Thursday, January 1, 2015

2 months already?

Ok family... I´ve been in Spain for 2 months already! What the heck is up with that!? I do not know enough Spanish to have been here for that long! Anyway. Spain is good, so is Alcobendas/ Sanse.

Yesterday, we had lunch with Presidente y Hermana Jackson. One of the perks of living less than 10 minutes from them! It was delicious and so fun. They are just the greatest, sweetest people! Today, Hermana G. (one of the Hermanas from across the street) went back home. It was sad to say goodbye, but it was her time! She was the sweetest. Her and my companion made an arrangement of ¨God be with you til we meet again¨ and I made them sing it for the Jacksons yesterday. It was way good.

Not much has happened since Christmas. We´re trying to find people to teach still. Holidays here are the worst. No one has any time or desire to meet. Hopefully after Dia de los Reyes (Jan. 6th), everything will be back to normal. 

We did meet this old Spaniard on the street though. I think his name is F. but my companion thinks his name is something different and we think it´d be super awkward to ask now. Anyway, F.came to the capilla last night and we gave him a little tour. He is the greatest. He had so many questions and had so much hope for what we could do for him and he´s really patient with my Spanish and he´s just wonderful. Anyway, pray for F.. He´s going through a lot right now and I know the gospel can really help him through it all! He´s wonderful! And we are meeting him again this week! I cant wait!

Also, Presidente Jackson knows who our new mission president will be. This is what Presidente Jackson has said about our new mission president: 
¨We would like to announce our replacement for July 2015- July, 2018. Their names are President and Sister P. from Hattiesburg, Mississippi. They both served missions when they were younger. President P served in Chile, Osorno and Hermana P in Massachusettes, Boston. Hermana Jackson and I have been in contact with them and know that you will be in very good hands. They have 4 children. Their 2 older daughters are married, the oldest has a baby girl. Their middle daughter and a younger son will also be living in Spain with them. They already love you and are praying for you. We ask that you pray for them as well, as they prepare to preside over this great mission starting July 1st. Until then, you are stuck with us, so please continue to pray for us as well!¨

I have the spiritual though this week for district meeting, so I thought I´d share with you what I´ve studied this week in personal study. Moroni 7:41-48 y Moroni 10:20. These verses are all about Faith, Hope and Charity, all attributes of Christ. I hope youll take some time to read them. Faith in Jesus Christ brings hope and hope brings charity. And all of these things bring the blessings of heaven! It´s great, just read it! It says so much more than I ever could.

I love you all and hope you had a Merry Christmas and have a fantastic New Year. Besos!
Hermana Griffin

Week 1 in field

Hola Familia!
   Wow. Week one in the field was crazy! First of all, I will have 2 hours each Monday to email now. Starting at 4:30 my time, in case you´re wondering. Let me start with my last week in the CCM since I didn´t really get to talk about it. 
   The palace was GORGEOUS! It was super ornate and just such a sight. I got to see where the current King was inaugurated and I got to see the throne room and the royal crown and so much more. You weren´´t allowed to take pictures past a certain point in the palace, so some of you should expect postcards of the different rooms. It was great and I got to spend one last day alone with Hermana F. Im gonna miss her so much.
   Saying goodbye to my district and teachers and Presidente y Hermana Lovell was the hardest thing Ive ever done. Friends and Presidente Lovell were not as bad as saying goodbye to my teachers because I dont know if I´ll ever see them again and thats a really sad and scary thought. Im so thankful for all of them and everything they did for me. They have had such an impact on my life and I love them all dearly.
   Tuesday morning we woke up early and said goodbye to the district as they got on buses for Malaga and Barcelona. Me and Hermana J. were the only ones left in the district. We left at 9:30 am for the mission home. We had a devotional, went over rules and then had the most delicious lunch I´ve eaten in 6 weeks, all made by Hermana Jackson! After, Presidente Jackson played accordian for us and we sang Christmas songs. After, we headed back to the Stake Center by the CCM and got our suitcases and found out who our companions were.
   My companion is Hermana F! She is a sweetheart. She is 21 and from Utah, but went to U of M for harp! She is the 2nd of 4 kids and the first to serve a mission. She leaves after this transfer, which means I´ll have 2 transfers, but after these 6 weeks, I´ll be area training! Scary! So there is a lot of pressure to make sure I know everyone and the area.
   I´ve been assigned to Alcobendas, which is north of Madrid. About 20-30 minutes away by car (but like 1 1/2 hours by metro). Alcobendas is the area, I love it here. It´s a little sketchy, honestly, but so safe for missionaries. No one here dares mess with anyone affiliated with Jesus or God, so having a nametag is great.
   My district is pretty great! We have the office elders, Elders B. and C., the district leaders, Elders W. and G., the office couple, Elder and Hermana C., and then 3 Hermanas who live across the street from us, Hermana G., Hermana P. and Hermana R. (the one who flew to Spain with me!). We´re all in the same little ward building, but the ward is pretty strong. We over flow into two other rooms so we have to broadcast the meetings to those rooms too. It´s great! They are currently building a new building for us, but it won’t be done for a few years because building moves super slowly here.
   When I got here basically all of our investigators dropped off the face of the earth, so we are starting from scratch, which is good but hard too. We have done tons of street contacting and have even had a street lesson every day this week! No one here ever answers there phone, EVER! Which is so incredibly frustrating. One of our street lessons was with a guy named C, who is a Spaniard. He´s probably mid to late 60s. He was really respectful when we first met him, but alittle negative, but we have since convinced him to come to see the chapel (where we snuck in a small lesson) and then also got him to come to the Christmas devotional yesterday. He really seemed to like it and said he´d meet with us this week again! It´s amazing.
 I understand Spanish! Mostly. I understand a lot, but I can barely speak. It´´s frustrating. I´ve been able to distinguish accents though! So a lot of people here aren´t actually from Spain! Most are Dominican. But I can tell people´s accents and usually can tell where they´re from based on their looks. It´s strange, but kind of cool too. Anyway, yesterday at church, I understood everything except for Relief Society, which amazed me! I´m hoping the language will come sooner rather than later.
   Food here is strange. Not taste wise, everything tastes delicious! But nothing ever goes bad. EVER! It´s really sketchy. Things are supposed to go bad! Which makes me question what is going on with the food, but at the same time, I just don’t think about it. I had these really good Christmas cookies, which are powder and you have to squish them to compact them to be able to eat them. I’ve also had Turron. Tons and tons of Turron! It´s delicious. I don’t really know how to explain it, so look it up, but they only have it at Christmas here. I´m going to see about sending some home to you all because its so good! Everyone feeds us snacks. Usually breads or muffins, which I’m totally not against! We only eat breakfast and lunch here because of our schedule.
   We wake up at 7:00 am, 8:30-12:00 is studies (personal, companion, language and infield training), 12:00-2:00 is teaching/contacting on the streets, 2:00-4:00 is Medio Dia (Siesta) and so we cook lunch, hang out and study some more, usually study the language), 4:00-9:30 is more teaching. It´s a crazy schedule, but I love it. We teach English classes Tuesday nights that are open to the public which is fun and on Thursday (maybe Friday, I don’t remember), we have ward Family Home Evenings (Noche de Hogar). It´s great!
   This area has tons of potential and really great people! Pray for us as we try to start new. I love being a missionary and there is nothing more rewarding than knowing that you spent all day serving the Lord. I hope you´re all doing well! It sounds like you are! I love you all and pray for you always! I´ll talk to you all soon! I don’t have p-day next Monday because we will be Skyping on Christmas/Thursday. Know that I love you all and hope you all have the best Christmas possible and remember that Christ is the reason we celebrate!
Hermana Griffin