Friday, May 27, 2016

All good things must come to an end!

5/23/16
  Ok, first of all, I fell today and hurt my foot really bad... went to the hospital and was there almost all day. Now I have a brace and crutches... So, just so you're not surprised when I come home like that. Anyway, minor details.
  SO! You all are very much aware that it is my last week... even though I don't think I've really even realized that yet. Anyway.
  Really, the mission has been a huge blessing in my life. Even though I wouldn't say that in any moment it was what I was expecting or hoping for. When primary kids sing, I hope they call me on a mission, they really don't know what they are getting themselves into! A mission is hard. And long. And sooooo frustrating. But so rewarding, and uplifting, and gratifying, and beautiful. I have learned more about myself and the Savior in 19 months than I have in 21 years, and for that I will be forever thankful. I just wanted to repass a little of my mission with you all so you can share with me some of what I've experienced in the last 19 months with those I've been with, wherever we´ve been.
  Alcobendas, where I first learned how to be a missionary. There, I learned just how much you have to rely on the Lord in this work. This is where I first ever saw the promise of Doctrine and Covenants 100:5-8 play out. I really developed my faith in the Lord and in the Spirit, for once it wasn't about me and what I could do, but about what they could do with me. I really felt as though, even if it were just for short moments and in small ways, the Lord made me an instrument in his hands. My trainers taught me more than I ever could have given them. Hermana Fuller made me the missionary I am today. She made me independent and competent and even though I hated her for it in the moment, I will be forever grateful for her for it. And Hermana Clements taught me truly how to love. I know it´s no surprise that we weren't exactly best friends, but she taught me how to love people. Not just the people we teach, but especially those we serve with. She made loving everyone else I met from then on, so much easier.
  Barrio 3. The ghetto! I learned there that it´s not so much where you serve, but how you serve. Was it beautiful, no. But was it my heaven on earth, yes. I learned so much about myself there. I realized how much the Lord really trusts us and to really trust that because the Lord called me, I could do whatever was necessary, and it worked! He really trusted me, because he put me with Hermana Sykes and we were throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what stuck for 12 weeks. We didn't know what we were doing, but the Lord sure did because we saw more miracles there than I've seen in any other area. So blessed to have had the opportunity to be there with her and have shared those experiences with her and with the marvelous people there in Barrio 3.
   Barrio 8... that was a rough time for me. I don't know if that was because it was the Lord trying me, or because it was just incredibly hot! But really, center of Madrid in the summer? I wouldn't suggest it. Anyway, the most bearable part of my time there was being with Hermana Spencer. She is an angel. I learned that the attitude you have in whatever situation, really affects how things turn out in the end. She is the most positive girl I've ever met, and that was soooo what I needed in those months. And she was what got me through that hard spot in my mission. She kept me going everyday, and the fact that I'm here right now, is thanks to her.
   And oh what a blessing it was to finally leave B8 and go to Las Palmas. I was scared of Hermana Marsh at first... mostly just because I never really knew anything about her. But, I just clicked with her. And boy, did that girl make me work. She taught me so much about diligence. Never once did we take a break and we were constantly running, and I never felt as though I wasted a minute of the Lord´s time with her, and that´s why I love her so much. She just made it so enjoyable to be a missionary and helped me see what it was really like to lose yourself in the work. And boy, were we blessed as we did.
   Leaving Las Palmas was the hardest thing I had to do in the mission until that point. Barrio 4 was... another testing point for me in my mission. I realized what the Lord´s work is like if its only done by missionaries... its not the best way to work, people! And having a disobedient companion at first, did not make it an easier adjustment, but it did make me recognize the importance of obedience in all we do. As we strive to be obedient, the Lord blesses us. Most of the time, those blessings are tender mercies in the moment that we most need them... which is how it was for me. And so the Lord sent me the biggest tender mercy thus far in my mission, Hermana Charlesworth. Loved that girl to pieces and really just had fun. I realized after so many trials with other comps, that you just need to have fun sometimes! And that is ok! And that being obedient and having fun, go together. As your obedient and diligent, it´s a good time! So we did, and those were the quickest, most fun 5 weeks of my life!
   And Alcalá. Wow. I started my mission here, I don't know if you know, I did my first intercambio here and I also did my last here. We´ve gone full circle and I couldn't think of a better way to end the mission. It´s been amazing to see how the Lord prepared these last few months and transfers for me. If I had never extended, I never would have been with Hermana Turina or Hermana Workman here in Alcalá and never would've had the amazing, life changing experiences I've had here these last few months. Hermana Workman has been the best person to finish my mission with. I never stop laughing, we never stop working, and I can also always be 100% open with her about anything, spiritual or not. Which is why it´s been a blessing to serve with her. I have been 100% myself for the last 5 weeks and it feels so great. Being here now with her, seems like the thing the Lord had planned for me in my mission. I always thought at the end of my mission Id feel some overwhelming joy or something that the Lord was proud of what I'd accomplished in these months. And though I never got that feeling, being with Hermana Workman has made me realize that what the Lord really wanted me to do was live the gospel. It´s not so much preaching, or teaching, or baptizing, but its living and applying the gospel in your own life. And that is the biggest thing Im taking from my mission. I feel like I can say, I know how to truly live the gospel.
   I feel like I can truly echo the words of Paul, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have Kept the faith." I´ve done it! And all though it was never easy, it will always be worth it!
   I know this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ. I know he is our Savior and Redeemer. I know our Heavenly Father lives and answers our prayers if we but only ask. I am grateful for the opportunity to have preached and testified of Christ for the last 19 months. I testify that he lives and loves us.

Until we see each other again!

Hermana Griffin

Saturday, May 21, 2016

SO Much Crying!

 5/16/2106 Hey Family! Things are fantastic here!
Ok, first of all, I just want to tell you how amazing the Lord is. So, this week, we saw V, and she told us shes been thinking about the baptismal date we gave her and she doesnt really think so, but didnt tell us much more than that. She told us she´d tell us more on Sunday when we met again. So, on Saturday, we went to our devotional with Elder Bednar (which was fantastic, obviously), and I could only think of V the whole time. Actually, I wrote in my notes impressions I had about what he was talking about and how they related to her. Anyway, Sunday rolls around and we have a special stake conference with Elder Kearon and his wife, of the area presidency.
Well, V came and she loved it. It was fantastic. It was literally the most beautiful meeting I have ever been in. They talked a lot about setting spiritual and temporal goals. Well, V loved it. After the  conference, she went to eat with the young men and young women from the ward who had brought stuff for a picnic. While she was eating, we took advantage of the time to talk to Elder Kearon and his wife. He mentioned he was a convert and had said no to baptism about 20 times. My companion asked him what was the difference between the 19th and 20th time. He said a lot of teaching, but the key for him was a priesthood blessing. Well, V came back about an hour later, alone. So, we sat down and she just opened up. She just poured everything out! Everything she was feeling, thinking, all of her worries. She was so overwhelmed but the first thing I could think of was, offer her a priesthood blessing! So, we explained it and she said she wanted one. I don't know if it was me, or the spirit, but it seemed right in the moment. Well, the elders werent available until later that night, after the night time devotional that we had with the youth and young single adults of the 3 Madrid stakes. We told her to think about her worries and questions, etc while their and especially to focus on the feelings she had there. Literally, the best way to describe it is, Elder Bednar was talking to her. I mean he was doing a question and answer with the group, but everything he said was so applicable to her and she knew it! It just really shows how the spirit was guiding him! Then, after the conference, we met up with the elder for the blessing. We didnt mention anything that was going on with her, but literally the first words out of Elder Bataller´s mouth were just for her! It was so guided by the spirit! And after, she told us she felt immediate relief. It just showed me how much the Lord loves each of us and knows each of us! He has not nor will he ever leave us alone! I loved being able to witness all of this yesterday and be a witness of the power of the Holy Ghost and the power of the priesthood! I love the gospel!
last day shopping
On a side note, I also had a mini panic attack yesterday. It finally hit me that I only have 2 weeks left.... So much crying. But, I have a saint of a companion and she was there to listen. She is the best. I love her so much. And Im good... I think. Basically after what I felt and saw yesterday, I just love the mission so much more and I don't want to leave that. I love seeing God´s hand in people´s daily lives, but every good thing comes to an end at some point, so I'm being a big girl and getting over it. Anyway. Moving on.
So, I also got to see a ton of people I love yesterday! From B3, B8, B4, Alcobendas. It was great. The best was seeing my convert S!   
It was so funny! It didn't even dawn on me that he´d be there, but I wanted to cry seeing him. What a cutie. And a bum. He hasnt changed his personality one bit, but I love him nontheless.

Ok, I love my comp still, love the mission, love the area. Here´s to ending strong! Love you all! Have a great week!

Hermana Griffin

Last Temple Trip

 May 11,2016   Hey beautiful people!
 
I hope you all had a great week! We sure did! So many miracles! So, we first of all we gave V.
a fecha! It was a really powerful lesson and the spirit was so strong. We told her she's ready 
and we feel like this date is when the Lord wants her to be baptized. She was really moved. 
She said she'd pray about it and let us know. She came up to us on Sunday and said she can't
stop thinking about it and wants to talk with us on Friday. Hope it's good news! Pray for her! 
She's so ready!
 
We had my last concilio and capacitacion de zona. 
last concilio 5-3-2016
That was strange. It feels weird knowing
 that that's it. But it was really uplifting. We
repassed the worldwide missionary training 
and it really helped us get back to the basics,
 you know? 
Anyway, then we got to do intercambios 
with the hermanas from Azuqueca, Hermanas
Keller and Richardson. They are amazing! 
They are machines! It was such a treat night
teaching with them. I was with Hermana 
Richardson who has 2 weeks in the mission.
 She's so cute. Speaks Spanish like a pro, 
seriously and could lead a lesson. I was blown 
away! I was not at that point with two weeks 
in the mission. Anyway, she is a sweetheart  
and I learned a lot from her. Mostly just how 
to keep a positive attitude and trust in the  Lord.
sorry upside down!
So, when I was with Hermana Richardson, we saw a miracle. It was so cool. So, she had 
contacted  this guy but he was busy, so we asked if we could get his number  and talk some 
other time and he said no because he doesn't give people his number, so we gave him ours 
with our card and he said he works everyday until 9:30.  We explained that we still teach 
then and that he could call us still. He said he would call us at 9:30 that night. 
I didn't really believe it. Everyone always says things like that.  Anyway, we continued 
on with our plans for the night...  And in true intercambio form, everything failed. 
So,we went to our backup plans, which also failed. And so then  we went to our last hope plan, 
and as we  were walking there, the same guy walks out of his work and chases us down. 
He asked if we could meet right then. So we did! And it was great! 
He had so many questions and they were all great. He's been looking for  answers in his life 
for a long time and we've got them! His name is R. He also is 21 and turns 22 exactly  one 
week after me. So we basically bonded right there and then haha anyway, he asked us when
 we could  meet again! So we're gonna see him tonight.
I went to the temple for my last time today Disappointed face but that's ok! 
It was wonderful!  
 
And after, we went to Sol and I bought
 souvenirs... For all of you fam. So, hope you're all  content. It was fun. My poor comp
 had to deal with me being  indecisive and carrying  lots of my bags. Anyway. 
It's been a good day. It was good to  talk to you on  Mother's Day and I had this
 realization that 3 weeks is nothing! 
Yikes! But that's ok, you can still see plenty of miracles in 3 weeks!!!
 I'll tell you all the things I'm forgetting in 3 weeks. 
Love you! Have a great week!
 
Hermana Griffin
 



Sunday, May 1, 2016

Last transfer!

4/25/16 Hey family!
Well, here I am, starting my last transfer.... Feels weird. But what feels even weirder was saying goodbye to my companion. I have really loved being with Hermana Turina. She has taught me a lot, but mostly just made me really learn how to show love for the people I'm teaching and also just laugh and have fun. I can't think of a single moment in 7 weeks when we weren't laughing. Like one time, she called me Laman because we were complaining a bit... She's the funniest. I love her and will really miss her. These last 7 weeks have flown by and I've decided that the Lord knew that I needed to be with Hermana Turina. 
Last district picture
After a year and a half of intercambios and being in the same zone, the Lord knew we were ready to be together, and it's been a huge blessing. I love love love this girl and I have to see her again! So, I hope it's ok if we go to the French Polynesian Islands! She's waiting for us to visit Face savoring delicious food  Anyway, my new companion is Hermana Workman. She's pretty young in the mission and she's from Florida. Actually she started her mission while I was in the islands and we did an intercambio together.
So it'll be interesting being companions now. I know she's a hard worker and that's all that I really hoped for my last transfer I guess. They are whitewashing a companionship here in Alcalá too, so we went from having a district of really old missionaries to almost all new missionaries. All of them have 7 months or less excluding me and Elder Tree who go home one transfer apart. Craziness! Guess what! David A Bednar is coming to Spain. We'll get to have a meeting with him and the whole mission on the 14th and then on the 15th, he's going to do a devotional for the youth, which will be fantastic for V! Speaking of V, I just love that girl. We met with her this week and she talked about how she feels in the church and when she reads and prays and everything. She loves it all! She's doing seminary and has started personal progress! She was talking to the elders yesterday about how her dad won't let her get baptized. So sad. But by her example, I'm sure he'll soften up. The gospel just makes you a better person! How could you not want that for those you love? This week was sad because it was a lot of goodbyes. But, one goodbye 
good-byes
miracle is that we got one of our menos activo families to Noche de Hogar. When they walked in, everyone's mouths just dropped. No one could believe it! And they really enjoyed it and made new friends. Hopefully that'll help as we teach them in the future. Little by little! I don't know if I've mentioned D before, but she is one of our investigators. She is really sweet, Bolivian. She is really creyente, but since she moved to Spain she hasn't found a congregation that she likes. She lives with one of our menos activas, E. D is the girlfriend of E's son. Anyway, we've been teaching her for a while and the lessons always go so great, but then at the end, she always refuses to come to church. She doesn't want to go without her boyfriend (because he is also a member, well, menos activo) but he lives in the UK. But, HES BACK! He just got here this weekend, so they didn't come, but next weekend, they should be at church and we can see what she really thinks and all. I have a lot of hope for her. Also, E said that she might come too if her son comes. How wonderful! Oh also, this week was the birthday of Cervantes, the guy who wrote Don Quijote, and he is from Alcalá, so there was a huge festival, and to end the night, fireworks! We found a spot where there was no one and we had a perfect view. I'll include a video so you can see how geeked we were. Anyway, that's about it here. I love you all! Have a good week! Hermana Griffin

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Companion leaving

4/18/2016
Hey familia!
So, things here are great! It's been a good week, a little slow, but I can't complain. Basically, it's starting to hit me that my companion is leaving this coming week and I'll be getting my new and last companion! It freaks me out a bit to be honest. But, I'm sure it'll be good.
This week, we had a super awesome district meeting! We talked about setting goals and such. I don't know, it was just super awesome. We talked about Abinadi and how he never even knew his convert Alma, but Alma converted to a of people.
It was so cool to see like the "conversion tree" in the Book of Mormon that all started with Abinadi. So awesome. This week, we were invited to the house of our menos activo, A, to learn how to make Colombian empanadas
and we took advantage of it and visited with her daughter, V, our investigator, while we were there. So, V is thinking about baptism, but isn't sure because her dad has been very anti church, but when we were there making empanadas, he was talking to the elders and getting to know them and when we all left, he started asking tons of questions! Progress! Then, we made pan de queso with our menos activa, N. She's from Brazil and is the sweetest. She taught us how and then, later that week, we made it with A and her friend and now A's friend and her friend's son are our investigators. They're super sweet. I love how food really opens people up! Also, biggest progress ever, N came to church yesterday!!! Wooooo! So, things here are good. This week will be rough because I'll be saying goodbye to my comp! But we're gonna work hard. Super excited for what lies ahead. I love you all!
Have a good week! Hermana Griffin

Sunday, April 17, 2016

concilio

Hey family!
concilio
This week was super good! So first of all, we had concilio. It was great like usual, but super weird being back again after not being sister training leader. Anyway, learned a ton and really enjoyed it. It was so hard and sad to see 7 people from my group give their final testimonies though and know that I should be going with me, but won't be. But, it's ok, I just cried a lot. I love these people so much!
 
zone
Then, Thursday, we had zone training. So good!!! The parts that me and my comp lead were so great! We were so unified and honestly, it's the first zone training that I didn't feel nervous leading. It was awesome to be able to do it with Hermana Turina. Also, to mix things up, we threw cake in Elder Maughan's face to demonstrate the way we sometimes teach versus how we should teach. We were explaining that we need to give a little at a time and not throw everything (knowledge, scriptures, commitments, etc) at the people we teach, because that unfortunately sometimes happens. It was great, it really helped the zone to relate what we were teaching, and after 4 transfers with Elder Maughan, it felt kind of good to through cake at him haha. We had intercambios after. We were with the hermanas from Torrejon. I was with Hermana Contreras who is Mexican but lives in Texas. She's so sweet, super funny. She's only got about 4 months in the mission but it was so great teaching with her. She's an amazing missionary. We talked about her area and she mentioned a concern she had about some people being baptized without really being ready. We talked about it for a while and the responsibility the missionaries have to ensure that people are ready. It really opened my eyes to how many people probably do get baptized without fully understanding the commitment and such, I guess that's what happens when the Lord works with imperfect people, especially when those people are teenagers, but also, it really showed me the importance of baptizing converts. I felt so grateful because I've been very blessed to have such strong converts in the gospel who really do understand the importance of the baptismal ordinance. Yesterday we had ward council. The whole time the bishop talked about the people me and Hermana Turina are teaching and nothing about those that the elders are teaching and he kept telling us and ward council how proud he was of us. Then after, he pulled the elders aside and told them they need to be more like us because of the incredible work we're doing. I don't feel like we're doing anything extraordinary, but it's nice to be recognized for our hard work. Also, this week we reached and even passed our goals, so it's been good. It's amazing, especially since we had an entire day and a half out of our area. Woo blessings! So I'm super happy.
It's been a good week and this week will be great too.
I'm so glad I'm with Hermana Turina, she's just the sweetest and is so patient with me. I love her.

 I hope you have a great week!

Hermana Griffin

fun week

4/4/16
Hey Family!

This week was super fun! So, Monday night, I got to go back to San Sebastian de los Reyes! The district leader asked if we could do our intercambio there instead of here, so of course I volunteered! haha It was so fun to be back. We saw K! She is doing good. She is going through a lot of trials right now with her kids, they are super sick and both are about to have operations, but its amazing to see how strong her faith is still! I love her so much! She told me that I have to spend my last pday with her and she will take the day off work and leave the kids with someone. Shes just a sweetheart and I love her. Im so blessed to know her. Then, when our plans failed, Hermana Snyder asked if I remembered any investigators around there. I only remembered one, so we passed by for her. And she was there! It was fun to see her again. She was amazed at the fact that I actually speak 
Spanish now. As we left, I asked if the Hermanas could pass by her again, she said of course! She said she didnt really know why they had stopped before but she´d love for them to come by. And now shes not working so she has all the time in the world to meet. Wooo! Maybe it´s finally her time!

We had a Noche de Hogar with a member this week too. It went super great! The member invited her best friend, who invited her cousin. Turns out the friend is not interested, but the 23 year old cousin, yes! We had the lesson at Noche de Hogar and then invited him to play soccer with the ward that weekend, and he came. And while there, someone invited him to general conference, and he came! We havent even taught him yet, just the little spiritual thought in the NDH, but he has tons of questions now after conference and is super interested! YAY!

Speaking of the conference, I loved it! It was fantastic! I especially love love loved the Saturday morning session! Wow, good stuff! I think one of my overall favorite talks was, Donald L Hallstrom. Oh! And Neill F Marriott from the women´s session. Well, really just all of conference, but those were especially wonderful.

Anyway, I just love you all! Im sooooo glad Im a missionary and I get to share this wonderful gospel with everyone!

I hope you have a great week!
Hermana Griffin

Monday, March 28, 2016

Semana Santa

Hey family! 3/28/16

So, I feel like not much has happened since writing on Wednesday. So Wednesday, we went to the temple and it was fantastic, like usual.
The next day, we had intercambios with the hermanas from Guadalajara. I was with Hermana Iregui and Hermana Ledo. I was actually in the same ward with Hermana Iregui when she came into the mission so it was cool to be together again. Hermana Ledo is brand new. She's adorable! Actually, she too is waiting for a visa. She will be going to Pocatello Idaho. It was an interesting intercambio because it was Semana Santa and of course no one wanted to meet, but then there was also a hugeeeee parade so it made it impossible to get around town and also, there were giant crowds of people. But, we had a good day. After two weeks, I finally met our menos activo, A. He's the best! We had a really great lesson and we set goals with him and all, and as we went to leave, they had day number two of the parade which was even bigger, believe it or not. So, we gawked a little and took some pictures then left haha. Catholic Easter parades don't really make sense to me, but it was fun nonetheless. Bueno. Sorry my letter is short and kind of lame this week... But I feel like I just wrote you all. Have a great week!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Birthday fun for companion

4/23/2016Hola Familia!
So, today is my pday. Now, temple day is your pday, so today is my pday after the temple, but next week it'll be Monday again.

Anyway, it's been a great week! So, where to start? Well, we started the new Easter initiative, I'm assuming you've all seen it, and thus we received the new pass along cards! We were in charge of separating them all and getting them to our zone, so we took advantage of having tons of cards and took some pictures haha.

Then, we had intercambios with the Hermanas from Azuqueca. They are in a trio, so that was interesting doing intercambios, have to say that was a first, but it was soooo fun! Well, anyway, I was with Hermana Butler and Hermana Keller. Hermana Butler 
Hermana Butler
is from Scotland, but lives here in Spain and is actually just waiting for her visa to go to her actually mission in Provo, Utah. Hermana Keller was trained by Hermana Spencer and oh man, she is just the sweetest! She reminded me so much of Hermana Spencer, so I of course loved being with her! They are two really fantastic missionaries! I loved their energy and excitement to do absolutely anything. Love them!
Hermana Keller
Then, we had Zone Conference with President and Hermana Pack this week. It was fantastic! The mission seems to be struggling a lot with finding right now, so that's all we talked about. I thought at first it'd be repetitive and such because it's something we talk about so often, but I loved it! I left so uplifted and hoping to find, and actually, we applied what they taught and we were able to find some new investigators! So, one of our new investigators is T , we actually found him working in our area book. He is from Equatorial Guinea. He's pretty cool. We taught  the restoration again, which he'd heard before, but we were able to answer questions he'd had and as we did, he really understood and had a desire to read the Book of Mormon! We're gonna meet again this week. Super excited! Also, Monday was my companion's birthday! She turned 21 and it was super fun. We had district meeting and the elders surprised her when we walked in by shooting off 4 confetti canons haha and tons of balloons. Then we had lunch together to celebrate. Then, the Schwartz, the senior couple, made carrot cake for her and in classic Spanish/Catholic style, we lit a prayer candle... Then, we went to the Gurreas and it was a blast! We played a few games to celebrate... I'll send a video. It's a gem.
So, life here in Alcalá is fantastic! I'm super happy! I'm so glad I'm with Hermana Turina, she's just the sweetest and funniest. Things are good. And I'm thrilled to be able to constantly testify of Christ, especially so close to Easter. Such a blessing. I hope you have a great week! Hermana Griffin

Sunday, March 20, 2016

HAPPY PIE DAY!

HAPPY PIE DAY!
Hi family!  3/14/2016

Alright, so. Basically I love Alcalá. It's basically the exact of Barrio 4 which was a bit shocking at first. But listen, this is the best and also kind of the worst part. We have more members that want to help us than we have people to teach... But we're working on that! The members are so sweet and literally I meet a new member on the street every day. There are tons and they're everywhere. Our ward mission leader is fantastic and turns out, I actually met him on my intercambio here my 2 weeks in the mission. Funny, huh?

Anyway, the ward plays soccer every week on Saturday mornings and so I played soccer this week... Oddly enjoyed it. The best part is there were about 30 people (not including missionaries) there and only about 10 of them were members, the rest were friends that everyone brought!
So excited to get to work here.
my new companion Hermana Turina!
So, the worst part of transfers is I still never know where I am or who anyone is. That'll be fun this Tuesday when I do my first intercambio here. We'll see how that goes. But, I now know most of the people we teach and so that's exciting. My favorite person we teach is V. She is a 17 year old girl and her mom is the only member of their family. Well apparently, one day a random kid came up to her and told her that when she dies Satan is going to eat her like spaghetti because she hasn't been baptized. Basically the funniest thing I've ever heard, but it really freaked her out and now she is meeting with us. She is wonderful. Comes to all the activities and church meetings, and always fulfills her commitments and she always has tons of really good questions. I love this girl! She just wants to make sure she doesn't have doubts before being baptized, but so far so good! Church was wonderful yesterday. Our recent convert come to church for her talk so they said, well we'll have the new missionaries come up and introduce themselves. And so I went first and as I walked up, I made eye contact with the bishop and he said, if you're ready, go for it. So I gave a 5 minute impromptu talk! It was fun. After, bishop thanked me for being a good sport.
Missionaries after FHE !
So I'm loving it here. Just a some fun facts. There are tons of cranes... Cranes make creepy dinosaur-like noises. The makeup of this city is 80% spaniard, 10% Romanians/Bulgarians, 5% Latinos, 3% Asian, 2% American/miscellaneous. Well, I love you all tons! Have a good week! Hermana Griffin

Sunday, March 13, 2016

TRASLADOS

Hey family! 03/07/2016
So, following normal Hermana Griffin traditions, after my second transfer in Barrio 4, I'm being transferred. I have such mixed feelings! I'm leaving Hermana Charlesworth and she'll be training!
She's gonna be amazing! I'm just sad I won't be with her.
 But, I'm going to what I assume will be my last area, Alcalá de Henares, to be a sister training leader again with Hermana Turina. I'm excited about being with her again. She was with me and Hermana Judd in the CCM as our comp and now we're together again for her last transfer. So, this week. We met with R! She is a dear. She knew I'd probably miss A, then we helped her take him for a walk because it was a beautiful day, and then she had us over for lunch! It was a blast. I just love her. I'm gonna miss her and A so much, but I know Hermana Charlesworth will take good care of them. We also met with L. He's progressing super well! He came to church last week and this week and is reading and praying. He was sad when he found out I'd be leaving, but I don't think it'll effect his progress at all. I'm really proud of him. I had an intercambio with Hermana Ross, after all this time! It was fun being with her and seeing what an awesome missionary she is first hand. We've both come a long way since Alcobendas. It was so nice to just chill with her later that night and catch up.

On the other hand, we ate chicken foot soup at a members house... Was not grateful for that experience. You have to pick it up with your hands, it's like you're holding a baby hand and then you break off each toe and eat off... The skin, because let's be honest, there really is no meat there. Saying goodbye to everyone was hard, but really just the hardest was saying goodbye to K and her family. After having been with them through everything. But, I have high hopes for them. I have given them my all and it's their turn to act. I have faith they will and that they will be able to see true ,oracles in their lives and in their family. I learned so much in this last 5 weeks with Hermana Charlesworth and I just want to share a little with you. First, the Lord leads and guides his servants. I realized that had President Pack not felt inspired to put us together, I never would've gotten to know Hermana Charlesworth, who has easily become one of my dearest friends. And I also saw it so many times when working with her, the Lord guiding us to a person or helping us know what to say or teach. The Lord never leaves us alone! Especially when we are dedicated to his work. Second, iré y haré. I will go and do. This was literally her motto I think, she was just constantly saying it. I feel like I've developed that attitude (she's still way better than me at it) but I feel like as we develop a desire and have the will and humility to do the Lords work and fulfill his commandments, we are blessed. He always prepares a way for us to do it! And we're just happier! I haven't felt as happy in my mission as I did with her as I kept this in mind, and I want to take that with me. There's actually a lot more, but Hermana Charlesworth will probably be reading this too... And I don't want it to get weird. But anyway, the point is, I've learned so much in the last 5 weeks and I'm so grateful for the opportunity I was blessed with the learn and grow! I love you lots and am glad you're all doing well. Have a fantastic week! Hermana Griffin

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Happy Leap Day!

Hi family! 2/29/2016      Happy Leap Day...

 I told my comp that we should leap everywhere today, but she wasn't sold on the idea. 
Anyway, here's what's been going on here.
We went to the temple! Me and my comp had a really special moment there together. First, we were doing the work for someone who had been waiting 5 years between her baptism and endowment. I felt so lucky to do it, I could just imagine how grateful and happy they must've been! Then, we went into the celestial room and we just chatted. We talked about our area and really felt like we received some guidance for some of our investigators. And then we just sat there together. I felt like I've known my companion for forever and I just know we were friends
before this life. I love that girl so much! After the temple, we had our district meeting and at the end, we did a flan suck... Which did not go well. Almost puked and laughed it back up. But it was funny.
Found a hippo on the side of a school, so that was awesome  and of course had to take a picture of it! Smiling face with smiling eyes


Also, they finally started the new chapel in Alcobendas and I was blessed to go! I saw my converts there, so cute. C and K and D. They're all so happy. Love them. Anyway, so cool to be there and see everyone and be a part of it all. So here is a picture of us with the golden shovels.




Anyway, here's the cool story of the week. So we are leaving English class and it's late. My comp gets this strong impression to talk to
this lady, but I didn't hear her say she was going. So I look back, and she's on a different street, so I run to catch up and I stayed on the other side of the street because of traffic. So I'm waiting. She
starts talking to this lady and says, I just felt like I needed to talk to you. Are you ok? And she started to cry and explained her horrible day. Well, while I was waited on he other side of the street, up walks a guy named H and asks if we are Mormons and explains that he recognized us because his grandma used to meet with missionaries when he was little. Well I talked to him and he said he wants answers from God because he doesn't know what to do with his life. So we met and had an awesome lesson with him. We taught him about prayer and he Holy Ghost. Well, he wanted to know if he should go back to his country or stay here. So we taught him what to do and
he called us yesterday and said he received an answer that he should stay. So cool. We're so excited for him! He really likes the Book of Mormon so far too!

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

Sunday, February 28, 2016

old friends meet again

Hi beautiful family! 2/15/16 This was from last week , sorry mix up in dates!

Things are good here. Slower week because we were sick and were gross and mucusy and no one really wanted to talk to us. But we're good now, almost 100% healthy. But anyway, on a plus side, this is a funny story from this week and an accurate illustration of the love my comp has for me. So, we are sick, blowing our noses like every 5 minutes, but we were close to a menos activo's house in an area that we almost never go to and so we decided to pass by. Well, the wife was sick and the husband just got home from school and was taking care of the kids, so we decided to do their dishes for them. So, we're almost done, and my nose is running so much, so i tell my comp to stop drying and go into my coat pocket and get a Kleenex for me. So she goes, can't find my packet of tissues, so instead grabs my gross wet tissue that I'd been using and runs in and tries to wipe my nose for me. And she almost did, until I made awkward eye contact with the member and he was judging hardcore... So that was awkward and super funny and then my comp peed her pants when we walked out because it was so funny. So good times here together. Anyway, so I love her and she loves me. We're oddly alike and teach so well together.

Also, everyone here is crazy. Every new member or menos activo we meet has some crazy story and the stories are just getting weirder or weirder. So, that's kind of freaking us out a bit.... We're not really sure how to tell what is true and what isn't and who to trust. But we're working on it. Little victories. We are planning two ward activities, first a relief society activity in 2 weeks to teach the hermanas how to make chocolate chip cookies and then in a month to have an empanada cook-off! We're gonna make a trophy with a golden empanada on top. They bishopric okay-ed it, now we just need an official date.

Today we went to the Titanic Exhibit 
and it was so cool! Also, the other cool part was going with my old comps and S and A! And after we went for arepas. So fun! I love them all so much! S said they are still planning on coming to the US in August or September to be sealed. They are just waiting to find out their
vacation dates and they will plan everything more. I feel so blessed
to have such strong and amazing converts. Love them!

   

Well I love you lots. I hope you have a great week!
Love,
Hermana Griffin

building relationships

Hi family! 2/22/16

This week was good. Where to start?

So we completely cleaned out the carpeta de area. We called or passed by every single one of them and reorganized it all. It's nice and clean now. Anyway, got that all taken care of, which feels nice.

We had almost all of our menos activos in church yesterday which felt great! Also, we had someone who we had contacted come to church. We've never taught her before or anything, but she agreed to coming to church and loved it and said she'd be there next week. She asked if
she could help volunteer to clean the church because she'd like to serve. She's so sweet. Her name is M. She's going through a lot of trials right now so hopefully her efforts to put the Lord first
will help her in the long run. Also, the ward really went out of the way to welcome her which is soooo unusual for them! But I'm glad they did. We're really building our relationships with them and obviously seeing the fruits of that. Also, they are having us lead an activity on how to make chocolate chip cookies. Everyone loves us because we bake with them and help heir families set spiritual family goals. What more could you want?

Also, we have an investigator named L. that we met at soccer with the ward. He is a 17 year old Venezuelan and really seems to have a desire to learn. At first I was concerned he was more interested in my companion than the gospel, but the more we meet, the more I can tell that he's really interested in what we share. He's awesome, we just need to get him to church.

E dropped off the face of the world, so no baptism. But we ran into him today on the metro, so hopefully we can reestablish contact with him.

We are working with the American family still. 
We went out with J and the kids today for pday. All of our pday plans fell through, but we still had fun walking around with them and the elders. Their daughter is crazy! She has sooooo much energy. Well, my comp is wonderful. I love her. We have a fun time together. Weird things happen with us all the time and we're both just weird, so it's good. Well, I'm positive I'm forgetting something important, but ya know. I'll tell you all next week. Also, almost all of my friends go home either this transfer or next. So sad! I love you lots. Have a great week! Hermana Griffin

Sunday, February 14, 2016

great blessings

2/8/16 Hola Familia!
I'm ok, I love my new comp. She's the best! We have been working really hard this week to find because we want to have a baptism this transfer even though it's only 5 weeks, but we know that if we do our part, the lord will do his! We are talking to everyone, praying lots and being as exactly obedient as possible and so far so good. We've already seen some fruits of our work. I'm so so so thankful to be here with Hermana Charlesworth, she's a great addition to the ward.

So, this week we had a mission tour with Elder Moreira of the Seventy and it was really amazing. He talked about obedience and humility and I really learned a lot. And then, we had the blessing to hear from him two more times at the end of the week when he taught us at stake conference. The first night, all of the speakers talked a lot about obedience, sacrifice and the family. Something Elder Moreira said that I really liked that really made me think was, "Cuanto más obedientes
somos, lo más sacrificio el señor va a exigir de nosotros" so, the more obedient we are, the more sacrifice the Lord will require of us. It was interesting to think about that. It's true, the more
commandments we follow and the more obedient we are to the Lord, the more we have to sacrifice, but Elder Moreira promised that sacrifice for the Lord is always worth it.

At the stake conference, I got to see K, my investigator from Alcobendas and her two kids. They have since been baptized, but this is the first time I had seen them. She could not thank me enough for finding her and helping her and her family come into the gospel. She told me she is currently waiting to receive her patriarchal blessing 
and preparing to go to the temple for the first time in May and will be sealed as well. And it hit me... I will be here in May! I felt so blessed to have made the decision to stay and can see now why the Lord had impressed me to accept the invitation from President to stay. She invited me to go with her to the temple and of course told her I would not miss it for the world! So things are great. We're working hard and I sincerely love my companion. She is absolutely wonderful and we do so well together. Expect to hear about some miracles! I know we're gonna see great things  this transfer! Have a great week! I love you all! Hermana Griffin PS Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Surprise transfers!

2/01/16  Hi family,
Ready for this? We got transfer notices on Saturday and we found out we were staying together. I had accepted it, I was content. And this morning, we had just talked about what we wanted to do for pday and then started studies and... President calls. It's never good when President calls unexpectedly. Anyway. He said that he didn't feel good about the changes he had made to another companionship and that one of the Hermanas needed me. He said she needs help in her mission, not that she's a bad missionary, but she's struggling somehow and he said I can help her. So, yet again, here I am, the fixer haha.
   Anyway, so we had 2 hours this morning to pack my companion's suitcases and go to Chamartin, put my companion on a train and pick up my new companion. So, my new companion is Hermana Charlesworth. She is 21 from Utah and has 6 months in the mission. So far so good, I mean, I've only been with her 3 hours, but she seems normal and nice, so that's good! And she likes to work, so, I'm super excited for that! She has a good attitude and seems super positive, maybe she's just what this ward needs to get it moving. And, two of my favorite people, Hermana Spencer and Hermana Marsh are now companions, and I could not be happier! How awesome.

Anyway, this week was good! We met with E and he accepted a baptismal date for February 27th. He's got a ways to go still, but it's possible. He needs to be a bit more humble still, but little by
little. He for once brought his son to church. He was afraid he'd make a fuss and be irreverent, but he loved it and in fact was a bit sad to leave. So that too is progress.

We had a lot of help from the Relief Society President this week and am hoping other members will follow her lead and come to lessons with us. Not only is she helping with the investigators b also the menos activos! Woohoo! Also, my companion had a sudden desire to ask just about everyone we know for references, so that's exciting. All of our references this week were from members!

We were with Hermana K on Saturday and she was telling her son to go study and he didn't want to. She said if you don't do it now, when are you going to do it? And he said, mom I have a whole day to do it (referring to Sunday). She told him it was not ok to do it on Sunday because it's the sabbath and he told her well if we can go to my brother's rugby game and go out with old friends like last Sunday why can't I do homework. I felt bad watching and listening, but she didn't have anything to say to that, and I think it made her realize more than we ever could the example they are setting for their kids. So, we were quite thrilled to see the whole family at church on Sunday!

So, President Pack has put an emphasis on helping with home and visiting teaching because it's something fairly infrequent and pretty much forgotten here.  So, we are being assigned families and a companion to try and help advance the work. I'm pretty excited. Anyway, for the 3rd hour
yesterday in church, for our combined lesson, they talked about home and visiting teaching and how it should be done. It wasn't a bad lesson, but I think they could've been a bit for fuerte. Anyway this new member stood up to comment and mentioned the fact that they have now lived in our ward for 5 weeks and no one has even talked to them or even smiled at them, let alone visit them. This member is from the US and him and his wife and two little kids just moved here so he can study. Anyway, I went to talk to him after because I had wanted to visit them, but figured if ever there was a time, it was now after him essentially crying for help. I talked to him and said we wanted to visit him and get to know his family. He said his wife would really use it because she just moved thousands of miles from family, which is hard, and moved into the least loving ward I have ever been in, which is also hard, and to top it off, was already struggling with her faith. So he said she has kind of hit a wall and doesn't want to go back. So, I'm hoping we can help.

In Las Palmas news, D baptized our investigator V! So stinking happy! Saw a picture today and just about died. I have never felt so happy and proud. V has come such a long way and how
amazing for D to be a part of that. I love them all in Las Palmas!

I don't feel like much more has happened this week that is terribly interesting. This week we have a mission tour and one of the Seventy will be coming to speak and then at the end of the week, there is stake conference and I'll get to see all the people I love from Alcobendas too, as well as hear from the Seventy and President and Hermana Pack.


To answer your question, roscon is not like fruit cake. It's wayyyyyyy better. It's delicious. You'll love it. Anyway, they only really sell it in December and the first couple weeks of January. But, we found it in a bakery this week, and it was super cheap! So, enjoy these photos.
It comes in a cute little fancy box and                                                                   looks like this.
Well, I love you all tons. Have a good week!
Hermana Griffin