will find more new investigators to teach because this week was hard becasue everyone was busy with the holiday and woudnt answer their doors or were all busy and lots of our appointments fell though...but one of the days we had walked around for hours knocking doors and no one would answer and we were frustrated but then at the end of the night we found a man who answered and invited us in and turns out his teenage son was a member and we invited him to church the next day and he came! we have decided that when we find people like this who havent been active in years and arent even on the records and reactivate them, its basically a baptism :P there are so many people that were baptized in the past or tricked into baptism even by missionaries in the past without even knowing the covenant they were making or without even a testimony of the restoration (one of our menos activos..)! so our work is centered in finding these people, helping them gain a testimony and come back. its a new program from the church that is only being implemented in a couple missions..then we find new people to teach through the menos activos and such, their friends and family, etc
we have one investigator who is ready to be baptized but refuses to get married until jan or feb of this next kills us. she is golden and has a great testimony and goes to church every week, she just has had bad experiences with a past marriage and is scared of marriage. she, like many other people here, has lived with her partner for like 30 years and has grandkids with him but isnt married..i dont understand it..why woulnt you get married if you have lived with someone that long and have kids with them and such? lots of people here are like that..i think it has something to do with the legality of marriage here..
as for my companion, shes awesome! she was even born in walnut creek and has family in San fran! haha
also i gave up on all my shoes haha the cheapest ones i got are the ones i wear everyday cuz i have so many blisters...haha ironic
as for my spanish, i can understand so much now! especially when people are talking about the gospel because that is the vocab i know...i understand everything in church and most things people say,..i still have a ways to go before i can speak or understand people when they talk fast about other stuff, but ive learned a ton!
also i got all your mail when i got here!! thanks for all the letters and birthday pictures :P and the package and such!  and tell Aunt Ann thanks for the book she sent! i read all the stories and loved it!
if you send another package anytime soon, i need a spanish hymnbook and more hymns sung by Vocal Point or BYU choirs and printed pictures of you guys! i wish i had brought more pictures to show people...  but dont worry about it now, i know its expensive to send stuff, just next time you are sending something.
love you guys! sorry my camera broke for good so i have to buy a new one today, so ill send pictures next week. 
miss you all!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Week 6/7--Leaving the CCM/In the Field!

Week 6-Sept. 9, 2014-Going to the Field

Ashley with new trainer, Sister Osterloh from Sandy, Ut, and Pres and Sis Barrierros.  Going to area 5 de Abril??
No email today...

Week 7--In the Field!

ok so im almost out of time because of all the emails about grandma so now i will tell you guys everything and hopefully get everything in... 
so hopefully they sent you the letter i wrote last week? scanned it or whatever..
so my trainer is from sandy utah, super nice, and a hardworking missionary but chill enough that i dont feel stressed out or hurried all the time like i did on splits. she is almost done and goes home after she trains me :Pshe speaks english of course and even goes running with me!
we live in the best apartment ever! i love love love it haha its on the seventh floor of a complex with an awesome view and TONS of space (we each have our own bathroom with a shower :P)
We visit tons of less actives here because like 70 percent of the wards are inactive so we have to visit all of them and bug them to go to church haha but they are fun to visit. they always give us food though :/ and the first thing the women in relief society said when i introduced myself on sunday was that they were going to make me oh great...the food is good and basically we never have to cook or even buy groceries becuase everyone gives us fruit and snacks when we visit :P
unfortunately we are not even allowed to listen to EFY music that made me sad :( but oh well i guess i will learn to love Motab.
i also had to introduce myself and give my testimony in church which was kind of terrifying in spanish..haha but it went ok, i feel like i can understand alot i just still have to figure out how to say everything. and i cant always understand old people..they mumble and talk fast...we finally got a baptism date yesterday with an investigator but i didnt really understand anything she said because she is a little old lady haha who loves to talk and have someone just listen , we barely got our lesson in :P
also the ward has SO many little kids! ..haha there were so many toddlers running around during the entire meeting, it was fun to watch :P so different than arcadia...
our sector is pretty wealthy, it is made up of lots of little houses right next to each other with TONS of dogs and a fence in front of every house. google map it if you can :P its by the Maipu catholic temple or something..haha
i want to send more pictures but it takes FOREVER to upload them on this computer, so i will send more next week maybe
love and miss you all ! 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

More pics-MTC

first taxi ride! 

my birthday celebration- 2 hour Pday running to  Mcdonalds with Hermana Smolak and Hermana Lopez

President and Hermana Doll

District 6 Elders

picture taker selfies...

all the sisters!


District 6: Elders-Pederson, Dowdell, Johnson, Singson, Banks, Brooks, Brody, Harris, Hermanas-Smolak, Montes, Ribiera, Lopez, me

D6 and Hermano Spollmanmore selfies...

Hermanas Lopez, Durfee, Harden, Smolak, me

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Week 5-Sept. 2, 2014-Ashley's Birthday!!

Week 5-Sept. 2, 2014-Ashley's Birthday!!

so this week was good, not a ton happened and i dont have much time but thanks for all the emails!! i love love love my district and we are all getting cabin fever from being locked in the CCM so by the time night comes along all the guys are making animal noises and cracking jokes and we are all telling first kiss stories and laughing..we have all lost it. im seriously going to miss them though and im crazy freaked out about going into the field next week...i can teach lessons in spanish and understand when people talk slow but out in the real world i dont know what people are saying :(
oh well, pray for me haha
also we switched companionships this week becasue the brazilians went to the latino district, so lots of tears..but hna lopez hna smolak and i are an awesome trio and i love them to death :) we commited one of our fake investigators to baptism and it was awesome :)
also more about my district..ive learned why marriage is important lol...,guys need girls to get anything done, but when there are just girls, they take life WAY too seriously and its no fun at all..haha there is a district of almost all girls and they are super quiet and have frequent crying
for my birthday i got cookies from Hna Doll this morning and then got sang to in spanish and then for pday we went to mcdonalds for american ice cream :P and took our first taxi! (so fun!)  thanks for all the gifts!! and the card almost made me cry so thanks for all the love :) i may or may not get a pday next week so i have no idea when i will be on again but i love you all!
 miss you!

haha thanks for the birthday wishes and pictures!! lol
haha sounds like you guys´life is just as busy as always...
taylor will be fine..the first few days r tough but once school starts and he meets his ward, he will be fantastic..its just hard before that for sure.
i leave the ccm next tuesday and might not get a pday next week, but i will say more in my big email....

haha its ok i forgive you...i was surprised to not find a email from you but its ok :)
sounds like everyone is doing fantastic! 
taylor will be so great at BYU, i cant wait to hear about it!
lydia got williams for bio?! haha tell her to have fun learning about the menstrual cycle...thats the only lecture he gives lol
thats awesome that natalie gets to teach YW..i wish i could have come to one of her sure they are awesome!
Tell mandy good luck at her meet!! did she get my letter? also i might not get another chance to say happy birthday so tell her that for me too!!
sounds like BJ will have a great year :) maybe he will like school more this year :P
how did moving taylor into BYU go?!
love, ashley