Sunday, November 29, 2015

Service and fun at the dunes!

Hola familia! 11/23/15

This week seemed kind of long, but not in a bad way. It seems like we were doing a lot. So here's what happened. 
servicecleaning windows
But first, Happy Birthday Yohann! I hope you had a great birthday! And Happy Thanksgiving
everyone! I'm super excited, we're having a combined district meeting this Thursday with the other district on our island and we're gonna all bring stuff for a thanksgiving lunch! Anyway.
   We did some emergency intercambios because some one of the companionships of hermanas texted us and said they wanted to go home. So we called them right that second and told them no and that was had to do intercambios, so we did the next day. I was with Hermana Grancagnolo from Italy. She is really great. Speaks English like a pro. It was really fun just being with her. She's a few months older than me, but only has 6 months in the mission. It was interesting being with her, we taught the restoration and she taught it in a way relating it all back to revelation. It was something so simple, but I don't know why I've never thought of it! We also did some service for
one of our part member families, G and C. It was great because no one ever lets us serve them, let alone asks for our help!    We cleaned windows. Ive never been very good at that to be honest...But it was fun! And after they fed us really yummy Paraguayan food.Anyway, we set a lot of goals and things with the hermanas. Of course after, when I was talking to my companion, the stories were completely different from the two sides. But hopefully we can keep working with them and they can both be a bit more patient with one another and things can turn around. We've even talked about doing another intercambio with them so that we can see if they've progressed. Pray for them lots!
  Then, we taught S her ex husband. It actually wet relatively well. Did it turn into anything, no, but do we at least have somewhat of a relationship now? Yes! Hopefully that'll open up some doors and help give the girls a chance to be baptized in the near future. 
  We taught D the restoration and are having him reteach them to us. He's trying to determine whether or not he should serve a mission, so we are hoping this will help him decide. If nothing else, it'll at least prepare him to share the gospel with his friends and family. 
    J, our menos activa, came to church again! This is such progress! She still only stayed for sacrament, but she said this next week, her goal is to stay for the two hours. She recognized the difference she felt this week too from attending church. So amazing to see that kind of change in people. I really love her, she is such a sweetheart and she has such great desires, she's just been kind of lost and confused lately, but luckily, she's finding her way back.
   V is smoking lots less and progressing tons! She has found a job, so that is less time for her to be free to smoke. This week she told us she was down to two a day! That's so great! I know her time
will be soon. I have such faith in her and she seems really determined. We gave her a plan to quit smoking and she said she'd give it a try. She can do it, I know she can. It was also C's 17th
birthday this week. We passed by and shared a message and had cake. It was fun. The B's are basically my other family here.
   Met with M for the first time in 2 weeks. Finally! She was in the hospital out of our area with the elderly person she cares for for a week and then she was sick after. But now everything is good.
Honestly, we have about one more lesson with her and then she is ready for her baptism. She's really integrated in the ward, which is the best feeling in the world.
   We visited M and L this week. M is the relief society president, so we talked to her about the women in the ward she is concerned about and how we can better help her with her calling. She
is wonderful. I've never seen anyone better magnify their calling than her. She loved hearing us ask about the sisters here and then put us to work! She's one of the best assets and friends we have here in the world and the truth is, I don't know what we'd do without her!
   So yesterday, everyone decided to bring friends and references to church... So it was a busy day for us. Kind of exciting honestly. We will see how it all turns out, but it's encouraging to know that they will have at least one friend here at church to motivate and help them. I feel kind of bad because all of the friends and references were girls, so the members gave them all to us and not the elders... They work just as hard, if not harder, but it doesn't seem like people trust in them as much. But they are good sports about it and are always encouraging us never talking badly about how no one ever helps them like they do us. They are an awesome example for me.
   Today, we went to the sand dunes on the south end of the island.
So much fun! But soooooo windy and so much sand. Sand everywhere. In my hair, my eyes, my shoes, my clothes. Yuck. But we went with all of the missionaries on our island so it was fun!
   Anyway, I hope you all have a great week! Next Monday, I will be in Madrid again for concilio. I'll write you from there. I love you all!

Hermana Griffin

selfies and baptism of D

Hey family! 11/16/15

Ok, good week.
First of all, we had intercambios with the Hermanas in Los Crisitanos. I was with Hermana Turina, she's fantastic. I just love that girl! She is so wonderful and she talks to everyone. There was a lot I needed to learn from her in that intercambio. Anyway, the next day, we had zone conference with President and Hermana Pack. So great! We talked a ton about the commandments and the importance of teaching them and teaching them with clarity. It's so true! Obedience to the
commandments really is what brings us happiness and blessings. Then, they talked about working with members. I got a lot of ideas of what we can try to get a bit more unity and help from the members. It's always so exciting after a zone conference. I just wanted to get out there and teach and put everything in practice! It was fantastic. We 

got some selfies with President and Hermana Pack... They're pretty great if I do say so myself. We just posed and called their names and those were the faces they made when they turned. They're great, I love them.Side note, at the zone conference, I got my 5 month email Disappointed but relieved face so sad! My time is winding down and its freaking me out! I'm not ready to be almost done yet!
D got baptized! Woo! He brought his whole family too! And his best 
friend. He was so excited. Me and Hermana Braun sang "When I am Baptized" while the elders played it on ukulele and it was super cute, it made D cry a bit. Then, Elder Davis baptized D. It was so
sweet. When they got out and were going to change, Elder Davis said that D hugged him, and asked, "Elder, am I going to be this happy
from now on?" It was all just really sweet. And then yesterday, we had lessons on missionary work in priesthood and relief society and he
told the Elders he wants to serve a mission now. He is wonderful. He gets the gospel so much and is such a great example and he just makes
my heart melt because I'm so happy and content. Also, H came to the baptism! I just about cried seeing him there!
We got a really awesome reference from a member this week, for a deaf lady and her husband. They have been asking a member named L about the church and he gave them some Book of Mormons too and they have been asking about church now. So we are going tomorrow to teach
them, that'll be super hard but way fun! It'll be a great opportunity to see the spirit testify because communication will be hard. 
J, one of our menos activas, came to church yesterday too, finally! She loved it too! She said she felt great there. She didn't stay for it all, but some is better than nothing. Hopefully this will be the push she needs to continue attending. Hopefully she recognizes the difference that she felt there and will feel this week thanks to attending the church. 
Also, funny note. Y, one of the recent converts that we meet, she wanted to braid my hair, so I let her... Came out with cornrows....
That was the day of the baptism. She thought it looked 
fantastic. I had to break it to her nicely that it probably wasn't good for a baptism. She was sad, but now I can say that I've had cornrows. Sadly, I only have a picture of her doing it, but not the finished product. Bummer.

So yeah, things are good here. Hopefully things are good there with you all. I love you all! Thanks for your emails and updates. Have a great week!

Hermana Griffin

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Christmas requests from Hermana Griffin!

Hey family! 11/09/15

First of all, I have broken my streak, and for the first time ever, I will be staying a third transfer in an area. This transfer is two weeks shorter though because of Christmas.

Por fin, I had interviews with President this week. Can I just to you how much I love that man? He is so inspired and you can really tell he loves every single one of his missionaries. Him and his family are such a huge blessing to me. It was fun to just sit and talk to him and get his input of the area and my companionship and the people we teach and the hermanas I'm serving with. He's just great.

We had concilio last week so Monday to Wednesday I was in Madrid. I got to go to a niche de hogar in Alcobendas and see a lot of members that I knew from my time there.
I also learned how to make El Salvadorian food and horchata. Yum! Also, I finally I saw pictures of my trainer and her boyfriend that someone there showed me. I realized I miss her lots. Then, Tuesday, we had concilio. We talked a ton about working with menos activos and how most of the work we should be doing is with them, to reactivate and also to find, because the menos activos have other menos activo or nonmember friends, so it's the best work we could be doing. While we were gone, we had consejo del barrio[ward counsil] and they told the elders that they are 7 active priesthood holders away from splitting the ward, so this all is really applicable to us. Also, there are 800 menos activos in our ward alone.... How ridiculous is that? So much work to do! Well, after concilio we had interviews with president and so naturally, while waiting for our companion, we played scrabble with C.
While I was playing and waiting for Hermana Braun, we got  a call from an antiguo investigator who had lost contact with the hermanas when he moved. Well good news, he's been taught everything, almost got baptized but then moved and now wants to meet again! I answered the phone and he asked in English if it was the Mormon missionaries and he said he is moving back and almost got baptized but then moved and now wants to meet again. So yeah! His name is K and he is Hungarian. I'll let you know what happens but just a little miracle there.

Capacitacion de Zona was fun. We went to Tenerife for it. Anyway. Capacitacion went really well... I thought. I love learning from the other missionaries. They always have such amazing insight! And, we'll have our zone conference this Friday and we'll get to hear from President and the ayudantes. Conferences as a normal person, not so great and usually kind of boring... As a missionary they are the bomb! I just have such ganas to go out and work after. I love them, they are so encouraging.

Anyway, D's baptism is for sure! This Saturday at 6 pm! I'm so excited. We met with him this week and he was asking about when he can get the priesthood and he's thinking about a mission. He's just so darn cute, I love him and his excitement for the gospel.

Unfortunately L has dropped off the face of the earth. She isn't answering her phone (which is not unusual for her) and she never is home at any time of the day it seems. But we're not giving up on her. She just might need some extra prayers.

S and the girls are great, like usual. She is excited for her new call in primary. We had a noche de hogar with them this week and talked about faith and testimony. The girls are going to ask their dad for themselves for the first time ever if hey can be baptized. They are nervous but we told them to share their testimonies and with lots of prayer, maybe his heart will be softened. We've been praying nonstop but I have a really good feeling about it for some reason. Maybe it is finally their time! I hope so. S asked me and Hermana Braun during the noche de hogar what if feels like to be Mormon. It just about broke my heart. That's the only thing she wants.

I'm studying about diligence right now in my personal studies and I'd love to hear your thoughts, insights, favorite scriptures, talks, etc that are related. Ive noticed that diligence is closely related to agency, so I'm also studying that. To be diligent requires a good use of our agency to choose that which is right. Anyway, send me your thoughts!

Also, for Christmas (mom tell the ward and everyone too), this is what I'd like you all to do (because it's not realistic to send presents to me), I would like all of you to pick your favorite talk and I would like you to print it, highlight the key parts or parts you like and write your commentary and at the end, write a note. And get them to my parents and they will send them all to me! I would love that more than anything, please!

Anyway, I love you all. I hope you have a great week!

Hermana Griffin

Sunday, November 8, 2015

More tropical storms,One year mark

Hi family! 11/02/15
Also, we had a desire to redo our piso... I'll include the video. 
So, I hit a year this week... That was weird. Anyway.
Notice how things start and how they end..
So Tuesday, we went to Tenerife to have interviews with President...And in the end, we didn't do them, because there wasn't enough time haha so we will do them tomorrow after Concilio. Which brings me to my next point, I'm in Madrid again. I know, I'm never even in my area. Anyway, yeah, it's freezing here and I can't say I'm really a fan. We did intercambios in Vecindario this week. I was there with Hermana Schreiver. She is another new missionary from Idaho. She is a real sweetheart and her Spanish is incredible for only 5 weeks and not having studied before, seriously. She is not only in training, but  also opening an area, so that's super hard, but I'm so impressed with how well she is handling it and doing it. D. has a date set for sure for the 14th of November. He's doing great as usual, we're just hammering out the details for his baptismal service. He's invited his parents, two sisters and best friend to his baptism! How awesome is that? M. is fantastic as usual. She is always feeding us. She is super excited for her baptism. She is always having noche de hogars with the Brazilian members. She's doing great and fulfilling all of her commitments that we extend to her. We had a long talk with H this week. We've built a lot of confidence with him and he's talking about us doing a pday activity with us. It'll be hard to arrange something for when the girls are out of school, so we're thinking about maybe something with the two of them and then we can talk to them one on one and see if we can figure out why he's not involved. They're just the best. I love them soooo much! More tropical storms this week, so lots more miserable cold rain. But this week they didn't cancel church, even though the rain was in fact worse this time... Anyway. We have transfers next week. The big question is if I will break my streak and stay more than two transfers in an area. We'll see! That's basically it. We've found some new people who seem to have a lot of potential, but we are having problems with our phone currently, so that doesn't help us be in touch with anyone. But hopefully we'll get that figured out tomorrow. We didn't have a ward activity for Halloween and everyone blamed the missionaries which was lame, so instead, we made cookies and brought them to people. Also, the elders scared us at a lunch appointment. Those bums. I love you all. I'm glad things are good at home. I hope you have a great week! Hermana Griffin

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Tropical storms, STUCK inside! LONG boring day!

 Hey family!
  So this week was interesting. We had some tropical storms this whole week, nothing terrible, just tons of rain, some flooding in parts, some mudslides in parts. Luckily I live in the center of the city, so I was safe. But it had been so bad and they had upped the warning to a red emergency that yesterday, they cancelled church, and wouldn't you know... Didn't rain a drop. Too funny! Anyway, it was a red level warning and they told everyone to stay in, and they did. There was not 
a soul in the street, at all! No cars, minus the buses that were running... That were empty. So strange. Anyway, it was a long boring day in missionary life yesterday.

 I'll include a video of our morning, it's funny, I think. 

I did intercambios with the hermanas from Telde this week. I was with Hermana Campillo, she is serving with Hermana Judd. She is a native from the south of Spain. It was a good day, we had some lessons and then contacted and had English classes and noche de hogar. It was fun.
It poured while we were contacting, so we just stuck it out in the rain because we were already soaked and who was going to let us in their house like that? So, we walked in the rain and contacted the occasional person that walked by. We were soaked for the rest of the night, but it was for sure memorable. After noche de hogar, I found a baby lizard in the hallway of the church.... You can probably imagine how much I loved that. So I called the elders to come pick it up and
take it outside. Elder Maughan then proceeded to chase me around the church with it. So mean! And it's tail fell off, so what does he do, throws it at me. It was something I would've expected from one of my brothers... I guess that just explains how close this district is.
   So when we went to Madrid last, we spent pday with Hermana Pack, right? When she picked us up, she took us to the mission home and fed us some bread pudding. Bread pudding, right, that doesn't sound terribly wonderful. Man, was I wrong. It was stinking delicious! So, she sent us the recipe this week and we made it. Well, the topping was this white chocolate sauce, so we go to make it, but only have green colored white chocolate.
So we made it with that and it looked gross! But tasted fantastic, so I'll make you all that one day. We met with M again. She's still fantastic. We taught her tithing. She is so excited to pay tithing that she asked if she could pay before baptism. So cute! Anyway, we set a new baptismal date for her for the 19th of December. She wants to wait until F, her husband, come back from Brazil to see it.    S is great too! She invited us all for lunch this week. She invited us, the elders, the R family, a few of her daughters friends from dance and one of her friends and his daughter. A total of 14 people! It was crazy! There was apparently a weird relationship between one person there and the rest and a grudge being held and so awkward for us missionaries! But funny in the end. D is getting baptized! He is getting baptized, we're hoping its this week, but since church was cancelled we're not too sure. So that's super exciting! He's so ready. Now we just need to plan things for it.   On another note, my favorite investigator from Barrio 3, J, is changing his job so that he can come to church and he's putting another baptismal date! Woohoo! Also, S, my convert from Barrio 3 just got the Melchizedek Priesthood yesterday! I seriously am so happy I feel like crying!   Also, today for pday, we went to Telde and met up with the Telde hermanas and the hermanas from Vecindario and Hermana Campillo made us lunch. She loves cooking and was dying to cook for more than two, so 
lunch with hermanas from Gran Canaria
we happily agreed. Also, tomorrow, we are flying to Tenerife forinterviews with president and we are sitting in on the new new missionary training meeting, so we'll have a big sleep over tonight and fly in the morning.     Oh, and I read some awesome awesome awesome talks this week if you'd like to read them as well. Here are the names:
 "Success-- A Journey or a Destination? Hartman Rector, Jr.",
"Following Christ to Victory-Hartman Rector, Jr.",
 "The Lord’s People Receive Revelation-Bruce R. McConkie".

So great stuff. I'm content. It's been a better week for sure, so thanks for the prayers. I hope you all have a great week!

Hermana Griffin


So, remember how I said last week was bad.... This week was worse.
  Started out good. We met with M and we followed up on how she's doing with the word of wisdom, and she's doing great! She said she prayed after the lesson we had, to have the strength she needs to stop drinking coffee. She said since then, anytime she thinks about or smells coffee, she gets nauseous. Isn't that so cool? She said she's doing well and us no desire to drink coffee. Then we had a lesson with her about the law of chastity and guess what? She's married! Woo! So
she's progressing really wonderfully.
  Then, we had a lesson with D. Really great too. He had good questions. He still didn't want to set a date, but on the bright side, he brought his sister to English and Noche de Hogar. He met with the elders later in the week while we were on intercambios in Tenerife.
Boat to Tenerife
They have a really great relationship with him, so we thought it'd be good for them to talk to him. I love the elders and owe them big time because, D now has a fecha for November 14. Though yesterday at church, we were talking and he said he wants to move it... Sooner! So, he said he'd talk to us at our lesson on Tuesday about when is the soonest he could be baptized.   Also, D R, a young woman in the ward, brought a friend to church (who is an old investigator) and her friend told us she's interested in meeting with us again and of course D said she'd help whenever we meet. So, that's awesome. That was essentially it, because then, we went on intercambios and things went downhill. Ok, so intercambios was fun and hard because we actually have a companionship having lots of trouble together. So, we had a lot of work to do there.  But anyway, the other companionship is great. We started in Santa Cruz and then went to Los Cristianos and then back to Santa Cruz to catch our boat. Oh yeah, we took a boat this time instead of flying.
 On boat 
 Me and Hermana Braun pretended we were on a cruise together, yeah I know, we're lame. Anyway, we went to catch our boat... Turns out it didn't leave Saturday at 3, but Sunday at 3.... Which was clearly an issue. So we called the office and they got us on the next boat at 8, which means we got home at 11:30 and in bed by midnight. So we waited in Santa Cruz and some guy was creeping on us and following us. It was weird. Oh yeah, while in Santa Cruz for intercambios, one of the hermana's investigators told everyone how beautiful I was and then later proposed to me and even gave me a rose. So weird! Anyway. It was just a long intercambio. But in Santa Cruz, I got to be with Hermana Koivisto.
She is new and from Finland. She is a bug sweetheart and really hard worker. I just loved her. We really clicked. And then in Los Cristianos I was with Hermana Melton who is also new and she's a sweetheart as well. She is having some trouble with the language, but it'll come, she just frustrates herself. But she has a strong testimony and will share it with literally anyone who she can get to stop. She looks and sounds like Scarlet Johansen as well, so that made it extra fun. So we get home, Sunday was decent, the usual. Noche de Hogar with the Mesas was great! Hector taught about the scriptures and I loved it and so did Danny. So, the night is decent, then we get home... We both forgot our keys. So annoying! 
So we tried picking our lock, then we tried using a credit card... Then we finally called a locksmith. So we're broke now and it was a long discouraging week and thank goodness it's Monday! Anyway, hopefully this week is better. Two more intercambios and were done, but luckily these are on our island so well still get to work in our own area. It really is a blessing though to work with the other hermanas, I learn tons from them! So yeah. I love you all. I hope you have a great week!
 Hermana Griffin