Tuesday, August 26, 2014

First Baptism!

August 25, 2014

This week was so fabulous!!! So so so great! The best part was definitely M´s baptism yesterday:) I don't think I´ve ever been more excited for anything in my life! Of course we had to jump through some hoops to make it happen (one of the speakers backed out at the last second so Hna Coburn ended up having to give a talk, President and Hna Lovell showed up out of the blue, and we didn't have a musical number so the other sisters and I decided to sing "I like to look for rainbows" a couple hours before the baptism), but it was wonderful. She so wonderful, I can´t wait to see her testimony grow and strengthen. She has to wait until this coming Sunday to receive the Holy Ghost though so this week is probably gonna be difficult for her. :/ 

I love the other set of sisters here! After our ward activity on Saturday they came over for medio dia and we ate and then just sat and did hair and talked, it was so fun to have a little girl time! 
We also have been able to teach a wonderful girl from China this week. She is a student here. It´s been super interesting to explain who God is and why we need Jesus Christ. It´s definitely helped my testimony develop and grow!
We´re teaching another student from Honduras. He is such a delight to talk to! Oh I really hoped he gets baptized! I could see him being like an Area 70 he is that good!
¡Me enchanta Alcalá!
XOXOXO
Hna Finch

Day in the life of Hna Finch
7:30 - Arise and shine forth and exercise (we go running every other day and then do in home workouts on our off days)
8:00 - Get ready
9:00 - Personal study
10:00 - Companion study
11:00 - Language study
11:30 - 12 semañas (this is the 12 week training program the church has for new missionaries)
12:30 - Leave piso and go to lessons contacting and such
2:00-2:30 -return to piso and have Medio Dia. We can nap and such if we really need it, but really we should be completely the other half of our language study and doing any other study we need to for our investigators
4:00-4:30 - Leave piso, continue contacting and teaching lessons
10:00-10:30 - Return to piso
11:30 - BED!!! 
*PDay - (which is more like P hours) we have 11:30-7:00 to do what we need to do.
*Sunday - we have church from 10:30-1:30, but last Sunday we had investigators to pick up between every meeting that we didn´t get to hear much of anything, que sera sera!
*Wednesday - We have District meetings every week and Zone meetings once a transfer 
There you have it! My life for the next year and a half! But in the winter we´ll be rising at 6:30 with all the normal missionaries and going to bed at 10:30. 

My companion and I before the baptism:





The Elders that spoke and baptized and us:



President and Hermana Jackson made a surprise visit and came to the baptism!








Tuesday, August 19, 2014

"SUPER!"

August 19, 2014

My dearest family and friends!!
I hope you all are doing super well! (I don´t think the word "super" is a Spanish word, but the use it for EVERYTHING!) The other day we had zone meeting and one of the Elders played the most magnificent song on the piano I have ever heard- and he had made it up, it was just a compilation of hymns! Ooo so good I got chills. Right after I got them though I just thought to myself "well that´s weird, I get chills so much more often when I´m listening to spiritual things." It´s because it is the Spirit! Geesh! I think too many times I discard thoughts or impressions or events just as coincidence then actually realizing who they are from. But I´m gonna be better! That´s why I´m here, right? ;) Then at the end of mission, I´ll be pro at it...or something ;)
So investigators:
M. has a baptismal date for this Saturday, she´s having trouble reading for 5 minutes though instead of just 2 verses, and we really want her to have a stronger testimony about it. But she´s being taught in the home of a member - who is an absolute angel! She and M. actually became best friends because of meeting each other!
I love P., she also has a date for the second week in September. She has a daughter, B., who is 6 and in our last lesson she asked if I lived in a big house back in the US so I pulled out pictures of our home and family and then she called her husband in and he started showing us pictures of where he´s from in Romania and then one of the buildings kinda looked like temple square at Christmas so I showed him that and then we were able to teach him about the restoration. Normally whenever we have began he would always leave. I hope that their family gets sealed! They said they would come to church with us too, but they fell through:(
A. is a menos activo and is a typical Spanish man basically...hahaha
And some others to but there´s a lot!  

Hermana McKenna Finch
Avenida de Alcarria 9 1ºD 
Alcala de Henares 28806
Madrid SPAIN

I love you all!!! :)
Love, Hna Finch

McKenna didn't send pictures this week, but I pilfered these off Facebook:)  The first one was from her MTC President - President Lovell.  The next two were from a missionary mom whose son is McKenna's Zone Leader.  Thank you Sister Davis!




Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Alcala de Henares

August 11, 2014

Here I am in Acalá de Henares. My first week has been fabulous! Acalá is where Miguel Cervantes is from (the Spanish Shakespeare) and where Christopher Columbus first asked for permission to sail to the America´s and where Queen Isabella lived and has all these storks! Its awesome! Alcalá is entertaining and they say we won´t sweat as much when it stops....being43ºC (which converts to 109.4°F) which I´m pretty sure is illegal in most states! Haha! I love you guys!!!! The heat is actually not that bad, I´m always hot but I´m tough; I can handle it ;) The worst time is when we come home at night to our frightfully warm piso. None of the houses here have AC... :( I know...it´s just the worst. BUT our piso is meant for 6 missionaries and my companion and I are the only ones who live here so we each get our own bathroom - hola!
Speaking of companions my new companion´s name is Hna Coburn. She is adorable and probably one of the best people on the earth, honestly. She is ALWAYS happy and bubbly and super duper charitable - like the love is really just seeping out of her! She has two transfers left so we´ll probably be together until she leaves! The area is super old and neat! I love it!
My first week here has passed soo fast! The first night I was here we ate dinner and taught a FHE at a member´s home. I love them. It was one the most humbling experiences of my life. They loaded up our plates with so much food that they didn´t have enough for themselves. Amazing.
The Spanish is actually coming along pretty well! I´m not fluent or anything, but when I pay attention I can understand the message of what they´re saying - usually!
Welp Spain is great! I´ve had investigators unable to read the scriptures they were laughing so hard at my terrible Spanish; one man sat and told us how hard his life was for an hour, refusing to hear our message; and talked with a 12 year old who had a pregnancy scare (I started crying after we walked away from them. Kimber´s their age. They just dont realize who they are...grrr) AND I couldn´t be more excited for all the other experiences of the next 16 1/2 months!!!! I love you!!!!!
Love, Hna Finch
PS There is only one ward here!

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

Side note from Rachel:  Alcala de Henares is about 35 km northeast of Madrid with a population of about 200,000.  The name means Citadel on the river Henares.  Wikipedia states "The city stands out for its rich archaeology and was one of the first bishoprics founded in Spain. "

Hermana Finch and Hermana Coburn

My new companion!  Is dad worried?  Two blondes in Spain!  We get a lot of whistles!




There are the most gorgeous little treasures of buildings here!



Queen Isabella's Castle

A little troll door!

We did some cheer stunting trying to get into this window! :)




Farewell Dear Spain CCM!

August 11, 2014

A final sing time on the temple steps.  I have posted some pictures of this already that we received from Elder Riggs, but these are from McKenna!  They include some from the CCM as well!  McKenna said she left her family at home to gain a new family in Spain at the CCM.  I am so grateful that she did!  She is an amazing daughter and will be a wonderful missionary!

Sister Lovell!

A great CCM in a great place - the beautiful Spain Temple!

Elder and Sister Riggs


President and Sister Jackson





Nefi (Nephi) District

The Spanish Missionaries


The view out my window from the CCM

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Wonderful Update!

August 3, 2014

Another update from Elder Joe and Sister Jean Riggs!
"This evening was Sister Finch's last concert on the steps of the temple grounds.  She leaves the MTC Tuesday morning for her first assignment in the Madrid Mission.  She says she is a little frightened and does not know the language well enough but is anxious to get started.  She will be a wonderful missionary.  We look forward to seeing her periodically as we make visits to the wards in the three Madrid Stakes.  Jean gave her a couple of hugs from us and for her parents.  They have raised raised a lovely daughter."




video
August 4, 2014
Mom!!!! Surprise!! Guess what I get to email you to say this I´M LEAVING THE CCM!!! Ahhhh!!!! Not right now, but tomorrow morning at 8am all the Madrid missionaries will walk over to the state center and then leave our luggage there and then take a car to the mission home where Sister and President Jackson will talk with us and feed us. Then we´ll come BACK to the stake center, pick up our luggage, and then go to our new areas! Holy guacamole!!! I can´t believe this is happening! I have loved the CCM soo much, I hope that where ever Garrett gets called he gets to come to the Spain CCM! It is so wonderful. I left my family only to gain a new family at the MTC. I won´t be emailing you on Thursday cause this is my PDay this week from now on my emails in the field will be on Mondays :)
I had the sweetest experience Saturday night. One of our teachers (who is an absolutely angel, and you´re probably sick of hearing about her) pulled me and Hna J. aside after we were all released to go to bed and gave us candy bags for our whole district and then gave me a black box and told me not to open it. Inside was one of the sweetest letters I have ever received in my whole life. It was a mixture of Spanish and English and inside the box was a watch. The same watch I had seen her wear all the weeks she had been in the MTC with us. She had given me her watch. This little Ecuadorian sister who had been crying every night because she missed her mission, before receiving a call to come and work at the MTC. (Her first day at the MTC was also our first day). I don´t think I have ever given my 100% to anything before, but she makes me want to. I could not wear the watch of such an amazing sister if I was not giving all that I had to be His servant. I know she was sent my way for a special purpose and we were supposed to be life long friends and even further than that. I cannot wait to learn Spanish well enough to completely understand everything she says. I will come back after my mission when we can understand each other. I love her so much and am so grateful for her. She truly has been such an example of what a missionary should be. 
Well I´m off to the field, ready to give everything to the Lord. I love you all so much. THE KINGDOM OF GOD OR NOTHING.
Love, Hna Finch