Monday, June 22, 2015

Broken Bus Doors

June 22, 2015

What a beautiful week! Sometimes I dislike writing these cause I never know what to write. Basically there's just too much I want to say and not nearly enough time or room for me to say it all. But I think I'll be happy just talking about our weekend.

We started out on Saturday morning in study having a very spiritual experience when we were practicing the first vision. I'm so grateful for the companion I have and how easy it is for us to talk and communicate with one another. Starting the day out with such an experience, we left the house really knowing that we are representatives of the Lord. We carried that spirit with us all day and then to end the night we had interviews with President. He and Hna Jackson are finishing up their missions next week and have been doing a little tour of the mission and saying goodbye. It was great to have the time to talk with him.  At the end of the interview he gave me a hug and just said something about how my much father loves me. My Heavenly Father and my earthly Father. It was so nice to have a daddy hug. I cannot wait for my next hug from my dad. 

Our Sunday was also super special. Using President's words from Saturday night "you have the most unique area in our mission". You know how people use unique when talking about somebody who's just a little crazy or difficult? Yep. Our area is really spread out and takes a chunk out of our day to travel. Which is not good in missionary work. But the travel is necessary, even if we do have to use a lot of time in between getting from place to place to visit people. Anyways, Sunday, we went to San Isidro, which is one of the furthest towns we visit, about 35-40 minutes away, if you catch the bus right in time. We had a bunch of less actives we needed to visit and not. one. could. see. us. 1.30-2.30 hours lost in travel. ¿Enserio? After we left the doorway of our last less active, I may have stomped my foot and said "But I know we needed to come out here today!"

Anyway, we went to the bus stop to wait for our bus and low and behold a man who had been on the same bus to San Isidro came to get onto our bus. So we started talking to him and we were able to answer a lot of questions he had about the church. While we were riding the bus, Hna Santiago looked down to her hands, where she had a Book of Mormon in English. 
Her: "Do you have one in Spanish?"
Me: "No, just Italian for "M."!  (Yeah I know, English BoM and Italian BoM, but not the one we needed!)
Her: "I´m gonna give him the English BoM."
Me: "He doesn't even know English!" 
So we ended up feeling the same way. The English BoM was not for our new friend and he ended up getting his number and promising him a BoM later this week. We left the bus thoroughly confused. Got off the bus, visited someone and after that lesson got back on the bus to go to our next lesson. 

When we arrived at our destination (Los Cristianos) we walked to the door and the bus driver couldn't get them to open! It was only us and another lady and the bus driver on the bus and no matter what button he pushed to try to get them to open they wouldn't open. The woman started speaking up and said that she was about to miss her bus and still the doors wouldn't open. Her bus left and finally the doors opened. She was a little sad about missing her bus, but she was really quite fine and was like "It's fine, I'll just catch the next." 

Introducing "P.": The little lady from the bus. She's from England and actually lived her for 20 years, but in the end moved back to England. She comes to Los Cristianos about 8 times a year. 
We got talking with her and she said that she needed to come back to church. We invited her to ours. She told us about a friend in England who's a little sad. We said we could send missionaries to her. We read Moroni's promise with her in English. She loved it. We knew the reason why we had saved our English Book of Mormon. When we left her she was already reading the Book of Mormon!

I love the mission. Really this time is precious and I am so grateful for all I have learned and felt. It seems so odd that I'm hitting one year in the mission this week. It's an accomplishment to have a year on the mission, but I would feel a lot better about it if I were an Elder and still had a year left. But I'm excited for the time I still have to learn and change and grow. I love you all!

Love, Hna Finch

President and Sister Jackson

Ipads:) Yay

Eating dinner at "L's", it was a little large and he didn't have a woman so we ate it outside of his house. Half in table, half out. Hehehe

This is love!

 Walking to those members houses we ate at last week. More pics:) 

The view from their window. Did I mention that we saw dolphins when we were eating at their house? And the tide pools where he got our food for lunch.

Our lunch. Suuuuper fresh!

Don´t be crabby;)

Going to Monkey Park last Monday. My pals. Also a little monkey jumped on my head at the end, but by then my camera was already dead. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

We got iPads! Yay:)

June 15, 2015

So I´ll start with the obvious this week....We got Ipads.... :) YAY :) So we are currently current on almost all technology in the modern world, right? I don´t think there was a cooler app ever invented than the Gospel Library app. Do you realize how much gold is just sitting there?! Hna Santiago and I have been having so much fun reading talks and showing Mormon Messages to our investigators. They also have these incredible pamphlets to use with our investigators! (Too bad all the pamphlets are in English though) They get the gist. 

We also had another lesson with our favorite hobo, "M." is a 30 years old Italian who lives in a cave. Let me tell you all little about how his conversion story will be when he´s a member of the 70.
"So there I was! I had shunned my Italian family and their riches and gone to live as a wild spirit on the beaches of a little island off the coast of Africa, when I approached two clean looking girls as said 'Do you guys have any shoes?' Little did I know that was the question that would change my life forever!" 

"M." is still a little duro. He believes there's something and that it could be God, but the idea of one Man atoning for the sins of everyone is just a little difficult for him. (For me too, Christ is incredible!) "M." is also inseparable from his dog, but left her for a couple hours outside the chapel while he came to church. She was barking the whole time, she´s never been away from him for that much time. We're praying that next week when he comes, hopefully his dog will be a little more used to it that she won't bark and whine the whole time. But he's ready to experiment and try to see if the promise of the Book of Mormon is true. He's got a lot to change, but I have no doubt that the Book of Mormon can change everything that's in his heart. I'm so excited for him!

We had a great experience with "R." and her family this week. She had her birthday party and her husband (who is definitely not in favor of the church) came home early and we were able to chat with him. He's really starting to open up to us and even laughed at a few of our comments. Rosa has to get past her fear of changing, changing everything she's every known and leaving it for something better. I was reading a devotional by Elder Christofferson this morning on my NEW IPAD (I don't know if I mentioned we got iPads?) about Saving our Lives. Oh it was great! One of the scriptures he shared was about how Christ said he didn't come to bring peace, but to divide households. Matthew 10: 34-38. Christ true religion shakes things up. He's here to help us progress and no one can progress in the comfort zone. 

We´re off to Monkey Park!!!! Wooo!

Hna Santiago and our first selfie on our iPads!

The view from "S." and "J."'s house!

"S." and "J."'s daughter and I

Fresh crab and something else. Our lunch on Friday with "S." and "J." and fam

Lessons on the beach at sunset:

"J." - a recent convert who came island hopping to Tenerife to visit her mom. We were able to chat with her about what sister missionaries do and such.  There aren't any sisters on her island and we were the first sister missionaries she's met.

The view from El Fraile (one of the pueblos we visit) straight to the beach

"R." and her family for her birthday (investigators)

Hna S and I were walking down the street one night and a man had a parrot so we contacted him and he let us take a picture with his bird!

Monday, June 8, 2015

I Love Panguitch :)

June 8, 2015

Moooom!!!!!! I loooove you! This week was pretty uneventful. So my area is the lower 3/4ths of the island so it just depends on what area we´re in since we move around a lot.  But Mt. Teide itself is actually in my area;) Cool huh? My companion is great! I really am so grateful for her! I love island life. Everyday I marvel at the fact that I am literally on a little bitty land mass in the middle of the ocean. Never gets old. Guess what we found out? Hna Santiago is totally related to the Houston's and the Hatch's. Small world eh? I love my mission life. 

I love Panguitch:) The other day this MA´s son was complaining about how religious people always talk about religion and they just won´t shut up. Like "I´m fine with where I am leave me alone."  I then proceed to tell them about Panguitch and how great it is. His mom jumped out of her seat and gave me a hug when I told her she could come visit me. I then likened it to the knowledge we have. We know that we have something so great and so incredible and sometimes we get reactions about the gospel like the reaction his mom gave me when telling her about Panguitch. That´s why we do it. Some people react the right way. Others get annoyed when we keep talking about the greatness we have. (Notice how Panguitch and Heaven are interchangable words;)) Hehehehe!  

Monday, June 1, 2015


June 1, 2015

Stats: So right now I am in the Canary Islands on the island of Tenerife. Tenerife is the biggest Canary Island and has 3 wards on it. La Laguna, Santa Cruz, y Los Cristianos. The ward of Los Cristianos consists of every little pueblo (town) from basically the lower 3/4 of the island of Tenerife. So we've got a TON of little pueblos, but no big cities really. It's a new experience to be on the bus so much, but I really like contacting people in the bus. Everybody is so open and friendly and the best part is: They. Can´t. Run. Hahaha! Just kidding! Kinda.... ;) Los Cristianos is the name of the pueblo where the missionaries and the church are. The south of Tenerife is famous for it's beaches, which are GORGEOUS. 

Ok now onto the fun part! I loooove Hna Santiago! She is great. Picture this: being Avery Veater's companion. I'm not even kidding. It's awesome. She even went to The U! She's a country loving Texan and we get along great. She's also only two transfers younger than me in the mission so it's been so fun to just work so hard together the past week. ​

I got to meet the ward yesterday and I am so excited to get to know everybody better! We're a ward, but it's not nearly the size of Alcalá. I think there were probably like 70 there yesterday and there's about 200 less actives....Ladies and gents. I think we've got a problem. But no worries Santiago and Finch are here!

Speaking of less actives. Let´s talk about "L.", a 32 year old Argentinian. Served a year of his mission here in the islands while he was waiting for his visa, but the visa never came through so he didn't end up serving the last year of his mission. Well, now he's a has some difficulties but I really quite like him. We've just got to get him to come back to church. He's just gotta take of the sacrament. He's worthy to do it too. He just doesn't want to because he feels like the members judge and that he doesn't want to be a hypocrite. We're working with him.  

Also, "E.". She's from the islands. She was actually found by the sisters through her sister, "S." who is a less active member. She's in her 60's or 70's and the sisters started teaching her right before I came in. She knows the church is true. Her husband is just a little (a lot) against it (mainly 3 hours plus 45 minutes there and back of traveling time). Her and her husband actually own a farm so we're going to go over there this Friday and do some service and hopefully change his opinion of the church. 

Next up, we're teaching a family. Well kinda, the dad doesn't want anything to do with us (he gave up on God when his son died) and the mom's a little confused about how our church is different, but they're great! They've got two teenage kids and one younger daughter that just completed her first communion last Saturday. We've got a little work, but they're great!

CPdE: Welll this is awkward. Last night we were meeting with one of our 20 year old muslim investigators and now I'd like to borrow Hna Santiago´s word's for this part of the story:  "Lastly, to end the week we started meeting with this great 20 something kid that we met near the bus stop. Unfortunately, we wont be meeting with him anymore though. Last night he expressed to us that the first time we met him, it was because he saw Hermana Finch and I and we just had this light about us, so he followed us. He then proceeded to express unto ME his undying desires to take Hermana Finch for his wife. Don't worry she was sitting right in the middle of us and heard the whole thing! I think it may be common in his culture to have arranged marriages, I believe I was playing the role of the mother. Better luck next time kid!"  It was un poco incomodo!

That´s it for the islands folks!

I forgot! So "L." has also sent a few letters up to Salt Lake and you've gotta hear what he said to us!
"L.": "And you know what they said to me?!"
Us: "....No...."
"L.: "Obey! Don´t question the doctrine!"
Us *In our heads*: Welll, yep, that sounds about right...
Hna Santiago: "And how does that make you feel?...."
Bahahahaha!!!! We ended up quoting it all week long. Obey! Don´t question the doctrine! And over time it grew to have more and more of a hick accent until we decided that it was definitely Elder Oaks who wrote the letter. We went back to his house yesterday and guess what we found out? Elder Oaks wrote the letter.... ^_^ Hehehehehe!!

Goodbye to the old district...

and one of my closest friends in Alcorcón! Besos!

My last hair cut in Alcorcón. Look Mom! I´m professional now!  Before...


Saying goodbye to Hna Berry and the missionaries that went to the islands. 

The blond elder standing on the edge and I are in the same district.

Hna Sanchez and I on the plane to the islands. I would just like to say how much I love this sister. We've been thrown together as companions in a couple other situations before when we were sister training leaders and never had our comps so we got another day to be together. Probably our last before she goes home in August. 

Also Teide, the highest mountain in Spain, that happens to be on our island. Don't worry, we're gonna go there!

My island!!!!!

And Hna Santiago and my first pic juntas!

So. We bought Subways sandwiches then had a picnic on the beach after district meeting. Island life is tough. 

We found mud masks in our piso. This will be a weekly thing. 

Also a legitimate comp foto after church.

Had to snap a quick foto of the sunset on the beach the other night when we were running to a lesson. Don´t be jealous;)