Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What A Week!

September 29, 2014

What a week!!!! Ahhhh! I love Spain!!! And guess what?! Have I said this before? I´m starting to get Spanish! Like I can pretty much understand every sentence!!! Whoop whoop!!!! Thank you all soooo much for your prayers! I still have such a long way to go, but I love looking back to where I started and being amazed with all my progress! And that what´s really matters. That´s all the Lord is asking for us, just that we progress. Not that we are perfect, right there, right now, right here. Just that we are continuing to go forward. 
This week I went on two intercambios since my comp is in Hna Training Leader. The first was with Hna D. in Torrejón and the next day was with Hna H. from Alcobendas. And you´d never guess what Hna H. had! She´s from Canada and was showing me some pictures her parents had sent to her annnnndddd she had pictures of Bryce Canyon! I was super pumped and was like this is it! Hna! This is right by my home!!!! And then we kept looking and her parents had went through Panguitch right during the Balloon Festival!!! AHHHHH!!!! So this is when I really started freaking out - like dancing around the piso! Haha soooo she let me keep one of the pictures of Bryce Canyon and another of the Balloon Festival.  Hahahaha!!!! I love my town!!!! Rock on Canadians!
I also got the most fabulous package this week from the most fabulous family! Honestly, I don´t even know how they pull off all they´re fabulousness! Especially my mother! She put scriptures that fit on every single thing she sent me! My favorite was on the deodorant "for they do say that he doeth stinketh, but to me he does not stink"! Bahaha Mom, were you imagining John Byetheway´s voice when he says that? Because I sure was! 
We also got to go to a concert at the temple with my convert L. and another recent convert J. and W. The Sullivan´s did it and ohhh! It was soooo beautiful! They are so talented! I especially loved getting to see and visit everyone after the concert! Special shout out to the Waites, my abuelos on my mission! They got their visas at the same time as me and are going home with me!They are just the cutest couple ever! 
Oh and we went to lunch with Hna C. one last time! She left for England today! The other pictures I´m sending are from last PDay when we went to Sol and partied there:) I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!! MUAH!!!!

We decided to melt chocolate over a candle during companion study, yep we have fun;) 

E. -  one of our recent converts who went back to Peru so we partied with her for one last time!

Hna D. and I.  

  Hna H.'s planner. Recognize those balloons Panguitch peeps?!

Hna H. and I. 

Last lunch with Hna C!

 My letters from my family at Plaza Cervantes. I read them as we walked, I couldn´t help it!
 I was so excited! 

McKenna finally got a package we mailed September 11th!!!  We really didn't think she was going to get it after the tracking said it was "undeliverable"!  I had just gathered some items and then Addison and I put scripture quotes on each item relating to it.  Regarding the package she said:
"That package was seriously the best thing of my life!!!!! YOU ARE THE BEST MOM iN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD!!!!! Oh my world!!! How long did it take you to make that! Thank you so much for everything!!!! Like really! Everybody was super jealous! You are the best mom in all of the world!!! I love you! Those scriptures were so funny and fit everything so perfectly! And the pictures were perfect and the letters were so cute! That must have taken so long! Ohhhh! I love you!!!! I got all of it! The jam is almost gone! I couldn´t help it! It was sooo good! And the peaches tooo!!!!! YUM!!!!!! 

 We toured the old university in Alcala today! :)

Awesome Girl!

September 28, 2014

Woke up Monday morning to this wonderful email from Sister W.!!!

Last night was a wonderful fireside at the stake center.  It was a farewell for the S.'s who are getting ready to leave for home after two years of working with the YSA here in Madrid.  They were also the leaders of the MTC choir that sings each  night on Temple Square, and the mission nurse.  They gave a great concert (both ex-members of the Mormon Tab. Choir.)  There was a huge turnout.  It looked like Stake Conference.  Guess who I ran into there? We had a wonderful visit.  She is so full of life and enthusiasm.  She is super happy in Alcala and loves her mission, her companion and Spain.  She is doing so well.  She radiates happiness and good health.  I just love this girl!  We will be going out to Alcala next week for the largest medieval fair in Europe.  We will meet up with McKenna and her companion and will take them out to eat. Can’t wait.  Love, E.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

She Is Not A Journalist!

September 22, 2014

Our email from Hermana McKenna was pretty short this week!  She is sending a package!  Ooohhh!  Can't wait!  Earlier this month she sent candied almonds from a convent with a letter for each person in our family.  They were so good!  She did however send 6 pictures!  Oh how we love getting these pictures!  - Rachel

"Three nuns from one church, three nuns from another."

"The Palace"

"The cathedral."

"Our jamon sandwiches!  Those big legs above us are meat...that they just leave out all the time...buuut we ate it!  And it's really famous!  And salty!

"On the renfe headed home.  The other girl is E.  She is 'leaving' tonight so we had one last outing with her!  She is a psychiatrist and is going to come to the U.S. to work and is going to come stay with us and visit the Grand Canyon!"

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


September 15, 2014

Well my first transfer in the field is down (WOW) and I've already got a new companion! Her name is Hna F. and I am so excited for her! She is absolutely fantastic from what I've been about to tell since we picked her up two hours ago! I'm super sad that Hna C. had to leave, but I know everything happens for a reason! I'm still technically in training for 2 weeks, but now I have to finish up my training while I area train! Dahhh! Yikes! But it´ll be great:) This sister: Hna F., I had actually seen when I was in the MTC because the temple is in her district. I had thought to myself that she would be a great trainer...I actually even mentioned it to President Lovell. Then when we went to the chapel to go get picked up by our trainers I caught myself looking for her and was shocked when she wasn't there I had felt so sure that she was going to be my trainer. So to have her finish training me just makes sense - like really. I am so excited to be with her. 
Last night we had a sleepover with the other Hna´s in our piso. Sooo fun! I love the missionaries!!! Our district is so great! I love serving with another sister companionship in our ward, everything just seems like so much more fun! 
I've been making phone calls. Whoop whoop! Which, I know, doesn't sound like that big of a deal, but when you´re as deaf as I am and you´re speaking to Spanish to someone on the phone it´s huge! Wooo!!! 
A funny from the other night - there´s these recent converts in our ward from Mexico that have us over to dinner every other week and make these real Mexican tacos and the best guacamole ever! Real Mexican food! And I can even handle the spice!!! Oh my gosh!! The other day when all the missionaries were eating with some members, the members had this sauce with whole red peppers in it and I thought you were supposed to eat them so I was like...oh well and just went for it. It was pretty hot, but I could handle it, it was just a little uncomfortable and I wasn't able to taste my food anymore, so I pushed all the peppers to the side and then I put them in my napkin so my plate would be clean. Well by this time the elders were like ohhh she can eat the whole red peppers... we can too! So they put like a TON of red peppers on their plate and were turning red and crying through the whole meal!! Bahahahaha!!! Sooooo funny!!!
Spain is great!!! I looooove you!!!

Had a sleepover with the other hnas last night and
 took some goodbye pictures before we left the piso!

A couple of last pics with Hna C., but while we were posing for the picture, some nasty man walked by and was like "beautiful" in a nasty creeper voice - hence the sour expression!

Picture perfect!

Mi nuevo companero!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Melting Pot

September 8,2014

Ok so they say America is the melting pot...I disagree! I vote España! We have every type of Spanish speaker here (Central and South American, you name it we got it), a boatload of Africans (<----that is probably one of the wittiest things I´ve ever said. Bahaha! Cause since Africa and Spain are only 30 miles apart a ton of Africans cross in little boats called patookahs), Eastern Europeans of every shape and size, 5 Chinese families for every Chino store, and an occasional dash of Americans and other Europeans thrown in. I really think I may make a goal to teach with or to someone from every country by the time I get home. I really think it´s possible!
Whew how the time has flown!!! We´ve already started the last week of my last transfer! This week was great! Honestly I feel like this is all a dream. Sometimes I´ll be walking down the streets and just look around, hardly believing that this is my life right now. How blessed I am! I cannot get over the miracle that I have had in my life to be born into a family and home and place where the gospel was so prevalent! Heavenly Father knew us so well before. He knew everything we could accomplish. Sometimes I wonder who I was. Who we all were! To be so trusted by Heavenly Father, that He knew if he sent us into a home which was blessed with the gospel we would, in turn, go and share it. Or raise our children in it. Or shine the light that this gospel has given us to everyone we come in contact with. Whew! I love this! I love my life! I love my family! I love this gospel! I love my Savior! And I love you!!!
Love, Hna Finch XOXOXO

Oh and I had my first zone conference and intercambios this week! They were so fun!!! Woooo Spain!!!

I love you so much! Everytime I email I feel as though my heart is gonna burst with love for you guys! I know I probably shouldn´t be counting down yet and I truly love my mission, like this is the best thing that has ever happened to me, but only 16 more months! And after this one there will only be 15 and then we´ll be closer to 10 months than 18 months and then they´re just gonna fly by! Whew! I need to work harder! This is the best experience of my life!!!! I loooove you!!!!

Look at these cool trash cans they have here!

Waiting for the correr de torros.

One of the members knew that we were going to see the bull fight that night so she packed us hats and fans!  So cute!

Hermana Coburn and I at the bull fight.

The traditions of man :)  His face though...pretty sure he can do duck face way better than any of those girls on the internet!

This is what happens when you send letters to Spain Mission home.  The earliest letter was from JULY!

All the sisters went to eat at an all you can eat chinese place before we started the fast! One of the temple workers and her husband gave us enough money to pay for all of the sisters! I love them!!! You choose the meat you want from the table and then they fry it right up in front of you! On another note...I think I´m over my sushi and sea food phase...

Ice cream after sushi:)

Honestly I don´t even know why...pouring water into her mouth while she was on the ground just seemed like such a great idea at the time!

The after effects...

One of the spots where we teach a bunch of our lessons. it´s the right in front of the university and diagonal from the convent I bought some nuts for you guys.  Spain is so gorgeous!!!

I have the pictures from our last tea party on this memory card!  Ooooo I love them!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Another Friend!

Sept 4, 2014

So glad when I opened my (Rachel) email a couple of days ago and found a wonderful email from a Senior Hermana Missionary in Spain who knows McKenna.  Here is what she said:

My name is Elizabeth Waite, and I am a senior missionary in Spain.  Your daughter, the younger Sister Finch, and I picked up our visas from the Spanish consulate in Utah at the same time.  We arrived in Madrid just a week before her.  We are working in the Madrid Temple and live in the same building as the MTC. That gave us the opportunity to see her many times while she was here.  She is such a delight, as you well know.  I just adore her. A couple of weeks ago we made a trip to Alcala and ran into her and her companion.  She was so happy and excited about the work.  Alcala is the most charming little town, and she was really enjoying being there.  She just glows with goodness, excitement, and enthusiasm. Her companion was darling and they seemed to really enjoy each other.  I tried to call you to give you a report, but was unable to reach you.  Just know that she is happy, healthy, and a glowing example of a righteous womanhood.  You must be so proud of her.  I don't have her email address, and would love to keep in touch with her, and know when she is coming into Madrid to attend the temple.  If you wouldn't mind sending it to me, I would appreciate it.  If there is ever anything I can do for you in regards to your darling daughter, just let me know.

 And, Spain is awesome!  It is modern and has most of the comforts of home.  Public transportation is fantastic. Great doctors available. Good food abundant. It is a very safe country, and she couldn't be in a better place.  Thanks for the info, and I'll keep in touch.

And then this today!:

I just happened to run into McKenna today. She is in Madrid for zone conference. I gave her your hug and a few of mine. She looks wonderful and is happy as can be. She is really fired up. She said that her brother was looking for some missionary advice, and I should tell him he needs to give the missionary lessons for FHE. That's the best advice she can give. She sends her love back. 

Running With The Bulls and Bull Fight...Oh My!

Sept 1, 2014

I love Spain! This weekend has been on of the craziest of my life. 1st: We started off by going to a lesson that we could not remember the person we were having it with, but we went to the appointed place at the time we were supposed to go and there was a chico of 16 years with 12 of his other friends. They had all gathered to gawk at the American girls, but it turned into a pretty good lesson. Whenever a new friend would show up and say he didn't believe or was getting rowdy the other boys would shoo him off.
Right after we had another lesson with a man who brought us into his bar to the back room (We had a returned missionary with us) and to a business conference! Then he tried to get us to sign onto some company, but when we got him to understand who we are he listened to our message and actually ended up coming to church Sunday! I´m super excited to teach him! 
The next day we got permission from President to go to the running of the bulls so we went and watched that with a member and then that night we got to go see a bull fight! The first bull was super sad, but then you kinda got numb. I definitely won´t be repeating it anytime soon, but it was fun to take part in such a tradition of Spain!
O.: Has a fecha for the 14th of Sept. She and P. were about to attend the Elder´s baptism on Sunday so hopefully everything will go smoothly!
P.: She and her daughter B. came to the baptism and I think it was super good to get her into the chapel! She also agreed to set a baptismal date with us (which she didn't want to before). She will be baptized on the 28 of Sept. 
A.: The investigator who took us into his bar. Has a ton of questions about the church and definitely does not agree that God can speak to people face to face. When I showed him the scripture about how Moses talked with God face to face in Genesis he had to check what version of bible I had. Hahaha I am super excited to teach him!
Love Hna Finch XOXO