Friday, May 27, 2016

All good things must come to an end!

  Ok, first of all, I fell today and hurt my foot really bad... went to the hospital and was there almost all day. Now I have a brace and crutches... So, just so you're not surprised when I come home like that. Anyway, minor details.
  SO! You all are very much aware that it is my last week... even though I don't think I've really even realized that yet. Anyway.
  Really, the mission has been a huge blessing in my life. Even though I wouldn't say that in any moment it was what I was expecting or hoping for. When primary kids sing, I hope they call me on a mission, they really don't know what they are getting themselves into! A mission is hard. And long. And sooooo frustrating. But so rewarding, and uplifting, and gratifying, and beautiful. I have learned more about myself and the Savior in 19 months than I have in 21 years, and for that I will be forever thankful. I just wanted to repass a little of my mission with you all so you can share with me some of what I've experienced in the last 19 months with those I've been with, wherever we´ve been.
  Alcobendas, where I first learned how to be a missionary. There, I learned just how much you have to rely on the Lord in this work. This is where I first ever saw the promise of Doctrine and Covenants 100:5-8 play out. I really developed my faith in the Lord and in the Spirit, for once it wasn't about me and what I could do, but about what they could do with me. I really felt as though, even if it were just for short moments and in small ways, the Lord made me an instrument in his hands. My trainers taught me more than I ever could have given them. Hermana Fuller made me the missionary I am today. She made me independent and competent and even though I hated her for it in the moment, I will be forever grateful for her for it. And Hermana Clements taught me truly how to love. I know it´s no surprise that we weren't exactly best friends, but she taught me how to love people. Not just the people we teach, but especially those we serve with. She made loving everyone else I met from then on, so much easier.
  Barrio 3. The ghetto! I learned there that it´s not so much where you serve, but how you serve. Was it beautiful, no. But was it my heaven on earth, yes. I learned so much about myself there. I realized how much the Lord really trusts us and to really trust that because the Lord called me, I could do whatever was necessary, and it worked! He really trusted me, because he put me with Hermana Sykes and we were throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what stuck for 12 weeks. We didn't know what we were doing, but the Lord sure did because we saw more miracles there than I've seen in any other area. So blessed to have had the opportunity to be there with her and have shared those experiences with her and with the marvelous people there in Barrio 3.
   Barrio 8... that was a rough time for me. I don't know if that was because it was the Lord trying me, or because it was just incredibly hot! But really, center of Madrid in the summer? I wouldn't suggest it. Anyway, the most bearable part of my time there was being with Hermana Spencer. She is an angel. I learned that the attitude you have in whatever situation, really affects how things turn out in the end. She is the most positive girl I've ever met, and that was soooo what I needed in those months. And she was what got me through that hard spot in my mission. She kept me going everyday, and the fact that I'm here right now, is thanks to her.
   And oh what a blessing it was to finally leave B8 and go to Las Palmas. I was scared of Hermana Marsh at first... mostly just because I never really knew anything about her. But, I just clicked with her. And boy, did that girl make me work. She taught me so much about diligence. Never once did we take a break and we were constantly running, and I never felt as though I wasted a minute of the Lord´s time with her, and that´s why I love her so much. She just made it so enjoyable to be a missionary and helped me see what it was really like to lose yourself in the work. And boy, were we blessed as we did.
   Leaving Las Palmas was the hardest thing I had to do in the mission until that point. Barrio 4 was... another testing point for me in my mission. I realized what the Lord´s work is like if its only done by missionaries... its not the best way to work, people! And having a disobedient companion at first, did not make it an easier adjustment, but it did make me recognize the importance of obedience in all we do. As we strive to be obedient, the Lord blesses us. Most of the time, those blessings are tender mercies in the moment that we most need them... which is how it was for me. And so the Lord sent me the biggest tender mercy thus far in my mission, Hermana Charlesworth. Loved that girl to pieces and really just had fun. I realized after so many trials with other comps, that you just need to have fun sometimes! And that is ok! And that being obedient and having fun, go together. As your obedient and diligent, it´s a good time! So we did, and those were the quickest, most fun 5 weeks of my life!
   And Alcalá. Wow. I started my mission here, I don't know if you know, I did my first intercambio here and I also did my last here. We´ve gone full circle and I couldn't think of a better way to end the mission. It´s been amazing to see how the Lord prepared these last few months and transfers for me. If I had never extended, I never would have been with Hermana Turina or Hermana Workman here in Alcalá and never would've had the amazing, life changing experiences I've had here these last few months. Hermana Workman has been the best person to finish my mission with. I never stop laughing, we never stop working, and I can also always be 100% open with her about anything, spiritual or not. Which is why it´s been a blessing to serve with her. I have been 100% myself for the last 5 weeks and it feels so great. Being here now with her, seems like the thing the Lord had planned for me in my mission. I always thought at the end of my mission Id feel some overwhelming joy or something that the Lord was proud of what I'd accomplished in these months. And though I never got that feeling, being with Hermana Workman has made me realize that what the Lord really wanted me to do was live the gospel. It´s not so much preaching, or teaching, or baptizing, but its living and applying the gospel in your own life. And that is the biggest thing Im taking from my mission. I feel like I can say, I know how to truly live the gospel.
   I feel like I can truly echo the words of Paul, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have Kept the faith." I´ve done it! And all though it was never easy, it will always be worth it!
   I know this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ. I know he is our Savior and Redeemer. I know our Heavenly Father lives and answers our prayers if we but only ask. I am grateful for the opportunity to have preached and testified of Christ for the last 19 months. I testify that he lives and loves us.

Until we see each other again!

Hermana Griffin

Saturday, May 21, 2016

SO Much Crying!

 5/16/2106 Hey Family! Things are fantastic here!
Ok, first of all, I just want to tell you how amazing the Lord is. So, this week, we saw V, and she told us shes been thinking about the baptismal date we gave her and she doesnt really think so, but didnt tell us much more than that. She told us she´d tell us more on Sunday when we met again. So, on Saturday, we went to our devotional with Elder Bednar (which was fantastic, obviously), and I could only think of V the whole time. Actually, I wrote in my notes impressions I had about what he was talking about and how they related to her. Anyway, Sunday rolls around and we have a special stake conference with Elder Kearon and his wife, of the area presidency.
Well, V came and she loved it. It was fantastic. It was literally the most beautiful meeting I have ever been in. They talked a lot about setting spiritual and temporal goals. Well, V loved it. After the  conference, she went to eat with the young men and young women from the ward who had brought stuff for a picnic. While she was eating, we took advantage of the time to talk to Elder Kearon and his wife. He mentioned he was a convert and had said no to baptism about 20 times. My companion asked him what was the difference between the 19th and 20th time. He said a lot of teaching, but the key for him was a priesthood blessing. Well, V came back about an hour later, alone. So, we sat down and she just opened up. She just poured everything out! Everything she was feeling, thinking, all of her worries. She was so overwhelmed but the first thing I could think of was, offer her a priesthood blessing! So, we explained it and she said she wanted one. I don't know if it was me, or the spirit, but it seemed right in the moment. Well, the elders werent available until later that night, after the night time devotional that we had with the youth and young single adults of the 3 Madrid stakes. We told her to think about her worries and questions, etc while their and especially to focus on the feelings she had there. Literally, the best way to describe it is, Elder Bednar was talking to her. I mean he was doing a question and answer with the group, but everything he said was so applicable to her and she knew it! It just really shows how the spirit was guiding him! Then, after the conference, we met up with the elder for the blessing. We didnt mention anything that was going on with her, but literally the first words out of Elder Bataller´s mouth were just for her! It was so guided by the spirit! And after, she told us she felt immediate relief. It just showed me how much the Lord loves each of us and knows each of us! He has not nor will he ever leave us alone! I loved being able to witness all of this yesterday and be a witness of the power of the Holy Ghost and the power of the priesthood! I love the gospel!
last day shopping
On a side note, I also had a mini panic attack yesterday. It finally hit me that I only have 2 weeks left.... So much crying. But, I have a saint of a companion and she was there to listen. She is the best. I love her so much. And Im good... I think. Basically after what I felt and saw yesterday, I just love the mission so much more and I don't want to leave that. I love seeing God´s hand in people´s daily lives, but every good thing comes to an end at some point, so I'm being a big girl and getting over it. Anyway. Moving on.
So, I also got to see a ton of people I love yesterday! From B3, B8, B4, Alcobendas. It was great. The best was seeing my convert S!   
It was so funny! It didn't even dawn on me that he´d be there, but I wanted to cry seeing him. What a cutie. And a bum. He hasnt changed his personality one bit, but I love him nontheless.

Ok, I love my comp still, love the mission, love the area. Here´s to ending strong! Love you all! Have a great week!

Hermana Griffin

Last Temple Trip

 May 11,2016   Hey beautiful people!
I hope you all had a great week! We sure did! So many miracles! So, we first of all we gave V.
a fecha! It was a really powerful lesson and the spirit was so strong. We told her she's ready 
and we feel like this date is when the Lord wants her to be baptized. She was really moved. 
She said she'd pray about it and let us know. She came up to us on Sunday and said she can't
stop thinking about it and wants to talk with us on Friday. Hope it's good news! Pray for her! 
She's so ready!
We had my last concilio and capacitacion de zona. 
last concilio 5-3-2016
That was strange. It feels weird knowing
 that that's it. But it was really uplifting. We
repassed the worldwide missionary training 
and it really helped us get back to the basics,
 you know? 
Anyway, then we got to do intercambios 
with the hermanas from Azuqueca, Hermanas
Keller and Richardson. They are amazing! 
They are machines! It was such a treat night
teaching with them. I was with Hermana 
Richardson who has 2 weeks in the mission.
 She's so cute. Speaks Spanish like a pro, 
seriously and could lead a lesson. I was blown 
away! I was not at that point with two weeks 
in the mission. Anyway, she is a sweetheart  
and I learned a lot from her. Mostly just how 
to keep a positive attitude and trust in the  Lord.
sorry upside down!
So, when I was with Hermana Richardson, we saw a miracle. It was so cool. So, she had 
contacted  this guy but he was busy, so we asked if we could get his number  and talk some 
other time and he said no because he doesn't give people his number, so we gave him ours 
with our card and he said he works everyday until 9:30.  We explained that we still teach 
then and that he could call us still. He said he would call us at 9:30 that night. 
I didn't really believe it. Everyone always says things like that.  Anyway, we continued 
on with our plans for the night...  And in true intercambio form, everything failed. 
So,we went to our backup plans, which also failed. And so then  we went to our last hope plan, 
and as we  were walking there, the same guy walks out of his work and chases us down. 
He asked if we could meet right then. So we did! And it was great! 
He had so many questions and they were all great. He's been looking for  answers in his life 
for a long time and we've got them! His name is R. He also is 21 and turns 22 exactly  one 
week after me. So we basically bonded right there and then haha anyway, he asked us when
 we could  meet again! So we're gonna see him tonight.
I went to the temple for my last time today Disappointed face but that's ok! 
It was wonderful!  
And after, we went to Sol and I bought
 souvenirs... For all of you fam. So, hope you're all  content. It was fun. My poor comp
 had to deal with me being  indecisive and carrying  lots of my bags. Anyway. 
It's been a good day. It was good to  talk to you on  Mother's Day and I had this
 realization that 3 weeks is nothing! 
Yikes! But that's ok, you can still see plenty of miracles in 3 weeks!!!
 I'll tell you all the things I'm forgetting in 3 weeks. 
Love you! Have a great week!
Hermana Griffin

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Last transfer!

4/25/16 Hey family!
Well, here I am, starting my last transfer.... Feels weird. But what feels even weirder was saying goodbye to my companion. I have really loved being with Hermana Turina. She has taught me a lot, but mostly just made me really learn how to show love for the people I'm teaching and also just laugh and have fun. I can't think of a single moment in 7 weeks when we weren't laughing. Like one time, she called me Laman because we were complaining a bit... She's the funniest. I love her and will really miss her. These last 7 weeks have flown by and I've decided that the Lord knew that I needed to be with Hermana Turina. 
Last district picture
After a year and a half of intercambios and being in the same zone, the Lord knew we were ready to be together, and it's been a huge blessing. I love love love this girl and I have to see her again! So, I hope it's ok if we go to the French Polynesian Islands! She's waiting for us to visit Face savoring delicious food  Anyway, my new companion is Hermana Workman. She's pretty young in the mission and she's from Florida. Actually she started her mission while I was in the islands and we did an intercambio together.
So it'll be interesting being companions now. I know she's a hard worker and that's all that I really hoped for my last transfer I guess. They are whitewashing a companionship here in Alcalá too, so we went from having a district of really old missionaries to almost all new missionaries. All of them have 7 months or less excluding me and Elder Tree who go home one transfer apart. Craziness! Guess what! David A Bednar is coming to Spain. We'll get to have a meeting with him and the whole mission on the 14th and then on the 15th, he's going to do a devotional for the youth, which will be fantastic for V! Speaking of V, I just love that girl. We met with her this week and she talked about how she feels in the church and when she reads and prays and everything. She loves it all! She's doing seminary and has started personal progress! She was talking to the elders yesterday about how her dad won't let her get baptized. So sad. But by her example, I'm sure he'll soften up. The gospel just makes you a better person! How could you not want that for those you love? This week was sad because it was a lot of goodbyes. But, one goodbye 
miracle is that we got one of our menos activo families to Noche de Hogar. When they walked in, everyone's mouths just dropped. No one could believe it! And they really enjoyed it and made new friends. Hopefully that'll help as we teach them in the future. Little by little! I don't know if I've mentioned D before, but she is one of our investigators. She is really sweet, Bolivian. She is really creyente, but since she moved to Spain she hasn't found a congregation that she likes. She lives with one of our menos activas, E. D is the girlfriend of E's son. Anyway, we've been teaching her for a while and the lessons always go so great, but then at the end, she always refuses to come to church. She doesn't want to go without her boyfriend (because he is also a member, well, menos activo) but he lives in the UK. But, HES BACK! He just got here this weekend, so they didn't come, but next weekend, they should be at church and we can see what she really thinks and all. I have a lot of hope for her. Also, E said that she might come too if her son comes. How wonderful! Oh also, this week was the birthday of Cervantes, the guy who wrote Don Quijote, and he is from Alcalá, so there was a huge festival, and to end the night, fireworks! We found a spot where there was no one and we had a perfect view. I'll include a video so you can see how geeked we were. Anyway, that's about it here. I love you all! Have a good week! Hermana Griffin

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Companion leaving

Hey familia!
So, things here are great! It's been a good week, a little slow, but I can't complain. Basically, it's starting to hit me that my companion is leaving this coming week and I'll be getting my new and last companion! It freaks me out a bit to be honest. But, I'm sure it'll be good.
This week, we had a super awesome district meeting! We talked about setting goals and such. I don't know, it was just super awesome. We talked about Abinadi and how he never even knew his convert Alma, but Alma converted to a of people.
It was so cool to see like the "conversion tree" in the Book of Mormon that all started with Abinadi. So awesome. This week, we were invited to the house of our menos activo, A, to learn how to make Colombian empanadas
and we took advantage of it and visited with her daughter, V, our investigator, while we were there. So, V is thinking about baptism, but isn't sure because her dad has been very anti church, but when we were there making empanadas, he was talking to the elders and getting to know them and when we all left, he started asking tons of questions! Progress! Then, we made pan de queso with our menos activa, N. She's from Brazil and is the sweetest. She taught us how and then, later that week, we made it with A and her friend and now A's friend and her friend's son are our investigators. They're super sweet. I love how food really opens people up! Also, biggest progress ever, N came to church yesterday!!! Wooooo! So, things here are good. This week will be rough because I'll be saying goodbye to my comp! But we're gonna work hard. Super excited for what lies ahead. I love you all!
Have a good week! Hermana Griffin

Sunday, April 17, 2016


Hey family!
This week was super good! So first of all, we had concilio. It was great like usual, but super weird being back again after not being sister training leader. Anyway, learned a ton and really enjoyed it. It was so hard and sad to see 7 people from my group give their final testimonies though and know that I should be going with me, but won't be. But, it's ok, I just cried a lot. I love these people so much!
Then, Thursday, we had zone training. So good!!! The parts that me and my comp lead were so great! We were so unified and honestly, it's the first zone training that I didn't feel nervous leading. It was awesome to be able to do it with Hermana Turina. Also, to mix things up, we threw cake in Elder Maughan's face to demonstrate the way we sometimes teach versus how we should teach. We were explaining that we need to give a little at a time and not throw everything (knowledge, scriptures, commitments, etc) at the people we teach, because that unfortunately sometimes happens. It was great, it really helped the zone to relate what we were teaching, and after 4 transfers with Elder Maughan, it felt kind of good to through cake at him haha. We had intercambios after. We were with the hermanas from Torrejon. I was with Hermana Contreras who is Mexican but lives in Texas. She's so sweet, super funny. She's only got about 4 months in the mission but it was so great teaching with her. She's an amazing missionary. We talked about her area and she mentioned a concern she had about some people being baptized without really being ready. We talked about it for a while and the responsibility the missionaries have to ensure that people are ready. It really opened my eyes to how many people probably do get baptized without fully understanding the commitment and such, I guess that's what happens when the Lord works with imperfect people, especially when those people are teenagers, but also, it really showed me the importance of baptizing converts. I felt so grateful because I've been very blessed to have such strong converts in the gospel who really do understand the importance of the baptismal ordinance. Yesterday we had ward council. The whole time the bishop talked about the people me and Hermana Turina are teaching and nothing about those that the elders are teaching and he kept telling us and ward council how proud he was of us. Then after, he pulled the elders aside and told them they need to be more like us because of the incredible work we're doing. I don't feel like we're doing anything extraordinary, but it's nice to be recognized for our hard work. Also, this week we reached and even passed our goals, so it's been good. It's amazing, especially since we had an entire day and a half out of our area. Woo blessings! So I'm super happy.
It's been a good week and this week will be great too.
I'm so glad I'm with Hermana Turina, she's just the sweetest and is so patient with me. I love her.

 I hope you have a great week!

Hermana Griffin

fun week

Hey Family!

This week was super fun! So, Monday night, I got to go back to San Sebastian de los Reyes! The district leader asked if we could do our intercambio there instead of here, so of course I volunteered! haha It was so fun to be back. We saw K! She is doing good. She is going through a lot of trials right now with her kids, they are super sick and both are about to have operations, but its amazing to see how strong her faith is still! I love her so much! She told me that I have to spend my last pday with her and she will take the day off work and leave the kids with someone. Shes just a sweetheart and I love her. Im so blessed to know her. Then, when our plans failed, Hermana Snyder asked if I remembered any investigators around there. I only remembered one, so we passed by for her. And she was there! It was fun to see her again. She was amazed at the fact that I actually speak 
Spanish now. As we left, I asked if the Hermanas could pass by her again, she said of course! She said she didnt really know why they had stopped before but she´d love for them to come by. And now shes not working so she has all the time in the world to meet. Wooo! Maybe it´s finally her time!

We had a Noche de Hogar with a member this week too. It went super great! The member invited her best friend, who invited her cousin. Turns out the friend is not interested, but the 23 year old cousin, yes! We had the lesson at Noche de Hogar and then invited him to play soccer with the ward that weekend, and he came. And while there, someone invited him to general conference, and he came! We havent even taught him yet, just the little spiritual thought in the NDH, but he has tons of questions now after conference and is super interested! YAY!

Speaking of the conference, I loved it! It was fantastic! I especially love love loved the Saturday morning session! Wow, good stuff! I think one of my overall favorite talks was, Donald L Hallstrom. Oh! And Neill F Marriott from the women´s session. Well, really just all of conference, but those were especially wonderful.

Anyway, I just love you all! Im sooooo glad Im a missionary and I get to share this wonderful gospel with everyone!

I hope you have a great week!
Hermana Griffin