Sunday, September 27, 2015

Concilio and intercambios equals a busy week!

Hi family, 9/21/15

Crazy week. We were in Alcobendas Monday and Tuesday. The first day, we went contacting with members and I got to be with Z! It was so good to see her and talk to her again. She said S is doing good on her mission. Tuesday, we had
concilio with President and Hermana Pack and all of the zone leaders and sister training leaders.

We got to stay at the mission home for the night with the sister training leaders from the north and it was a blast!! It was funny sitting in pajamas with the Pack family and talking at the end of the night and also doing family prayers. I just love them! President Pack was an angel and offered to take me and Hermana Marsh to the airport in the morning on Wednesday even though it was super early.

Wednesday and Thursday we were in Tenerife doing intercambios. I went with Hermana McEntire from Colorado. This was her first ever intercambio and she loved it. She's a sweetheart. She just started her mission not too long ago. It was fun to experience an intercambio in a really different area than my own, but I prefer my island; as I have come to love it so.

We had our zone training after intercambios too and it was hard... Our zone is in different islands, so we did our meeting over polycam. It was not my favorite way to meet. It was way harder to insure everyone was involved. We got a picture of our zone at the end. It's funny. We are missing a companionship though because their polycam wasn't working, so they had to skype.

Stake conference was yesterday too. We had that over polycam too because it was in Tenerife. President and Hermana Pack spoke. I just love them! Hermana Pack is learning Spanish and she gave her testimony in Spanish without her translator and it was perfect. She is just precious. Anyway, the islands have only been a stake for two years. It was interesting. They talked about the sabbath day and the councils that the church has. It was really great. The stake president, Presidente Denis is amazing. I took soooooo many notes. It was like everything he said was just golden.
Baptism of S. 

And then we had a baptism! S got baptized! It was great! And her ex came and he was really moved by it.  D and M came and they both loved it. D is letting us know tomorrow about his upcoming baptism. Really there is no rush, but I would love for Hermana Marsh to be able to see him get baptized.

So at concilio, zone training and also stake conference, we talked about repentance and the importance of it for members and also investigators. We also talked a ton about the sabbath day and the importance of keeping the sabbath day holy. The quorum of the twelve and the first presidency met and decided that what the members today need to increase their faith is to keep the sabbath day holy. Of all the things they felt we needed to hear, that was it. It's amazing. It's a problem here in Spain, and elsewhere really. He asked what happened with the commitment that we made with God when we were baptized. He said no commitment is more important than the commitment we make with God when we are baptized, so Sunday shouldn't come with excuses like, "I can't, I have ________ to do" because our baptismal commitment should come first. Basically, I just learned that there is no reason to ever keep from obeying this commandment. Also, we talked a lot about repentance in concilio. We got a list of quotes from the quorum of the twelve about repentance. It was golden.
My personal favorite was by Elder Bednar, "It can’t be repentance unless it involves the Redeemer, even if they confess." We just emphasized the importance of the atonement in the repentance process and how if more people understood what repentance was and the importance of it before baptism, we would retain more members. It's so true. Repentance is a huge blessing, not a burden. I hope you all know that. That's the one thing the people that I am teaching understand. I love repentance, it's beautiful.
Me and Z !

Anyway, I love you all so much! Have a great week!
Hermana Griffin

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Flying to Madrid for concilio!

Hey family! 9/14/15 
 Currently in the airport! We are flying to Madrid for two days for concilio. Then, on Wednesday, we'll fly to Tenerife for Zone Training and also to finish intercambios with the rest of the hermanas from the islands. It's crazy, 4 days away from our area and the people we teach. It's been hard to plan how to see everyone when we get back and kind of frustrating, but I know it'll be worth it and that they will all be taken care of.
  This week, I did intercambios with Hermana Judd and that was a blast. I didn't realize how much I missed her from the CCM. It was fun being able to teach with her again but actually understanding what people were saying to us and being able to communicate easily. She's a great missionary, which doesn't surprise me at all. She will for sure be training next transfer because Hermana Clements is finishing her mission.
  We set a baptismal date with M. She's doing good. She's really lonely since F left for Brazil, so we're trying to visit her a little more to help her not be so lonely.
  D is doing great! Some confusion here and there, but all in all he is doing good. He is still thinking the 26th of this month for his baptism, but we want to insure that he is firm and has a strong testimony rather than have another baptismal number. He's great though. He came to our weekly Noche de Hogar with the Mesa family yesterday and it went really good.
  Speaking of which, I am pretty sure I have never mentioned the M's, which makes me feel horrible because going to their house each week is my favorite. It's H and M and their two girls J, 12 and N, 7. N is the cutest little girl in the world and she just adores us. She runs and gives us giant hugs at church on Sunday's. We do NDH in their house with H's mom, P and their home teacher, L. L is so funny! He is a crazy Venezuelan, literally. But I admire him so much because he really understands the importance of his calling as a home teacher. He is obsessed with Ford too which I think is funny. So naturally I'm his favorite, being from Michigan. Anyway, the M's always have their house open to us and our investigators. They are both return missionaries. I just love them. 

3rd birthday for K.
S is doing good!
13th birthday celebration
Her baptism will be this Sunday night after Stake Conference. She is so excited and so are her girls. L is doing good too, still trying to figure out what's next in her life. V is good. She broke a little bone in her foot and had a cast for a bit, but now she's up and walking. Her and the family have some difficulties and need our prayers, it's really not ideal for us to be leaving right now, but I know the Lord will take care of her.
G and C and the kids finally came to church! G and the kids are members, but C is not. They haven't been in about 6 months, but we visit them and eat with them weekly and they came this Sunday! They surprised us and D, their daughter who is 8 ran and jumped and gave me a hug when she saw me at church. So cute! They are just wonderful.   We had some lessons with new people this week. First a guy named D. He is nice and has potential, but he works a tonnnn! But the nice thing is that he lives right by us and the chapel. Then, a girl named M. She was someone that the elders from Tenerife contacted while they were here for Zone Conference. She is awesome! She had a classmate in college that was Mormon so she knows a lot really, but she asked really good questions. And she wants us to talk to a friend of hers as well. It's amazing how great the gospel is that people notice a difference because of it and want to share it. Then P and M, two sisters from Peru. P lived in Toronto for two years and met missionaries there, so she knows a little, but it's been about 10 years. They are sweet and very open minded. 
  I think that's all. Me and Hermana Marsh are doing great together. I love her! I'm hoping we stay together one more transfer.
view from a members... reminds me of home!
We'll see. Hopefully we can get some hints from President or Hermana Pack while we are in Madrid about what is going to happen during transfers. Anyway, I love you all. I'm doing well. Super well. I'm very happy! I hope you all have a good week. Hermana Griffin

Saturday, September 12, 2015


Well, it's been a crazy and good week. So, Monday, we had all the missionaries in the islands here in Las Palmas.
Then, after, we started intercambios. Monday night I was with Hermana Finch and we were with Hermana Pack. All of our lessons failed, so we went out to contact. It was fun! We had a bunch of street lessons. On Tuesday, we had our zone conference. It was good. We talked about the importance of the message of the restoration and also the importance of working
with menos activos. It was really great! Our stake president talked about how each week the missionaries will be given 5 names of menos activos in the ward to work with. And when the people come back to church or don't want more contact, they are taken off our list of 5 names and they get replaced with other menos activos. There is a little more to it than that, but I think it's a great program. I'm excited for it! After, we finished intercambios and I was with Hermana Turina. Literally no one wanted to talk to us. We stopped every person who walked by and every single one said no. But anyway, we finally got one person to listen and she listened to all of the restoration and then scheduled another lesson with us. It was fun with her. She's a sweetheart! I love her! Anyway, Hermana Finch changed their tickets and we didn't know, so our intercambios were cut short. It is teaching me patience and love. 
D accepted a baptismal date for the 26th of September! He's a little nervous but I think he'll be more than ready. Anyway, he's great, as usual.
L. is not doing too well. She is going through a lot of personal things, unfortunately it's a lot of things she can only work out for herself. What we're trying to do is just make sure our lessons and
Sundays are really good spiritual experiences for her so that it's like a break from her life and problems. [Please pray for them]
M. is so great. We passed by to see her and met with her and her husband. It was sooooo good! Sad thing, the husband just left for Brazil for 3 months, but before we ended the lesson, they gave us a reference. Then, Sunday, M. brought another friend to church! She's so great! Also, a member named L. who is from Brazil brought a friend and gave us his reference. So we are now teaching 4
brazilians... It's great!
Anyway, things are fantastic here and I absolutely love love love my companion!
She's fantastic. I really hope we're together another 
transfer. This week I'll be doing intercambios with Hermana Judd and next week, we will be going to Madrid for Concilio in the mission home and then to Tenerife for intercambios with the Hermanas from Santa Cruz
Missionary girls having fun
and also to do our zone training. So, basically next week, we won't be in our area.
Also, fun fact. I met the elder, Elder Gorge,
Elder Gorge
who baptized S.
boyfriend, A. We took a picture together. He's from Indiana! Anyway, he just about died when he heard that A. baptized S.

Well, I love you all! Everything is great here in paradise! Have a great week!

Life is peachy

Hi family! 8/31/15
Still just enjoying paradise here in the islands. Things are fantastic, like usual. Also, I somehow am now at 10 months in the mission. Weird. To celebrate, me and Hermana Marsh got ice cream...
She has a sweet tooth like me... Which is the worst. Anyway.
  We met the M and they're just great. We even met with the son this time and now the whole family is meeting with us! They're just great. The husband wants to get baptized, but he's the only one, so we're not sure what to do because a baptismal invitation and date will for sure divide the family. But little by little we'll get there. The lessons with them are amazing, we can always feel the spirit so strong in their lessons.
  We went to teach D the Gospel of Jesus Christ and he asked about the commandments and it just seemed like we should teach him about the big three commandments. So, we did. Which is so unusual in one lesson, to throw all that at someone, but the thing is, it was perfect for him! He loved it! He loved and agreed with all the word of wisdom, agreed with and loved the blessings of the law of chastity, and understood and appreciated tithing. He's the greatest. He came to church yesterday and just loved it! He's amazing. I'm really excited to see what happens next with him.
  M. was on vacation, so we didn't get to see her this week.., yet she still came to church! It was great! She really liked it, again. We'll try and set a baptismal date this week with her.
  We got failed all day Friday and Saturday, which was sad, but we saw a miracle. We were walking to pass by a few members and decided to change the order we were going to see them and on the way, we found an amazing woman named J. She met with missionaries about 20 years
ago and said she was thinking about us the day before and so she was super excited to see us. She said she just needs happiness in her life right now and she said she thinks we have it. We're gonna try and meet this week with her.
Anyway, we ate with some members from Brazil this week and they fed each of us a baked potato, the size of the plate, covered in plantain, chicken, corn, cheese, bacon, and like chili.... So good!  [NOW I know WHY missionaries gain weight here!] And after, we had a strawberry coconut cake for dessert. So yummy! Then, yesterday, we had 3 types of cake in 1 hour. So much cake. Sunday's
are the worst because everyone we see always wants to feed us and they all want to stuff us. It's too much. But so good!
  Anyway, life is peachy. A bit boring, the usual. But my comp is amazing and our investigators and members are awesome. Also, tomorrow 
fun pic from last week
we have zone conference, so we had all the missionaries from theislands here today with president and his family and we played sports and then watched Meet the Mormons. And tonight, we are doing intercambios with some of the island hermanas and Hermana Pack. Also, for the next two days, we will be doing intercambios. Since we're on the islands, intercambios are super long to make the most of it. Fun fun! I'll let you know how it goes.

Have a great week! I love you all!
Hermana Griffin

First week in paradise!

First week in Las Palmas... good! 8/24/15
First of all, it's like wayyyyyy cooler here, but way more humid. Well, actually it's pretty much exactly like home. My hair is way crazier and harder to do, but I'll take it! My companion is fantastic. She is pretty much a replica of my life, youngest of 6, 4th to serve a mission, 8 nieces and nephews... There's more, but basically I'm just
saying she's awesome and we get along super well so far.
We are teaching such awesome people! Our investigators and our menos activos are just the best. Ok. So, for investigators, we have S.She is from here in Las Palmas. She has a baptismal date for the 20 of September but we are going to change it with her tonight because that is stake conference. She's practically already a member. Her 2 girls and her niece listen to the lessons too, but their dad won't give them permission to be baptized, so until they're 18, or until he has a change of heart, we're really just working hard on S. Also, she was a member reference. How cool, huh? Then, we have V. She is the mother of our two sisters who are recent converts, C. and J. She wants to be baptized and loves the lessons, she's just trying to quit smoking right now. Her dad is a menos activo named R. and he is the coolest. He's going to take us fishing sometime. Those girls have really activated the family and are just what they needed. They are like my family here. They're seriously just the sweetest people I know. They are also from the islands. Then we have L. from Honduras. She has a little girl named S. who is super cute, just super energetic and wild. L is living with a menos activo. They are thinking about getting married soon, but until they do, she's kind of stuck in limbo. But she's really great. She's slowly opening up to me. Little by little. C. told me yesterday at church that I was cool and that he was glad I was here. He had me sit next to the in all the meetings. We'll see what happens. Ideally, they'd get married, he'd become active again, she'd get baptized and then in a year they could go to the temple together. We'll see! I have faith! We're teaching this family named the M. They're so cool! The dad is a pastor for their church, but they are so genuinely interested. It's amazing. We taught them the plan of salvation yesterday and it was one of the best lessons I've ever had. They are reading from the Book of Mormon and praying, they just haven't come to church yet. But I know they will for sure.  We are teaching someone from Brazil named M. She's sweet. We invited a member from Brazil named E with us. It was fantastic! They talked in Portuguese the whole time, but they just loved it. About a third of our ward is from Brazil so first of all, I'm excited for Brazilian food, second, they are all determined to teach me Portuguese. We'll see. The members are wonderful! I don't even know where to start with them honestly. They are just fantastic and for the most part are really willing to help us and also feed us. We have a recent convert from C named Y. She is so wonderful. She is getting ready to move to the United States. She will be in Virginia, but hey, it's close enough! She's really fantastic, always helping us. Anyway, the islands are great. I love it here. It's gorgeous. We had a stake activity and I got burnt, for the first time all summer. But at least it was a good day, right? We went to Santa Cristina. It's gorgeous. Also, the elders all tried to teach me how to throw a football. Hilarious, but unsuccessful. Then today, we went to Roque Nublo.
So pretty! It's the center of the island. We could see everything, including the neighboring island.
Fun facts about my district,
Elder Maughn from Springville, Utah is district leader, Elder Wagner from Colorado is in his 3rd transfer in the mission, Elder Sasso (you say it like sass-o, which is perfect because he is literally the sassiest person I've ever met) from Pennsylvania is white washing and training, Elder Holt from Pocatello, Idaho is in his first week in the mission, Hermana Clements from Spanish Fork leaves this transfer to go home and she was my second trainer, Hermana Judd from South Jordan was my CCM companion and my wonderful current companion from Murray, Utah. They're all great. Basically, I'm in paradise and I love it. It's like you get banished to the north and islands because they leave you there so long. This is gonna be a great 6 months or so! I love you all. Have a great week!

Transfers OH MY !

Hey family, 8/17/15
So surprising transfer news. So, I knew they were going to put the sister training leaders together and put sister training leaders in all the zones, but it never even occurred to me that I could have been leaving my zone. I thought I'd stay in my zone but be in a different area. But, surprise! So, I'm the first official Sister Training Leader ever on the islands, and I have to train my companion how to be a sister training leader too. So I'm training someone older than me and being area trained too. Craziness. But anyway, I will be on Gran Canaria with Hermana Marsh.
 Also, as Sister Training Leader, I'll be traveling to the other islands to do intercambios with the other Hermanas. So exciting! The bad news, I'll be here for at least 3 transfers, more likely 4. I hope I don't get island sick and also fat.... Because all the missionaries there do. Anyway, this morning was locura. We went to catch the metro to go to Chamartin to meet with the other missionaries going to the islands and with the office elders so they could take us to the airport. We were supposed to all meet in Chamartin at 5:30 and turns out, buses and metros don't run until 5:30... So we called the office elders, Hermana Turina and her companion took a taxi to our area and the office elders came and picked us up. We got to baggage check... I was 7 kilos over weight. I took out everything possible, still 2.5 kilos over and the nice man at baggage check let me go. We made it 5 minutes before they closed the gate. Miracles exist, people!

I said bye to everyone yesterday which was super sad. The hardest was saying goodbye to S. She started crying. I felt bad because we got transfer calls Saturday night, which was her birthday, and I heard she cried the rest of the night. But to say goodbye, she brought us tequeños which are basically the best thing ever and also Arepas!
 I just love her! Her and A will be getting married at the end of this month and they had wanted me and Hermana Spencer to go and be witnesses, but now I won't be there Weary face but that's ok, because next August/September, they are coming to be sealed in the temple in the United States! They're already planning their trip. Other than her, saying goodbye wasn't terribly hard because the missionaries aren't very integrated in the ward here. Someone asked me just last week if I was new... So that was awkward. Anyway. I'll miss the Hermanas most. Mostly Hermana Spencer because she really became one of my best friends. We had another concilio in the mission home. Super fuerte! President Pack, Hermana Pack and the ayudantes, talked a lot about obedience and 
how if we want our mission to be obedient, we as leaders have to do it first. So, the next day we went to the temple as a zone and the day after, we had zone meeting... And president came! He told me how much he loved my discussion and lesson that I taught. I just love President, I just get him and the way he teaches. In other news, I might have a stress fracture in my foot, we're not sure how, but it's nothing to worry about.  President and Hermana Pack are keeping a close eye on me. But for now, I have a really attractive boot thing that I get to wear.
 I'll wear it for a week and if there is no change, I'll go to the doctor. That's pretty much it! Sorry. I love you all. Pray for me because I'm so incredibly nervous!! I'm not sure why, really. I love you all. I hope all is well! Have a great week!


Hola familia!  8/10/15

This week was so strange. One of the Hermanas in our district had to go home for two days to the south of Spain for residency paperwork, so as sister training leader, 

I had to be with her companion. So, for two
and a half days, we had a trio and it was a blast.
But I wouldn't want to do that forever. It made contacting super fun and more effective
So, S. is doing great! We taught her how to do family history and she is loving it! That's all she wants to do now. She thinks it's so fun. It's just the cutest. She loves the idea of temple work and eternal families.
A. called us Saturday and asked if he could meet with us, so we did yesterday. He is  reading  the Book of Mormon!!! He wanted to meet and talk a bit about it yesterday. What a miracle! I'm trying not to get too excited, but I hope it works out for him.
We really wanted to eat American food this week,
so we went to a 
diner. It was good, but not fantastic, then we found another that was 10000 times better! So yummy! And it had like the machines on the wall to choose music. So great.
 Anyway, that was the week.
 I was... Sick yesterday. Nothing to worry about though. So I couldn't go out, so we went to church and came home
and taught A. That's pretty much been the type of week I've had.

I love you all!

Thanks for Birthday wishes!

Hi family! 8/03/15
Thanks so much for the birthday wishes! It was a fantastic day,really. I walked into our study room and Hermana Spencer and Hermana Vilariño had put balloons and sticky notes and such everywhere. It was cute. They also bought me a birthday sash. After, we went to 
correlation, nothing spectacular. Then the Hermanas from barrio 6 called me. They sang me happy birthday. So sweet! So we went to the chapel and they gave me brownies and chocolate and a sweet card. Then, we went to Arganda to eat with N and C. The food was sooooo good and after, we had cake. Then, we went back to the church to meet up with A and S. They couldn't find me a cake, so theybought cookies and sang the Venezuelan birthday song over cookies. Then we taught them the primary birthday
songs. They are the sweetest. Then we went and took some pictures in front of the temple with them. Then we met A. Started off great. But we ended up having to drop him. It was really upsetting. It's the first time I ever dropped someone that I've ever cried. I know I did everything I could, but how could I not get my friend to listen to me? It made me question myself a lot. But, I know he'll have his chance to hear and accept the gospel again if it is what the Lord wants for him. I did intercambios twice this week because I'm sister training leader. I practiced it with Hermana Irigoyen first. It was good. She's an incredible teacher and isn't afraid of anything or anyone. Then, I practiced with Hermana Hill. She is from Missouri. She is just the sweetest. She is only one transfer behind me. I swear I learned more from her than she did from me. She is incredible. She is 100% dedicated to being obedient. I really admire that about her. She's so funny. She is a really great leader. I wouldn't be surprised if she trains in the next transfer or is Hermana training leader or something.    That's pretty much the week. President called me to talk to me about my zone. He is really great. Super personable. I really love and appreciate him! We're having another concilio net week actually! I'm sooooo excited     Have a great week! Thanks again everyone! Also, I officially have under 9 months left...

American breakfast mmmm......!

Hey family! What a week! 7/27/15

So, first of all, this week I got to go to the leadership council at

the mission home with the other sister training leaders and zone leaders. It was so great! First, I got to go back to Alcobendas... I really miss it! It was so nice to see my old area and everything.
Second, the Packs are the best. Seriously. They are just so loving and they have such a great vision for the mission. I felt so blessed to be
there with the, and talk about the needs of the mission and set goals and such, they're truly amazing. And to top it all off, we had American food there! I had American milk!!! It's so good! And we had pancakes for breakfast and then pulled pork for lunch and banana pudding for dessert. So good. It was a wonderful opportunity, to eat obviously, but more to learn from them and learn how to improve our mission and lead by example.

After the mission leadership council, we had our zone meetings
The crazy people in my zone!
because I'm one of the sister training leaders, I helped direct the meeting and spoke at it too. It was fun, I thought. We spoke about unity. We shared parts of a talk given by President Henry B Eyring called "Our Hearts Knit as One". I also studied a talk called  'The Virtue of Kindess" by Elder Joseph B Wirthlin. The two were really wonderful. We shouldn't judge and we should be unified to accomplish the Lord's work. Elder Wirthlin says, "If you are criticizing others, you are weakening the Church. If you are building others, you are building the kingdom of God." It's so true! We really emphasized the point, "if you don't have anything nice to say, dont say anything at all." I too am guilty of judging others and I especially needed this to realize that this isn't a one person show, but something we're all in together.
 GREAT news :We taught M. and HE KEPT THE WORD OF WISDOM! It honestly was so surprising. He did it though and committed to one week more. He really seems to be changing little by little. What he lacks mostly is a habit of prayer. We're really trying to stress the importance of prayer right now with him. Hopefully he'll recognize the need for it and implement it.

A finally accepted a Book of Mormon and said he'd read and pray about it. We were so excited until we met the next day and he said he's praying but not reading. He's just expecting to know. He keeps saying all he needs to know is in the bible. We finally came to the decision to read 2 Nephi 29 with him. He said that that chapter was talking about people like him, yet at the end of the conversation he went right back saying, "I already have the bible, I don't need anything more than the bible." We're almost at a loss for things to say to him. 
   And what you all want to hear about. S GOT BAPTIZED! It was honestly the most beautiful baptism ever. The talks were perfect. Me and Hermana Spencer sang the first verse of Be Still, My Soul in English and then we sang the first two verses of Nearer my God to Thee in Spanish with the other Hermanas. It was beautiful. A.performed the baptism. So cute. President and Hermana Pack even came!
I wouldn't have changed anything about it. It was the perfect day.

Tomorrow is my 9 month mark in the mission and I do not feel like I've been out that long and that I can be that far along! Crazy. My birthday is this week too, but a normal day in missionary life. The one exciting part is that our normal Saturday lunch appointment, C and N (from Peru), are making my favorite Peruvian food.

Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful week.

I love you all!