Thursday, July 31, 2014

Last Letter From Spain CCM

July 31, 2014:

Dearest Family and Friends,

Guess what I learned?! So in Spanish you use the tú form of you when praying to Heavenly Father. The tú form is the informal you and usted is the formal you. So it would make more sense if when you prayed you used the more respectful, just like when we read in English we use thee and thou cause they´re more respectful, right? Wrong! I´ve learned this wrong my whole life! Tú is the intimate form of you! So when we talk with Heavenly Father we´re using the more intimate form of you! Likewise when he uses vosotros when talking to a group in the scriptures. So I asked our teacher about the thee and thou in English prayers and scriptures and these are the intimate forms as well! So when we pray it´s not so much that we are being respectful, but expressing our close relationship with Heavenly Father! And when he talks with his children! The English forms of intimacy just got lost from our language the same way the intimate form of you all (vosotros) is being dropped from the Spanish language!
So there´s my soapbox! This week was wonderful, my companion got some milk face lotion (we were shooting for some face cleanser, but at least we got the face part right!) we were able to teach an incredible lesson of eternal families on the steps of the temple that ended with tears and hugs, Hna Seegmiller and I pretended the washing machines were TVs and just sat in front of them and reminisced. And finally, I sang a brutalized Spanish rendition of “Happy” from “Despicible Me” (because somehow I felt like that was appropriate) to one of our investigators in a lesson. Well he liked it… I can tell by the way he started laughing into the pillow…
I´m not even discouraged a little! We were giving labels to all the missionaries (i know it´s probably bad;)) but I am the "happy sister" this is awesome it really is! Something I really would love is some vanilla and maple extract if you could manage to get those over here! THEY DON´T HAVE SYRUP......i think we all know what a catastrophe this is....I mean they´re still eating their pancakes, but they eat them with just whip cream and chocolate and strawberry ice cream´s the worst... Nutella is super duper plentiful over here! Like gallons and gallons. I can´t believe it´s almost time to leave the MTC! Craziness! I´m so disappointed it took me so long to figure out how to study, but que sera sera. (See what i did there?) ;)
I´m not sure what address yet cause I haven´t been assigned my area, but I get to meet with my President Jackson and then I´ll be leaving for the field early in the morning!!!! Will you send me one of the pictures where I´m laughing with Grandma? Also on on my laptop - there´s some pictures of our family on  our Yellowstone trip as a family in front of a waterfall. Will you send that to me too? And any other pictures as a family or of what you guys are doing? But not as attachments but in your letters? That way I can look at them for more than 10 seconds! I love you!!!! :) Tell everyone I love them!!! Letters coming!!!! Oh and just send my mail to the mission office right now:)
 Love you!!!
Love you all sooo much!!! Happy Belated Birthday Garrett!!! I wub you! (imagine me pinching your cheeks)

Love, Hna Finch

PS:  She also wrote a letter we received today as well:
..."I think everyone thinks I am one those girls who need to be perfect in all that I do and that since Spanish is difficult for me I must really be beating myself up.  But I'm not.  I state that it's hard (because it is) but I know the Lord will provide.  I'm not frustrated just anxious to learn!  I love it here.  One sister teacher sat down and shared Isaiah 41:13 with me cause I think she thought I was having a hard time cause my Spanish sucks.  It was so sweet of her, she if just the best and brings me chocolate everyday.  But just cause I say Spanish is hard doesn't mean I'm down.  Haha!  But they're all so sweet and loving and wonderful.:)  Thank you for your prayers:) I know they have helped a ton!  
"The food here is definitely Spanish!  Even when they try to make American food it's Spanish-ized!  The other day we were super pumped cause we thought we were getting onion rings - it was calamari...I was happy, but some other people weren't:)  Hermana Lovell (President's wife) doesn't like seafood so it stays pretty out of our diet:(  But everything has less salt, pepper, and seasoning and is rather bland.  Oh but the pastries!  I they know their pastries good!  I can't wait to show you!  Also we have gazpacho.  It's basically chilled tomato soup.  Nasty!  But apparently that's what we eat in the summer!  
"Thanks you so much for your letters.  They mean so much!!!"

"Love you!"

Hermana Finch 

Mission Home Address:
Hermana McKenna Finch
Spain Madrid Mission
Calle Fuerteventura 4, 2, Office 8B
28703 San Sebastian de los Reyes

Monday, July 28, 2014

Great Group of Missionaries

July 27, 2014:

"Our current group of GREAT missionaries at sing time on the temple steps. We love them so much. Behind Susie and I are Javier and Helen Benito. He serves as my counselor here at the MTC. What a blessing they are. We could never say enough about how wonderful these young missionaries really are. What a privilege to serve with them."
President Kenneth D. Lovell

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Another Week in the CCM

July 24th, 2014

Dearest Family and Friends,
Yes! Success! Kinda… So yesterday Hmna M. told me that she had woke up in the middle of the night and I was speaking Spanish. Like 3 words…but still! Speaking Spanish in my sleep?! 2 claps for me! This means I must be having Spanish dreams. Which means I must be learning the langage. At least some part of me is learning – a part that only manifests itself when I am unconscious I guess... Hahaha!! BUT, point is – some part of me is learning Spanish! Woohoo!!!

For seriousness though I really have learned so much since coming to the CCM. I had kinda just imagined the language would come super easily becaused I was completely immersed in the Spanish culture here. (I mean I´m eating jamón for goodness sake!) But it didn´t. It is taking a LOT of hardwork and study and the best teachers I could ever ask for.

Besides all the language I am learning so much about myself and the gospel. And I still have so much more to do before I reach the place where I want to be. I love 1 Nephi 11:17 (It´s the greatest scripture when you don´t have an answer to other´s or your questions – absolutely perfect missionary scripture!) “…I know that He loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.” Absolutely perfect.

I love this great work I am involved in and am so grateful to have a hand in it, just like all you wonderful people at home and serving! I love your letters! It´s so lovely to get new of how you all are! I love you!!!!
Hmna Finch

Elder Glover and I took a selfie with the other misionaries for our parents. The pictures of me talking with people are on our Park Proselytizing days. Pay close attention to the picture of my park companion and I when I´m in my red skirt and she´s in a black one. The guy was being really friendly on the train so we got his contact info when we got off. Anyway he was drunk and had handed my companion his beer can to hold while we got his info! Hahahahaha! Whoops! Guess he really needed us ;)

Friday, July 18, 2014

"Will You Help Us?"

July 17, 2014

Hola mi familia and mi amigos!

Holy Moly! I can´t believe it´s the 17th of July! I feel like it was just barely the 4th of July and we were all dressing up in red, white, and blue and singing our national anthem!!! I feel like I just barely saw my family off at the airport! But there´s only 2ish more weeks in the CCM!

The park on Saturday was fabulous! I was with Hermana Solas and there was one man we were talking to about Spanish and he said if we ever learn a new Spanish word we should write it down and then ask for help in pronouncing it. So I exclaimed “Oh! I have a whole book of Spanish words right here! Will you help us?!” And then I whipped out a Book of Mormon. In my excitement I just turned to some random scripture instead of actually choosing one with meaning. Later Sister Solas and I found the scripture we had read with him….it was about resurrection…! Haha! Bet we left some serious questions in his mind! ;)

Later that night in the park review one of the Ukrainian Elders (Imagine typical Russian demeanor who looks like a German. Super straight face, blonde, skinny elder) says – in a spiritual meeting where people are crying – “Today we saw a real gay.” We´re all busting a gut laughing. “This is not a joke. We saw the real gay.” All of this without cracking a smile! Oh it was adorable! I love my family here!

Guess what else? President Lovell assigns a topic each week and then you prepare a 5 minute talk in your mission language and prepare all week and then come Sunday 4 random missionaries are called up. I was positive it would not be me. Like so positive I didn´t prepare a talk; I just made an outline 2 days before. And guess who got called? Yours truly… BUT it was actually really good! I know I had help in giving it! The language is still rough, but at least I´m able to bear my testimony!

Last night and today my companion and I fasted before going to the temple. It was such a beautiful experience, especially having prepared so well before. I was able to have headphones during the session and listen to it in Spanish. I loved the Spirit there. I love the temples. I love all of you!

                XOXOXO, Hmna McKenna
McKenna with a sister missionary from Portugal.  I believe her name is Sister Silva.  At the Park del Retiro..

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Pictures From President Lovell

July 8, 2014

July 14, 2014

Dearest Family and Friends!,
                So lemme just tell you… I LOVE going to the Retiro Park on Saturdays, and at this colossal park there is ONE bathroom that I know of. And in this one bathroom there is a man, who guards… BabaBOM… the TOILET PAPER! Seriously! There is a roll of toilet paper in the middle of the bathroom and he sits in this little closet watching the toilet paper. Apparently toilet paper is a pretty rare commodity here is Spain. I´m seriously considering going into the black market of toilet paper here…I know I would come home a millionaire.
                I love my teachers here at the C.C.M.! One of them is so funny! Imagine if Mario and Mr. Houston had a baby. That´s my teacher! He´s even going to school to become a Spanish teacher too, and we can get him to go off on tangents ;) All the people here wait a super long time before beginning their lives. For example that teacher was born in ´78! That´s 6 years younger than you mom! And guess how far he is in his degree? 2 years from getting his bachelor´s! That´s as far as I am! But that´s how everyone is here!
                Sundays here are one of my most favorite days. We have devotionals all day long basically and it´s just the best. Anywho, one many told a story of two children in Primary and one child turns to the other and says: “My grandfather is the prophet.” The other child turns, looks at the child who had just spoke and simply says: “My dad is God.” How true is that? We are our Heavenly Father´s offspring, just one step away from Him. Closer to Him then we are our own grandparents!
                Oh and speaking of generations most of the members here are converts. It´s odd to think how far back my own family goes in the church, but how many of these members had to have enough strength and determination to pave the way for their posterity. Absolutely incredible. I love them so much!
                I´ve struggled with the language, but that´s no surprise. I mean I knew I wouldn´t speak Spanish perfectly, but I did think I would speak it better! I know as long as I try my best Heavenly Father will provide the rest! I am amazed at how well I am able to give lessons to our investigators in Spanish. If anything I know the gift of tongues is real just for the fact that I am able to string together whole thoughts without too much stress in lessons and I know eventually it´ll extend to the rest of my speaking abilities!
                I love you all and wish you the best with whatever you have going on in your life right now!
Love, Hna McKenna

Testimony Challenge

June 27, 2014
Read D&C 62:3 J Then I invite all of you to bear your own testimony next and every chance you get. No matter what kind of speaker you are J
Love, love, love! Hermana Finch

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Panguitch Ties

June 29th:

Hopefully you know that McKenna has asked me (her mom) to keep up with her blog.  This past week we received a couple of emails with pictures of our DD (darling daughter in missionary mom speak). 

Elder Joe and Sister Jean Riggs are serving in the Madrid Spain Temple.  Elder Riggs grew up in Panguitch and his sister and brother-in-law live here still.  His nephew is our Bishop. 

This is what Elder Riggs said:  "Just passing along a few pictures of Sister Finch's inaugural missionary concert on the steps to our temple square in Madrid.  She is a delightful young woman and will be a great addition to the Madrid Mission. Please thank her parents for raising such a wonderful daughter."

We totally agree!  She is wonderful!  Keep up the great work McKenna!