Saturday, November 29, 2014

week 5 at CCM

Oh my goodness! Time is flying by! This is week 5! What the heck!
Let´s start with the park this week! It was spectacular! I got partnered with a native Ukrainian so she of course spoke no Spanish so I was alone contacting basically,, but she´d find the people and Id have a conversation and translate for her and then translate whenever she wanted to say something. It was super difficult but really good practice for me too. So at the end of our time in the park, we sing as a group and companionships are chosen for contacting while people listen to us. I was one of those companionships this week and met the coolest guy! He was with his daughter and I asked him what was most important in his life and he said it was of course his family. I was able to tell him a bit about the plan of salvation and that families could be together forever. He seemed so genuinely thankful to meet us and I felt so much love for him. I know that what I felt for him is only a fraction of the love our Father in Heaven has for his children, which is insane to think about. On the metro ride back to the CCM, we rode past our stop because my companion was talking to a woman from Ukraine! So we rode two stops past and then turned around to go back the right direction. When we were waiting for our next metro, my companion spotted a guy and asked if we could talk to him. I was a bit hesitant, but I agreed. HE WAS AWESOME! We explained we were missionaries and asked if he´d heard about the Book of Mormon or if he´d like to and he said he´d never heard of it, but would love to hear more. I gave him some background and said it testified of Jesus Christ, and he said, oh, just like the bible! And I was so excited! I told him it was just like the bible and they both testified of Christ. I shared my testimony and asked if he´d like to know more from some missionaries in the field and he said yes. I gave him a contact card and we only need their name and one way to contact them, so I told him that and he gave me every possible contact form he had! He was so thankful. It was such an awesome day in the park! My companion was such a positive influence and really helped me to be optimistic even when I didn’t want to be.
                Every week, we are assigned talks for sacrament meeting, and you prepare a talk and then random people are assigned to speak, but it´s in your mission language. I haven’t been called up yet, but I have a really strong feeling I will be this week, which is our last week giving talks since our last week is Fast Sunday.
                We sing on the temple steps every Sunday evening and the teachers contact the people who come listen. We started singing Christmas music  this week, which is insane because it´s still about 50-60 degrees here! Speaking of Christmas, I´ll be skyping you in less than a month. Isnt that insane! We learned all about Spanish Christmas yesterday and it´s actually on January 6, but I´ll still be calling on our Christmas.
                I tried this drink called EKO which is huge here in Spain apparently. It´s pretty good. It´s made from like barley and wheat and weird other grains and such, but doesn’t taste like that at all. It´s supposedly really healthy for you too, so that´s a plus. It looks and smells like dirt before you mix it with milk though.
                In the park, I met 2 brazilian families! I told them about Joel and Michela and they seemed more willing to talk to us after. It was kind of funny. We have Portuguese speakers here in the CCM  now too. Two are from Brazil, but I couldn’t tell you what part.
                I went to the Prado! Super cool! I saw the Mona Lisa that was painted by Davinci´s student and in my opinion is better than the original. We didn’t get pizza on Thursday like we´d planned, but whenever a group leaves from the CCM, we all have pizza for dinner so we just had that the other day and it was DELICIOUS! I ate so much and tons of ice cream too. I miss American food. The food here in the CCM goes through good and bad cycles. Lately bad though.
                I memorized the first vision! In Spanish, people! I did it in less than a week and it is super useful in lessons! Also, I´d like to know all of your opinions, I got asked in a lesson what the difference between Savior and Redeemer was, so email me because Ive been asking around and I´m curious what you all think. Have the ward email their opinions too because Im curious. I read in 2 Nephi 2 this week. I loved verses 6-8 and you should all take time to read them. I am so grateful for the knowledge I have that Christ is our Savior and that he died for each and every one of us, and I am so thankful for the opportunity that I have to share that knowledge with the world! Well, Spain!
                I met Hermana Jackson! She is the sweetest and I cant wait to meet President Jackson next week…. HOLY COW! NEXT WEEK!
                I love you all. Happy Thanksgiving! We are having a special thanksgiving p-day today with a huge thanksgiving lunch and then we get to watch meet the Mormons and later tonight we have a live devotional from the Provo MTC. I´m so thankful for all of you and for this gospel and the opportunity to share it! I love you all so much! Here are my pictures! None of me this week, sorry.
1.       We think it´s the palace, but I´m not sure.
2.       The Prado

Monday, November 17, 2014

spiritual giants

Hello Friends!
 I made it to the CCM! I’m in the Abinadi District. We currently have 46 missionaries here. We have 4 French speaking missionaries, 9 Russian speaking +33 Spanish.. We have missionaries from all over the world, currently from England, New Zealand, Albania, France, Canada and the US. Mi compañera es Hermana J. She’s the absolute best. I met her when I was picking up my visa for Spain & I hoped we’d be companions. I’m so blessed to work with her. We constantly strengthen each other and encourage each other to do better. We teach so well together & enjoy every moment we have together.
Every Saturday we are assigned a temporary companion & go teach in one of the most common & popular parks in Spain. Even with our little knowledge of Español we are able to teach so much, without a doubt because of the help of the Holy Ghost.
The food is so good here! I’m sure I will gain so much weight in the CCM, but that’s ok. Seriously delicious and I hear the CCM food isn’t as good as typical Spanish food. The soup is strange though. They cook any vegetables & then puree them so its soup consistency. But, they do the same with the fruit and make juice and it’s delicious!
The teachers & atmosphere in the CCM is unbelievable. There is music every morning & night that plays throughout the building. I love, love, love, going to sleep to the Mormon Tabernacle choir singing “Abide With Me”. My district is so great too. Elder K our district is so funny& keeps us all focused as well as being related to Spencer W and Heber C. Elder Kn is 24 and is from England and has been a member for just over one year. Elder P and Elder S are the zone leaders for the whole CCM. Elder P is a totally a Cali. “surfer” guy. Elder S is 6’7” and is like a big brother even though he is just barely 18 years old! Hermana F and Hermana W are the music coordinators. Hermana F is 20 and is 6”2”. She is my favorite! She is my go to person for everything, especially spiritual things. She’s so sweet & such a great friend and missionary, her parents are mission presidents in the states too! Hermana W is a sweetheart . Next week they will get a 3rd companion Hermana O’
I’m so blessed to be here with these wonderful people. Our district set a goal to bare our testimonies this past fast Sunday in Spanish. Here it is for you all. It’s pretty simple, so if you need to, I’m sure Google translate will be fairly accurate.
“Yo sé que Dios es nuestro Padre Celestial. Yo sé desuchristo es mi Salvador. Yo sé que el  Evangelio de Christo es verdadero. Yo sé que tenemos un profeta hoy. Yo sé que a través de la oración podemos recibir respuestas a nuestros preguntas. Le estoy agradecida a mi padre celestial por este conocimientos. En el nobre de Jesucristo, amen.”
I love you & pray for for you often. Thank you for your wonderful e-mails. If you’d like to write to me, mail is better because I have more time to write letters; then to read e-mails y respond I love you have a wonderful week!              Hermana Griffin

Saturday, November 8, 2014

First Week In The Spain Missionary Training Center

November 6, 2014
Just a note from those of us who have been asked to help Hermana Griffin by keeping the blog up to date: We have been asked to not post any personal info for privacy reasons, we hope you understand and also the e-mail address for Hermana Griffin was originally entered incorrectly but that has been fixed, so feel free to send her emails as she can always use the support.

The food is sooooo good! Everything is better in Spain! Especially the peaches! We can't take pictures in the MTC, only outside and on P-days. On P-day we go to the temple in the morning. The temple is gorgeous! I love it sooooo much! We go to the park on Saturday and its hard but fun! I taught the ambassador from Belgium or Switzerland, I can't remember. He thought we were so great for being missionaries and leaving home. I also gave out a Book of Mormon and the lady asked us to come teach her after the park, but were not allowed to in the MTC, so it was just a referral, but still way exciting.

I have a language tutor because I am literally terrible at Spanish. My companion is a pro. Its a little frustrating. My roommates are the best. They are Hermana "J", "F" and "W" and Tuesday we are getting another from Provo named Hermana "O"! My District is the best. I love them. They're mostly from Utah, but one from Montana, two from California and one from England. We work so well together! Our district leader is second cousins with Heber C Kimball and 5th cousin of  Spencer W Kimball. He's totally amazing.

Anyway, I have no time to do anything. It´s constantly busy! I feel like they are just cramming info into my head and I absorb only the smallest fraction of info. Its not an effective way of teaching at all.

I love my morning teacher, Hermana "D", she's from the Malaga mission, but she served in Madrid with President Jackson. My second teacher is Hermana "S" who I don't understand at all and it worries me, because she's from Madrid. She's super difficult and frustrating. My last teacher is Hermano "R". He's from Portugal and doesn't have any formal training in Spanish but he´s way easy to understand and I think he's my favorite teacher.

Hermano "R" is one of our "investigators" Hugo. He is hard to teach because he always asks hard questions and I know so little Spanish to answer them, but it helps me learn, for sure. Hermana "D" is our other "investigator". She is easy to teach, but hard at the same time. I'll try to tell you more about her later.

These are the girls who flew from Frankfurt with me, the blonde one is Hermana "W", from my district.

I love you all! I miss you, when I have time to think about anything at all. I love you and pray for you all frequently. Please pray for me and the language. I'd appreciate it so much!
-Hermana Griffin
PS It won't let me send pictures because this is literally the worst computer/program ever.
I'll send them when I can.