Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Multi-Cultural Week

November 24, 2014

So this week has been very multicultural we've taught people from India, Japan, Britian/Spain, Spain, Ecuador, Columbia, Peru, Paraguay, China/Canada/Germany, and a bunch of other countries I can´t remember! We also had a Thanksgiving dinner with the Calderon family and one of their daughters (who´s also the young women´s president and expecting her first child) prepared it. She even made stuffing! And we´re gonna eat with all the 8 missionaries and 2 married missionaries in Alcalá for the actually Thanksgiving I´m so excited! 

First off church yesterday was awesome! They´re doing a whole missionary week here in seminary and on Sunday all the youth received their calls (just like home, but wait for it, it get different) annnnnd here´s the part I´m really excited about: They've all got to go out to lessons with us this week! Holla! I´m so excited for them! And this week they've got to live by the mission standards and teach and truly prepare. What a great experience!

Guess what we´re gonna do next P-Day? Go make holiday treats with Hermana Waite in her apartment in Pavones! Hahaha we´re so excited to make American treats with an American grandma!  Our piso already has a Christmas tree so we´re all set in that area and one of the ward family fed us Thanksgiving dinner already (The C.´s, they´re so awesome and they love us) and all the 8 missionaries are gonna go eat with the 2 new married couples and have a Thanksgiving all together. Yay! I can´t even believe it....I've been out 5 months today! Whoa and 6 months next month! One sister said the weirdest thing for her was when she hit 6 months and then all of a sudden she realized that she was never going to have another 27th of December on her mission, no more repeat days. I still feel so inadequate, but poco a poco!  I've still got a lot ahead of me! We've got to pass C. that has a son on a mission and isn't a member to the other sisters in Azqueca cause she lives out of our area, but thank you so much for your prayers. Wish us luck! Muah!

-C.: I love C. She´s bomb. She´s Spanish, has short blue hair, social anxiety, liberal views, and is a tattoo artist. Just my type of person! She´s also already read the Book of Mormon, but she just doesn't understand the concept of faith. It´s all fine and dandy for her, but she is very set that while other people can experience faith and it can be real for them, she cannot feel faith. She´s also studied Mormonism before and respects Mormons and also the Norse gods the most. I guess we´re somewhat similar? ;)
-M. Is a menos activo and from Japan. When we first walked into her house she kind paused awkwardly and was like "Annnd this is a Japanese house sooo you´ll have to take off your shoes." It was pretty fun! We´re also gonna start teaching another Japanese girl so we've planned a Noche de Hogar at her house for this Saturday! She´s really excited to get to know another Japanese girl. (Fun fact: M. attended UVU and that´s where she met her Spanish husband!)

CPdE: Sooo remember a few emails ago where the guy kissed our hands? So we walked past this same guy (we didn't realize it at the time though) and he was all dressed up with a beret and army clothes and he walked by us and snapped to attention and saluted us as we passed! Hahaha! After we walked away, we realized what had just happen and who is was. Well guess he´s good enough to be used twice!

From Hermana Fowers:
"Let us start with T. and S. They are from India and are Muslims. We met T. on the streets with his little 2 yr old son...we started talking about eternal families and he invited us over to eat (Indian food... woohoo) and talk. Sweet. So we go over and eat some very very delicious food. and start talking about the gospel. Come to find out they are Muslim. very Muslim. but they belong to a branch of the Muslim church that actually has some ideas and beliefs that are similar to ours.  Just with one key factor missing: they don´t believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior. It was a great experience to testify of Christ and everything He has done for us. We ended with a prayer...before we prayed they both ran out of the room to grab something. We were kind of confused what was going on... they came back into the room with full out veils and hats- apparently that is how they show respect while they pray. It was a super cool experience."

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Miracle Email

November 17, 2014

Again Hermana McKenna forwarded her companions emails to her home.  She did add one from just her and so she has been forgiven!  I really do appreciate Hermana Fowers' emails.  They give a little different light than what McKenna writes:)

Hermana Fowers Email:
Mom! Look at how sweet this is! We totally met this woman C. a few weeks ago in Carrefour and she ​stopped us and was tell us all about how her son is on a mission, but she´s not a member. (See last week's blog post).  Anywho we visited her and her son just emailed us and oh! I knew we were the answer to his prayer but this just confirms it! Please pray for C. and A. This is some seriously important missionary work!

C's missionary son's email:
Thank you sisters, you have been an answer to my prayers. Since the beginning of my mission, I have prayed really hard for my family to have their hearts soften to eventually hear the message of The Gospel, and you have been a God-sent miracle for my life, and for the lives of my parents. I must confess, I write you this, and I don't really want to creep you out but just thank you for your sweet spirit and for your good hearts, I am like my mother, I am really crazy and without any kind of embarrassment. I have been praying for you two, talking with Him and pleading that he was gonna pour out His spirit and be with you while teaching them, I don't know anything about the lesson but thank you because the appointment with them went great, they feel a lot of affection and love for you too. I am REALLY thankful to the Lord and that you were worthy to attend His call. And I am really thankful to know your names, I love you, as your brother, and you must know that I will be praying for you both by name every day.

I have plenty more to say, but everything will end the same way:


If there is anything I can do for you both, please, contact me! ( I will give you information of my family and I will cooperate to get them baptized muahahaha :) )

Have a beautiful and a wonderful week, keep the good work and keep blessing our brothers and sisters lives :)

Elder G. C.

Hermana McKenna's email:

Hola family and friends!
What a week! This week we saw many miracles mainly in the way with members. Honestly members are so awesome! They´re the one people that can´t reject you on your mission! With all the rain we've had people didn't really want to stop and talk to us this week so we made a real effort to try to get some member references. It was so cool to see the different ways that the members were more inclined to do missionary work. It´s been wonderful to see the way that they´ve been coming to trust us! The C. family gave us references of members who may have references for us or who were really in need of a little upliftment. (They are so awesome! One of their daughters was starting to teach at the MTC as I was leaving and their dad knows Hna Fower´s boyfriend´s dad and was companions with her uncle; so yeah they love us;)). 

P., who just got baptized with the sisters in Torrejón (I met her on intercambios and we hit it off so every time there´s a big stake thingy we always find each other.) gave us several references of friends she has in Alcalá when she came to visit us. One of the menos activos we starting visiting is planning with us a sneaky way we can start teaching her boyfriend. And many members offered and invited us over with investigators to their homes for Family Home Evenings. I love the members! 

CPoE: Sooooo Hna Fowers basically got proposed to by one of our investigators this week. He wanted to take her to his house. Needless to say....we had to drop him. She´s a little disappointed and shocked, she thought he had some real potential......Bahahhahahahaha!!!!!!

Another email from Hermana Fowers:
Want to know what the best sacrament meeting of the year is?!  The primary program... :)  It was so perfect... I was tearing up, and I don´t cry very easily. The theme was families can be together forever and kids are just so darn cute. One of my favorite songs they sang was ´Armies of Helaman´ for the chorus they turned ot the audience and had us sing too ´we will be the Lord´s missionaries´... it was killing me. Loved it so much.

We had quite a few rainy mornings this week. and we made a new tactic (because when there is rain... people don´t really like to stop and talk ...) so we made a few big batches of cookies and have made a new focus on working with members.

It was really cool to see the different ways the Spirit works on the different members to help us with the missionary work. I've thought a lot about how different missionaries have different approaches and strengths with the work... and this week we saw that in the members as well. Some members were all excited about starting an FHE in their home where we could invite investigators, menos activos and such... other members would go through the ward list - giving us members that we could stop by:some that maybe needed a little extra help, or would have some friends, some members gave us the number of their friends, and some helped us out of the cold and gave us some hot chocolate. 
I really like this ward... it was really cool to be more part of the ward and see them work in their own ways according to their own strengths. Anyway... we were really guided by the Lord this week... haha I feel like you have to be when it is always raining and there is no one really on the streets.

One really cool thing this week: we were meeting with a member that is starting to come back to church... we were teaching the plan of salvation and it was really sweet to see her true intention to come back. We started talking a lot about the temple... she got really quiet-really reflective and then said "I miss going to the temple... I want to go back, and I don´t want to go alone- I want to be sealed with my husband"  Her husband isn't currently a member... so we are working on that. but the Spirit is so strong in that house. incredible. true intent at its finest.

Now back to Hermana McKenna!
Soo Alcalá is pretty much da bomb and has crazy events happening all the time. The play on the stage is Don Juan performed.   

This was a marching band competition that we stumbled upon the other day.  Sweet!

From last week:  C. and A. and their fabulous feast! Really though it was pro!

Another one from last week:  P., one of our investigators, whose parents are from China, but he was raised in India then he moved to Canada and then Germany and now Spain, but his family´s living in Austria. Whew! And some of the BYU students that help us out!:)

We went to go see the Crypts today! It´s under the huge chapel that´s across from the palace in the heart of Madrid today! Crazy stuff!

A. (aka Garrett´s future wife) (don´t tell him yet) but honestly she is the cutest little thing ever annnnd she speaks english annnnnd she wants to go on a mission! Annnnd she helps us in lessons! I love her! (It was halloween)

C., one of the members of Azuqueca. She´s going to be serving a mission in England and is just so sweet!

One of our investigators (well actually she´s grown up as a member cause she´s pretty sure she was baptized when she was 8 in Peru, but they don´t have the records of it so we have to teach her all the lessons and baptize her again. Talk about awkward.....yeah she´s not to pleased with it) with her pet rooster. 

Some members teaching us how to make basically mushed corn and then putting it back in the shell to cook.  (Kind of like a tamale, but not really)

So this is B. and you can´t tell by her face, buuuut she loves us! ;) She´s a young woman the young women´s president asked us to visit and we´ve been working on personal progress with her. We also brought her some churros and chocolate the other day cause she just broke up with her boyfriend.

Our rain tent.....it´s been raining a lot....I´m not too big of a fan of it honestly. Sooooo grateful my call was to Spain and not the United Kingdoms!!!!!!!!​

The first counselor and his wife. They are so amazing! And so is their daughter F.!

 Also Hna Johns and I made cake in a mug!


Your adorable grateful leaves and advent calendar are hanging up!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Dinner with Temple Missionaries

November 12, 2014

I love when we are fortunate enough to receive an update on McKenna from someone serving with her in Spain.  This morning this email came through:

"We were very lucky to have the company of these 2 beautiful young sister missionaries with us when a group of us Temple Missionaries went out to dinner last week.  What sweet young women they are, and how lucky Madrid is to have them here!  They both looked very happy!"
                                             Br and Sis D.

Thank you Brother and Sister D!  They do look happy!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Email from Another?

November 10, 2014

McKenna's mom here.  Let me just say that Hermana McKenna must be sooooo incredibly busy because she sent me her companion's email this week instead of writing one herself!  Mmmm....that may have made me upset but she wrote back to some questions I had asked her about and had replied to comments I made about how the family here in Panguitch is doing.  

"So M. is just incredible... I´m just going to keep writing that every week because she is like the highlight and miracle of our lives at the moment. We went over this week and she told us that one day she was thinking about the church and was looking at the Book of Mormon and was wondering "Can this really be true?"... so she thought about it for a moment and then turned on the tv (haha she also told us that she probably should have picked up the BoM and read it... well at least she knows it).. but when she turned on the tv it was a show about the Mormon church (fancy that) and it was talking about baptism... haha how perfect is that!!!! We talked a lot about her baptism and she is excited for it! She came to church yesterday for the first time and loved it, she loved the messages, the people, the spirit!! I´m sooo excited for her

Guess who else came to church... R.!!! You know, super catholic R. that didn't want to come to church because she goes to mass... so last week we had a super fuerte (strong) lesson with her about how she needs to come to church to know if it is true... and she didn't come. then this week we had another fuerte lesson about how she needs to come to church... and then we were really annoying and kept calling her and walked with her to church, but hey-she came!!!! Woohoo. that is a victory, let me tell you.

We found an investigator this week that is so legit... we contacted her and started telling her about the church and all...come to find out she has researched all about the church and has read the Book of Mormon... crazy right. She is also such an interesting person- she has blue hair, blue eyes and is a tattoo artist. Good thing the gospel is for everyone! 

Lots of funny crazy experiences this week...
-We met a guy who quoted princess diaries to us and then made an analogy from the movie to the gospel... haha so legit.
-We were teaching this crazy lady who would mid sentence stand up and start dancing with her pillow... we invited her to church and she flat out said no... but hey we got an invite to her church!!! :)
-We found this lady whose son is on a mission, and she isn't a member, so we went to her house for lunch and she absolutely pampered us... super cute
-We ate with this man yesterday who had misplaced his juice... so we started eating without the juice and every 10 minutes or so he would suddenly get up to go search his whole house for this juice... no worries. The juice was found."

From McKenna herself:
Heeey mom....:) If you wanna see what I do and be a little more vocal in what you believe, you could ask the missionaries if they need help in a lesson and tell them you would love to come. Finding members to come to lessons is one of the most difficult things here and then you would get to see just want I´m doing out here! I love you!!!   

Us with one of Hna Fowers converts that we went to see on Monday

C. She stopped us in the store one day and told us she has a son on a mission in England, but she and her husband aren't members. She had us come over and eat and showered us with love and kisses and yummy food!

My hand is blurry in the picture because I was preaching it up to C.'s husband. Trying to beg them to read the Book of Mormon for their son. Well I guess you can see how much attention they paid... But still, fun pic!

The cakes in one of the store that´s right across from the centro JAS.  (Side note:  I'll have to ask Hermana McKenna what the JAS is!)

Us with some BYU students eating at the house of one of our investigators, P.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Missions Are Great!

November 3, 2014

So can I just say....Missions are great. Like really. This is the best thing I ever could have done in my whole life. Things here in Alcalá....are just fabulous! We were finding for a while, but now we've gathered some brilliant investigators and really gained the trust of the members. I am so grateful for all that the Lord has entrusted us with! Some of my favorite investigators are:

1. M. - She´s from Peru and has a fecha (date) for this month. Fingers crossed! She works a lot, but our lessons with her are always so powerful. She even had a dream the other night that she needs to keep meeting with us. She always is so sweet and happy too see us. I love her!

2. W. - He´s 28 and divorced. I think it´s because he´s already experience some hard trials that he´s willing to meet with us, cause lemme tell you....normally people like him don´t want to meet with us!  He also accepted our invitation to be baptized this month and once he finds he own testimony I just know he´ll be a great leader in the church. 

3. A. - He´s got to be one of the most soft spoken men I've ever met, but even though he´s soft spoken he´s got a lot to say! Haha! He always has a ton of questions. He´s agreed to be baptized if he knows it´s right, but we haven´t been able to hammer down a fecha with him. But he did bring one of his friends to church on Sunday and brought us chocolate!

4. C. - She is from Romania and adorable. She´s accepted the invitation to be baptized, but wants to know everything first. We shall see;) I don´t think I've ever met anyone with faith in God like her. She truly knows that everything she has she owes to God. Last night in the lesson with her she started crying when we told her how special and wonderful she is. I don´t think she hears that often enough. 

Funny story this week: We were at a Noche de Hogar (FHE) at some members house this week and they found out I was a cheerleader. The mom (who has grown up with the church) responded, somewhat surprised, "How were you a cheerleader if you were Mormon?!" Hahahahaha!!! Apparently the standards just weren´t matching up to her. Hahaha! So I was like "Oh that was before my mission! I´m a changed person now!" ;) Hahaha we were laughing about it for a few days after. You shoulda seen her face!

Another story: (Background: Spaniards love their dresses so there´s a ton of dress stores everywhere and we always love to see the dresses and know exactly when they change the dresses in the windows and everything.) So we were standing at a stoplight the other night and all of a sudden I remembered that the shop behind me was supposed to have changed their window dress that day so I spun around while saying "DRESS!" Right behind me there was a Spaniard about our age just laughing at me. Hahah welll whoopsie....(Lemme just add real fast that these are all wedding dresses) Annnnd then we proceeded to have an extensive conversation about how the stylist really shouldn´t have put the three different styles of material the dress had together. ¡Que será, será!

I also attended my first party with alcohol this week. Funny how things like that happen on a mission! One of the elder´s investigators who loves us, invited us over to the party because she had an investigator she wanted to give us. So we got over there and then the guests that arrived after us brought two bottles of wine! Hahaha! Everybody there was super chill! I love them! Unfortunately the girl she wanted to give us, her mom is already being taught by a different set of elders sooo they'll probably end up teaching her, but we ended up sharing a scripture with everybody at the party and got everybody´s references who weren't already being visited by the missionaries (too bad they live in Columbia and are only here on vacation!) Everybody was super interested in what we do and it was such a perfect environment to meet them. Just nice and relaxed! Annnnd it wasn´t even a member who did it! Hahaha 

I love you all!!! Cheers to a great week! (We totally did clink our soda glasses with their wine glasses btw)
Love, Hna Finch

Facebook steals for the week!  I love these people who post random pics of our missionary!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Japanese Culture de Espana

October 28, 2014

This week was awesome, just fabulous! We had two investigators come to church which may not sound crazy huge, but oh it was such a blessing for us! One of them A. is very intelligent and awesome, but has some trouble believing that there´s only one true church (Elder Christofferson´s talk this conference, am I right?!) and the other D. ....haha well he's an interesting story...
We actually met D. on the streets (he´s from Africa and I think he´s done of few too many drugs in his life time, so he´s a little shaky). He approached us, calling us Elders and I was like "No. Not another drunk.." I know that´s not exactly Christlike, but we get a lot of cat calls and drunk approaches...I think it happens to all the girls here honestly. But we started talking to him and asked if we could sit down and talk to him. As soon as we sat down he started roll up a cigarette and we really didn't think we would be having another lesson with him so we just taught the Word of Wisdom. (Call to repentance, eh?) We were very bold, which I honestly think really helped, he had no questions about where we all stood. He´s met with missionaries before and has super great intentions, but he has a very large WoW problem. His fingers are stained from how much he rolls and he has tremors that roll through his whole body and he can´t be more than 35. 
We also carved some pumpkins on P-Day with the other hnas and just 4 days later one of the pumpkin was rotten and filled with this weird white spider web mold! Yuck! Oh and we got dressed in, not kimonos but some less formal, a Japanese dress by a little Japanese student! She´s adorable! 
Investigator: So this week were were finally able to meet with M.! We contacted her in the street in the middle of the transfer, but because of this or that we finally got to teach her. And oooohhh! Such a powerful lesson! We invited her to be baptized on the 23 of November sooo we´ll see what happens. Miracles are fleeting on the mission, but great to lift you up! 
CPoE: So last Monday our recent convert, L., her roommate calls us on Monday during P-Day hours (while we were getting our hot water heater fixed, did I mention our hot water hasn't exactly been working? Yep the joys of a mission;)) and tell us that we have to come over to her house right now cause she made us food (She´s an old Spanish lady = a poco demanding...) but we couldn't leave so we ended up using our only free medio dia that day to go have dinner with them and then she sent us home with two big tuppers of this suuuuper Spanish food (meat, oil, grease, cream, basically)....we gave it to the Elders;).
Love you all! Have fun in ´Merica!

L. and I got to see hna Coburn right before she went home!

Our pumpkins!

Pumpkin fight!  I think it´s obvious who won! (If you guessed me you´re correct ;)

I tried to roast some pumpkins seeds...it didn´t work... :(

Also our weird molded pumpkin.

Alcalá Sisters

Also this is a giant puzzle in one of our investigators homes! It was 15,000 pieces or something! Thought Mom and my Schmutz side would appreciate it!

A tower in my area...Yeah it´s gorgeous!  
(Side note:  I (Rachel) google mapped it.  It's Archbishop's Palace)

A crazy tunnel into one of the towers we found! Woop! 

We also have Hna Snelson with us today cause her companion is traveling up to the north:)

Inside the crazy tower.

We also went to the cemetery today. It was ridiculous!

The graves!

 Yeah, people are buried in the wall!

This building is built on top of the grave then it has stairs leading down into it! This was one of the more dodgy ones. Other had like alters inside of them and stuff!