Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Kings and Queens!

July 27, 2015

What a fun week! It was the first normal week of this transfer where we could just work, without having to travel or having meetings that we had to travel super far for. Oh wait....I just remembered. Nope we had zone conference...so we did have to travel to La Laguna and missed mediodía, but que será, será (Am I right, Mom?;) ) This week we were gifted a Quran (Muslim holy book). I'm actually a little surprised I've made it through most of my mission without receiving one until now cause Muslims are probably some of the most fuerte believers out there. A Mormon missionary with the will and audacity of the Muslims I bet would tear up the streets. Seriously that's a thing I would love to see. Too bad they get killed if they convert right now. 

My investigators teach me so much. For example this week I learned how to read the Book of Mormon. Apparently I've been doing it wrong. One of our investigators "P." didn't read between our visits so when we got there we cracked open our BoM's (And when I say crack open I really mean swiped across our...IPADS. Yeah, still not over the awesomeness of it!) So we start reading in 1 Nephi 4 and "P." takes off reading. Annnd really into it, voice inflection, pauses, snickering. The whole deal. So Hna Santiago and I leaned back, apparently we weren't going to be reading when all of a sudden "V.", brother of "P.", bursts in and starts reading. So he reads for a while until "P." took the spotlight back and starts reading only to arrive to verse 28 when he starts snickering. 
Have you ever realized how hilarious it is that Nephi's brothers ran from him. Nephi get the plates and not only has the plates, but he's fooled everyone so well, that the servant of Zoram is following him! He's gotta be feeling great about himself! So he finally makes it outside the city walls, ready for his victory dance and celebratory coke with his brothers for the greatest escape of all time (in that time) when - like a needle, thrust into a balloon - his brothers run away. What a bummer. Celebratory dance all alone. Anyway. After the snickering was over we were able to have a great spiritual moment and "P." and Vidal committed to come to church. BUT they didn't.....So we came by on Sunday and they RECOMMITTED to come to church. Guys.... I just know they're going to come this Sunday

Next up: Sunday miracles! First off, "M.". Our wonderful, learned, Canarian woman. She's been coming to church but only to sacrament meeting, but this week she finally made the big leap annnnnd came to all three hours!!!! Can I just tell you how nice that was? Reeeeaaaal nice.

We also had "R." (the mother of our little family) come to church with her daughter. "R." started investigating the church about 10 months ago, but stopped coming to church when her husband came to Tenerife from Ecuador, about 6 or 7 months ago. And stopped meeting with the missionaries. Anyway, her husband, "H.", is super against the church and God in general. (He blames God for his problems.) Well something worked inside of him, cause he not only let "R." come to church, but he also brought her! Wooop, wooop, holla, holla! He didn't attend, but he's been sitting in more of our lessons and when he was driving "R." to church this Sunday he asked her "What do they even believe?" and "R." told him "Why don´t you come and find out?" Him: "No." Whatever. The Spirit's gonna get you "H.";) Hahaha

So in addition to putting salt instead of sugar in the cookies, eating waaay too much pillow cereal, eating waaay too much pizza, eating waaay too many Pringles, singing in an all white (when I say white, I mean white clothes) choir,  receiving perfume from members (cause missionaries apparently stink), and having some wonderful inspired visits, I also found the coolest genealogy! Guess what?! Somebody's related to a bunch of kings! I'm pretty royal, fyi. Not just my spirit but also my sangre. I've got Norse kings and queens, French Kings and queens and even...wait for it......SPANISH KINGS AND QUEENS!!!! That's right! I'm Spanish royalty! Some kings from Asturias and some from Toledo. And those are both in our mission! Annnnnd! I'm not even done! I'm also related to Adam! I don't know if you've heard of him, but he had a wife named Eve. They did some preetty neat stuff. You should probably check out their standard works. You can find it in the Holy Bible and also Abraham and Moses. Anywho. Someone traced back one of the lines all the way back to Adam.... Personally I think they're missing a few details, but hey it's still pretty cool to think you're related to Helenus of Troy (not to be confused with Helen of Troy). Family History, I am doing it, my family history.

This weeks photos brought to you by Mixit and photo hungry moms everywhere

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Bring It

July 20, 2015

Welcome to the worst. week. ever. In the MTC I remember our teachers telling us that the week before the baptism are the hardest weeks there are. I always thought they were talking about the investigator´s weeks. NOPE. Where ever we turned this week it seemed like the opposition was there to stop and try to do it hard. But there were the little glory moments so bear with me and I will show our little flashes of light this week.

Also, I gotta admit. It´s slightly my fault. I thought I was in a good position to handle the challenges so I prayed for the refiner´s fire. I figure I've got a lot of work to change me, might as well get a large portion taken care of in the mission, but oh it was hard. These are just some highlights. 

1. We started out be loosing two days of work to go to Las Palmas to have a zone conference with President.
Light: Which was great! (But still 2 days..) I LOVE Pres. Pack and Hna Pack and their kids!!! Ooo I'm just so excited to have them with us! (Also, He one of Jamie Cooper's stake presidents in her mission! What a small world!)

2.When we got off the boat when we got to our island the police were there. Waiting for us. Yep this part was actually kinda funny. The police were checking everybody's passports and I walked up to the police, gave him mine and noticed he had a picture in his hand. Of one of our elders! I turned behind and was like "Elder Gorge! They're looking for you!" Elder Gorge, Hna Mattson, and I all had to be detained because our passports are expired.
Light: We had a nice little chat with the cops and when they said what bad luck it was that we got pulled over by them, I replied that it was actually probably God´' hand and they should listen to our message. Annnd guess what?! They totally gave us thier numbers! Too bad they don't live in our area, but whatever! Cop baptisms! Yeah! Also, they didn't even fine us. :) 

3. Wednesday...First Hna Santiago lost her wallet, like super lost it so we never got to find it.
Light: She recently went on a wallet buying purge and had just bought 3 new wallets and the wallet she lost had her almost expired residency card, and 10 Euros, and mission debit card so we were able to cancel those both super fast. It was incredible that she had listened to the promptings she had received and had moved all her personal cards and money to a different wallet.
4. I've been blessed with the best family ever that writes me once a week, but I hadn't received their letters for the majority of last transfer so I finally went to the post office on Wed. to ask them about it. The woman helping us was... rather unhelpful and rude and I'm not gonna lie when I walked out of that Postal Office I was dying. I had prayed. I had felt like I was going to get my letters. But I didn't. I may have shed a few tears.
Light: When we walked out of our apartment after mediodía I checked the mail. MY LETTERS WERE THERE. Prayers are answered.

5. Buuuut!!!!!! Saturday we had a BAPTISM!!!! YAY! "I." got baptized! And I gotta see that seeing his face as he left the water was one of the most confirming witnesses that what we're doing is true and right and that there truly is a peace the gospel brings. His face coming out of that water was pure peace. Completely why I'm here. Oh I could just cry remembering it!

6. "R." We've been teaching her since I got here. Last time we met with her, we sat her down and had to lay down the law with her and when we got there this time, she turned the TV right off. She sat down with her BoM. During the lesson I was so impressed with the feeling that we are called. We are servants of the Lord. I am set apart and as I hit my 13 month mark this week my time is getting shorter and shorter. Oh, how I want to use it to the best I can. 

There's one quote that I still remember from high school that just said "Sucking the marrow out of life." It always stuck with me. The idea captivated me. Sucking the marrow out of life, enjoying every moment completely and fulling. No regrets. The same applies to the mission "sucking the marrow out of the mission" 5 more months. The best months so far. Bring it.


Monday, July 13, 2015

I'm On A Boat Y'All!

July 13, 2015

Happy Monday Mia queridos😙 Os quiero 😄

I'm on a boat y'all. But really I am. I figured I'd get a head start to me family email this week seeing as all the missionaries from the Tenerife island are currently on a boat being shipped over to Las Palmas to meet our new president. Yay! I'm quite obsessed with boat travel actually. When the boat got started we all stood out on the deck together and watched the waves and theeeen guess what I saw?! Dolphins. Two dolphins. Leaping in and out of the water. Coolest thing ever. I didn't even get sick! Unless I sat up or stoop up or opened my eyes or breathed too much. So basically I just stayed in my seat after we finished our fun on the deck with the dolphins. 

Ok I'm not on a boat anymore. Now we're waiting in the chapel for president to come so we can start zone p-day. (Don't you like this play by play of my day?;)) Anyway...what happened this week?....Hmm

So best thing of about taking over the elder's area is getting new investigators. It's like after the best day of contacting and you meet that golden investigator that's already been taught everything and is so ready to get baptized. Yep without the contacting part! But really they left an investigator who's suuuper ready. I don't know why he didn't already have a baptism date. Anyways his name is "I." and he's from Cuba and he's 33 and the elders had taught him everything and told us just to go over the lessons with him again and wait for him cause he's waiting to feel more prepared. So we got into the lesson with him the other night and we asked him:
Us: "So you're preparing for baptism right?"
Him: "yep."
Us: "what are you waiting for?"
Him: "nothing!"
Us: "Soo you wanna be baptized? Like this Saturday?"
Him: "sure!"
We ended up settling and deciding he's gonna be baptized this Saturday so we have a little more time to plan things out. :) So that was great. 

We've also been working a lot with the area book, especially now that we've got the elders and ours books together. And guess what?! We've come to a grand total of at least 50 less active members and we're only on the people who have been baptized in our area! We've got some work ahead of us. We can do it! We've also had a couple of fun experiences with some of the other of the elder's investigators. One older man kept calling me baby in the lesson. I got so sick of it that I finally told him off and may have stopped the lesson to tell him "stop calling me baby! I'm not your baby!" But we're on super good terms now. He just needed a little talkin' to.

Next up, if anybody wants to get anything cleaned you can totally get in contact with us! We've cleaned the Hermanas of Santa Cruz piso, the elders old piso, and we got roped into cleaning the chapel this week and we'll be staying at the Las Palmas sister's piso tonight so we'll just wait to see if that needs to be cleaned too;) hahaha. Call me Cinderella.

Lots of love from España! Besitos! Ciao!

Honestly I'm the worst and I can't remember their names...but this cute couple came to visit us yesterday! They served with Elder Josie and Sister Gillett! :)  (I found out from Sister Gillett that this cute couple are the Ward's)

The deck:) and our version of the titanic!

Monday, July 6, 2015

"Obey. Don't Question The Doctrine!" - Elder Dallin H. Oaks

July 6, 2015

First things first: transfers!!! Hna Santiago and I are staying together.  I'm so excited to have the opportunity to be with her another 6 weeks. It was actually something I was praying for. I think
we both need it. :) Second off. Here's the ground shaker: in our district consisting of us and the 2 elders only 2 missionaries are staying. And I'll give you a hint. They wear skirts. Yep, Hna Santiago
and I are gonna be the only missionaries in our ward. We'll be taking over the elder's work and ours. And here's the kicker. The closest missionaries are 1-2 hours away from us in the north of the island. We have no priesthood holders! We're both a little nervous, but this will really force us to rely so much more on the ward. And if we weren't traveling enough already, we'll now be traveling to Santa Cruz (1-1 1/2 hours away) or to La Laguna (1 1/2-2 hours away) every week for district meeting. Travel. Gotta love it. We're actually really considering asking president for a car. Holla! First sisters with a car ever in Spain! Yeah! Fingers crossed. Prayers appreciated. It would actually really help with the work.

Next: anybody remember "L."? Our inactive friend who's attracted to his same sex? Just a refresher he is very convinced that the church will soon change its stance on gay marriage and make it legalized. He's actually written a few letters to Salt Lake. Saddest part: he served a mission, but just for 1 year because he was waiting on his visa which never came.  So we had a lesson with him this week. I think it's gonna be our last. Actually I know. We had decided after our lesson two weeks ago that we had to have a DTR. So we sat him down last week and made a pact with him. He was gonna receive the lessons once again starting from the bottom up. Just like an investigator. Read. Pray. Come to church. Well, when we met with him this week he told us, he didn't actually like the deal. We can still do everything, but he's not coming to church. I don't think he gets it. We're trying to make him active. Anyway. And here's why: you know in Abraham when it talks about intelligences? He thinks that he and hiss three other less active friends are on a higher intelligence level. He still believes in the church and everything, and studies everyday with his little group. They've come to the conclusion that everybody else in the church still needs to go to sacrament to obtain the spirit and take of the sacrament, but if you reach this higher intelligence level, apparently you don't have to go to church anymore! Especially if the prophet still hasn't received the same revelation about marriage that you have. All in all we ended up calling President. I don't think we'll be meeting with our little apostate group anymore. Sad day. I really did like him.

Obey. Don't question the doctrine! - Elder Dallin H. Oaks

On to happier experiences. We had the coolest Thursday! We really need new investigators and we've really been wanting to see a miracle with the Book of Mormon so Thursday we hit the streets in the town we live in and another that is a lot less touristy with our bags full of BoM's. We had a goal to give them all away. We had written our name and number in it and are so excited to speak with some of the people we taught that day. Honestly it was a great experience. I was so impressed when so many people told us they would read it and not just try to read it. If nothing else it was so wonderful to have a whole day sharing my testimony of the BoM in a new way, applying each testimony to the person we met. I love the BoM. What a wonderful little book. I'm so grateful for the testimony we have of the restoration of the church, found in the Book of Mormon.

LOVE, Hna Finch

PS. While talking to people this week, we realized that a lot of people have heard of the church...kinda.  This was generally our conversation:
"Have you ever heard of our church before? Or Mormons?"
"Oh yeah, yeah! They're like the ones with beards and they don't use technology, right?
"No....that's the Amish..."

Or we also had a really good one.
"Yeah! We're missionaries!"
"Really? What church?
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or Mormons?"
"Really? But you guys don't look like them? They look so weird and unhappy!"

I love you all! I was saddened to hear about the loss of Pres Packer and of the recent governmental changes.

Challenge of the week. Let's make sure everyone knows we're Mormon and not Amish and that we don't look weird and unhappy. :) Just slip it into a conversation. 

Sooooo heeeey I'm Mormon😉😀😎😙

Waiting for Hna McEntires new comp to arrive! Whoop whoop!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Cool Story Bro

June 29, 2015

Wanna hear a cool story? So this week we were walking along the street and a car drives past us and the guy inside hollers at us and smiles. Bleh...that kinda thing happens all the time and it usually isn't anything good. So we kept walking and crossed the street and a few minutes later this same car pulls up next to us and the guy inside shouts "Hermanas! I'm so glad I found you! I knew it was you guys, not because of the skirts, but because I saw that." *Pointing to the Book of Mormon*
What??? Yay! We had even been praying to witness a miracle in relation to the Book of Mormon the last couple days and then he found us. Well he is called "J." and he's actually met with hermanas before, but he left and he didn't know how to get back in touch with the hermanas so when he saw us walking he got super excited. 

We also had another miracle this week. Monday...we decided that we were too tired to go shopping....soooo we didn't have any food for the week, except all the food that every other hermana has left in the piso. And guess what?! It totally lasted! We had to make a quick stop one day and buy watermelon and eggs, which basically consisted of our complete diet aside from pasta, BUT the Lord provides for his missionaries! We got McDonald's, we got pizza given to us, the Lord loves us. Small and simple miracles, people! 

Also English class. English class is great. We've been teaching the conversation part of English class (conversation class consists of us chatting with how many ever people come, hehe relief society work, right?) and this week we had one of our students come, who is a regular and she was talking with Hna Santiago and asking Hna Santiago all sorts of questions about the gospel. Hna Santiago basically taught her the whole first and second lesson, what a machine. Meanwhile, I was chatting with "L.", from northern Spain, and we became besties. Things always lead to gospel conversations and soon enough she was telling me why she doesn't believe in God. (Her mom, grandma, and grandpa all passed away within 3 months.) So I was able to share with her some of the reasons why I came out on my mission and show her pics of Grandma Schmutz and testify of the Plan of Salvation. She said she's coming back this week. We decided she's gonna come visit me after the mission. Thanks for having horses Dad! It's a real selling point for people to come visit, cause apparently visiting me isn't good enough! ;) haha

All in all, it was definitely a week of growth. We had some lows, but those are the moments we grow the most and I can't wait to look back and see how much this week forced me to change and grow.

Well, that's it for now folks! Love you!
XOXO, Hna Finch

My special treat for being a year old!

My new bestie, yep island life;)

 She got a half, I got a half. Started this monster on Wednesday and I've still got to finish it!

So the cliffs that Wesley climbs up in Princess Bride are in my area! This was the view out of a menos activa's window. Yeah I'm jealous.


We went fishing with the elders in the sea today. Tell dad that I caught the first fish and that I kept up with the elders. We caught a totally of four fish and I caught two of them. ;)