Monday, June 1, 2015

Barrio 8

Barrio 8 is good! It was a rough first week, but Im adjusting.

First, when we had transfers, I met a member from Barrio 8 in the train station... turns out, she´s a recent convert of my companionship. Her name is D***! She is fantastic! She has two sons who have been members for a long time. One is actually serving a mission right now in Los Angeles! The other is named D**** and he is 16. Ok, D**** is already my favorite person here! He told me yesterday that Im his best friend haha. He´s just the sweetest and so funny! His birthday is right before mine, so he started planning a combined birthday party for us when I first met him... then yesterday, he told me he´s going to Peru to see his dad! So sad! I may not even be here when he gets back! Anyway, D**** is the best. He is a ward missionary and always always always helps us in lessons. He´s such a blessing!

So we are teaching this couple from El Salvador, A****** and J******. They are 24 and are preparing to be baptized at the end of this month. They´re wonderful. A****** just accepts everything, J******, is always a little slower and it´s so funny because A****** will sit and help us try and teach her because he just gets it. They´re really great. They are always inviting us over and always wanting to learn more. They come to church every week and all of the ward Noche de Hogars and everything. People already think they´re members really. It´s funny. They´re so great! Also, they feed us the most delicious Salvadorian food. YUM!

There is a recent convert who helps us a lot too. His name is V***** and he is a Spaniard. He has a really interesting story. He was a member of the church, served a mission, and later in life, asked for his name to be removed from church records. Well, one day, the other companionship of Hermanas here, met him by accident. He said he didn´t need God in his life, but the Hermanas told him he did and were really forward with him. He realized he did and started meeting with the Hermanas and taking the discussions and was baptized again this past February! He is amazing. He is such an awesome teacher too. He´s just fantastic, and he speaks perfect English as well.

We went to visit a menos activo family. The parents are J**** and O*****. They are so sweet! They are from Ecuador. They have been members for quite a few years. We just met them, so we´re not quite sure why they arent attending, but we have a few ideas. Olivia said she still prays all the time, but J**** says he feels like his prayers havent always been answered. Anyway. We just got to know them and read part of Moroni 7 with them and invited them to read the rest and to pray as a family. When we finished the lesson, after we prayed, I didnt even think about asking, but the words were just flowing out of my mouth and I was asking them to come to church. They said they would. And they did! We walked into the chapel yesterday and there they were! We sat next to them and we listened to the most amazing sacrament meeting I have ever been in. J*** and M******* M****** from Alcobendas were there and talked about the temple and the importance of going and the sacrifices we should be willing to make for the temple. It was so good, and it dawned on me, that J**** and O***** have not been to the temple. I really feel like that was an inspired question, because I really think the Lord knew that they needed to hear those sacrament talks.

Speaking of the temple, we got to go this past week. It was wonderful, like usual. Im always by the temple now because we attend the ward right on the temple grounds. I just love the temple and the amazing spirit there, even if you´re just outside. Also, the Madrid Temple is gorgeous, in case I havent said that enough.

Hermana Spencer is amazing! She´s so positive always, which sometimes is exactly what I need. It´s funny because I never thought I was unhappy in my mission, but since my first day here, I have been so incredibly happy here. It´s strange, but I love it. Hermana Spencer is a really good teacher. Her Spanish isnt wonderful, but it´s not bad. She´s got all the skills, she just doubts herself a lot. My goal is to make her talk a lot in lessons and try and get her to build her confidence, because she is really wonderful and could be even better! I really do love her. We live with two other Hermanas too, Hermana Keleman and Hermana Irigoyen. Hermana Keleman is from Provo, Utah and is in the same CCM group as Hermana Spencer. She is literally ALWAYS making everyone laugh. She´s hilarious. And Hermana Irigoyen is from Argentina, though you wouldnt know because she speaks perfect English! She is an amazing missionary too. She goes home in a few transfers. I hope that I can be a missionary like her. She is just unbelivable! I listened to her call a list of "Future References" from our carpeta de area (sorry, I actually dont know what is called in English...), and usually that is super unsuccessful for us... she got 3 appointments and taught one phone lesson all in 10 minutes. Amazing. Basically, they´re just the best people ever and I love spending time with them! The only other people in our district are two elders, Elder Bybee and Elder Damft. They´re pretty cool. A little strange, but awesome missionaries.

My new area covers a pueblo called Arganda del Rey and it is gorgeous. It´s so fun to go out there. We have to take a train out there, it´s the only way. And it´s not a city and there are fields and mountains. I love it so much!

Im sorry I dont have more fun things to tell you. Im more in the center of Madrid now, and it´s hotter. Im trying not to die. Im getting more tan (the awkward tan lines are real- watch line and sandal lines).

Anyway. I love you! I´ll be sure to send some pictures next week. We´re going for a picnic today with the other Hermanas and we had a fun wardrobe coincidence... pictures to come! Have a great week!

Hermana Griffin

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