Monday, February 24, 2014

time flies!!!

So I realize I have not been out very long.. BUT this next transfer marks my first 6 months AND I've spent half of my mission in Butte! I like Butte. I like Butte a lot. If I get to stay here this transfer, I'll be here for St. Patrick's Day! AKA we'll be on lockdown inside because apparently people travel all over to come to Butte to celebrate St. Patrick's Day AKA get really drunk. 

Hey, so, hastening the work is the big thing now, right? Missionaries and members working together, right? Honestly the biggest thing, at least in Butte, would be simply inviting people into your home! It could be for dinner, for dinner & a lesson, or just for games & dessert, or just games, whatever. But if a couple/family came up and asked "are there any families or individuals we can invite over for dinner?" I would be so ecstatic! Just throwing that out there.

I feel as though you already got half of this week's news because we emailed so late last week!


                                                                 Sis. Griffin & Sis. Breaux's Valentine's Day Treat


But! We had an AWESOME lesson with a less-active couple this week. They are in their early/mid twenties, no kids. She's a convert, he has active parents. They haven't been to church regularly for a long time, and it's all on him. She would come if he would, and she doesn't want to go alone. I've been teaching this couple for as long as I've been here, and I know they have been taught for longer than that.

Anyways, we go over and start teaching about "real intent" and a "sincere heart". He tells us he stopped going to church because he felt he was taking advantage of the sacrament and didn't feel worthy to go. We let him know that Heavenly Father would NEVER tell him not to go to church, only Satan would make him feel like he wasn't worthy. We testified to him of the blessings that Heavenly Father is just WAITING to pour down on them (starting with getting sealed in the temple), they just need to step up and claim them. The spirit was so strong, and he was getting emotional. Towards the end, Sister Breaux asked him what he was feeling and thinking when he was crying. He told us of his grandpa, who had died 4 years earlier. He said that when we come over and teach&testify, he can sometimes feel his grandpa there, encouraging him to take action now and be worthy to join him. As he shared this, Sister Breaux and I could feel his grandfather there, and we could feel his love for his grandson. We know it's time for this couple to begin their journey to the temple and to take action. It's so crazy but so true that our relatives on the other side of the veil really are here among us. 


                                                               Sis. Griffin, Sis. Breaux & the Dillon Sisters

We also met with our investigator that doesn't believe in Christ. We actually had planned to drop him. We prayed about it, role-played the lesson, and decided that he didn't have the real intent or sincerity. But lessons with him never go as planned. We left the lesson though having committed him to read from the Book of Mormon every day, to pray, and to come to church every week. He was in church this week.

Speaking of church, we also had a potential investigator at church today - the stepdad of the 10 year old girl we baptized back in January. He is warming up to the family's home teachers and even accepted the home teacher's invitation to read the Book of Mormon. We're respecting the wife's lead right now - she doesn't want to overwhelm him and push him away. But we are having dinner at their house in a couple weeks.

My typing is really struggling today, sorry if there are tons of typos or just plain incorrect words.

That's all I've got for you today, though. I'll try to resend those pictures.

Love,
Elise

Friday, February 21, 2014

still has not slowed down!!...

Helllloooooo :)

The insanity still has not slowed down at all.

So here's details on the mid-transfer transfer... The stake presidency in Missoula really wants a temple in Missoula. And so they are trying to get enough members to split their stake so it will look like a more attractive place to put a temple. The outlying areas in the Missoula stake are doing great and are big enough for their own stake, but Missoula itself does not have enough members. So President Mecham pulled in all of the missionaries from the surrounding towns (Frenchtown, Superior, etc) and put them in Missoula. Sister Breaux was a part of that craziness. She was originally in a tri-companionship as a sister training leader in Missoula. 

President is also trying to get the sister training leaders (STL) closer to all of the sisters AKA a sister training leader in each zone. So that's why Sister Breaux was sent to the Butte zone. Originally she was going to be in Dillon, but then because one of the Dillon sisters has health problems, last minute he decided that the Dillon sisters would stay put but that Sister Pickering would leave and Sister Breaux would take her place.

Sister Breaux is pretty fun to be with, I can be weird with her and she doesn't get too worried haha She is way super open though which is different for me, because I'm not. We're getting along great. Apparently she was having a hard time in Missoula, I was having a hard time clicking with Sister Pickering, so we're both much happier. Not that there was anything wrong, but this allowed for things to be better.

Just as a side note, the Whitehall elders got doubled out and sisters got doubled in.

Did I tell you that Whitehall is getting a good chunk of our area? There isn't enough work in Whitehall, so the sisters will be living where we used to live and we're in the new apartment.

Which, by the way, I really like the new apartment. Probably just because we finally have a real kitchen!! It's so nice. But putting together the new apartment took all the way until Friday or Saturday of last week. It was ridiculous. We'd just slowly put things together and away as we had time.

But we never had much time, because of medical problems of the Whitehall sisters. One of the sisters has really bad migraines and also stomach problems, etc.. She ended up in the hospital three times last week. (I think it was 3, maybe 2)... But since Sister Breaux is a STL, it's her job to be there for the sisters, so we had to go to the hospital. 

In addition, the medical problems of the sister caused them to stay in Butte longer than they had expected. And so they had to go to Whitehall to get things. But because the one sister needed rest and couldn't go, I ended up going to Whitehall with her companion while Sister Breaux stayed with the sick companion.

Oh, speaking of sick, I got sick this week and Sister Breaux kept insisting that I take naps so that I'd get feeling better. So that slowed us down, too.

Anyways, I got to see Whitehall at night. I like roadtrips, so it was fun.

Speaking of road trips, the reason why I didn't email yesterday was because Sister Breaux and I went to Dillon yesterday. Yesterday we had zone training in the morning, and then the assistant that was there surprised us by saying that everyone was going on exchanges, including the STL. So we had to cancel our appointments for the night (with the Rawsons, Cody's family, and a LA/potential investigator visit) So Sister Breaux and I split up with each of the Dillon sisters. 

The drive to Dillon is so pretty, the mountains and hills between Butte and Dillon are beautiful! Dillon itself isn't super close to any mountains/hills though, so I'd say Butte's prettier. But Dillon's a really cool town, small and spread out. Some of the people that the Dillon sisters are teaching are rather crazy, so that was way fun.

We did get in some proselyting in Butte, though! We've seen our favorite black family twice, and they LOVE Sister Breaux and showing more interest in the gospel than they have in the past. We also saw the Rawsons last week and talked to Cody about receiving the priesthood and found out what his dad's hangup is. We've also seen our investigator who is still struggling to believe in Christ, and we had a good lesson with him. And then there are other less-actives that we've been visiting, etc..

So that's my week. Lots of crazy. I blame Sister Breaux because she is a STL :) 

Just random - our closet has a lock on the outside (I don't know why) and one night, she was joking about locking me in the closet. She almost succeeded a couple times! But I'm really good at fighting my way out of it haha comes with having two older brothers.

Anyways, I hope more work can get done this week! I don't envy leadership..

Love,
Sister Griffin

Monday, February 10, 2014

Insanity!!

For being a preparation day, today has been pretty hectic and crazy!

We found out Friday afternoon that Sister Pickering was getting transferred. They told us that she would be transferred Saturday morning, but that presented a problem since we had a baptism scheduled then. So they decided to postpone transfers until today, which means preparation day hasn't been as relaxing or productive as normal. 

To add to the insanity, because a transfer van was being driven from Billings to Butte anyways, today was the day that all of our furniture, beds, cooking stuff, etc. arrived for our new apartment. So not only is today transfer day, but it is also moving day! So tonight will be the first night in our new apartment. 

So my new companion is Sister Breaux. I've only known her for ehhh 4 hours, so it's hard to say too much about her haha But she seems awesome. She is from Alpine, Utah. She's been out for 9 months and she's going to be a sister training leader here in Butte! I'm way excited. Not going to lie, Sister Pickering was a little bit of a struggle in some areas.. we just never clicked.

I should tell you about the baptism! Cody got baptized on Saturday! There was a HUGE turnout, most of which was his family. His family is primarily less-active or non-members. I tried to talk with everyone there. Not too many people were interested, but hey, may open some doors.



This week was pretty cold. But since I've already had a week of subzero temperatures, this week wasn't as shocking or intimidating. The only thing I'm struggling to keep warm is my toes. Everything else is toasty warm! So thanks for all warm clothes sent my way.

I'm trying to think what else... today and the weekend have been so crazy, that most other things are blocked from my mind. There is this less-active that we have recently been working with... I can't remember if I've told you about him yet or not. But he's in his 30s. He's an RM, but a lot has happened since then with being in the army and working in the oil riggs, etc.. He is searching right now to find answers and to develop his faith and make changes in his life. Pretty sure I told you about him already. Anyways, he came to the baptism AND he came to church. But he's off to the oil riggs for the next two weeks.

I apologize this is so short, but there is so much that needs to be done still and people are waiting for the computers. Plus I got so many emails this week, thanks for everyone remembering me! haha 

Anyways, love ya!
Sister Griffin

Monday, February 3, 2014

rescue is the name of the game!

Thank you to the ward for making my mom's 50th birthday so special!! Mom, I was thinking about you all day!! Somehow Skype even informed me that it was your 50th.... I found that funny. Anyways...

Something interesting I heard in my mission... soon they will be allowing us to teach friends and family back home via Facebook. I'm praying to know if there is anyone I should share with back home...but if there is anyone you would suggest, let me know. Speaking of, you are allowed to follow my missionary facebook account. Do NOT add me as a friend, just select to follow me. Also do NOT comment or like anything I say or post. Honestly, I don't post much to my Facebook so I think it would be really lame to follow me, but you CAN if you want. Sister-Elise Griffin is my name on Facebook.

Funny / crazy story first. It deals with Sister D. 

We saw Sister D in our iPads as a less active that had been taught before. So we go to the house, ask if it's Sister D. She says yes and that we can come back another time. Sweet! We end up calling Sister D to set up an appointment, show up, and we visit with her for a short bit, discuss when she joined the church, etc.. We also saw Sister D at WalMart and talked with her, etc..

A couple weeks pass by and we stop by again. A man answers the door this time and tells us that Sister D doesn't live there and that she moved away several months ago. Say what?!? We visited Sister D just a couple weeks ago!! So we're confused.

We call Sister D. We find out Sister D has in fact moved! Confusion. We visit the new address. 

TOTALLY DIFFERENT LADY!!!! But this is the real Sister D. 
Sooooooo who was the lady CLAIMING to be Sister D?!?

We go back to the old house. Her name is Sister W. Why she went along being called Sister D is beyond me. BUT she is also another less-active and she just moved here recently from Utah. And she wants her records transferred her and would accept home and visiting teachers. Sweet!

What are the chances that house having two less-actives live in it consecutively?  
But just want to say, it took us all of last transfer and a couple weeks into this transfer to get the story finally straight. 

Oh, the real Sister D is now technically in the other ward... another referral to hand over to the elders..

End of funny / crazy story.

Start of exciting news. 
Today is our 17 y.o.'s baptismal interview! Baptism is scheduled on Saturday. He went to Seminary once this week! AND he went to the Tuesday night basketball thing that the wards do here. And he loved both. Dunno if he'll keep waking up for Seminary, but the Seminary teacher is this awesome guy in the ward that invited him to basketball. He'll be a great fellowshipper for both the 17 y.o. and the dad :)

The mom, BTW, is awesome. The lesson in RS was about visiting teaching. At the end of the lesson, she went up to the RS President and asked how she could become a visiting teacher!! Can you say every RS President's dream come true?? The mom is so great, she really wants to become active and have the gospel as a constant in their lives.

ALSO, this family has TONS of relatives here in Butte. Almost all are less-active. So we are going to be doing a LOT of inviting to see if we can get some relative here to feel the spirit.
End of exciting news. I guess. There are other exciting things, but that'd take forever. Thus I just give all y'all the highlights. Oh the stories you'll hear when I get home... just kidding, I'm teasing ya.

OH we'll be moving this week. Us and the other missionaries in Butte have so much work, and Whitehall has so little work. So the Whitehall elders will be living part in Whitehall and part in Butte. So they'll live where we've been living and we'll move into an apartment that is owned by members. It's right next to the fro-yo place. I'm guessing money is going to be tight this month.... #fro-yo addict.

Just kidding, I have more self-control than that.

Okay, start of something I learned this week.
Remember how I asked, "What's the difference between the law of consecration and the law of sacrifice?" 

Well, I got a good answer this week! I don't know that I'll be able to explain it clearly though... it just makes sense in my head.

Essentially it comes down to will.
With sacrifice, you are giving of your things. You are giving of things God has already blessed you with. So at that point, you're just giving back what Heavenly Father's seen fit to impart to you.

With consecration, you are giving of YOU. Your will, your wants, your desires. You aren't just giving of things. It's truly the higher law. Because your mind & heart (symbolically, I'm not talking physically) is something that is uniquely yours, and giving of your desires is much greater than giving of your things.

Makes sense in my mind. We discussed this in our zone training & it's also something I learned from reading "The Fourth Missionary". I know SOMEONE told me to read the Fourth Missionary before I left on my mission.... but I unfortunately didn't get around to it until now.

Second epiphany this week.
Rescue.
I was looking around the Butte 2nd Relief Society this week... Almost every single one of them were converts at a later age OR they had been reactivated. I then recalled how much of the ward was like that too. How important the work of salvation is! My goodness.

People do get prepared to return to the gospel, they really do. And I was just thinking about all of these people being rescued and how ultimately, we are all being rescued. By Christ, our Savior. None of us are entirely Christlike, and so we are ALL being rescued from the natural man as we work towards those perfect attributes of Christ.

And, of course, all of us would be fallen if it were not for the Atonement.
2 Nephi 25:23 - "for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do"
Oftentimes in this scripture we focus on our part, on "after all we can do".
But in the end, we cannot be saved, we cannot be rescued, without Jesus Christ.
All attempts to live a good, fulfilling, uplifting life would be at naught without the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, on the cross, ending with his resurrection.

But Christ cannot rescue us in our sins, or against our will.
So we must learn to sacrifice and then consecrate ourselves that Christ may rescue us.

End of what I learned this week.
And end of letter, this is long enough.

Miss and love you all!!

<3, Sister Elise Griffin