Hermana Breanna Asbell
|Baptism of Marcos|
|Baptism of Manuel|
This was one of the best weeks of my mission so far. Hermana Harris and I are having so much success. We are working hard every day - it´s the best feeling ever. We have found so many people to teach - we´re both so excited to be here.We went to the birthday party and used my awesome flower candle. It was absolutely hilarious! The member that lit the candles didn´t light the firework part - only the candles. So there was this huge flame of fire while the ward is singing and the birthday grandmas is smiling and crying. The birthday song ended and instead of blowing out the candles, she decided to give a speech. As she was giving her birthday speech the flower petals started melting into the cake, but we couldn´t stop her to tell her to blow them out - you can´t interrupt the 99 year old birthday girl in the middle of her speech. We were all dying laughing.
This week really was just amazing. Hermana Harris and I are really good at teaching together. We are always heading in the same direction with where the lesson should go - it´s awesome. I really loooove being with her and working with her. I feel so blessed and so lucky.
My new companion Hermana Harris is so fantastic! We have the same goals - we just want to work hard, be obedient, and baptize. I love her so much! We´re going to have a great exchange together. I hope we´ll be together for Christmas. She goes home in March - she only has 2 more exchanges left after this. I would love to be with her until she goes home - we´ll see what happens.She´s actually been sick this whole weekend with the flu, so we´ve been home the last 2 days. Hopefully she´ll feel better tomorrow so we can get out of our house.Also... it´s a Christmas miracle! Hermana Young and I are in the same zone! We were so excited when we found out! Hooray! :D
My new companion is Hermana Harris! And she´s a gringa like me! :) We´re gonna see miracles together!! :)Bad news - Nancy wasn´t baptized last Saturday because her family was against it. Her daughter said she´d move out if she was baptized. So... we´re working on it. We fasted that the daughter´s heart would be softened and guess what... yesterday we taught her about Joseph Smith - it was a miracle. She never wanted to listen before, but now she said she wants to know if our message is true. AWESOME!! So the bad news is actually good news. Because now instead of baptizing one person - we´re gonna baptize everyone!!My companion Hermana Sandoval always says funny things, but this week beat all. You have to understand that this last exchange I´ve been making a lot of cookies/brownies/interesting experiments... I´ve become super without measuring and am super with the microwave. I can make cookies or brownies in less than 5 minutes. (the survival skills you learn on the mission...) Anyways... the other day Hermana Sandoval said, ¨Hermana Asbell, I think your children will be black ´cause you´ll give them so much brownies.¨ I was dying laughing. Awesome right? I guess we americanas just love sugar.
Nancy will be baptized this Saturday - I´m so excited! She is awesome! I can´t say enough good things about my ward. I love the people in my ward - it´s like I belong here. I feel very comfortable with these people. Familia Martinez is my favorite - Hno. Martinez loves missionary work and he has so many ideas for us. We had lunch with Familia Alvarez this week and they love vegetables at there house. It was the first meal that I didn´t eat meat. I´ve never been so excited! It was awesome! Just so you know, we are winning the hearts of the members here. They use to not feed us very much, but I´m trying to change that. We visit the members when we can (specifically the members that don´t feed us) and once they get to know us they´re just dying to feed us... haha!
My ward is fantastic. We are working with the members so much. Our goal every week is to have more lessons with members than without because the members work miracles. They soften hearts that I couldn´t soften in 100 years. The other day we were teaching with a member and I walked up to a lady sitting on her porch. We talked and she very boldy said that she wasn´t interested in anything we had to say. Then our member started talking to her and they became best friends. She even invited our member over for later in the week... my companion was like ¨And us too?¨ Then we laughed... because we knew the answer was no. When this lady becomes a member of the church it will be because of the friendship of the members in the ward. Awesome, right?We´re having miracles happen here every day - we´ve found a lot of good people to teach. One of our investigators said she got her answer that the church is true from the book of mormon. We were so excited!! But then she didn´t come to church yesterday... funny how that happens. We are teaching a family (every missionary´s dream) and they are reading the BOM. Now they just need to get married so we can baptize them. :)
This week has been going great. We found a miracle - a woman named Nancy. She´s reading the BOM, she knows it´s true, she came to church yesterday and loved it. We met her husband yesterday and he said we could talk with him. Nancy will be baptized on November 2nd. We are so excited! It´s amazing that we work with the same people week after week and they don´t come to church and don´t progress... But as soon as we have the faith to drop them we find people that are ready to be baptized. I love missionary work. I really love the people here in Santa Lucia. I hope I´ll spend a few exchanges here. :)The best thing about Santa Lucia is people get around with horse carriages. It´s just like being in Little House on the Prairie. We watched the Restoration with Nancy the other day and evey time a horse carriage passed by I felt like I was in the movie - it´s like Disneyland when they theme everything to make you feel like your in a different world - same deal, only mission style.
I got to watch the Saturday sessions in English (thank goodness Elder Holland and President Uchtdorf both spoke Saturday)... and the Sunday sessions in spanish with english captions. You would think that because I had english captions I would understand what was going on... haha - no, it was hard and impossible to take notes. Every time I tried to write something down I would miss the next thing. I feel bad for everyone in the world that doesn´t know English because they miss so much of conference - they miss the tone of voice and facial expressions of the speakers. I mean - those spanish translators are great, but it´s just not the same.
Our ward is awesome! Yesterday we had a meeting with the people in our ward... our ward mission plan is the bomb. I´ve never seen people so excited to find people to baptize. It´s funny too, because my companion said this only has started happening since I arrived. They haven´t had a baptism in this ward for months. Hopefully we can change that. We have 2 Elders in our ward too so hopefully between the four of us we can make progress somewhere.My new area is Santa Lucia - Las Piedras. It´s so much more calm and peaceful than Maldonado Centro. There are fields with horses and sheep - I am a big fan of this place. There is a little city in the middle (very little compared to Maldonado) and that is where we live. Our house is awesome! - it´s huge for just two sisters. And everything we have is new - the washer, microwave - and today we bought a shower curtain. (Oh the little joys missionaries get a kick out of)... haha!
My companion is completely awesome! She loooooves to sing. She knows a little English - she likes to learn. It´s been such a blessing to have a companion that doesn´t speak much Engish. I have learned so much spanish this last week - this is going to be a great exchange for my spanish. I help her with her English and she helps me with my Spanish. Also, my companion loves to cook. For some reason we don´t eat with the members very often in this ward, but really, it´s fine. Hermana Sandoval feeds me her Columbian food. She eats a lot of onions. Yesterday she made a ¨salad¨ with onions and oranges and tomatoes - all cut up and mixed together - fresh... she put vinegar and sugar on it and told me to eat it. I almost died laughing. It actually wasn´t that bad, but I´m not a huge fan of eating huge chunks of fresh onion... haha! Today at the store she bought a huge bag of onions... she eats them so much. Also, today I made her brownies. And then I became her favorite companion. Win. :) We have fun together.
Last Friday I was so super lucky and got to be part of another visitors center open house - it was awesome! The Elders in that area are so lucky. We taught awesome people - we set 4 fetchas for baptism. It´s amazing to see people so prepared to receive the gospel.
Also... best news ever! Yesterday we were at a members house and her kids were watching T.V... and guess what show they were watching? My favorite show ever... DINOSAUR TRAIN!! :) I was so excited! I was like TURN IT UP!! YAY!! No, really I didn´t say that, but I thought it. And I had a really hard time paying attention to what the member was saying because I kept looking at the little dinos dancing and singing.
Also... I forgot to mention that last week for lunch at my mission ward leader´s house he put on a Josh Groban concert. He always puts on mormon messages or something to bring the spirit while we eat lunch... this time he put on Josh Groban. Haha! I didn´t have the heart to tell him that it wasn´t mission appropriate (because he sincerely thought it was helpful for us)... I have NEVER been so distracted in my whole mission. It wasn´t the Salt Lake City concert... I don´t know where it was filmed, but it was AWESOME!! And the whole time we were eating lunch I forgot that I was in Uruguay... I forgot that I was a missionary... everything. Haha! Let´s hope that doesn´t happen again.
My zone leader just called me and said that I better start packing because I´m leaving. Wow Elder - you couldn´t have told me last night?! Haha!We received changes last night - I´m staying here in Maldonado Centro. I didn´t see that coming. I thought for sure I would be leaving - I even started packing this last week... haha! This will be my 5th exchange here. My new companion is Hna. Sandoval. She´s from Columbia - she´s been on the mission for 10 months - 3 more months than me. I pick her up in Montevideo tomorrow. Also, we´re getting Elders in my ward - they´re splitting my area in half again... the one thing that´s constant on the mission is change.This last week I got to be part of a visitors center at one of the chapels in my zone. It was awesome! I welcome the group in the chapel and they listen to the message from Christ while they look at the Christus. Then I lead them through 6 different pannels of lessons - the whole tour takes about 15 minutes. It was such an awesome experience! The more I teach the more I love it. The mission has convinced me that I´m going to love being a teacher when I grow up. :) We´re preparing for a visitors center in my ward in two weeks - I´m super excited! It´s going to be awesome!
Omar is a member of the church!! Hooray! :) And earlier in the week a man in our ward took Omar to buy a suit. It was such an awesome experience. We didn´t tell Omar what was going on before - we just picked him up and took him to Hno. Cabrera´s house.
Then we all walked down to the mainstreet... all the while Omar didn´t know what was going on. Hno. Cabrera walked over to the nicest store and pointed to a suit in a window and asked the sales lady, ¨Do have something like that here for a guy like this? ¨You should have seen Omar´s face - he was speechless. He bought him a suit, white shirt, pants, shoes - everything! It was a gift from the heart. Especially because this family is in humble circumstances because they have lots of health problems. Then another member in the ward bought him a tie. This ward is the best - the people are absolutely amazing! They have taken him in and made him part of their family. I´m really hoping he´ll serve a mission - he will be great! He told our ward mission leader that he was thinking about it, so we´ll see.Exchanges are next week... they´re probably going to kick me out. I´ll let you know!
Guess what?! One year ago TODAY I decided to go on a mission. I have been in Maldonado Centro FIVE months today... I love my area. I would be cool with staying here for my whole mission.We´re having a baptism on Saturday!! His name is Omar - he is 20 years old. He is amazing!! I found him 2 months ago with Hermana Vargas. He reads and studies so much - I´m really hoping he´ll serve a mission. A man in our ward is going to buy him a suit for his baptism. I´m so excited! :)We had zone conference this week. Elder Zeballos of the seventy and his wife came and spoke to us. It was awesome! I met our mission president´s wife - she´s super cute and super gringa. I mean, I know I´m gringa... but you see how gringa people really are when they come fresh from the states. Haha! I really shouldn´t speak though - I´ll always be gringa with my blonde hair and pasty white skin. Actually, apparently I´m turning into an old man... one of my recent converts, Teresa, told me that this week. She said, ¨Hermana Asbell, you´re going to have old man skin by the time you go home.¨ I guess I have wrinkles by my eyes... haha! The winter sun has been harsh on my skin. My companion said I should have been wearing sunscreen all winter... (I didn´t know that...) haha! Don´t worry - I have tons of sunscreen... I´ll wear it every day now.Also, I met a new best friend on the mission! Her name is Hermana Gines. She is the niece of Brother Gines in the 8th ward - awesome right?! We met and become instant best friends. She is awesome!
Hermana Alvarez and I rocked it out this week. Our zone /district plays a game called ¨Jackpot¨… if you get a certain number of nuevos, references, contacts, etc. you get to call each other in the moment and yell jackpot… and it´s a contest to see who can get the most. I´m usually not a competitive person, but I´ll do anything to win and beat the Elders in my district with this. Hna. Alvarez and I dominated this week. We are awesome! We had 11 nuevos and 30 references. And FRANCO PRESENTADO was baptized. And it was the best baptism ever. His real missionary was his daughter (Vale, age 9) and his girlfriend Marcela. There´s too much to explain with the whole situation, but just know that it´s the best love story ever and it´s one of my favorite baptisms so far. I love my misión.
Spring is here! I´m so happy - so happy to smell like sunscreen and bug spray again. J
I met my new mission president this week. His name is President Newsome - he is awesome!My favorite thing about him is his spanish. He can´t remember words in spanish sometimes and he speaks slower and more gringo than our old president... great for me because I can understand everything!! Haha... awesome!It´s still cold... they say we still have a month of winter left. I´m crossing my fingers for less!We have a baptism this Saturday! His name is Franco - he has the 9 year old daughter that's a member. He is the best! Really - I know I am so lucky to have such a golden investigator.Hna. Alvarez and I went a little crazy last night and had a sunday night party... we made popcorn and watched 1 1/2 hours of preach my gospel - it was just like going to see the midnight release of harry potter. We were laughing, crying, and sometimes we were scared when people said they didn't want to keep meeting with the missionaries... haha! But really, I can´t believe we´ve fallen this far... remember when I use to make fun of the PMG movies at home last fall when we watched them? Now I just love them! I guess it´s proof that the mission has changed me... but into what???? Haha!
Hopefully my theme will never be eat, eat, baptize, buy new clothes that actually fit, repeat. ;)We're teaching an awesome man named Franco - his daughter Valentina is 9 years old. Valentina is a recent convert and we go every week to visit her and teach her. Now her dad has been coming to church - he is golden. Seriously. I love finding incomplete families. That is where we've been finding a lot of our success. Also, Franco owns a panaderia/restaurant... he gives us flan, homemade alfajores, and pudding every time we teach him. My life on the mission = eat, eat, baptize, repeat.But really, this cotton candy was amazing - the closest thing I've ever had to Disneyland cotton candy. Best day ever. :)Good news though... I found a man selling cotton candy in the center of town. Best day of my life. He saw how excited I was and made mine twice as big... :) (as I was saying... eat, eat, baptize, repeat...)What a life, right? Just livin' the dream.So remember how there use to be four of us living at the house - and it was the best? Hna Vargas left because she finished her mission and just this week they took away Hna. Ahern. So now it's just Hna. Alveraz and I. We are companions and we have all of Maldonado Centro. They put the two areas back together. She is from Mexico and is actually a recent convert. She was taught by the missionaries when she was 18. Awesome, right?!I feel like I've mastered the Ragnar Relay's theme of RUN, EAT, SLEEP, REPEAT... only for me it goes more like this : EAT, EAT, BAPTIZE, REPEAT.
I find out exchanges tonight. I know one thing for sure... I will be staying here this exchange. One of my companions now, Hermana Ahern is going to a new area. She had to start packing last night so she told us that she was leaving and we were staying. So tonight I will find out who my companion is. I´m excited... nervous, but excited! BTW... you are all going to meet Hna. Ahern someday. She is the best - she´s from Kentucky and luckily is a student at BYU. All week we´ve been singing and laughing - my favorite joke of ours is ¨You know you´re fat when... ¨ and then we fill in the blank with whatever we´re doing. Because we´ve both gained a little weight on the mission and we happen to think it´s pretty funny. Here´s a few for you...¨Someone at church noticed you´ve gained weight and tells you after sacrament meeting.¨ - this happened to me yesterday... haha! I was like... ¨Si, pero Hermana, Estoy feliz, entonces no importa...¨ and then I just smiled. Btw... they don´t consider it rude to call someone fat - it´s just a way to describe people. ;)
You know you´re fat when...
¨You´re running around the kitchen during morning excercises with a cookie in each hand.¨ - this was Hermana Ahern 2 mornings ago... haha!
So... we got out of the hospital this morning - my companion is all better! :) Then we went home, packed her up, bought tons of alfajores, mate, and dulce de leche (only the most important things), and she just left about an hour ago. I am so sad... really, having a companion go home is worse than breaking up with a boy. We cried so much (we´re such girls)... and now I´m with the other two hermanas that live in my house. We will be a threesome for one week and then exchanges are next week and I will get a new companion.Good news though - Sarita and Rosana were baptized two saturdays ago... Hna. Vargas was sick, but we took a taxi and went to the baptism anyway. We found them, taught them everything, and baptized them in a period of two weeks. They were our miracles. Hermana Vargas and I had so many miracles together. I really can´t believe she´s gone. The mission is going fast - too fast. I can´t believe I´ve been here over 5 months.Oh, also... yesterday at the hospital we had a rockin´day. Our district leader was so impressed...We had 2 lessons with member, received a referral, and had a lesson with recent convert. He was like ¨Seriously, you guys are sick in the hospital and you had more lessons with members than we did.¨ Yes, that´s because Hermana Vargas and I are the boss. ;)
Hna. Vargas got really sick about a week ago. We took her to the hospital and they gave us drugs and told her to go home and get better. I took care of her for 3 days (longest days of my life) - we couldn´t leave the house at all. Anyways, she was getting better and went to her check-up at the hospital on Tuesday morning. Hermana Vargas went with the intent to make sure she was better, but her main motivation was to give a book of mormon to the doctor that took care of her... haha. Anyways, they checked her and apparently she was still sick - really sick. So they checked her into the hospital and we´ve been there ever since. It´s been crazy - I´ve been there the past four days. One of the other hermanas came and switched me last night so I could have a break. I´m going back again tonight and will probably be there until Monday. Then on Monday we´ll take a taxi to our house, pack up Hermana Vargas, and put her on a plane to Mexico. It´s been sad to have her sick the last week of her mission - we´ve lost track of all our investigators... bah! But hopefully this next week I can find them all and start teaching again. I´ve almost forgotten what it´s like to be a missionary... haha. Wow. Mostly I study and read conference and sleep. And try not to watch T.V... our lovely hospital neighbor loves to watch scary things... really, I´ve never been so disgusted in my life. I didn´t know shows like that existed. So much blood and horror... we turn off the t.v. as much as possible (every time our neighbor falls alseep) and then turn on my ipod with tab choir... haha! Awesome, right?!7-30-2013I´ve had a crazy week - the craziest of my mission so far.
We had an hermanas reunion at the mission home last week... it was the best. We went to classes and ate Utah food - my favorite food! The senior couples in our mission are the best cooks in the whole world. It actually makes me homesick when I eat their food... haha! They had eclairs for dessert - like the ones we make at home. :)We taught Rosana about the law of Chastity and just happened to bring the most stellar single guy in the ward... he shared powerful testimony about the blessings he´s received from living this law. She sat and listened with big eyes - she was absolutely amazed. Awesome right... we´re hoping they´ll get married after she´s baptized. ;)I have 2 investigators getting baptized this Saturday - Sarita and Rosana. They are miracles because we just found them last week. I love finding people that are prepared.We taught Sarita about the Word of Wisdom and ended up leaving her house with a pack of cigarettes. :) Awesome... I even taped one in my journal.
2 funny things...
Also, we got to skype with our new mission president - he is the best! I couldn´t be more excited for him to come.
Also, it´s rained all week - my boots were soaked! I bought kitty litter and filled my boots up - they were dry the next day. Awesome, right?!Last week I went to Pan de Azucar for an exchange - it was amazing. My companion was new - only had been here two weeks and only spoke spanish. We had such a great day together. We had many miracles in her area. I learn so quickly when I´m forced to speak spanish - and really, it´s so fun.This week was AWESOME! (as usual) But really, it was a week of miracles. We had this magical day where we found 4 nuevos and set 3 fetchas! AWESOME!! Right? My favorite nuevo is an old lady named Sarita. We talked to her for 10 minutes on the sidewalk and she said she´d be baptized (those are my favorite kind of investigators). She came to church yesterday with her plan of salvation pamplet and Word of Wisdom pamplet... it was so cute. Each time she met someone in the ward she told them about her baptism on the 27th of July... haha. We were dying laughing - she is the cutest - she will be a great member of the church.We are having so much success with finding new people to teach. Last week we were kind of stuck with our investigators - we felt like we should drop them (don't worry, not all of them) and start over. We did this with the faith that we would find new people to teach and we have found tons. It´s the best! It´s so hard to drop people because we get attatched to our investigators, but really, dropping people is the best feeling ever. You can only do so much for people and then they have to do the rest. As we´ve dropped people we have found twice as many people to teach that are progressing very quickly. The mission is awesome.
So... I love being a missionary. Really - I love it. And I just love Hermana Vargas. She is without a doubt the funniest person I know. We laugh so much - I think it´s the only reason we´re not gaining weight - we laugh it all off. She´s like my personal P90X - only it´s an all day exercise program. We laugh so much that we can breath, can´t walk - and just hope that you don´t have to go to the bathroom before Hna. Vargas says something funny. You´ll never make it. I know from personal experience. ;)7-8-2013We are going to have one giant food party when we get home. Really, biggest food party ever. Yesterday we ate at a member´s house that made us flan... usually flan isn´t my favorite thing - unless it´s covered in dulce de leche... but this flan was amazing. Really, so good! So I got the recipe and I´m going to make it when I get home. Be excited. :)Hna. Vargas has been sick this week - really sick with the flu. Luckily, I´ve loaded her up with drugs (only my favorite - niquil) and she´s starting to do better. I might try to make carrot cake - I´m just dying for cream cheese frosting.Pizza here is so weird. It´s just bread with tomato sauce - no toppings. Haha!
Good news - two people complimented me on my spanish yesterday... hooray! I think they were just being nice though - it´s like when people try to talk to me in English, I´m always like ¨wow, your english is so good!¨And then they feel so happy becuase I´m from the U.S. ... haha! They were probably doing the same thing ¨Wow Hermana Asbell, your spanish is so good. We could almost guess what you were trying to say.¨ :) The language is getting easier, slowly... I think I will really love spanish once I learn it.Best news ever - we found out the new exchanges last night! I am staying with Hermana Vargas here in Maldonado Centro!! :D I get to be her last companion before she goes home. This was my dream. Really, I couldn´t feel more excited/more grateful. We have so much fun together and we work so hard - these next 5 weeks are going to be the best ever! We are going to see miracles every day - I´m so excited!The baptism of Teresa and Horacio was amazing! They are the cutest, sweetest old people in the world. We taught them about temples and family history on Sunday - we asked them how they felt now that they were baptized and had the holy ghost. You should have seen Horacio´s face ... he just smiled and sighed like he was in a hot tub - it was the funniest thing I´ve ever seen. I hope all my investigators react this way when they are baptized. I´m so happy that I´m staying in my area because I´ve become so attatched to my investigators here. I just love them. I love teaching them. We have this new investigator - his name is Augustine, he´s about 23. We´re going to baptize him - he just doesn´t know that yet. Really though, the first time I met him I knew he would be a great member of the church. Every once in a while I meet people and have a really strong connection with them - like I was meant to be their missionary. I can´t really explain it. It happened to me the first time I met Teresa and Horacio and it happened again when I met Augustine. I´m excited - hopefully he´ll be baptized in 2 weeks.
24 Jun 2013
So... it was a pretty fantastic week!
We have 2 people getting baptized this Saturday - Teresa & Horasio. They are in their 60´s, and they are the cutest, most humble people ever. I found them back with my old companion, we were looking for a less active person named Moises... we found him and he came back to church. Then he introduced us to his parents. I remember meeting them and feeling a strong connection with them. And now... we´ve taught them all the things and they will be baptized this Saturday! I´m sooo excited! I was excited for the baptisms before this, but I´m more excited about this because I feel like I was really part of their story. They are just the cutest old couple ever. Just this week we were teaching them about the Word of Wisdom and I was about to tell them the five things they shouldn´t take, but Teresa stopped me and told me what they were before I could go on. It was hilarious. And she suprised us at the end by asking us if she can pay her tithing this next week at church. We hadn´t taught her about tithing yet... haha! Her son Moises has been a great example to them. I love finding incomplete families - it´s the best! They progress so much faster than regular investigators. So... I´m excited for Saturday! And also, one year from now they will be sealed in the temple. I´m really, really hoping I can be there for that one.
Uruguay is cold... I can see my breath in my house, while I study. It´s lame. The hot water bottle I brought has saved me. Also, I bought ear muffs - best purchase ever. They keep me warmer than any hat - who knew that keeping your ears warm would help so much.
17 Jun 2013
This week was awesome - seriously, I love my mission. I love my companion. She sings - about everything - just like I do. We are singing all day, every day. Our favorites are Frank Sinatra´s ¨Just the way you look tonight¨ and ¨Fly me to the moon¨. And also, anything Christmas. Hermana Vargas and I make each other laugh so hard that we can´t talk. I only have two more weeks with her... it´s been the best! I´m so grateful that I had this time to learn how to make the mission fun.
This week we had a BAPTISM!! Yay! And it was the best! His name is Cris - his wife Vale went to BYU for 3 years- she is a pro at English. Cris was special to me because I have been teaching him from the beginning - he has been so patient with me throughout this whole time as I´ve been learning Spanish. Anyways, he got baptized on Saturday and they will be sealed in the temple one year from now. I´m hoping that I´ll be able to go to the sealing. :)
Hna Vargas and I had lunch with Orieta and Walter - aka: Captain Hook. They are so weathy - they had their maid serve us lunch on fancy china - it was super awesome. Hna Vargas is really good at talking rich people into feeding us lunch - we have lunch with 2 other families this week that we normally wouldn´t. Haha! It´s the best thing ever.
BTW... my spanish is coming along... slowly... haha! I´ve found that I´ve had to learn how to be an English speaking missionary before I can transfer it into spanish. Really though - I´ve had Hna. Vargas teach me all the lessons in English so I actually know what we´re teaching. Preach My Gospel is helpful and everything but it´s so deep - we only skim the surface when we teach investigators. I´ve been so lucky to have Hna. Vargas teach me how to be a missionary that can simply explain everything in English. She is the best! My Spanish has improved so much thanks to her.
I hope you´re all having a great week! I love you guys!
10 Jun 2013
It´s June... where is time going? I'd have to say that time really flies when you're working hard. We are having the time of our lives. And when I say that, I mean that we are working so hard every day - and sometimes we get really sick when we eat bad food, and we´ve had to drop a few of our investigators because they weren´t progressing... but seriously, we´re having a blast. We work so hard and try to be perfectly obedient, but then we have moments when we are laughing so hard that we are crying. She is so funny - she is always singing random things. Hna Vargas has helped me to bring the Breanna from home and connect it with Hermana Asbell - it´s like I´m finally being myself on the mission. Haha... yeah, that probably doesn´t make a lot of sense. Anyways, she is the best and I´m hoping that they don´t take her away from me this next exchange. My DL has hinted to me that I´ll be training an oro this next exchange... this worries me becuase my spanish isn´t quite good enough to be the main teacher. Good thing the spirit knows spanish... right? ;)
I´m hoping that Hna Vargas and I can be companions for one more exchange and then she´ll go home.... maybe I can bribe president?
BTW... I'm getting a new mission president in July. His wife is having heath problems and they have to go back to the U.S.
We have this investigaor named Walter. He and his wife are in their 70s... his wife has been a member her whole life - she is an angel. He reminds me a lot of captain hook... not actually captain hook though, just the guy that plays captain hook in the movie Hook... Dustin Hoffman maybe? Yeah, he is hilarious. He has had missionaries try to teach him for 50 years and no one has made progress with him, but we have. We are the first missionaries to teach him formal lessons. He is super hard - his heart is a rock. We are slowly melting it... haha! He calls me Jane (from the movie Tarzan) because Asbell is hard for him to pronounce and because of my spanish. You remember the part where Jane says ¨Me Jane, you Tarzan¨... Walter quotes it to me every time we see him... he thinks he´s so funny. So, I´m Jane at their house. It´s awesome. :)
3 June 2013
I'm still in the same area. I have a new trainer (Hermana Vargas) - my old trainer is training a new oro in a new area. We have 2 new Hermanas living with us too, so there are 4 total at the house. And it is the best! My area before they came was huge... they let me decide where to cut it. So we cut it in half and I lost half of my investigators :( ... but hopefully the other hermanas will take care of them. It´s nice because now with the area cut in half we can focus on more people because we don't have to walk so far. But my area is super awesome... it's far, but there is a part that is right on the ocean. Everytime we go there I say, ¨Wow, I live here?¨
Things couldn't be better right now. Everything is great! I would even say ¨I couldn´t be happier...¨ BTW... I miss my music so much! That´s definitely one of the first things I will do when I go home... listen to Wicked!
My trainer Hermana Vargas has taught me so much. Really, I have learned so much in 1 week! I am so lucky. She has helped me so much with my spanish. :)
The wedding was awesome! The baptism was awesome!
27 May 2013
This week has been great! We have 4 hermanas living in my house. It's the best. Really. I couldn't be more excited to be here. My new companion is amazing. (seriously, the best hermana in the mission) I have learned a lot from her in just 4 days. It's nice to have another comanionship in the house - it makes it feel more like college, more like Provo.The good news is... we all speak English. The bad news is... we all speak English. So... we´ve had to make a rule that we can only speak English when we´re in our house.
This week is going to be awesome. One of my investigators is getting married on Friday and baptized on Saturday. It´s going to be a party. Also, I´m getting really good at asking people to be baptized. Awesome.
21 May 2013
I´ve been thinking a lot about Beauty and the Beast lately. I´ve always thought that I was Belle - the princess, of course. And while I´d still like to believe that, I know now that I am, without a doubt - the Beast. Really. Like the beast, I´m in a constant need of a change of heart. Some days and hours, I am Belle - the princess. My heart is where it needs to be. And when I think I am good and have everything figured out, I turn back into the Beast. Haha... it´s a battle. But I´ll make sure to be the princess before the last rose petal falls. :)So... it´s cold in Uruguay. Like, really cold. Every morning I am like a cake, or an onion - mucho layers. Like more layers that I wear when I go skiing. Really, it's ridiculous! The good news is this- my sleeping bag is amazing! And I happened to have a companion (Hermana Berrios) that loves shopping. So I loaded up on turtle necks and sweaters. I am ready winter - bring it!This week was awesome and I received the best compliment of my life. We were talking to a lady on the street and she wanted to practice her English with me. As we were talking she kept asking me if I knew the Ingles family. I was like... um... no. And then I realized she was referring to Little House on the Praire - my absolute favorite TV show ever. She was so happy I knew what she was talking about because she loves it too. She said that I have the same spirit as that family, a good spirit... I think what she meant to say was that I´m destined to marry Charles Ingles. Yeah... I´m pretty sure that´s what she meant to say. ;)Hola!Best news ever - my new companion is Hermana Vargas!! She is the best - I am beyond excited! I was her companion a few weeks ago for a day exchange and it was one of the best days of my mission so far. She is from Mexico and knows English really well. She is super humble and sweet - really, she´s an angel. She helped me so much in my teaching - really, I cannot tell you how excited I am to work with her. She is finishing her mission here in Maldonado Centro - I pick her up tomorrow. I am so, so excited! Say hello to the best 6 weeks ever! (maybe 12 if I´m really lucky) :)
13 May 2013
One of my investigators is a sweet old woman that makes delicious bread. This week she taught us how to make escones - they're like small rolls with sugar. It was so awesome to be in a kitchen cooking! It may sound silly, but I miss making food - specifically pie. That is definitely the first thing I will do when I come home. Anyways, Uruguay food is completely amazing and while my main purpose as a missionary is to baptize all of Uruguay, my other small purpose is to collect recipes from everyone. ;) Don't worry, my priorities are definitely straight. And I definitely read the talk called the 4th missionary this week.;)Last p-day I went to Punta del Este!! It was super awesome! I love, love, LOVE the beach. I could have stayed all day. The hand in the pictures I sent is super famous. I love my area. Now before you start thinking crazy things like, Wow, breanna is having a party on her mission¨ and ¨that's not a mission, that's a vacation.¨ let me stop you... No mission is a vacation. Really.So... because I have this problem with not being able to communicate with people (I mean, I can... but not really)... I have to find other ways to help them. Mostly I just hug people. It´s funny because I´ve never been a huggy person. But seriously, it´s the best! I communicate my love and appeciation for people by hugging them. (don't worry, only girls)... :) So heads up when I come home - I'm going to hug all of you!Love,Hermana Asbell
6 May 2013
4. Kissing - it's the best at church, especially in Relief Society. You walk in and you have to greet and kiss every single person in the room. It takes forever. Seriously, like 10-15 minutes. The only way you get out of it is by being late... haha!3. I discovered the wonderful Uruguay ice cream on my half birthday. It's the best! Luckily, my half birthday is always 2 days long - yes, I got ice cream both days. Haha... ;)2. The mesquitoes here are vicious! They find me even through my thick, wool tights! I always smell like camping because I'm coated in bugspray. It's the best. I love camping.1. I'm going to use my sleeping bag for the first time tonight - super stoked. But also, winter is coming and I'm going to freeze. It's confusing to be so cold in May. Haha!Hola!
Luckily, sister missionaries aren't allowed to kiss any men. (Thank goodness!) Also, in Uruguay it's on the right cheek. In some countries they do both...That would take even longer... haha!
29 April 2013Happy May fools day this week! :)I bought a blow dryer! Best day of my life! Seriously. Now I am warm all morning when I study. Buying a blow dryer in Uruguay is like buying a car... it was super complicated. I have paper work and a year long warrenty. Haha! :)I'm starting to get better at spanish. I have found that the more I talk in lessons, the better I get at spanish. It's hard to say what I want to say on the spot, but it comes as I try. My companion helps me all the time when I forget words. I always testify of families and Jesus Christ. The investigators are super patient with me, but they really listen because they know I'm trying so hard to share my thoughts. It's a slow process, but it's getting easier day by day and week by week.
Yesterday I was called on in Sacrament meeting to share my testimony. Haha... surprise! At first I was scared, but once I got up there I remembered that I love speaking in church. I know, it's a weird thing to love. Haha! I spoke as much correct spanish as I knew how - my companion said it went really well. I felt good about it, but now I have this huge desire to learn as much Spanish as I possibly can as fast as I can. Haha!I eat milanesa almost every day. The members here love it. And they feed it to us all the time. I try to eat mine as slow as possible so they don't make me eat two of them. Haha! Not a big fan of it... They put oil on everything here - Potatoes, salad, everything. and Mayonnaise! They cover milanesa in mayonnaise! Haha!We are teaching tons of people. We have some baptisms coming up in May. I wish I could tell you about all of the investigators and members, but there simply isn't time.
Top 5 things about Uruguay:1. Mate - everyone drinks mate! It's a hot drink of herbs... or something. It's not bad, but missionaries aren't allowed to drink it. People sit around and pass their mate around... and when the hot water's gone they have their thermal full of more. It's hilarious. Love the mate!2. Grandmas on motorcyles - it's awesome. Seriously! I have seen tons of little old ladies on motors. It's just the Uruguay way. I'm planning on pulling it off when I'm old.3. Latino facial expressions - they are my favorite. I'm always trying to figure out what people are saying, but sometimes I get distracted by their amazing ability to move their eyebrows, eyes, and whole face all together at the same time. It's awesome! Hopefully it will rub off onto me. ;)4. Mantecol - ahh! My favorite candy! It's in the shape of a candy bar, but the whole thing is like eating the inside of a butterfinger (without the chocolate). It's amazing! If you can find it, buy it! You will love it. I plan on bring back a suitcase full of it. :)5. Panaderias - Wow... why don't we have these in the U.S. They make the most beautiful, delicious breads. I love it! If I gain weight in Uruguay it won't be because of the meat, it will be the sweets! Btw... we eat tons of meat. I think it's because I'm in a wealthy area of Uruguay.I love Uruguay! I love the people, I love my area, I love my companion! I feel so lucky to be here every day. My area is like being in Mexico/Hawaii. There is beautiful palm trees and gigantic hotels all along the coast.The beach reminds me a lot of Anne of Green Gables. It's rolling hills of sand and then the ocean... I'll get pictures one of these p days. Then we have the city... beautiful stores of all kinds with everything you'd ever need. And then we have the cute ¨hole in the wall¨ stores and the homes where most everyone in our ward lives. They are poor and have small homes with cement floors, but they live in a beautiful place. The stars here are amazing! The sunsets have every color sunsets should have. I love Uruguay!I love the people we're teaching. My favorite is two kids a boy 16 years old and a girl that's 12. They found out that I can play the piano. They were so excited when I played Adele... haha! Their mom is a member and feeds us lunch sometimes. We teach these girls every week and they are adorable. They know so much about the gospel. I connect really well with the kids and teenagers. Maybe it's because I don't know spanish very well. They're always trying to help me and teach me. They give me presents sometimes - dinosaur stickers, bows... it's the best! Also, there is a lady that we teach and her little girl is 2... she is exactly like the little girl in monsters inc. Boo! It's hilarious! She repeats everything we say. We're always trying to entertain her so we can teach her mom. I've found that twirling works best. :)I love you! Con Amor, Hermana Asbell
I made it! I'm finally in Urugray! It is buenisimo! (my wonderful companion taught me that word)... she is amazing! Her name is Hermana Berrios and she is the latina version of me! Seriously! It's amazing! She is so happy and so optimistic about everything! She is here to work! And that is what she's done. She's been out for 4 months and she's taught many people. Everyone in the mission found out that she is my trainer and they look at me and say You are so lucky. So so lucky! She is the best! And Presidente Armstrong talked to me and said, really, she is one of the best. I am so lucky, so blessed to have her as a companion. I have learned more from her in 2 days than all 6 weeks at the CCM. Seriously. I am so grateful! I am learning spanish quickly. She is very patient. Very, very good at teaching me. She is from Puerto Rico so she has a different accent than the people here. She's trying to teaching me their accent, but she is still adjusting to it. I might end up with more of a Puerto Rico accent... haha. The Elders just told me to listen to the investigators and I'll get the right accent.I am right by the beach and we lived in an apartment in the city. All the elders said, whoaaa! You are so lucky! That is the best place in the mission. The best! Because it is beautiful and by the beach! Our apartment is absolutely beautiful! It's 2 stories! And we have carpet upstairs. The elders could not stop telling me how lucky I am. We have the nicest apartment in our mission. It's funny because think it's nice, but I have nothing to compare it to. I'm sure I'll realize how nice it is when I move to another area. We are in the city. There is a lot of shopping and people everywhere. We have many people to teach. Hermana Berrios is absolutely amazing. She is 100% obedient. I am so lucky to have her as my trainer for 12 weeks. I couldn't be more excited about everything!
I've been feeding the dogs cookies because I haven't bought dog biscuits yet. Amazing the change of heart that can come from a cookie. ;)We've been teaching a lot of people. Everyone always wants me to pray because I'm new... haha! I always pray. So mostly I pray, testify and I contact people on the street. I usually can't understand what the investigators are saying. They speak so fast... I can catch words and ideas, but it's hard. After a while I start to zone out because you can only take so much spanish in one day... haha! It's getting better, day by day... I need to be more patient with it. I'm just trying to set a world record for fastest learner of spanish ever... that's all. Haha! It's hard.I'm making pancakes and syrup for a member tomorrow. She always feeds us lunch on Fridays. She was so excited when she found out I knew how to make them. We're making them for her birthday tomorrow! I love you all!!
Wow, time flies when you're having fun!I want to tell you all about my proseletismo experiences! We were sent to the same area two weeks in a row. We get on a bus from the CCM and they drive us 30 minutes into the city. Then they drop us off on the side of the curb. We have an awesome area! We have an ice cream shop, a beautiful panadarea, two pizza places and a few little stores. The rest of our area is houses. We walk along our planned route and talk to people that will listen. We talk to a lot of men - teenagers, middle aged men, and old men because they think we're very beautiful. My hair sticks out so much here. They will usually listen and say they'd love to meet with us again. We try to explain that different missionaries will come see them, but they don't understand... so we end up getting a lot of references, but most of them aren't interested in the gospel. They're interested in American girls. It gets frusterating. Maybe dying my hair wouldn't be such a bad idea. Haha! We've talked to so many nice people though. One day we stopped to get some ice cream and a lady next door saw my hair. She waved for us to come over... of course we were super excited! She owned a salon and thought my hair was amazing. Then a little old lady at the salon started talking to us about the church. She said she had a Mormon friend that invited her to go to church, but she didn't want to go until she read the Book of Mormon. We were like... we've got one right here. She was so excited! She kept telling us we were an answer to her prayers. She couldn't say enough. She was so excited about the Book of Mormon. We've been guided to specific people on our little routes. It's amazing. A lot of people can't understand us because we don't have the awesome Castellano accent yet. One man came up to us last Saturday and was like 'You american women are very beautiful, but that won't persuade the people here to join your church. Everyone is Catholic. You might persuade a few, but you're wasting your time. Go to a different place where there's poverty.' Luckily he spoke a little English so I explained that the gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone - rich or poor. He rolled his eyes at that... haha!We have a lot of dogs that live at the CCM. They just come and eat meals with us... different dogs every day. When these dogs smile they don't have teeth. My favorite CCM dog has two teeth.
I can't wait to find out who my new companion is. I hope it's someone that only speaks spanish...Spanish gets easier every week. Haha! I'm pretty good at the accent - probably because I grew up with dad speaking spanish! (Thanks dad!) I can hear it and it comes easily... now I just need to get the language in my brain... haha! It's coming. I'm excited to see if I will start to make progress faster being out in the field. :)The animals in Argentina love me. I feed the dogs my leftovers from dinner and I can't help touching the fluffy cats. But the mosquitoes love me most! I just get eaten whenever I'm outside. They are big, ugly misquitoes too. I slap them and they explode with blood everywhere... it's disgusting. Luckily, I have my trusty bug spray to fight these battles for me. I have a feeling that I'll be coating myself with that stuff every morning. It will be my version of south american perfume.My Gene Kelly moment:When it rains in Argentina - it rains! It had been raining for 24 hours straight and then it let up at actividad fisica time yesterday. A lot of missionaries decided to do indoor activities because it was still wet outside. I was all for staying inside because I had just showered that morning, but Hermana Emily Young really, really wanted to play basketball outside. So I gave in and said, ¨Ok, but I don't want to get wet.¨ Those were my last words. We started playing a game of horse and 5 minutes in came the downpour. I was completely soaked in a matter of seconds! It was so sudden and unexpected we just had to laugh. There wasn't even a point in going inside because we were so soaked. So we played in the rain during all of activity time. I was wishing that Gene Kelly was there to tap dance and sing in the rain with us. It would have been perfect! You should have seen the look our our teacher's face when we walked in... I'm sure he was thinking ´´silly american girls...¨´ We had so much fun though.
I leave the CCM tomorrow moring at 4:30 am. I am SO excited!! I can't wait! I'll let you know how everything goes on my next p-day.
We went to the temple last week and had the awesome experience of listening to everything in English with our headsets. Everything is harder in spanish. We're going to the temple again today. I'm excited! It makes me feel like I'm at home. Hopefully I'll be able to pronounce everything better in spanish this week.Every week we are assigned to prepare talks on a specific subject for sacrament meeting. Then Presidente Openshaw announces the program during the meeting. Last week, I was chosen to speak on faith. We're suppose to do it in spanish, but because we have sacrament meeting for the americanos separate, I did it in english. I told them they wouldn't feel the spirit if I did it in spanish... haha, that's how bad my spanish is. Espanol es muy dificil!! But really, my talk went great. I love teaching. I love being put on the spot to give talks... I just wish I knew spanish. I'm sure Presidente won't let english fly in sacrament meeting this week. Haha! Guess what? The Primary President and RS President are coming to give us a devotional on Sunday. Presidente asked me if I would play the piano for it. Awesome, right? I'm getting much better at hymns. The spirit is so great with helping me learn hymns quickly. I learned two new hymns today.Hey, guess what? Stephanie Fullmer just got here today. She is my roommate. It's absolutely crazy! Can you believe three Mapleton girls ended up at the CCM at the same time? I still have 4 more weeks to go here so we'll get to know each other pretty well! I can't believe I've only been here two weeks. It feels like months. Hermana Young and I are on a roller-coaster of emotions constantly. It's absolutely hilarious. We both consider going home at least 10 times a day. And then there are moments where we love being here and will be sad to leave the CCM. It changes day by day, and hour by hour. Haha! I guess it's just the life of a missionary. I really am happy to be here though. I am learning spanish... it comes slowly, but I feel that I am blessed with the gift of tongues all the time as I learn to concepts and vocabulary. We are hard on ourselves as missionaries. We've only been here 2 weeks and every day we ask ourselves the same question... Why aren't we fluent yet? What's wrong with us? And then we remember that we've only been studying spanish for 14 days.... and a few of those were P-days and Sundays. Haha...We always watch movies on Sunday nights. The first Sunday we watched the Testaments and last week we watched Joseph Smith Restoration. It's one of my favorite parts of the week because they're great movies and... they have love stories in them! I didn't realize how much I would miss watching movies- specifically love stories! All the girls in the district sit there and sigh when Joseph and Emma are falling in love. It's hilarious! And the elders just roll their eyes. I'm hoping we'll watch Legacy next movie night... I remember that one having a pretty fantastic love story. Haha! You can't take the hopeless romantic out of a missionary! :)This Saturday I get to do prosoletismo. Wish me luck! My spanish is so-so but my hair might make up for the lack of it. Emily jokes that I will attract the crowds and she will preach. haha!Also... I realized that I don't have time to email anyone else but you guys and zac. Acutally, I'm not even allowed to. So if you could forward my things to grandparents/extended family that would be great. Just take what you want. And you can fix what you want (spelling and such) because these keyboards are crazy. Maybe just send a paragraph or two because some of the things I say are too crazy/too honest/I have to type so fast in 30 mins that i don't even know if what i'm typing makes sense. Thanks!I hope you're having tons of fun! Good luck with everything! Thanks for sending the pictures!I love you!
Breanna's District at the MTC in Argentina
MTC in Buenos Aires, Argentina