Family!!!!! You all are so great!!!! Thank you so much for your emails and support. I love reading them and seeing your pictures and listening to your lives.
This week was significantly better than last week. Since our current progressing friend pool has sufficiently decreased we spent a lot of time this week trying to find news. We started off the week strong and we were blessed to find two new promising friends. Here are just a few.
One, Herminsul - (Yeah, I still can't pronounce his name right either!) is Pentecostal. I don´t think I've taught too many Pentecostals in my mission, but man. Their view of religion and God is kinda harsh. I'm so glad to have the truth that while God is a God of justice, He is also a God of mercy and love. He loves us! He did not judge us before we came to this earth, but placed us in the exact situation where He knew we could succeed.
Two, Jonay - (They all have weird names this week...just wait for the next one!;) ) Is a native islander and is 20 something. He's great. So willing to meet and has true desires to learn about God. And here's the best part. He called us to confirm our appointment. Yeah, I know. Miracles never cease.
Three, Evalyn - (Ok so this one isn't a weird name, but it is Grandma's name! As my companion would say "Heeeeeey!") She is adorable. Also 20 something. When we started talking to her, she looked at me and said "Oh! You helped me in the bus one day, didn't you?" Service, people, does wonders. She is adorable. Seriously so smart and charming and lovely.
Four, Sasha - is from England....whooohooo! And is living here. And is also 20 something and was very accepting to meet with us and is anxiously awaiting her own Book of Mormon, because we weren't able to meet more this week, so we've got an appointment to see her and give her the gift.
And a few others, I would go on and on, they really were so great and friendly.
We also had stake conference. I loooved it. Every single one of those talks were for me. Hna Pack talked about how we know why hard things happen. And at the end of her talk she gave such a great testimony in Spanish! For only being out for such a short amount of time she is rocking the Spanish. I adore her. And President Pack talked about the importance of the "one". The Lord knows us one by one and it's our opportunity to go out and find the "one" as missionaries, but as members as well (pray for opportunities to share the gospel, please. This work would move so much more rapidly if every member would be a full time finder so that the missionaries could be full time teachers). And the stake president (Pres. Denís) gave a very powerful sermon on the Sabbath. Very. Powerful. "You think going to the beach is keeping the Sabbath holy? NO." It made me think about how I can better keep the Sabbath day holy when I get home. And Hna Castaño talked about complete fasts. A full fast. Fasting with an offering. And last but not least the 2nd counselor talked about the importance of.... School! How it's important to attend every single one of our meetings and how the S school program is specifically designed to help increase the knowledge of member concerning the gospel. I loved it.
I love you all. I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to be here. I received an email from my companion in the CCM, Hna Jones, today and honestly what she said was so good and mirrored so many of my own feelings that I just have to share it with you. She wrote:
"In the scriptures, it mentions that Jesus, after having borne the sinsand pains of he world, after having been brought before the rulers,
after having been hurt and spit on and scourged, had to carry His
cross to Calvary. Luke says, "And as they led [Christ] away,
they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country,
and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus."
There is a lot of symbolism with this, but, focusing on Christ, one
Elder said, "Some say that Simon was asked to carry the cross because
Jesus was tired and couldn't bear any more. That is a lie. He is and
was a god, and He could have done any thing that was asked of Him. Why
did Simon bear His cross then? I ask you, who was helping whom?"
That made me think a lot about the crosses I carry, and why I do it.
Sometimes I think, why do I need to be suffering so much in this work,
when Christ could do it so easily and so much better than I could?
These precious people deserve to have the Gospel preached to them
through the mouth of the Son of God, not a young woman who still
struggles with their language. But this Elder made me consider
something: what is important is that the cross gets to Calvary. It
doesn't matter if Simon's slower, if Christ could have taken it
Himself. He allowed Simon to carry it because it helped Simon to grow
and become stronger. What greater blessing could we have than to carry
a bit of the burden for Jesus Christ on His painful path?"
I hope that we can all take the crosses we have been called to carry and learn from them. They are our opportunities to learn and grow. Maybe we don't do it perfectly, but we carry what we can and even if we stumble, He is always there to help us. I love this work. I love my Savior. I'm grateful (and sometimes not so grateful) to carry the crosses I've been given. To help share the gospel in this race against the opposition. To help my brothers and sisters. I love you all. Espero que tengan una semana maravillosa y exitosa.
Love, Hna Finch
Be prepared! Photo overload! All the pics I still haven't sent!
We found a Spanish fish hatchery. Had to stop and take pictures for Dad!
Teide with the Mar of Nubes to the side.
El Mar de Nubes. ¡Qué maravilla! The Sea of Clouds. Wonderful!
The ward activity on the mountaintop.
Turns out Spaniards do pioneers también. ha! Who´da´thunk?
Rainbows over Miraverde
Heading out to Gran Canarias for Zone Conference a few weeks ago! It was so beautiful in the harbor. I looove this.
My favorite Italians! So sad to see them go on vacation to Italy!
Another pair of shoes gone.
My favorite animals to feed....aren´t monkeys!
The fattest lemur there.
We were great friends :)
Just givin´ food to everything!
The cutest monkeys there were the ones we couldn't feed. They were sooo teeny!
More feeding....hehe. And that little guy took my apple I gave him, threw it one the ground, then grabbed my finger and then growled! Yikes!
Go-ril-la (Imagine it like Tarazan) that's what I was saying the whole time I was feeding them....until I noticed the sign. "Chimpanzees". Whoops
Yeah, Finch proof. Everyone here thinks I´m "Fish" Noooooo. Finch! Like a bird! Gurrión!