Sunday, January 31, 2016

First Talk

Hey family! 01/25/2016

The dream I've had all of my mission has been to give a talk on  missionary work in church... It happened this week! So that was pretty great. I always thought that if I gave a talk in church, it'd be about members working with missionaries and I'd be a bit bold but it'd be good and I'd see results and such, but that's not what happened. Yes my ward needs to work with us, but they need to work on their humility and charity first, with investigators, menos activos and other members. So, I talked about humility and charity instead and related it to missionary work... Well the bishop was not a fan to say the least. I don't think he'll be asking me to speak again anytime soon. Oops. Oh well. I'll send it too. I thought it went good... What do I know.

J is so stinking precious! This week, we taught her about the plan of salvation. She bore her testimony at the end and said she knows that she's not perfect and that is what the atonement is for, so she can repent daily of little things that happen and that she does and she can start the next day and try to be better. She gets it! That's the biggest struggle I think we have as missionaries, is making sure people understand repentance and that it's not just for big sins,
but for daily use for the little things we do too. But no worries, she gets it!

K and her family did not come to church this week because D had a rugby game. Ugh. Two steps forward 3 steps back. But, we saw them yesterday night and they thanked us for being constant with them, because the ward has forgotten and given up on them but we haven't and they said if it weren't for us, they wouldn't be starting to get back into the rhythm of doing the things they need to do, like praying and reading daily and weekly noche de hogar. They are doing better, little
by little. The best part was hearing their oldest, who is 16, thank us for what we're doing for him and the change he's seeing in his parents. He was crying. It was the sweetest thing ever. He prayed
before we left and I realized how amazing he is. He really understands prayer because it really just was a conversation with our Heavenly Father for him. You can tell there is a real relationship there for him.

D isn't really progressing... He is more studying for curiosity than a real desire to know and he is trying to preach to us more and more as we meet with him. We're not giving up yet, but he's not
progressing like we'd hope.

E is progressing little by little. He admitted last night that he knows Joseph Smith was a prophet. This is huge for him because my first 5 lessons with him, he insisted there was no way that was
possible. The only problem with him was that he wants to know everything and have a perfect knowledge of everything before baptism and perfection doesn't come in this life. But it's ok. I have faith in him and when he gets baptized, he's going to be super strong in the church. Also, finally, his son talked to us. He is 3. He gets jealous when we're there normally, but last night, he let me play with him. So I colored and played cards with him for a little bit at the end of our lesson as my companion set up our next lesson and such. So, that is also progress!

We had interviews this week. It was fun to be with the Packs. We went to the office for them. It was fun. President is great. And Hermana Pack came over while I was studying, waiting for my interview and she sat by me and asked what I was doing and how long it would take. I asked why and she said, "I just wanted to talk" haha she's so funny. But it was good to talk to them and get some advice for my area and companionship. We find out transfers at the end of this week, but after our interviews, both me and my companion felt like she'll stay with me another transfer. We'll see!

So yeah, that's about it I think.  
Me and my companion realized we 
basically never take pictures together... So we made sure we took one in the office when we were there!

Have a good week! I love you all!

Hermana Griffin

Sunday, January 24, 2016

God hears and answers prayers!

1/18/16   Hi family! This week was so good!
    So, K and the family came to church! And stayed the whole time! And loved it! And finally the ward is taking an interest in them and helping them and the bishop is going to personally do a noche de hogar with them. We taught them yesterday after church and we had a noche de hogar and we set family goals.
    It was so nice to see them all make       
goals and think of how they can strengthen each other. Now we just have the help them follow through, but at least now there is something more definite to follow up on. And E got blessed yesterday! Smiling face with smiling eyes       J is wonderful! She came to church and liked it even though didn't understand tons because of the language. But, she is amazing and has such an amazing testimony. This week, she shared in our lesson that she was robbed a few moths ago and had nothing and was super depressed and stressed. She was at the point of suicide and suddenly had the strong urge to pray. So she prayed and she said she felt her worries be lifted and someone there, helping her. She said she knows that God hears and answers prayers. I just love her and really admire the faith she has.      We asked D this week if he had prayed about Joseph Smith being a prophet and he said yes. He said he thinks Joseph Smith is a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true. He said the Book of Mormon couldn't have been written by anyone but prophets of God because it is too inspired to be written by anyone else. We emphasized the importance of receiving an answer and knowing. He is so wonderful. He said he's going to keep reading because he just loves it so much.      Tomorrow we have interviews with president in the office, so we have to go to Alcobendas. I'm excited to see the Packs. Hermana Pack called me this week just to talk because she said she missed me because they had concilio and I wasn't there. She's just he sweetest! I love them too much.      Today was K's husband's, D, birthday so we spent the whole day with them cooking and hanging out. So fun, I love them. They say they want to move to Michigan haha or at least they want to visit. You'll love them!      It's been a good week. This week we have a worldwide missionary training from Utah. Everyone will be watching it live in all the world. I'm excited!      Anyway, I love you all tons! Hermana Griffin

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Week of Bajada de Los Reyes

Hi everyone!  1/11/16
Good news, baby E is out of the hospital! He's still not 100%but he's doing a ton better.He's 
precious. Anyway, thinking of this experience, I'd call it the refiner's fire for K. It definitely tried her faith, but she has come out of it well. Sometimes the Lord tries our faith, but he never gives us a trial we cannot support.
   Y is back in the hospital with her youngest son, L, now. The family just can't catch a break. It is trying their faith a lot. Y really needs support and guidance right now to get her life in the gospel back on track, but her husband doesn't seem to want to. He told her he doesn't want to go back to church again. We're not sure what happened, if it was all just too many trials at once, or what. That family has so much potential and needs a lot of help and prayers right now!
   We have a new menos activa who moved here recently. She is from the Philippines and is named J. She got baptized 2 years ago in Norway when she was there for work. She speaks English and hardly any Spanish, which makes our lessons interesting because my companion hardly speaks English haha anyway, I have honestly never seen someone with such great faith before! She really trusts in the Lord. I'm really excited to meet with her more and help her. 
    Also, I don't know if I ever mentioned R. She is an investigator from the US! She is from New Jersey but has lived here for over 30 years. She is married to a Spaniard and has 2 boys. She is someone we found in the carpeta. She has been receiving visits from hermanas since 2006 on a service basis. She has a son named A who is 16 who has a brain injury and is in a vegetable state. So, we go once a week to do stretches with A and talk with her. She's wonderful, but 16 years of constant care for a son in this condition is trying. They don't know why he's in this state or why he's not improving, but rather getting worse. No one seems to want to help her, they'd prefer to just maintain the state he's in. He also has now developed some rare type of diabetes... Anyway, the family has been through a lot. 
   Recently this has been trying R's faith. She is looking for answers and hope. We have been blessed to have short lessons with her about the resurrection and the plan of salvation. It's hard to not have concrete answers for why bad things happen to good people, but at least we know that there is a better future in store for all. I love R.

This week was Bajada de Los Reyes [the arrival of the Three Kings ] and so we had roscon... A lot! There was so much for about a week straight, in every house we were in. But that's ok. Anyway, Elder Yokum, who is in training, won the prize twice... It's gonna be a lucky year! 
  I had intercambios this week. I kind of forgot what it was like being
on the other side of intercambios for once. It was fun, really. I was
with Hermana Staker in Barrio 2... Fun fact, I've done about 4
intercambios there now haha anyway, Hermana Staker is really wonderful. She's so focused and really dedicated. I felt like I learned a lot from her. She's just so sweet.
I was also sick this weekend, which was miserable. So I slept 16 hours straight... Felt a bit better after! Hopefully it's just a 24 hour thing. I think the elders gave me whatever they had because me and also their recent convert felt like we got hit by a truck yesterday.
  Bueno, life is a bit uneventful. No one is really progressing here, so we are looking for more people to teach. Barrio 4 is huge, so I know there are people here! I love you all! Have a great week! Hermana Griffin

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, family! 1/4/2016

We were sleeping through the new year. We set an alarm to wake up and eat grapes and such, but we slept through it! Haha we only woke up because someone called us at 12:15.

So, this week has been a bit chungo. Two of the families we are teaching have children in the hospital and everyone in our tiny ward is on vacation, so we've been going back and forth between the hospital and our area.

Baby E is in the hospital! K is a mess. He has some unknown respiratory infection and just keeps getting worse. We were at the hospital on Saturday with her when they decided to move him to the ICU and on the way there, he stopped breathing. He has been there 6 days now. K hadn't slept until they moved him to ICU, but now she can't be with him 24/7 in ICU so she has to go home and sleep. That's the only plus side. Anyway, pray for E, the poor thing is only 2 months oldl! I'll include a picture of me playing with him in the hospital bed his first day there. He's basically the cutest, sweetest baby ever and it breaks my heart to see him like that. We're gonna go check up on them this afternoon.

Our menos activa Y also has a son in the hospital and the same day he went to the hospital, her father in law died. So that's been super hard for their family too. They luckily have been super positive and understand very well the plan of salvation. Their son got released yesterday, but will be under observation every few days because of the effects of the virus he had, he may now need surgery. He was well enough to go home, but still isn't out of the woods. Pray for him too!
His name is T, he is 3 and just precious.

I never felt so helpless than when I was watching these poor little things sick in the hospital. I wish I could help them more than the little that I'm doing, but I know the Lord hears and answers prayers and that he never gives us trials we can't support or overcome.

So that's pretty much been our week. Also, we had a Noche de Hogar in the home of a new Columbian family in the ward. We had a good lesson about obedience where the kids participated a lot and then later, we played a game... You can tell we had lots of fun!

I love you all. I hope you all enjoyed your New Years! Have a great week!

Hermana Griffin

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Goodbye 2015

Can I just start by saying I feel robbed! My full year of being a missionary is gone... And all I did was blink! I am in shock thinking about how fast it went and how fast I know the rest will go. It's like trying to hold water in your hands, but watching it run out. Anyway, I'm trying to take advantage of what time I have!

Christmas was great. Very tranquilo. We went to Barrio 3 to visit A, one of the members, and we had lunch with her. Of course before leaving I had to see J! 
I miss that girl so much! But her and her family are good. Of course I wish they were more active, but they are doing well. D didn't have a chance to read the Book of Mormon before we met because of the holidays and all, but he promised to read more before our next lesson. We'll see. We taught him the Plan of Salvation... He was not a fan because it's not what he's been taught for the last 15 years by the JWs. We're going to go back over and try and explain better. His lessons are hard because he speaks Spanish, but not super well, even though he's been here for about 15 years, so it's easier for him to understand English, but my companion doesn't speak English. So it's about 50% English, 50% Spanish. He's got to be a little more open minded if he's going to progress, but I'm not giving up in him! We've been meeting with K still. She is doing better with her health, but still not great, and two of her three are sick. But, on the plus side, her husband got a new job and now doesn't have to work Sundays so it's more likely that they'll come to church because she won't be trying to get them all ready by herself and then taking the metro for 45 mins to church. Talk about a Christmas miracle! Anyway, we spent Christmas Eve with her and her family and then used their house to Skype. And they have also invited us for New Year's Eve! So that's exciting. We are seeing a change in her husband too as he is now at least willing to do family prayers with them instead of just K and the boys doing them. Honestly, they are wonderful. You'd all love them! Bueno, not much else since Friday. Have a great week and a happy new year! I love you all! Hermana Griffin