Monday, May 18, 2015

What a blessing it is to have the gospel!

Hola Familia!

Sorry I didnt write last week, but it´s because I skyped with mom and dad for mother´s day the day before p-day and then we went to Toledo for p-day so it didnt leave me much time. Anyway! There isnt too much to mention, just a bit here and there over the last couple weeks.

Ok, it is getting unbearable hot here. It was about 110 here the other day, and I live in the city, where it is all sidewalk, streets and highrises, so you better believe it was unbearable. I honestly thought I was going to die. People keep telling me Im more and more tan since the last time they saw me. I think it´s mostly because Im the pasty American here haha. I have ungly tan lines from my sandals and my watch though, so I am in fact getting some color.

We had a ward talent show run by the relief society, themed Egyptians and Romans. It was really really good! Super funny. The elders acted in a few of the different acts, and they were hilarious. They were in makeup and costumes too and it was super funny to see.

So, unfortunately S**** did not get baptized this week. But, he is still progressing and we have set another date! He is excited, but also nervous. Obviously our goal is not to baptize him when he doesnt feel ready, so putting off the date for him was sad, but of course reassuring that he at least feels comfortable. He loves meeting with us and asks all the time if he can come with us to other appointments with people, he´s just the best! His new baptismal date is for a couple weeks out, which is after transfers. We think Hermana Sykes will get transfered, but you can never be too sure. She feels upset that she may not be here for it, but who knows, she might be! His dad isnt terribly supportive of the church, which I think is one of his worries. We´re hoping that we can meet with his dad and talk to him too. It´s a little strange that his dad contacted us and asked us to meet with Smith and teach him, but then that he isnt terribly supportive. We´ll see! Something I am always trying to remind myself is that first, people have their agency and can choose for themselves. Thing number two, that the Lord´s timing is way better than mine!

We started teaching Abuelita´s son, J*** C*****. He is a member, but is not active. He is amazing. He has a really strong testimony, but he knows that he´s not really living in the best situation right now. Hopefully we can just work with him enough to encourage him to change his life where he needs to and come back to church. He really is an amazing person and of course, he is just like his mother and has such a great love for the missionaries!

J***** came to church! She is one of the less active references we received. Finalyl she came and she loved it!!!! She was so excited to be there. She kept saying how good it felt to be there and how she really wanted her husband to be a part of the church and to have a family in the church. She said she had such sweet memories of her childhood in the church and it was a great experience for her. She loved it so much, that she insisted she will be back next week. I cant help but think of the song, "Sweet Is the Peace the Gospel Brings." It´s so true! The gospel has so much power and ability to bring peace and happiness to our lives and especially to our families! What a blessing it is to have the gospel!

We had a mission conference last week and a zone conference this week. In the mission conference we talked about us getting iPads and how to use them appropriately and to fulfill our missionary purpose. I actually really enjoyed it! Also, during a break, I went up on the stand and lead "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" with our presiding General Authority! Super funny! At the Zone Conference, we I learned a lot. We talked about making and keeping covenants. There was a scripture shared, Doctrine and Covenants 58:31. They shared it, and then had us replace it with our names. QuiĆ©n soy yo, dice Hermana Griffin, para prometer y no cumplir? I love it! That´s been all that has been on my mind this week! Am I completing my side of the promises and covenants Ive made?

That´s about it I think. Sorry! It´s getting hot and harder to talk to people, but Im surviving. That´s the main news Ive got for you!

Have a great week!

Hermana Griffin

Zone Conference

Monday, May 4, 2015

Success in Spain

Guess what! I finished the Book of Mormon for the first time in Spanish! WOOOO! It took way longer than I wish it wouldve, but I put it off for a while, who knows why. Im so happy though, and today, I started it again. I love it! It´s so amazing!

Anyway, this week was a little slow, but not bad!

I gave a talk in district meeting this week... I was the only one assigned a talk and was told I had to fill 20-25 minutes minimum. Crazy, right? No, the crazy thing is that I managed to fill 45 minutes! Clearly, the Lord answers prayers! My topic was on how to teach Atheists and people with very little religious background. I nailed it, if I do say so myself!

We´ve been meeting with S**** like crazy! He is getting close to his baptismal date and seems so ready! His baptism is planned for May 16th! Exactly 29 days from when we met him! It´s amazing how prepared he is! So exciting! He comes to church every week and all of the activities in the ward. He´s wonderful! He came to our ward activity this week and won almost everything!

We had a ward activity that was crazy fun! We did sack races, relay races, food eating competitions, a barbecue, karaoke, volleyball, etc. SO FUN! There were tons of people there and we had 2 different investigators and a menos activo who came! It went from 9:30 in the morning until 5 pm, so we were just there all day in the church basically, but we managed to get 5 references just from the activity! I took tons of pictures. Obviously, I cant send them all, but I´ll send some. during the food eating competition, one of the Elers participating suggested that they bless the food... the competition food... it was the most mormon thing Ive ever done. So funny. I fell during the sack race because the sacks were clearly child sized and now I have a nice giant purple bruise on my knee that everyone can see since Im always in a skirt. I also ran into a door this week and have a giant bruise on my arm. So I tell everyone my companion beats me up haha. Anyway, at this barbecue, they had steaks and salad for everyone, super good, right? Until they come around with these little bits of meat that are indistinguishable as to what it is. So we lean over to a lady and ask what they are. She says some word we dont know and then "de pollo"... so we know it´s something from a chicken, but not exactly what it is. So we tell her we dont know what it is and she starts describing what it is. It was chicken ovaries, people! Who the heck eats chicken ovaries. I tried it and I just could not do it. I have to stop asking what food is before I eat it.

We had a lesson in the street with this really awesome guy, but he would not give us his phone number, so we gave him our card, and expected to never hear from him again. That night, we had a call from a number we didnt know, and it was him! He called our card! No one ever calls our card! So happy! That´s never happened to me before.

We received a reference from the neighboring ward about 2 weeks ago for a menos activo who they had met in the street who lives in our ward. We finally met her this week and she is amazing! Her name is J*****. She is about 35, from Peru and has a baby named Lucas who is 6 months old. She told us she got baptized when she was 8 with her cousins, but then at about 13 or 14 she just stopped going to church because she started being more social and going out with friends and things. She doesnt remember much of the doctrine because she was so young, so we just taught her the restoration to remind her. She got super nostalgic and loved it! She remembers tidbits here and there, but not all, and there are still things she doesnt even know. She has had people from all religions in her house before, but she said she never liked them and she never felt what she had felt in that lesson we had with her that night. It´s amazing to see that she can feel the Holy Ghost and that she recognizes it. She is excited to read the Book of Mormon again and come to church again. It´ll be different for her Im sure since it´s been so long, but I know she´ll love it!

Yesterday was Mother´s day here in Spain. Because of the holiday there was like no one in the street and all of our lessons cancelled on us. Somehow, we still managed to fill all of our time and have 5 lessons yesterday! We had a street lesson with this really really drunk guy, which was funny and really sad. He really opened up and he told us what brought him to that point. He´s really going through some rough times, but I know the gospel could really bless him! We got his number, and gave him ours. I just hope his number is right, or that he´ll call us.

So that´s pretty much life here in Barrio 3 right now. We´re just chugging along. Have a wonderful week!

Hermana Griffin

Our big yellow Church