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