Monday, March 31, 2014

I love Butte-ians :)

We've had many discussions among us missionaries about what the proper term is for a native Butte inhabitant. Is it Buttetians, Butteticians, or Butte-shons. The elders like Butte-shons better because it sounds like "aliens". Sister Breaux and I like Buttetians because it sounds like those who live here are beautiful!! And I love Butte. So many great people, great history, great members, etc!

I don't even remember what I told you last week.
For simplicity, the older gentleman investigator that didn't originally believe in Christ that I've been telling you about, I'm going to refer to him as "C". Sound good? Okay.

So I don't remember if I told you about the last lesson we had with C on the Word of Wisdom. Well, he didn't take it particularly well. He told us that chewing was his one bad habit and that he liked it and didn't intend to give it up any time soon. We left with strong testimony, relating it back to Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, but it was still a little frustrating. 

Anyways, he couldn't come to church that Sunday because he ended up in the hospital. (Nothing too major, but definitely something that would necessitate you staying at home for a bit). Our WML was awesome and dropped by homemade bread and also did some laundry for C. Super grateful for an awesome WML.

Back to the story. C came to church yesterday. Also we had a ward dinner at 5, so we had a lesson with C at 4 at the church before the dinner. (The Butte 2nd ward calls it a linger longer even though you go home and then come back... I don't know, don't ask me). ANYWAYS. For that lesson, Sister Breaux and I decided he needed the first lesson (Restoration) again to help bring the spirit and solidify the calling of Joseph Smith as a prophet.

So we share the First Vision, and ask for his opinion. 
Remember, C is long-winded. 
Pretty sure he gave us a 15 minute explanation how he was defensive when we taught the Word of Wisdom, but that he recognized that as Satan. He also said that if he were in, then he'd better be all-in. He told us that he had already dumped his alcohol down the drain and would dispose of his coffee and chew. 
*And this was all by himself!!* We hadn't said anything since the last lesson. Power of the Holy Ghost! And Book of Mormon! And prayer!
So he's on date for April 19th to be baptized. But we think he might be ready earlier. This is a life-long addiction, though.

But can I just say - HUGE CHANGE OF HEART!!!
C has gone from not believing to Christ, from being hardened, jaded, unwilling to change......
to knowing Christ is his Savior and Redeemer. To understanding the role of prophets. To having faith. To be willing to change. Trusting and going forth with the promises in Alma 32:27 and Ether 12:6.

And as I testified last time, I know a large reason for this change was his willingness to read the Book of Mormon with an open heart.

READ EVERY DAY!!! It brings blessings. 

Other good news? That young less-active couple has come to church three times now! And you can see the change of heart in them. They are so awesome. They haven't picked a temple date yet, but they will pick one on Saturday. We're going to have them choose it while we're there. We already gave them the head's up that we'd ask them to pray about it in the next lesson we teach them.

Oh, we also had exchanges this week so Sister Breaux was gone for awhile and we had a Whitehall sister with us. And Sister Breaux will be leaving tomorrow for Dillon. It's kind of annoying. I like having Sister Breaux as my companion.

So anyways, that's the Butteful Butte news. 
And guess what, there's a few inches of snow here as well, sooo stop complaining ;) We were going to hike Montana Tech's "M", but once again the weather foiled our plans.

Love,


Sister Griffin!

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Book of Mormon!!

Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The news for this week.... hmm.. well.
We are for sure making progress with many of our less-actives!
There's a couple that has been less-active for ages and also pretty indifferent towards the church. Her dad died just over a month ago. Anyways, they have always been super nice and fun to visit, but just haven't been committing to changing or making progress. We went this week and taught them the first lesson. For the first time EVER, she stated that she wanted to regain her testimony and really find out for herself if the church is true. She was raised in the church and said she felt God's love so much more back then and that she wants that back. :) We told her she would gain that testimony through reading and praying about the Book of Mormon.
Remember the young couple I told you about? The one whose grandpa on the other side was helping him know that now was the time to change? They were at church again yesterday! They've been sick the last two weeks and so it was really good to see them there.
And actually, we are teaching the less-active sister of the husband (of the young couple). She has a nonmember fiance who is pretty, well, interesting. Some describe him as cocky. Anyways, we were asking him if he would hear the second lesson (he heard the first one without being asked to hear them) and he ended up inviting us & the young couple over for dinner and a lesson this Wednesday. We're excited, even though it's difficult to say if he's interested or not. I think he is, he's just not admitting it. But actually, let's be honest, everyone's interested, they just don't necessarily know it! Everyone wants the truth!!

Anyways, hopefully that's not too confusing, I just don't want to include names.
Oh, there's another less-active I want to tell you about. She was raised and baptized in the church, but her family wasn't very active. Since her youth, she left the church and became a regular attendant of the Baptist church. About 5 or more years ago, she was re-baptized and her husband was baptized. Immediately after her second baptism, those in the Baptist church visited her and threw at her all the reasons why she "made a mistake". Let's just say I am very grateful for Brother Fowles' class because I know how to respond to each of the scriptures that she mentioned. Anyways, she was at church this week and she said it felt good. We made sure she understood that was the spirit confirming to her the truth of the gospel. She wants to know if the church is true, and that comes down reading and praying about the Book of Mormon.


                                                       Sis. Breaux & Sis Griffin on their way to Zone Conference

Zone conference was this week in Helena. We had 5 zones there: Great Falls, Great Falls East, Helena, Bozeman, and Butte. The focus was on The Book of Mormon. We divided up into groups and collectively read the entire book. Way awesome zone conference, the spirit was so strong. 
I walked away from zone conference so grateful for The Book of Mormon and my testimony of it. The Book of Mormon really is our divine proof of the message of the Restoration. The Holy Ghost cannot lie, thus receiving that spiritual witness confirming the Book of Mormon is so incredibly important and the foundation of a testimony.
I've seen the power of the Book of Mormon work in that investigator who didn't at first believe in Christ. I remember feeling disheartened - this man couldn't even say he believed in Christ, how on earth can he gain that faith that was so apparently missing in his life?? In PMG, it talks about teaching those without a Christian background and that people can gain faith in Christ as they read the Book of Mormon. So I decided to trust in that promise, that all we needed to do is get that man to read the Book of Mormon sincerely. And he has. And he now has a testimony of Christ. And I know he has had that confirming witness that the Book of Mormon is true.

The Book of Mormon has such a strong converting power - I am reminded of a picture that I saw on Facebook - it's a message board outside of another church and it says "Don't read the Book of Mormon - that's how they get you!"

Well, it's not us that "get them" - it's the Holy Ghost testifying of the Book of Mormon. It's powerful. I know the Book of Mormon is the key to testimony and conversion.
In other news, Sister Breaux went to Whitehall on exchanges and so one of the Whitehall sisters came to Butte to be with me. So that has been fun! I had this sister laughing at almost everything I said. I felt so funny! haha She's had a rough time on her mission, so I'm glad I could make her laugh. I am glad Sister Breaux is back, though. She's weird and crazy enough that I can be totally normal around her. 

Totally normal for me = what people generally except as odd/creepy/weird/childish
It's fun.
Life's too short to be normal.
Oh, I got a new iPad at the zone conference. It's one of the newer ones apparently. I forgot to tell you that my iPad accidentally fell off the table and hit my ankle and then the carpet. It got a TINY crack in the screen - not even the part of the viewing screen - but they still wanted to send it in to get it fixed. So they gave me a new one.
And that's about it! (Sorry if the grammar's bad, I'm in a hurry!)
LOVE.
Sister.
Elise.
Anne.
Griffin.

:)

Monday, March 17, 2014

HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!!!


Mission news first. 
We are now allowed to go to the temple once a transfer so long as we can be back in our areas by 6:00!! It requires us sacrificing our preparation day, but definitely worth it. And we have to find a ride with members since we live more than 50 miles from the Billings temple. But definitely awesome! Also, everyone in our mission now has texting! Before it was only those in leadership. Definitely a blessing. And zone conference is this upcoming Thursday.

Now for our investigator who is on date. I know I probably already talked about how much I've seen him grow and change. The biggest stumbling blocks with him accepting the gospel was first the fact that he didn't believe in Christ and second that he tried to approach everything intellectually and wouldn't pray sincerely. 

Well, we went over last Thursday to teach him obedience, 10 Commandments, Sabbath day, and chastity. The lesson went extremely well - he gave the most perfect answers to the questions we asked - answers that you would kill for. But the most amazing part of this lesson was at the end, when he prayed. 

First, he closed his eyes. When we first came over, he wouldn't close his eyes.
Second, he prayed that his heart could be opened.
He prayed that we all could be able to share the good news of Christ. 
He prayed to not get distracted intellectually, and instead favor practicality.
Anyways, it was an amazing prayer, and so amazing to see that he has grown to believe in Christ. I almost cried, and I'm not really a crier.
Oh, and he's been reading through the Book of Mormon and is already in Mosiah.
And yes, he was in church on Sunday.

Our other awesome lesson was with the stepdad of the 10 year old girl we baptized back in January. In January, he pretty much avoided us. He wasn't rude, but he also didn't exactly want to be taught. Well now he is interested in learning. We had our first lesson with him last Thursday. It was way fun driving clear out there. But that's besides the point. He said he would read the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it was true. He accepted a soft baptismal invite - that he would agree to baptism once he knew it was true. Anyways, it was a really good lesson.



                                                                  Sis. Griffin & Sis. Breaux with their Paczkis

St. Patrick's Day. Any where there is a bar, there are tons of people dressed up absolutely RIDICULOUSLY anddd getting drunk. Most of the bars are in Uptown, and so our zone leaders banned us from going up there. (Unfortunately that's also where the Catholic St. Patrick's church is, so picture some other time). But there's also a bar 1/2 block from our house. We're still not sure if we're going to stay in the whole night or if at some point we will go out but staying in the south end of town.

I'm wearing green. Are you wearing green?
Just to clarify, I usually completely ignore St. Patrick's Day. It's never been a holiday that I consider to be important. I'm just in Butte - the St. Patrick's Day capital of the country - and so that's why I'm being obnoxious about it.
You know how the Easter bunny comes for Easter? And Santa for Christmas? Well, leprechauns come to children in Butte. They mess up the kids' rooms. And, if they're lucky, the leprechaun will leave them a golden coin (dollar coin)

So I'm reading Christ's parables in Matthew, Jesus the Christ, and 3 Nephi. Part of studying these parables talks about how not everyone understands the parables - it's all dependent on your preparation and your heart. And so your degree of preparedness/heart determines your degree of understanding/comprehension. I think this is true for any opportunity of gospel learning. And so I am making it a goal to prepare better for personal study, for church meetings, for zone conferences/zone trainings/district meetings. So invite you all to prepare as well!! Prepare through purposeful prayer, scripture study, having questions in mind, specific study topic, etc..  

That's about it. 
Love you all!

Sister Elise Griffin

Monday, March 10, 2014

getting ready for green...


It's snowing. Again. 
I'm not sure how I feel about that.
You see, I have this vision of hiking to Lady of the Rockies on a preparation day. But every time it snows, that hike has to be postponed. Guess I'll just have to stay in Butte until July! That mountain is getting hiked.

ST PATTY'S DAY IS NEXT MONDAY!! Apparently there's a parade down Montana St... We're very tempted, but we'll also have to see if the zone leaders will let us. They want us on lock down all day.

So this transfer brought Butte a new set of elders. I think I told you how the Whitehall sisters were going to cover Butte part-time? Well, those sisters want to cover Whitehall full-time. President okay-ed it, and decided to send a set of elders to Butte full-time. They do not have a car, however. They live on a border between the two wards, so they have a walkable area that covers both wards. None of our investigators live in that area, so we didn't have to really give anyone up. The only ones we are teaching are less-active single sisters, so we'll probably just keep them because that'd be a challenge logistically for the elders, anyways.

I think we should have a family vacation to Montana sometime. And I'll have to show y'all Butte. There are mansions, mountains, hiking, outdoor stuff, history, a bike shop for Dad, cool architecture, good food places (OH MY GOODNESS, Park&Main cafe is delicious. SO good. So is Hummingbird Cafe and Leopard Cafe. Hah apparently there are a lot of cafe's in Butte)

This week we helped our black investigator family move. The house they were renting didn't pass inspection, and then the owners wanted to sell it, etc etc. Originally they were going to move to Helena, but in the end they moved only a couple streets down. SO WE GET TO KEEP TEACHING THEM!!

Anyways, all of their friends bailed on them, and they didn't give us enough notice to get the ward's help, so us and the elders ended up helping them move the majority of their house. Let's just say getting all of my college stuff from Logan to Brigham City in Fitzwilliam gave me valuable resources in helping this family move. AND playing tetris. See, I only thought I was wasting time while playing tetris at school.... in reality I was preparing to help move people on my mission. 

Just kidding. 
But seriously, that family was SO grateful. Hopefully they'll be able to settle in soon so we can come teach them the lessons. They've already agreed to hear them again, but we just haven't had the chance.

We had another good lesson with our investigator that we put on date! We had dinner & a lesson at a member's house with him. I can see how much he has grown in his faith since we started teaching him, which is so awesome!!

Our young less-active couple are doing good as well. His less-active sister and her non-member fiancee were there when we went for dinner & a lesson. We were not expecting to see the sister or fiancee at all!! But they were fine with us teaching the lesson, and it went pretty well. We'll see if the fiancee will let us teach him the rest of the lessons.

Apparently they are doing church headquarter referrals online now - and so we checked online to see we had 3 referrals, 2 of which we didn't know about. (The other we've been trying to contact for weeks, no answer every time, gahhh) But we were able to contact those two referrals, and both said they would be willing to hear the lessons! Yayy! One seems promising - he is dating a less-active and he said he had questions and really wanted to learn. 

Because this week marked the beginning of the transfer, there were lots of logistic things that had to be handled with the zone leaders and Sister Breaux. One of which was driving to Whitehall again! Beautiful mountain pass, BTW, and I actually got to appreciate it this time because it was light out.
Anyways, this week we are looking forward to teaching many of the new people we have found.

Random side note: I have never before enjoyed Daylight Savings. But as a missionary, it's the best thing ever because then you are finally not out in the dark after dinner. Makes finding addresses easier, people are less likely to go to bed early, etc.. Best thing ever.

That's about it!
There's some guy in a top hat running around the library... pretty entertaining... and lots of old men with really long beards. 

Butte = awesome.

LOVE,
SISTER GRIFFIN

PS For those on spring break, enjoy! Make sure all y'all wear green next Monday! St. Patty's Day is a big deal. In Butte, it's bigger than Christmas! 

Yes, I am exaggerating. But still, this is a mega Butte holiday, and I want you all to celebrate it with me! :) 

Monday, March 3, 2014

I am a warrior!!


So I don't really mean anything by that.
 
We just visited this super sweet less-active woman, and she kept telling us about how her cat is a warrior, her 2 year old is a warrior, her dog is a warrior, her brother is a warrior.....
With all this warrior talk, I decided I was a warrior. I mean, I do yoga. I've got warrior down!

This week, this week...
Some good things this week.

First, our less-active couple CAME TO CHURCH!!!
Oh my, oh my, oh my.
The ward was SO EXCITED to see them! They know they are loved here.
And they felt the spirit, they enjoyed church. Made excellent comments in Sunday School.
So excited for them!!!
We committed them to pick a date for the temple together.  
This couple is so awesome.

Two investigators at church again this week!
One is the stepdad of the 10 year old girl we baptized... and he has agreed to hear the lessons!! We're going by for dinner and the lesson :)

The other is our "I don't believe in Christ" guy.
BUT GUESS WHAT.
He's on date for baptism, nbd.
And by that I mean HUGE DEAL!!
He still has quite a ways to go....but I mean, last week we were planning on dropping him because we felt he lacked sincerity. And this week, on date.
We finally brought the right members to the lesson, that really made the difference.
Because he's older, and doesn't exactly want to hear what he needs to do by early 20 year old girls. But when it comes from an olderish couple that understands where he is coming from, he listens!! Both Sister Breaux and I felt it was time to invite him again to baptism.
So he is on date on the 29th... LOTS to do to get him ready, but he really and truly is slowly progressing.

FOR instance, he wouldn't take the sacrament first time he came because he didn't want to do something that he didn't believe in...but this Sunday, he took the sacrament.

Baby steps. Baby steps to March 29th.



                                                        Sis. Griffin, Sis. Breaux & some AMAZINGLY large bunnies!!
                                                  
We are finding new people to teach as well! We found someone at the same place our "I don't believe in Christ" investigator. We just randomly delayed going to visit someone else, and ran into this man. He said he's had Mormon friends and talked to them about Mormonism and that he'd be willing to talk with us. He gave us his number and we know where he lives.

The other person we met at a less-active's. Her daughter's boyfriend was there. At first he seemed to be avoiding us, but the mom invited him to listen to the scripture. He then told us about how he went to Mormon church with his dad when he was little and that he really enjoyed it. He said he'd listen to the lessons as well. YAY.

BTW. Sister Breaux and I are staying - most of our zone is staying, woot woot! I love Butte and I feel like I will be here quite awhile yet. I'LL BE HERE FOR ST. PATTY'S DAY! Totally getting a picture by the St. Patrick's Catholic church here. ...just probably not ON St. Patty's day, because I value my life :) anndd let's be honest, Sister Breaux probably wouldn't be brave enough. haha jk anywaysss...

Oh, you asked about the weather here.
The weekend was subzero, but not bad. Honestly, I will never think the weather is cold unless it's 20 below during the day.

Don't move here, Dad.
Peter, you might like it. And honestly, Katie might, too.

This weekend we also got tons of snow, I'd guess 1-2 feet. But that's honestly not THAT much compared to the snow belt in Ohio. So I honestly feel as though Montanans are wussy. But maybe part of that is because they don't plow the roads here. But they were all freaking out, saying it's the most snow they've gotten since the 80s. I think it's just an excuse to be hermits and not get out. Just kidding!! Haha don't worry, I love the people in Montana :) I just think it's funny.

Anyways.

I AM A WARRIOR!

Say it. Just everyone say it. Say it so loud I can hear you here in Montana.
I AM A WARRIOR!

But honestly. With Christ, all things are possible!
So everyone is a warrior.

(I promise I'm not losing it)

LOVE 
LOVE 
LOVE,

Sister Griffin