Monday, December 28, 2015

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

Well, it has come and gone, but Merry Christmas to everyone!! (And an early happy new year!) I just want to start out by saying that being a missionary during Christmas is literally an amazing experience. Yes, it is hard to be away from friends and family and traditions and everything, but I have absolutely LOVED being a missionary this December. Let me tell you a little bit of what it was like...
We started off the week with an amazing Christmas conference! It was the whole west side of the mission, and we all met in Sevilla. We started off with a talent show and it was so fun to listen and watch all of the missionaries share their talents. All of the Hermanas from 2 of the 5 zones that were there got together and we sang Hallelujah (like the one from Shrek) but changed the lyrics of each verse to talk about the birth of Christ from the point of view of Mary, the Angels, the Shepherds,the Nephites, and people in the world today. I LOVED IT. For me, there is nothing more powerful in inviting the Spirit than music. After that, all 100ish of us walked over to Carrefour (basically like a Walmart) and sang Christmas hymns right in the front of the store... I never knew you could feel the Spirit so strong in a place like that, but you can, and it was AWESOME!!
We then returned to the church and proceeded to hear the testimonies of the missionaries who are going home this transfer. My sweet comp was one of them along with 4 others and it was amazing to hear their testimonies and advice. There were a couple things that I really loved that they shared. The first was about talents... One of the elders reminded us that we are all different, so we all have different talents. And while some people have the talent to be missionaries, others don't. BUT it doesn't even matter because the Lord wants us here and if we TRUST IN HIM then He will help us and guide us regardless of our talent. I love that because honestly this is hard work and sometimes I don't feel very good at it but that the Lord will help me if I trust him.
The second thing I loved was that missionary work is for NOW. It is for me and it is for you and it is for here and now. It isn't for when you receive a mission call, it isn't for when you aren't afraid. It's not for your next area or with a different companion or when it's not so cold outside. We are all missionaries and we have the responsibility to share this wonderful gospel now! So my invitation to y'all is to find someway to be a missionary this week - it is simple. Share a Mormon message with someone or talk about what we belief, be an example to someone or invite a friend to church! Just try it and I promise you will love it and see blessings from it.
So something cool about Christmas here is that the biggest celebration is the 24th... Noche Buena. And on this night families get together and have a huge dinner at like 9, 10, 11 o'Clock at night!! We spent it with Flor and Augustine, two of the members here in our rama. Okay, something you need to know about Spain is that these people eat A LOT. Those of you who have ever eaten with me know that I have a petty healthy appetite but man, it ain't nothin compared to these people. I literally felt like I could have just rolled all the way home! But let's be real, it was awesome.
I have tried a lot of new foods this week....
* Raw salmon with mayo
* Langostinos - basically huge shrimp that you have to pull the heads
off before you eat
* Yucca
* Some sort of turkey/other meat that was.... Interesting...
* Yucca
* Turrón
* Alfajores - a yummy Peruvian cookies
Some were better than others but for the most part, I liked it all!!
So Christmas morning, our president let us sleep in one hour which was super nice of him. But it was such a tranquilo day. I wrote some letters and we went with the elders to eat with our branch president and his family. And then I Skyped with my family!! ❤️❤️ I can't even describe the joy that was for me. And I sure am grateful that families are eternal because man, do I love mine. It was such a wonderful day...
But I think one of the greatest parts of my Christmas Day this year was that I finished reading the Book of Mormon. I started reading it again when I entered the MTC and then finished it on Christmas. Brothers and Sisters, friends and family, whoever it is that might read this, I testify to you that The Book of Mormon is true. It is the word of God, it testifies of Christ and it helps us draw closer to Christ. Whether you are suffering physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally, no matter what you are going through, I promise that it will help you. This book applies to every person individually if you let it. I wish I could just look every single one of you in the eyes and convince you of this. But I can't. So.... I want to invite you all to read the Book of Mormon. If you have read it before, read it again. If you've never read it, just do it! And you will be able to see blessings in your life like never before.
Also, I just want to share a verse that I read in my studies this week.... Ether 6:9 - And they did sing praises unto the Lord; yea, the brother of Jared did sing praises unto the Lord, and he did thank and praise the Lord all the day long; and when the night came, they did not cease to praise the Lord.
I love being a missionary. I love the Book of Mormon and this gospel. Most of all, I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I'm so grateful for this opportunity to be a missionary and share his message of love with all of the people here in Spain. I hope that we all turn to him and focus on him during this Christmas season and every season of our lives. That we find ways to praise Him in all that we do and never cease to praise the Lord.
Thank you everyone for your support, prayers and sweet cards of encouragement! Much love to you all!
Xoxo Hermana Hauber

Chistmas Eve with two of the members, Augustine and Flor
My cute comp and I after the Christmas conference
Christmas Day with our branch president and his fam!
P Day fun today. We walked around the alcazaba with the elders

Monday, December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas!

(No group email this week, here are the highlights from the family email!)

Hey hey!
Yay! I bet the Hauber house is a happy one with no more worry about school or crying children. Or crying parents! Haha. There definitely is a learning curve with the new companion but all is well and I'm super happy she is here in Badajoz. I miss Hermana Watson a ton, but change is good and allows for grow and becoming better!
Borja and Ytala are doing well, we have started over doing the charlas with them and are trying to find ways to help them read everyday. This is what they struggle with. But they also told us hey are planning and thinking of a date to get married.... Yahoo!!! I'm so pumped for them.
AAAHHHH THE GAME!! It sounds like it was a good game, though bummer we lost. Who is the new coach going to be, do we know yet? Also, we would have five turnovers. Lame. That's awesome!! Let me k is what you think of the new Star Wars. (:
So for Christmas it is tradition to have a big cena(dinner) on the 24th. And these people eat dinner at like 9 or 10 at night! So we will be with a member, Flor, for that and then the next day we will go for the big meal at like 2 with our branch president and his wife and their son and her mother. I'm excited. Also.... I can't wait to SKYPE!! My favorite thing about Spain so far.... Probably the food. Let's be real - I love food. But I have met some amazing people too! Lots that aren't actually from Spain. Haha. Something I do not like is the tobacco. It. Is. Everywhere. Blech.
I love you guys and this here are going well. Thank you for everything! Merry Christmas!
Love  Hermana Hauber (:

I ate a snail...

This is a hot dog with ketchup, mayo, pineapple, condensed milk,
potato chips, and an egg. Its HEAVEN
My new district! Make sure to watch the video online!

PS- what she has written on the whiteboard is the title of the new Christmas message from the Church, "A Savior is Born" or in Spanish, "Ha Nacido un Salvador" 
Watch it in Spanish here and English here!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Short and Sweet

Hey y'all!
So this week we had transfers and I got a new companion!! Her name is Hermana Dueñas and she is from Bountiful, Utah. This is her last transfer in the mission so lucky me, I get to suck up all of her knowledge and experience right before she goes home. (: It has been a hard week but here is a quote that I found that I love!!
President Thomas S. Monson has said: “This great cause … will continue to go forth, changing and blessing lives. … No force in the entire world can stop the work of God. Despite what comes, this great cause will go forward.”
I know that this is true. We are members of the church of Jesus Christ and the work we do in sharing the gospel is the will of the Lord. And it will continue to go forward because He is on our side and He will help us.
I love you all and hope all is well at home!
Xoxo Hermana Hauber

So this was from my first day in Malaga... We took a picture
with my CCM comp and her trainer and my trainer. Well,
my new comp was her trainer! So I now have this super
cool photo of me and my first three companions
that we took at the end of September!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Badajoz.... Round 3!!

Hola amigos y familia!
Warning: this email may or may not be extremely long and full of rambling, so read on if you please, or... Well don't if you don't please. (;
This past week has been full of ups and downs but has been awesome (every week is pretty sure), many hard moments, but even more beautiful moments. I don't even know where to start, but here goes....
So one of our investigators, Borja, is awesome and so is his girlfriend and we had this super cool conversation with them about our Savior and the grace we r eceive from His atonement.. Ytala had asked a question, and it turned into one of the most powerful conversations I have ever had. We talked about about our savior Jesus Christ, and how Thanks to him, we can become like our father in heaven. The grace that he gives us and the price he paid was for you and me. His love for us is infinite and eternal. I love that we have been able to share this message with them and with everyone through the new Christmas video of the church.... If you haven't watched it, go watch it.... And I love hearing testimony of His love and His life!
We also had an amazing zone conference in Sevilla on Friday and we had an area seventy come to visit - Elder Leimer, from Frankfurt, Germany! It was my first conference and I loved it!! We talked about the importance of bringing our investigators to church, and how we need toinvite all to repent. We also talked about the kinds of servants we are going to be, and how we can better apply the teaching in preach my gospel to the Lords work. Something that I thought a lot about during the conference was JOY. THERE IS JOY IN THE WORK AND I HAVE JOY IN MY SAVIOR. The spirit at the conference was tangible and I learned so much!!
We received transfer calls Saturday morning, and this one came from the voice of our dear mission president. I will be staying in Badajoz for another transfer with a new companion, Hermana Dueñas!! And my sweet comp Hermana Watson is being transferred. Honestly, it is so bittersweet. I'm so excited for her to go meet and teach new people and I'm excited for change, but I'm super sad to see her go. But I know this is all on the Lord's time and in his way.
Just to close I want to share this quote with y'all.... I found it as I was studying humility.... “Humble and meek properly suggest virtues, not weaknesses. They suggest a consistent mildness of temper and an absence of wrath and passion. … It is not servile submissiveness. It is not cowed nor frightened. … “How does one get humble? To me, one must constantly be reminded of his dependence. On whom dependent? On the Lord. How remind one’s self? By real, constant, worshipful, grateful prayer” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball [1982], 232–33).

I love you all and am so grateful for your support and love and constant prayers!
Xoxoxo Hermana Hauber

4/5 Hermanas from my CCM group at the zone conference!

Intercambios with the SHE's!

This is Sarita. We eat with her every first Sunday
and her food is BUENISIMO

Cute Christmas fair today!


This is Lourdes and her family. Members <3 heart emoticon heart emoti

Monday, November 30, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

(No group email from Hermana Hauber this week but here are some highlights from the family email. She also sent a lot of photos, including some of her district having a Spanish Thanksgiving!)

Que tal back home?? I hope everything is going well. Happy late Thanksgiving also! I have seen the new Christmas video and we are excited to start using it in lessons and such!
Good news!! I finally bought a winter coat today!! I also bought some warmer tights. The only thing I lack is boots, but that will have to wait because I didn´t find any today. But that's okay. I´m also realizing the beauty of scarves and I am so glad that I brought so many with me!! They definitely are helping to keep me warm.
It sounds like you guys had a wonderful weekend with yummy food, pretty music and good family experiences. I love it. Here it is starting to feel like Christmas! They have decorated all of Badajoz with lights and there is Christmas music playing on Calle Menacho where we walk a lot. It is so fun. Christmas is in 3 1/2 weeks and we will get to skype!! woohoo!! I´m glad you were able to figure out the skype so you can here my very american sounding spanish in a couple weeks.... haha. All jokes. But not really. (;
We had a good thanksgiving here! we went up to Caceres and had lots of yummy food, including a broccoli salad that I LOVED: mom, dad, you guys should be so proud of me. hahaha.
Alex - Thank you so much for your contacting advice. Honestly, that is one of the hardest things for me to do out here just because I hate stopping in the street and it is super scary. But I´m getting practice and I definitely will try some of the things that you told me about. It´s dumb because half of the people here are either old guys who are creepers or old women who are very catholic and the other half always have prisa. which means they´re in a hurry. But I know that there will be some people who are ready, we just have to work hard to find them!! Thank you a million for your help.
I love you guys and hope you have a great week! I will talk to you soon!! Love you!!
xoxoxo Hermana Hauber

Hermana Watson and Hermana Redd and I last P-day!

My district at Thanksgiving!

I still love nightgowns and now she does too!
And her mom sent us socks so we shared (:

Monday, November 23, 2015

Cool Things

Hey so I just had some cool thoughts this week that I wanted to share with y'all. (:
So on Sunday we had the primary program in church where all the cute little niños get up and bear their testimonies and sing their little hearts out and share scriptures and stuff and it was awesome! Our little primary of ten did a beautiful job. I also had the opportunity to play piano for them. With this I had a couple thoughts. First of all, how beautiful and pure the testimony of a child is. The spirit you feel when a little kid tells you how they know their Savior lives is truly amazing. Also, we have talents to share them! I love piano, but have never played for others, mostly just for me. But here, I have learned real fast how to play in meetings and songs I've never seen and I love being able to share that talent!!
Also, I have thought a lot this week about Nephi and his brethren. Our zone leaders challenged us to focus on contacting and receiving futures this week, and to be honest, this is something that is really hard for both my companion and I. We set a high high goal to reach of futures we wanted to receive and although we didn't reach it, we definitely improved from weeks past, which is encouraging. I have discovered that I love having conversations with people in the streets and getting to know them and sharing this wonderful gospel with them, but it is oh so hard to initiate it and to stop people or approach people.
As I have struggled with this all week long, I have definitely seen the Lord's hand and felt the guidance and encouragement of his spirit with me. However, I also have seen that in order to receive this, I have to be willing and ready and WANT to do those things I know I should do. I have pondered a lot on Nephi and his brethren. They were all asked to do the same things and they all experienced trials together during their travels in the wilderness. However, the difference in their experiences was in their attitude, their faith, their willingness and trust in the Lord in doing those things that were asked of them. I love in 1 Nephi 2:19 where the Lord tells Nephi... "Blessed art thou, Nephi, because of thy faith, for thou hast sought me diligently, with lowliness of heart."
So Nephi was blessed because of his faith, diligence and humility in doing God's will. Man, is it hard to have these three things every moment of every day. I know I won't be perfect at it, but my goal is to be a Nephi. To work as he did and to be blessed and trusted by the Lord as he was so that someday, when I finish my mission, and when I finish my time on this earth and I stand before God, he will tell me similar words.... "Blessed art thou, Amber, because of thy faith, for though hast sought me diligently, with lowliness of heart."
I love being here on the mission. It is worth the cold, tired, hungry times we are walking around, the times when nobody wants to stop and listen to us and the times people straight up reject us. I know that I'm making a difference. I'm serving the Lord and trying to do His will as I share the gospel with the people of Spain. Is is His work and I know He has a plan for me and for every single one of his children.
Anyways. I love you all and hope you have a great thanksgiving! Always remember to be grateful and look for the little blessings God gives us each and every day. 
Xoxoxo Hermana Hauber 

Us and the Badajoz elders before P day! We went to some castles
 and this cool museum and to a river!

These little figures are made entirely from PAPER!!! #amazed

The Plaza del Toros in Olivenza, one of the oldest in Spain!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Transfer Dos en Badajoz!

It almost rhymes but that's okay.... Well, I'm in Badajoz with my trainer for another transfer!! It will be a short 4 week transfer because of Christmas but good things are going to be happening!! A couple exciting things happened this week!
We received Elders here in  Badajoz!! I'm very excited and I know it will make the work better and stronger and move it right along. We did have to split our area though which was kinda sad but at least it is only one branch so we still see everyone on Sunday's!!
Also, because this transfer is only 4 weeks, our zone leaders have this plan to focus on our key indicators. So this week we are contacting to receive futures! This terrifies me. I love talking and having conversations with people about the gospel, but it scares me to approach them and like initiate it ya know? So this week I will be learning how to do that and how to open my mouth! Time to put my talking skills to good use!!
Also, the branch here welcomed home a missionary who had been serving in Barcelona! We had a big welcome activity and it was so fun to see everyone so happy. It literally is just like one. If giant family here and I love it.
So one of our investigators this week asked us about the priesthood and about the difference between men and women, etc. we explained to her that marriage is between a man and a woman and that they both need each other for support and to become more like our Father in Heaven and our Savior. We talked about the responsibility of being a mother and also the purpose of the priesthood to bless others. I have just been pondering on this s lot because there are so many things in this world telling us otherwise. I am so grateful for my parents and for all they do for me, for my mother and for my father!! So my invitation to y'all is to tell your parents how much you love them his week!! Parents make the world go round. Anyways. Badajoz is wonderful and I love the people here and the opportunity I have to be a missionary!
Love you all!
Xoxo Hermana Hauber

Literally we are 10 minutes from Portugal...
so we (our cute district) visited the border!

So much happiness... The new elders here in Badajoz and
the newly- returned home elder!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Rainy rainy Badajoz

(No group email from Hermana Hauber this week, it sounds like she had a zone meeting, but here are some highlights from the family email!)

Life in Badajoz is good!! The Columbian investigator is good also... haha.  I think wants facts to prove his testimony if that makes sense and so we have been struggling with that. But once the elders get here on Wednesday, he will be their investigator so we won´t teach him anymore. Which is sad, but also i think it will be okay. 
I can´t believe it is already that cold there! Actually, I guess I can, I just don´t always remember it because, thank goodness, we haven´t had to worry about snow or freezing cold yet. On Monday, we went to lunch with president (of the rama) and Cecilia (his wife) and Samuel (their son) and as we were walking home, we literally got drenched in the rain!! But it was so fun. The rain has been great and oddly enough this week it actually hasn´t been too rainy. I´ll just take whatever comes until it snows. Then I will have to take some time to adjust... haha. I sure don´t miss the freezing cold though!
We are going to have a Thanksgiving dinner with our district I think so that should be fun! And I have no idea about Christmas yet, we will have transfers again before then. Transfers are this week and then we have a short 4 weeks until the next transfers. But for now, Hermana Watson and I will be staying in Badajoz!
Something that I loved from my studies this week was Alma 26. This is when Ammon is praising the Lord and really it is just awesome. I have been trying to be aware of little things every day to be grateful for so that I am more positive and more grateful during the week!! God really is so good and so mindful and merciful, it is amazing!
xoxoxo Hermana Hauber

So this was when I was super glad I had a rain coat....
it´s kind of a shame you can´t tell how drenched I really am... (:

Same rainy day as above. We loved every second of it. (:

Intercambios with hermana Benavides in Sevilla!
 She is awesome and I found out Dunkin Donuts exists in España!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Miracles and all things Wonderful!

Hola everybody!!
My oh my what an awesome week it has been!! Something that I learned this week is that there are always miracles to be found. You don´t have to be a missionary, you just have to be looking for them! This week in Badajoz though, the Lord blessed us with some awesome experiences.
Monday started off with our interviews with President Andersen and can I just tell you how much I love my mission president and his wife?? Being with them is just the best thing. I know that they are called of God and that they are doing wonderful things here in the Spain Malaga mission. I was super grateful for the opportunity to meet and talk with them both. And I learned a lot about the Brother of Jared. Okay, so last week, my comp and I used the story of the Brother of Jared to teach some people about making a plan and taking it to the Lord in faith. But as i have continued to study it and discuss it and think about it with my companion and even with my mission president, I have learned so much!! So, my invitation to you this week is to go read about the Brother of Jared and study and pay attention to how the Lord answers our prayers and helps us with problems in our lives. Guys, the scriptures are literally like a treasure chest and the more you look around and connect things and ponder, you just can find new gems every single time!
Also something cool that I forgot to tell you guys that I´m kind of freaking out about is that there is a tv show here in Extremedura called mujeres.son and they want to do an interview/show thing on Hermana Watson and I. Long story behind how that happened but basically I´m gonna have to speak in Spanish on tv. No big deal. Aaaahhhh!
Also, an old investigator that we were able to meet with this week told me I looked just like her daughter who lives in Peru, so that was pretty cool. Also, someone asked me if I was half-black this week and I thought that was pretty cool. I´ve gotten hawaiian, mexican, latino, etc. but never that one. (:
Okay, let´s talk about one of many miracles this week. So on Wednesday, Hermana Watson and I were crossing the street when we heard a man call out ¨Hermanas!¨ We go over to talk to him and find out he is from Colombia and just moved to Spain like 15 days ago and you guys - He is amazing! He had been trying to find the church building but couldn´t and had been praying to find a member or the missionaries and He found us. I know that God is involved in every aspect of our lives, because there is no way that he found us by chance. #prayersanswered. he has known the church since the 80´s... so like thirty years! And loves missionaries. He has read the Book of Mormon 7 times. SEVEN TIMES! And has also read the Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, Jesus the Christ and other assorted church books. Well of course we were thrilled to meet him and we set up an appointment with him. We got to know him better and boldly asked him why he isn´t baptized already. He told us he has a testimony of the Book of Mormon, but has some questions about other things and he has never officially had the missionary discussions. So. We are going to meet with him and teach him and I have faith that soon he will make that choice and come unto Christ and be baptized because he is already so prepared!! Woohoo! So cool.
This week we also had a Halloween activity in our branch here in Badajoz! We taught everyone how to carve pumpkins - which they loved- and then just played games and ate yummy food. it was way fun and some people from our English class came too! not investigators, but they definitely have potential and I loved that they came to hang out with us. (: One cool fact about Spain is that when we do food for parties, it is all out and it is so delicious. I love it.
Okay, one last thought for this week. I have been studying general conference and this week one of the talks I read was Gary E. Stevenson´s and I loved it! He shared with us an impression that he had recieved that he said comforted him and it comforted me as well. He said ¨...focus not on what I can´t do but rather on what I can do. I can testify of the plain and precious truths of the gospel.¨ There are so many times already in the past 2 months that I have felt inadequate for this mission call. People ask me questions that I don´t know answers to and I can´t fully speak the language or understand it. But. I need to focus on what I can do. No, I am not fluent in Spanish, but I do know enough to bear simple testimony of the truthfulness of this gospel. I know enough to tell the people that the Book of Mormon is true, Jesus Christ is our Savior and we are children of a loving Heavenly Father. And in reality, that´s what I was sent here to do.
I love this gospel. I love being a missionary. It is a privilege to be serving my Heavenly Father and be able to dedicate every moment of every day to Him and His work.
xoxoxo Hermana Hauber

For p day a couple weeks ago we went hiking with the elders in our district,
 isn´t the view awesome! 

At our halloween activity with all of the pumpkins that people carved.

The elders, us, and then Santi (a menos activo that we are super good friends with)
and his coworker Encarna who came so there was another woman. haha.

This is beautiful Merida! On a not rainy day. (:

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Happy Halloween!

(Since Hermana Hauber didn't have time to write a group email this week, here are some highlights from the family email)

Como esta en casa esta semana? Because here in Badajoz it has been RAINNNNNY! And. I still haven't bought a rain jacket. Working on it though! What fun plans do you have for Halloween this week? I think Dia de Los Muertos is more of a Latin America thing.... But in our little Rama here we are having a Halloween activity on Saturday! Hermana Watson and I are supposed to teach people how to carve pumpkins so that will be interesting.... We might be moving pesos soon, if we do that would be awesome because ours frequently s,Ella like cigarette smoke. #worstthingever
Christmas stuff is out here too! But at least here in Spain they don't really celebrate Halloween or thanksgiving so I guess that is acceptable. (; I can't believe November is already here just next week! What's the weather been like out there?
This week, on Saturday, we had a Dia de rescates where we visited tons of menos activos in the branch. We did not teach one lesson and we walked almost 13 miles!! It was something we did as a zone, and I hope we will get some people coming back to church because of it. It was a long day, and we obviously didn't see immediate results, but it's not our work, it's the Lord's so he's gotta have something in mind. Also, we have two main investigators right now. Borja and Azu. We met with their families this week and made plans and set goals for them and how we can help them and then decided on days to fast for them. It has made a huge difference. Both of them are progressing and learning and it is so beautiful! I love seeing how this gospel changes lives.
Okay, fast quick a couple things. So my comp and I used the Brother of Jared for a lesson and I learned that when we face things in life, God handles them usually on three ways. 1- he just takes care of it for us (like tender mercies) 2- he tells us what to do/how to do it and then it is up to us to ACT on it. Or 3- he tells us to come up with a plan and bring it to him and then he will help us. The brother of Jared took three concerns to the Lord and had to face them in these three ways... I just thought that was awesome!!
 We found out we have interviews today so that means 6 hours on a bus and pretty much our whole p day is gone. I had interview with my mission president and he is amazing and so is his wife. I pretty much just cried because I do that all the time here and I'm so grateful they are here for us. They really are called of God.
I love you guys tons and hope you have a fun Halloween!!
Xoxoxo Hermana Hauber

Monday, October 19, 2015

Week Three: Two Months Old!

Hola y'all!!
Well, this week has been strange. I don't know really what a normal week in the mission is but I don't think this was it! Haha. So many good things to tell you about, but I'll just touch on a few.
 I can't decide which has been more prevalent in my life this week... Food or rain! It literally has been pouring buckets here and while I love the rain, let's just say that it is a completely different experience as a missionary. (: We spent 2 1/2 hours walking around last night because our appointment failed us and nobody wanted to let us in. While it wasn't my favorite thing to do, I was grateful because my companion and I were able to talk to many people and also stayed super positive, singing and laughing.
And food.... Pues. I came to Spain, expecting to cook a lot of my own food. And I have! But this week, we ate with people almost every single day! Also, on Saturday, we were fed three times between 2 and 10 pm!! Ayayay. And they feed us so much and I love it, but my body probably shouldn't love it so much. Hahaha.
Lots of other great things happened this week also! It was a crazy week, but so much happened. First of all, I met my district! Since we are so far out from our zone in Sevilla, we are just in a baby district of us here in Badajoz, 2 elders in Caceres, and an elderly couple in Caceres. I love it! My district leader asked me to give a taller (like a short little 5-10 minute talk/workshop thing) in our meeting so that was cool and I learned so much! Which always happen when you are assigned to teach others right?
Also, this SUPER COOL chain of events happened this week... we met with our branch president this week to talk about our Day of Rescue for Menos Activos that we have coming up and he gave us so much good advice! We literally went home and discussed and came up with a revised mission plan for our branch and are so excited! So we are focusing a lot on helping less actives come back to church, right and trying to get the members super involved? Well then a menos activo from the branch calls us and wants to take us to lunch. Fast forward a couple days and we go to lunch, he talks about how we need to get members more involved but also how we need to get the name of the church more out there because people tend to think we are weirdies. A few hours later... A lady from our English class that we teach wants us to be in her interview that a TV station is doing about her life so that she can show people that even though she is not Mormon, she loves us and we really aren't that weird! WOW. It literally was just like everything just worked out and I KNOW the Lords hand is I everything we do when we involve Him in our work. We are calling our new plan of action Project Badajoz.... The work here is going but hopefully soon it will grow and we will have a better way of sharing the gospel and helping others realize this wonderful restored gospel can work miracles in our lives.
Yesterday was my two month mark as a missionary! I can't believe that. Sometimes it seems like I've been out here forever and others I can't believe that I have already come two months. Time is weird, but if I've learned anything, it's that I need to just live in the moment. There is just way too much to tell you guys every awesome thing that happens in The life of a missionary, but just know that they make the hard and challenging times that much rewarding and bearable.
One last thought.... As I was studying general conference this week, this was something I learned. As we come to have. Ire trust in  God, we will have more love for Him and for His children. QUE FUERTE. I know that trusting in God brings ,Ira les and that through him, we can better love those around us and therefore be better. Holden and servants to Him. Have a great week y'all!
Xoxoxo Hermana Hauber

Rain always brings rainbows!

We celebrate everything with ice cream... happy 2 months to me!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Week Two: Rainy days!

Hola y'all!
What a week here in Badajoz!! This week has been chuck full of work. We teach lessons and help with activities and practice English and so many things! Literally, I sleep 8 hours every night and it ever seems to be enough.
This week I was able to meet a lot of the people we teach besides our investigators. Like menos activos and recent converts and others who need our love. (: I don't understand all of every conversation, but I'm starting to pick up more things here and there so that is definitely a blessing.
On Monday, we always have noche de hogar with the ranch president and his family and one of our investigators and his family. It was fun to meet them and get to know them in a setting that wasnt church, ya know? Also, I love Wednesdays! So in our area, we have a pueblo called Merida. Basically it's another city almost as big as Badajoz so I have no idea why it's called a pueblo. Ha. But anyways. It's an hourish away by bus and we go and have some people there that we teach, but also have our medio dia meal with a family from the branch. Man. I love eating with members!!
Fun fact about Spain and our schedule. So we wake up at 7:30, do our studies and then we are out teaching and proselyting from 11:30-2. At 2, we come back, eat "lunch" and have more studies. We then go back out and work from 5:30 -10:15 when we need to be back in our piso. Then we plan, eat "dinner" and go to bed at 11:30. It's crazy! My body isn't so much liking this eating schedule, but that's okay. All good things.
On Friday this week we had zone meeting in Sevilla! For us, that means a 3 hour bus ride that leaves at 6:45 in the morning... (: Badajoz is kinda far away, and I kind of love that sometimes. Except not this time. (; Anyways, it was awesome to see other missionaries and meet those in my zone! We talked a lot about how important it is to reach out to those who are less active the church because they have so much potential! Also about how much members can help in the work! I guess I never realized this before, but seriously, members, help your missionaries. See what they need you do, find people or friends or family for them to teach! They call it missionary work, but it is for EVERYONE!
Yesterday was fast Sunday here in the branch and I bore my testimony and kinda introduced myself. Scary but so good. The members here are the sweetest and have so much love for us. It truly is amazing.
Anyways. Things here are going, but the work is hard. I know that I would not be making it through this without my savior walking with me every single step of the way. His love is real, y'all. I promise you. Reach out and he will be there for you in every moment of your lives.
Love you all, thanks for everything!
xoxoxo Hermana Hauber

With Hermanas Martin and Johnson. I was in the CCM with Hermana Martin
so it always good to see her. (:

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Tips on Mailing Packages

Hi guys, it's Ashley (Hermana Hauber's sister in law). So a few people have asked how to send Hermana Hauber packages for Christmas, birthdays, just for fun, etc and I've looked around for some advice on how to get your package through to her. It sounds like Spain has a pretty finicky customs system, and it often will return packages back to the sender for weird reasons or delay delivery for months. To help prevent that from happening, I've got a list of tips from the past and current Malaga mission presidents on how to successfully send a package through to Hermana Hauber, I hope it helps! And If I find any more tips, I'll add it to this page.

 (From the past mission president)
Receiving packages for our missionaries remains a very frustrating task.  Please be aware that we can't predict when your package will arrive without any problems, or when it will be stopped and returned by customs, or even disappear.  Sometimes boxes are delivered but assessed fines.  We've had huge, heavy boxes arrive without customs fines, and we've had small, light boxes arrive with fines.  There is no pattern to what is held and what comes through without a problem. 
Possibly the most frustrating situation is when a missionary's package is stopped by customs.  We receive the notices, and we used to spend many hours both for our own personal packages and for boxes sent to missionaries, only to be told after the paperwork is all done that the package can't be released and must be returned to sender.  Of the hundreds of packages held in customs, only ONE TIME did we get the package released from customs and delivered to the missionary.  That was a new custom-fitted prosthetic leg for one of our elders.  
You can try  My Missionary Shipping  which has the advantages of  1) the sender can track the box all the way to it's destination, and 2) faster delivery at a lower cost.  We have problems with these packages getting stopped in customs too.  
We can't predict when your package will arrive without any problems, or when it will be stopped (and possibly returned) by customs, or even disappear.  We've had huge, heavy boxes arrive without customs fines, and we've had small, light boxes arrive with fines.  But here are a few tips that may help:
  • Small boxes or envelopes are better than big boxes.  Big boxes seem to attract attention of customs agents. 
  • Complete the customs form required by the sender, and underestimate the value of the contents. 
  • Don't use the title "Elder" or "Sister" when you ship--just address it to your missionary's name.
  • Never label your shipment as "medical supplies" or "medication".   Spanish laws prohibit individuals from receiving medication by mail. If you feel you must send some type of meds, label it as "vitamins" or "tablets".  Again, this is unpredictable.  One Elder received a 3-month supply of medication with no problem, and another mother sent a box labeled "medical supplies", which had simple first-aid supplies like bandaids and ointment, and it was returned to the sender. 
  • If you are sending a pair of something, like shoes, consider sending them one at a time.  Then you can honestly state a very low value!
  • Please send mail to the mission office address.  You can mail a package to the mission office also.  Usually packages and mail are delivered to individual  areas within two weeks.  When mailing packages to the mission office, always include the name of the mission, so that if it does get delivered with a fine, someone from the mission can retrieve it without having to get written permission from the missionary.   This is not so important for letters, as they never are assessed fines.  

(from the current mission president)
 Actually, we discourage packages as postage is expensive and they are often held by the "black hole" of Customs in Madrid, at which point we really can't do anything.  Sometimes they do send it through but charge extra postage or "duty" (we've had packages cost 60 to 70 euros in addition to postage). A better idea might be to make sure your missionary has a debit (bank) card that you can put extra money on for birthdays etc. Then if you really need to send a gift, make it something thoughtful that doesn't cost much, sent to the mission office. Missionary mail slots are very small, and in the past, packages that have been left by the door have been stolen. Also, if they are transferred it may be difficult to get their packages to them. Hint - a picture or sticker of the Virgin Mary with the Christ Child on the outside seems to help packages get through. :)

Monday, October 5, 2015

Week One: Badajoz!

Hola everybody!!
Warning: this will be long. Feel free to skim or just not read, but my oh my what a week it has been! I LOVE THE MISSION.
But first things first. Not even a week ago, I left the CCM and that was so hard. Six weeks with some of the most amazing people I have ever met! I'm so grateful for each and every one of them and the things that I learned from them.
The Elders in my district were AMAZING. On Sunday, we gave them all ties and little notes just as a thank you and they gave us chocolate. And Maria's with Nutella. Guys Maria's with Nutella = life. They are little round cookies that taste almost like graham crackers and she. You spread Nutella on them. MMMMM. That is what has gotten me through this last week. Thank you Elders of Abinadi. (: It was so hard to say goodbye Monday night. We cried and took pictures and sand hymn number 153 in the Spanish hymn book which was our district favorite. Barcelona is so lucky to be getting these STELLAR elders for 2 years!
Also, if you are going on a mission, just pray that you will get sent to the Spain CCM because that was the best 6 weeks of an MTC experience that I could imagine. The teachers are fabulous and Hermana and President Lovell are amazing!
Tuesday morning, we all went our separate ways and Hermana Stephens and I got on a train to Málaga! #finally We had a bug meeting about rules and stuff but I was so anxious to find out who my trainer would be an where I would be serving. I was the first to find out because oddly enough, mine was the first in alphabetical order of all the Hermanas. This is what I heard....
"Hermana Hauber, you will be serving with...... Hermana Watson in Badajoz!" Wahooooo :)
I was so excited. This was the Hermana that I had been emailing over the summer to find out more about the mission! We both got up and gave each other a big hug,
and got to point on the map where we were heading! Guys, God is so good. She is amazing and we clicked from the very start.  right after we were on a train to Sevilla and stayed the night there with some other hermanas and then Wednesday made the final stretch of our journey! We have had some amazing times together already. We got to our piso, and our water had been shut off. We were so confused so we went knocking on all our neighbors doors to see if somebody else was having the same problem. Somebody was finally home, and answered the door for us and told us it had been off since the day before and there was a problem with the pipes, and there were people working on it to get it fixed. It was a tender mercy to stay in Sevilla the night before, although it wasn't the plan originally, because we were scheduled to travel all the way back to Badajoz that night, I know it was the Lord, even with something so simple like that. we've had
lots of bonding experiences already and are like best friends! I have gotten to meet a lot of the branch members already, thanks to a fun activity we had Friday night. It was a fundraiser for the youth to got to efy this coming summer, and American party! We had hot dogs, and hamburgers, and pizza, and brownies and cheesecake :) Holy smokes talk about a lot of food! we showed
up in red white and blue, just to show some country pride. And of course there was English music playing in the background... That's a little awkward when you're the only one that can understand it, and you're the only one who shouldn't be listening to it... (;  I've also gotten to meet lots of our investigators and people we are teaching! They are all so nice an welcoming. If we are being real, I probably understand like less than half of what they are saying but you know, it will come with time. My speaking is definitely better than my listening skills but that's okay! My sweet trainer is so nice and always reminds me that I've only been here for a week and that things will get better and that I shouldn't be too hard on myself.
Okay, conference. I was so excited! And the. Had to listen to two sessions in Spanish. That was so hard because I sat for four hours and did not get very much out of it. Well.... We finally got to watch one session in English which was a HUGE blessing! I'm so grateful that we have modern day prophets and apostles to lead us and guide us. I can't wait to go back and read all of the talks and study them.
Guys, this has been the hardest week. I'm exhausted from walking and teaching and trying to understand and being frustrated that I can't, and so many things. But I know God is real. I know that his son, Jesus Christ, atoned for our sins and experienced our afflictions so that he could help us. They know what we are going through and I know that when we trust in thm, they will guide us and our lives in the way they need to be.
Final thought that one of my Abinadi elders shared with me on the bus, on the way to the train station Tuesday morning: 1 Nephi 18: 1-2. The lord will show us and guide us from time to time... He is always there watching but sometimes the guidance only comes from time to time. And also, we should be building our lives after the workmanship of the Lord, not of men. The Lord will guide us! He loves you and he loves me and he loves everybody perfectly and wants the best for us. Remember that, okay?
Alright, I'm done for the week. I love you all and sorry this was so long! Also, if you have emailed me and I haven't written back, I'm sorry. I will write back, I promise! Just not this week cuz I'm out of time. (: Love the Lord and love the life you've been given!
Xoxoxo Hermana Hauber

The American party... Notice our patriotic outfits. (;

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Hola family!!

How are y'all?? Guess what?? I'm officially in the mission field! We left the CCM at 6:30 this morning - took a bus to the train station and then took the train to Málaga. We met President and Hermana Anderson at the station and they are just tiny and wonderful and amazing! We walked to the church building in Málaga and that's where we had all of our meetings and I had a short interview with the president. We had Domino's pizza and I got my trainer!! Her name is Hermana Watson and she is FABULOUS! We are for sure going to be best friends and I will be able to learn so much from her! Fun back story with Hermana Watson.... So the Squire's are good friends with her family and Amy gave me her email before I left so we had been emailing already and I wanted to meet her so much! Well I found out she was training and then a few hours later we were assigned to work together with her as my trainer!!! YAHOO! We were literally both so happy and I'm so grateful. We will be working in Badajoz which is pretty north in the mission. Like I literally traveled from Madrid to Málaga and am going to be almost all the way back up to Madrid in a couple hours. But that's okay!!
I will tell you more about the branch and what not next Monday when I email. I love you all so much!! I'm exhausted but so happy! #worthit I love you TONS and will talk to you next week!
xoxo Hermana Hauber

Hermana Stephen (CCM comp) and both our trainers!

Me and Hermana Watson

Monday, September 28, 2015

Leaving the MTC!!

Hi y'all!! I´ve been given 10 minutes to email you and tell you that I leave the MTC first thing in the morning!! Our bus leaves at 6:30 to take us to the train station and then I should be in Málaga by 11ish I think. I don´t know when I will get to email next, but Monday should be my next p-day so hopefully then at the latest. I have LOVED being here in the CCM and am so sad to be leaving all of my hermanas in my zone and especially the elders in my district and the teachers I have had. I have learned so much from them and Hermana and President Lovell and I will love them all forever. This is truly a place of learning and growing and love and I´m grateful for the time I have been able to spend here. But I am SO STOKED to finally be going to Málaga to serve the people there! I know that the Lord will make up the difference in what I am lacking in Spanish and Gospel knowldedge, but I also know that I know enough to get started. I can´t wait to meet my president and find out who my trainer is and all that good stuff. This mission is so wonderful, I can´t wait to see what the next 17 months bring! I love you all tons and will talk to you soon!! Much love!
xoxoxo Hermana Hauber

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Last week in the MTC!!

Hey hey everybody!!
So I´m officially in my last week here at the MTC and I can´t believe I´ve already been out for 6 weeks!! That is crazy to me. But, I´m so stoked to get out in the field, a little bit nervous, and also a little sad to be leaving all of my friends here. But, all good things!
Last week for p-day we went to the Real Madrid Stadium. I pretty much died of happiness, it was huge and beautiful and I loved it!! I love that we get to go into Madrid and see cool things and walk around and experience the city a little bit.
Also, this last week, the native spanish speakers came for their two weeks here at the MTC! we weren´t sure what it would be like, but they are so cool!! And they are so patient to speak Spanish with us. Because they were here, we did all of sacrament meeting in Spanish and I understood almost everything! Blessings. This last week too, in church my district sang the EFY medley with another district and it was the coolest thing. Music brings the spirit so strongly.
Something I have been thinking about a lot this week is Matthew 16:25-27 and losing myself in the work. The two elders in my district who taught sunday school talked to us about who we are as missionaries and how we have to lose our lives, give everything we have, our will, our talents and time and ourselves to the Lord. One of them shared this ¨"We only have 2 years/18 months to serve our mission. But we have all of eternity to think about HOW we served". When I look back on my mission I don´t want to have regrets. I want to be able to say that I gave my everything and didn´t get distracted by dumb things, didn´t waste my time, I want to be proud of the mission I served. I LOVED that!!
My week at the park was good too!! My companion last Saturday was Hermana Melton, she is STELLAR. We really tried to focus on our purpose of inviting others to come unto Christ and talking to everyone about who we were and why we are here. It was discouraging because not a lot of people were there... I finally told her that I just wanted to testify to someone, tell them what I believe and why I love this gospel. Just after that, We had a couple of awesome conversations and felt the spirit so strongly. I KNOW that our Heavenly Father is aware of us and He will bless us as we are faithful.
Anyways... I think that is it. I´m positive this will be a weekend full of tears and good memories as we make the transition from the CCM to the mission field.
I love this gospel and I love my Savior! I know it is true with all of my heart and I can´t wait to teach it to people and help them feel this joy!!
xoxo Hermana Hauber

At Santiago Bernabéu Stadium

My brother Jeremy's favorite player, Cristiano Ronaldo

This is my district (minus two) at the stadium last week

Literally, this is the sunset we see every night from our classroom. I LOVE IT.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

I Love Spain!!!

Hola Everybody!!
So I don´t really know what to tell you is new.... every week is the same here in the MTC. Howevwer, in less than two weeks I will be in Malaga! WOOHOO!!!
Every Sunday, we sing hymns in Spanish and occasionally english in front of the Madrid temple and it is pretty  much the greatest thing ever. People walk by and listen and take pictures and it is like sunset and beautiful. I just love it. If you think English hymns are beautiful, listen to them in Spanish because WOW.
This week, one of the Elders in my district let me borrow the talk called The Fourth Missionary... it is AMAZING! My favorite part was when it talked about how instead of striving to be a great missionary, we should strive to be a faithful servant of God. Even if you aren´t a missionary, or have already read it or whatever. Go and read this again. It will change your life and how you look at things. It is seriously so great. Anyways, i then was studying adn came across the story of Ammon and he talks about being a faithful servant and doing wahtever is asked of him that is good. LOVE IT.
Last week for p-day we went to the Museo del Prado adn it was cool! I´m not much of an artsy person, but I know that some people enjoy that. haha. I mostly just like being out in the city, and out of this building. And today we are going to the soccer stadium! >That I´m super excited about. Also, I´m just gonna throw in a plug for how grateful I am for my district. It is hard sitting in a classroom all day long and only having one companion to be with all the time. But 6 dorky boys around makes it a little better.
But I am loving it here! I love being a missionary and I´m so grateful for all of the people I have met already. I can´t believe that I will be leaving them soon. I love this gospel and I love my Savior. Life is good.
Love you all!!
xoxo Hermana Hauber

All the sisters in my zone
My district on p day
Teaching in the park 
Singing in front of the temple