Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Week 4-August 26, 2014

Week 4-August 26, 2014

Hi everyone!!
sounds like you are all doing well! 
this week was just like the other ones...same old class and spanish and such. we went to the temple again and that was awesome. I never thought i would love the temple so much...
To answer mom´s questions more, yes the president of the CCM is always around but we have yet to meet our mission president. We write letters to Pres Doll (the CCM pres) every week about our week and accomplishments and such and this last week i was struggling to not feel homesick and to feel like i am supposed to be here and wrote that that was my biggest challenge in the letter and he actually called me into his office to talk about it. I was amazed to realize that he took the time to carefully read and think about each of the hundred missionaries letters and make sure everyone is doing well. We talked about how i am never sure when i am feeling the Spirit or just my own opinion and how i wished i could be more sure that this is where i am supposed to be. We talked about how i had already received confirmations of my decision when i was excited when i got my call and such and he quoted the scripture from d&c 4 that says everyone who has a desire to serve is called to the work. It really helped me realize that i am in fact called to be here and will have His help as I serve.
Hna Smolak and i taught the lesson in RS about the Atonement this week and the english class only has 5 girls in it, so it ended up being a really fantastic discussion.It was also really interesting to prepare it with Hna Smolak and here her perspective on things. I love talking about the Savior.
We are losing our two brazilians after today because they are going to the latino class :( they are already fluent since portugese is so similar to spanish...i will miss singing Frozen songs every morning with Hna Montes and having life talks with Hna Ribeiro in my broken spanish...Hna Ribeiro and i love looking out our window at night and watching other people in their apartments with their families and such. helps when we are homesick :P
One of the customs here is to kiss people on the cheek when you greet them and that is still something i am getting used to :P I am not a very touchy person so its been funny to try and feel comfortable doing that all the time....
I don´t know if i ever mentioned it but there are lots of stray dogs here and we witnessed a dog fight on saturday. The elders were all so excited haha also apparently naked drunk people run around on the streets at night, like on sunday...so that happens here too...lol also a favorite of the elders..
 and then Sat night there was a temblor, or mini earthquake! we were all sitting in a circle in class talking and the ground started shaking and shook for about 30 seconds...apparently it was a 6.4 on their scale (which is a 12 point scale)! It was the strongest one theyve had since a real earthquake in 2000 (i think?). Most of the other missionaries were crazy excited because they are all from utah and it was their first earthquake ever ..while those of us from california just laughed haha but it was pretty exciting since we felt the entire thing. Unfortunately we were in the basement of the building so we didnt feel it as much as we would have if we had been higher up... 
we will probably feel many more earthquakes in the next 18 months, which will be fun :) 
also mom, remember when you told me something about the Schroeppels (i dont know how to spell that..) knowing someone here? I found him! haha their nephew, Mikah Singson is in my district! haha i asked him about it one time cuz he reminds me of the schroeppel boys. 
well thats it for now i guuess, sorry its all so random and scattered :P and my grammar is terrible...oh well  haha
love and miss you all and cant wait to hear about taylor going to BYU and school starting again and i hope i get to chat with you guys next tuesday for my birthday :) dont know what the schedule will be tho...
love u !

                                                     Ashley's district in the CCM
​Hna montes always tells me, ´¨no tocar el perro!!¨¨ haha its our joke now because i always want to touch the dogs but they are dirty and can be dangerous i guess....haha

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Week 3-August 19, 2014

Week 3--August 19, 2014

this hour seriously feels like a race lol we all race in and type as fast as we can...but i will try to say everything..sounds like letters take about 2 weeks and packages 6 weeks so maybe i will write more in letters....
sounds like everyone is doing great! loved hearing about everything....
This week was crazier because everyone got sick and when one person gets sick when we are locked in one tiny room for 12 hours a day, EVERYONE gets it ..haha Hna Lopez was so sick she needed a blessing and was miserable :( i just got a sore throat and a cold. We also had some drama because our new teachers for our 3-4 weeks are facing the challenge of teaching to a class where half the kids dont understand if they speak spanish and two girls don´t understand if they speak english...its kind of crazy. Our Brazilian companions were pretty mad at a couple of the teachers for not saying everything in spanish so they felt left out...i think its ok now though, they worked it out after some arguments and tears..
Two of our teachers barely speak any english at all..which is interesting. its incredibly hard to teach spanish grammar in spanish to kids who speak english..
We dont get much time to practice teaching since our district is so big, but we have gotten way more united as a companionship and teach better than ever! :)
One group left this week and a new group came, so they moved people around in the rooms and moved Hna Lopez and Hna Montes out of our room, which is nice because then there are only three girls to a shower instead of five, but we miss them and it was fun being in the same room :(
We didn´t get to go to the park a bunch of days this week and that was hard...ive never wanted to just go running more in my life. also its difficult because my companions arent big fans of running, so i run laps around them in the parking lot or while they play frisbee haha
Sundays are the best, we get to sleep in 15 minutes and have devotionals and lots of study time and cookies at FHE at night. Its the best :P except for sacrament mtg everyone has to prepare a talk and the president just calls up random people. kind of nerve-wrecking!
The food is good, just TONS of carbs...and sometimes its kind of weird and half the time we dont know what we are eating...lol They have started doing American food fridays and feeding us hamburgers and fries, which everyone was crazy excited about at first, but then we realized the hamburgers are terrible and the french fries are soggy and it just makes you miss In N Out more...:P
and no, we dont know of any adapters that work for hair products....the one i have works for the ipods tho :) we have just been borrowing the Brazilians´.
Ive had some minor headaches, but not much. We get to be with all the other missionaries during a lot of the 10 minute breaks we get throughout the day and during the meals, although we go in shifts. On Sundays we are all together a lot of the day, except that for devotionals they have a Spanish room and an English room, so our Brazilian companions go to the spanish room and all the americans get to speak in english most of the day. its pretty nice after so much spanish ..
The president is always around and he even sat with us at lunch today. His wife is usually around, too.
Pdays we get three hours, one of which we are scheduled to talk to family.The other two we can explore the city. I wish i had brought my boots,but  it doesnt actually rain that much and this weekend was beautiful and warm! Its more chilly today again though. 
We go to the temple every other week, so we are going again tomorrow. Ya its TINY temple compared to LA. Maybe the size of redlands...
I saw Sister Calderon when she brought a family of investigators to the temple this week! i dont think she saw me though...
by the way, feel free to censor or just put important stuff on the emails you forward or post...thanks :P
and no i have not gotten any mail yet..did you send it to the mission or the CCM?
love you all! miss you!!
                                            Hermana Smolak and Hermana Ribiero

The Chile Training Center (CCM)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Week 2--August 12, 2014

Week 2-August 12, 2014

so much to say and answer and so little time!
did you guys take my present and flowers to christie for her bday?! i forgot to remind you..it was the 5th
this week has been long too,  but not as long. we get up at 6:45 and study and eat and go to the park and exercise and then have class from 10am to 10pm...i didnt even know days could be so long...we are here for 6 weeks because we didnt speak spanish coming in, the latinos are only here for 2 weeks. We only get to leave the temple and CCM grounds for pday and to go to the park...i feel like a dog in a backyard sometimes, especially when they dont let us go to the park haha
but we got to go to the temple last wed and that was super good  :) if you want to see where i am, google map the santiago temple and im in the bldg behind it :P ive been to the temple three times now at three different temples!
there are 8 elders and 5 sisters in my district, i feel so old because all the guys are 18 and think im ancient..wish i had gone on a mission last year..but oh well :) i probably would have been crazy homesick. Sundays are the only days we get to speak english mostly and sometimes we get cookies and such, which makes it feel like home. We have mashed potatoes and meat or rice and meat every single meal except breakfast, which is bread and eggs. The hot chocolate is amazing tho :)
We finally figured out the  voltage here so we can charge our ipods and stuff, but we still cant plug in hair dryers or straighteners cuz they will fry. We fried a curling iron and my alarm clock, even after the president explained everything. we were so scared to plug in the ipod and try haha I joked about how my first instinct is to call my dad and ask, even though he isnt an electrician or anything :P i just assume dad knows everything..
we usually get pday tues 10-1 our time and write our families from 12-1, but i think it will change next week because the last group just left and we are changing teachers and such
also mom, you should cancel netflix...im so so so sorry u had to deal with all that craziness from the walking company and the police dept! thats so weird that they stopped bugging me about the ticket but no one even got the money!
thats exciting that lydia is getting her permit!! and tell taylor good luck at BYU!!! he will have SOOOO much fun...remind him to do some school, too ;) i wish i could be there with him...
yes there are 5 girls in our room and yes im at the CCM, there are about 100 missionaries at the CCM, although a bunch left today and a new bunch come tomorrow...yes you can send me stuff and hopefully i will get it in the next 4 weeeks :) the president and his wife live in the room next to us and are very nice, although they make me never want to be called as a mission presidents wife or anything..it would be crazy hard to give up retired life and move to another country for 3 years!
i will try to label people in my next pic...
my companions are all good, hna smolak and hna ribeiro and i are getting better at teaching lessons more unitedly and i have to translate Hna Ribeiro´s spanish less often for Hna Smolak since she is getting so much better at spanish :)

i miss the beach so much! and i miss school and home! i have gotten way more homesick than i thought i would...but its ok i just have to take it one day at a time and stay positive.
you can forward my emails to anyone you want if they specifically ask to get them. I dont care :)
love you all!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Farewell to first email--August 5, 2014

Ashley's Farewell-July 27th, 2014
Arcadia, CA

 Friends: Zach, Alisa, Taylor, Rebecca, Maite, and Macey
Last family picture for a while...maybe 3 years??