Saturday, October 25, 2014

My Week!

October 20, 2014:

My Week: This week was fabulous! (Hey Mom look at how long this email is;) Do you love me?;)) First, lemme start at last was awesome. We made Mom´s oatmeal cake and then watched a chick flick (aka Legacy...look what I have become...). We also had a really great lesson this week with a menos activo young woman and we´re going to do the young women´s program all together!!! Ahhh!!! I can´t even tell you how pumped I am to do the young woman´s program again, but in Spanish! We also got to go to the temple this week - YAY - and right after we had intercambios. I got to go to Azuqueca with Hna Crandall again. I just adore her! She is one of the best funnest people alive! We also have an investigator who has a four year old daughter. She reminded me soo much of Leighton! Needless to say we talked about Frozen and Disney princesses and sang songs almost the whole time. So adorable!

Investigator: D. - So my old companion, Hna Coburn, and her companion before me actually found D., but at the end of their transfer together he stopped answering their calls. Then, when Hna Coburn and I were together we found him on the street and were able to sit down and have a lesson with him and talk about what had happened. He said that he had prayed about the BoM and didn't believe that he should continue learning about the church or meeting with the missionaries. We would see him in the streets after and visit with him, but he always remained distant. Yesterday Hna Fowers and I saw him and we just had enough time to teach one lesson before heading over to the chapel for a baptism, but our intended lesson had failed us. So we sat down and talked to him for a while about different things, the church, his schooling, his life, and his doubts.  (He´s also super intelligent and had researched the church before the other hnas had taught him - golden, right?) 
We invited him to the baptism with us, but he really didn't want to go, because he felt like if he went in the chapel that would be committing to return and that he was showing more interest than he felt. So we visited for a little while more, but we needed to start walking to the chapel (it´s about a 30-40 minute walk from where we found him) so in a very sneaky manner we invited him to walk with us. Then once we got to the chapel, we were like "Are you sure you don´t want to come in?" and he said since he was there - why not! So we gave him a church tour and he had some more questions about the life of Joseph Smith so we set up another appointment to meet with him this week! Yay!!!!! 
After the baptism he said he loved it! And I swear one of the talks was just for him! Hna Coburn said his biggest challenge was that he did not want to come to the church para nada, but now he´s entered! He overcame that! I´m so excited for him! Prayers that he will feel a yearning for the gospel in his life!
CPdE: Sooo this week for Crazy People de España we were talking to a menos activo in front of a roasted chestnuts and corn stand (Isn't that just the cutest? Also the ice cream stands went away and now there´s a whole bunch of these stands everywhere since it´s getting colder). (Another side note - the menos activo is pretty interesting as well. He´s got one ear ring with a dangly cross hanging from it!) Anyways so we´re chatting with him and the man in the chestnut stand motions to the pass along cards my companion is holding and tell us that he wants one. So we try to talk to him and invite him to hear the lessons, but I think he was just a little confused about life. He then proceeded to hang up the pass along card on the wall of his shack, and then make the symbol of the cross with his hands. Hahaha! So now there is an LDS pass along card in the chestnut shack of a very catholic little man!

McKenna's Mom here:  I found these pictures while rolling through my Facebook feed one day!  Love finding random pictures of our missionary!  Awesome!  It looks like she is making some beautiful friends!

Now back to McKenna's email!

Guess what time we go to the temple? Well we woke up at 5:30 to get ready, to leave, to get there on time...bleh! Guess what time I went to bed that night? Well it was intercambios, I love Hna Crandall, and we both love to talk....too late! Hahaha! Great times!

This is my dessert at one of the members houses! It was seriously the Spanish version of Grandma Schmutz!  I was dying! She made us the Spanish version of chocolate chips cookies and rice con leche! Yuuuuum!!!!

Us with the members and their garden! Yeah that´s right they have a garden!!!! Guess how far we had to travel to find a garden?! ONE HOUR! So messed up! The yellow fruit is called membrillo and it is welll....kinda interesting, but I just had the best fruit roll up of it yesterday with the L.´s! They also had figs from their garden so I have now had my first figs! Yum!​

The little playground that we played at while waiting for the bus!

L. and his daughter E.! He was baptized when he was 8 in Columbia, but has lived in Spain for 17 years and has never really been back to church. We just barely found them this week, but I´m so excited to teach them!!!! He didn´t remember much about the church and didn't really want us to come over and teach them, but he did remember the FHE's they would have in Columbia, and all the treats! Sooo we wiggled our way into his heart and we´re gonna have an FHE with him and his wife and E. at their house this week! Hoop hoop holla holla! 

Puerta de Madrid! My city! It is beautiful!!!! 

The other sisters´ convert! Woop woop for baptisms!!! G. (their convert) is bomb! The other man is A. and 1st counselor in the bishopric. He´s from Argentina and we´re super tight with their family! We had the president of the Madrid temple come and give his talk in sacrament and he served in Argentina AND guess who one of his converts were?! A´s mom!!! How wonderful to see the fruits of you´re labors like that! 


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Medieval Festival

October 13, 2014

Invesigator - R.: So we met R. in the street and she was willing to sit down in front of Palacio del Obispo and have a lesson. Here´s the miracle part of it: She´s from Spain! And she´s a young single adult! And she was open to learning about us! Boom! So we met her a few weeks ago and have been teaching her since then. Everything she learns (like the whole Plan of Salvation) she was just like this makes sense. This makes complete sense. The downer is she´s super duper Catholic. Like attends Mass Catholic (that´s super Catholic, fyi). So this week we´re really gonna focus on priesthood authority, cause obviously if she´s thinking we´re the same, she´s not understanding the priesthood. But she´s so good really! She´s like a sponge - absorbing everything! She also is searching for her purpose in life so we´re gonna try to angle everything toward that. Especially now that we´re on commandments.

Lesson Learned - Hna Fowers is just so awesome and so we made a food calendar and having been meeting and getting to know a lot more members. It is so fabulous! So after we eat with these members we always leave a spiritual thought and invitation, usually. Well, we were eating at on member´s house. They´ve been members for ever and their 3 children were raised in the gospel but now they´re in their 30s and 20s and the children are inactive. The members asked if there was anything they could do for us and we responded that just letting us come over and teach a lesson in their house or coming and helping with a lesson would be wonderful. But as soon as these words left our mouths the wife (who´s about 50/60ish) responds with a quick "No." Say whaaat? She said we could use their house, but she didn´t want to help in lesson. We explained all we needed was for her to bare her testimony, but she told us she doesn't have a testimony (lemme just say that she had also just been doing a session at the temple the day before so she hadn't been able to get around to watching all the sessions of conference). We realized that she had been waiting her whole life for a grand spiritual experience like her husband had to say she had a testimony. Because many of the members here are converts they all have some great stories of how they were converted to the gospel and like to tell them often. So she had raised her kids without thinking she had a testimony. But she is amazing! She said she cries when she read the Liahona and loves attending the temple; that´s the Spirit! I wish we could say that we had changed her mind at the end, but she was just a little too Spanish (aka stubborn) for that. We don´t need a grand spiritual experience to determine our testimony! If we´ve tried living the gospel principles and experimented and noticed a postive difference in our lives - well I say roll with it! We can´t just stand on the sidelines refusing to play because we only recieved our instructions when the rest of the team recieved them (conference, scriptures, devotionals), instead of recieving a personal pep-talk from The Coach. 

Soooo the other day when Hna Fowers and I were contacting we started talking to this man. At the end of our conversation he grabs the back of Hna Fowers neck to pull her down to kiss her cheeks, but when he was refused while he was shaking her hand he brought it up to his lips and kissed it. Bahahaha!!!! Then when it was my turn to shake his hand I was just like "There is no way......I am letting him kiss my hand!" So I put my hand low for him to shake and when he tried to pull it up I kept it waist level. So he stooped to my waist to kiss my hand! Well guess he foiled my plan!!!! (p+l)(a+n)=pa+pn+la+ln

Tambien: It was the medival festival this week in Alcalá, which is the biggest medival festival in Europe! Hoop hoop holla holla! Unfortunately we didn´t even discover the biggest part of the festival until Sunday night. Which was also the last day of the festival....go figure!

Love from España, Hna Finch 
Muah! XOXO

 The banner across Calle Mayor.

The meat! (We´ve both done paleo;)) 
The 4 legged creatures were just a little smaller than what I´m used to!

The owls. 

In Plaza Cervantes, one side of the Plaza...

And the other side of Plaza Cervantes.

Jesters from a couple days before...we got to go out and explore (It was nice weather that day. Can you tell?) 

The day we were actually able to come out and spend medio dia at the festival also happened to be the day when the heaven´s decided to release the biggest torrent ever!

The Kebab tent we ate at.

Under the Kebab tent during the torrent!

Food selfies!

Don´t worry I didn´t forget about your birthday though mom!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOOO YOOOU! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOOO YOU!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR MOOOMMMMMMYYYYY!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!! and many more on channel four, I kickout out the door annnnd you smell like a monkey annnnnnnd you act like one too!!!! :)

I  have come to realize that my "cool Spanish sandels" release this blue dye that stains my feet whenever they get feet we´re really blue that day....

Washing my feet in the.......butt sink! Yep we´re pretty European.

My article I read on the day of Baylee´s wedding: "Happiness: There´s Not a ´Single´ Barrier; Don´t Let Your "Single" Status be a Roadblock to Joy".  It was an Ensign article from 1988 we had in our piso. Well played old hermanas of my piso....well played. I also dressed accordingly;)...all in black!
We had a friend feed all the hermanas so I wouldn´t be lonely on Baylee's wedding day. and she made paella! It´s like a super traditional Spanish dish. And she´s from Peru....tehehe

Double dessert!!! The reason for my weight gain in Spain! 
Elder Salazar is off to Mexico today!!! He was a visa waiter, but he left the MTC with me. He would teach me Spanish and I would teach him English. Great exchange, but I think I got the better part;)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Dungeons!

October 6, 2014

Well my beloved family and friends, I luuuuuuv you!!! And also BAYLEEEEEE you´re getting married this week!!!!!! Ahhhhhhh!!!!! AAhhhhhhhh!!!!!!! Sooo back to Spain ;) 

This week we cleaned the dungeon - I mean basement - one of our recent converts. She lives in this huge apartment building, but in the basement of this complex there are storage compartments for all the apartments, it is like a maze of tombs down there! And it had never been cleaned yuck! 

One of our investigators (D.) also made us thee best food I have ever tasted in my life!  He got to the member´s house late though so we started the lesson (and it was such a good lesson!)  Oh I love having lessons at member´s houses!  Especially these members!  Their names are R. and L. and they are just about the best people ever (I invited them to come visit us after I get off my mission too Mom!  It´s a pretty for sure thing) and the Spirit was so strong!  L. came up to me after with tears in her eyes and just gave me a big hug.  We ate late so we really just had to shove everything in our mouths and then we had to run home, taking the dessert with us!  I don´t even know what it was but the dessert was so fabulous!  It was just apples that were cooked in wine (but he made just to make it with alcohol-less wine, just in case the alcohol didn't all cook out) but they tasted like pastries! And we even ate them cold and a little thrown around from our run home, but yum! They were called manzanas asadas, I think!
We also had a few lessons with a new investigator R. She is soooo skinny like her pants are probably 00, but they fall off anyway... Los testigos de jehova are also visiting her, but she is so welcoming. She has a very large smoking problem though, but always welcomes us into her house.

One of our investigators L. also came with her 2 year old son to conference, it was a little difficult to understand the first part of the session because it was in Spanish, so I just played with him until conference finished downloading on one of the BYU student´s phone in English! Woop woop! I love you all! 

One of the members we ate with, her and her family had wands and light sabers and action figures of everything! It was a nerd´s paradise!

Hna fowers makes fabulous gourmet food all the time sooo i took a picture of one of it!

The tombs below L.´s house!


L. and her son. 

I got a flag blanket from one of our members and then one day I was getting down or something so Hna Fowers made me stand on my chair and shout "Everybody loves me!"  hahaha!