Tuesday, April 29, 2014

life in Billings...

This week started off great and then kind of took a dive. We had two investigators, who were on date to be baptized next week, drop us yesterday and another investigator who showed a lot of promise moved to Sidney. And lots of appointments cancelled as well. But the appointments cancelling is pretty normal, we were just really hoping otherwise.



                                                                               Sis. Bateman & Sis. Griffin

But! We do have a less-active that has much potential! She has never been to the temple and as we were visiting her, we asked her if that was a goal. She said it was and that she would appreciate our helping her get there. And so we have started teaching her the lessons and we will be helping her quit smoking and get to church. She was actually in church this Sunday! Late, but she was there! She also has a granddaughter who lives with her that we may try to start teaching. She's 12 and has not been baptized. Funny enough, this woman's son attends the YSA ward, and so this is another house that I've been before.

There is also a less-active family that we have been working with. Apparently missionaries have been working with this family for a few years. But they have a date in August to be sealed in the temple. They were all at church, and they seem to really be growing in the gospel. Teaching them is a little hectic, though. There tends to be quite a bit of drama in their house. But the mom cooks really well, they fed us some really good steak and loaded potatoes and an amazing salad.

So there is going to be a Women's Run on May 10. We got asked to help with some of the preparation stuff for the race (bibs, etc). We'll be doing that on Tuesday. But then we also got asked to run in the race as well. Sister Bateman and I are going to start running and get back into shape. That's actually something our mission encourages - running in races. It gets you seen and races are also almost always for charity. So we're just trying to decide if we want to do the 2 miles or the 5 miles. We'll probably do the 2 mi so it won't take as long and also we aren't in shape.

Many of the people that have been being taught here in Lake Hills are very flaky and overall don't seem interested or committed. And so we are going to have to do quite a bit of finding. 

That's really about it. The senior missionary couple that we are replacing goes home this Wednesday, and so we'll be completely in charge of their duties - bikes & baptisms. Honestly, I think there can be much improvement in the bike system. And they are still waiting for the bike pool to start paying for itself, part of me really wants to do a mathematical analysis and figure out when & how the account will even out. Maybe during personal time at night I'll work on it haha

Love,
Sister Griffin

Monday, April 21, 2014

....surprise!!


HAPPY EASTER!!!!!
So I liked the church's Because of Him video...but I'm not as crazy about it as everyone else is. That's besides the point, though.

I was super loved this Easter! Our sister training leaders gave us Easter bags, the member lady we live with gave us Easter bags, and some lady in the ward whose name I can't remember also gave us Easter baskets! Oh, and yes mom I got my Easter package :) I am wearing my Sperry's right now...I decided I would wear them only during preparation day and around the house. I'm so happy to have them!

But needless to say, I think I have enough chocolate to last me for quite some time. My companion, Sister Bateman, is on this no-sugar kick. And so I'm getting double the amount of chocolate and sweets that ordinarily would be hers. We might break out the bikes soon so I don't get fat.

Our Easter day started with a district devotional, then church, studies, and early dinner with some members. Then Sister Bateman got sick and so we only made it out for a little bit towards the end of the night. I was surprised she still wanted to go out. Anyways.

Sister Bateman's pretty great. We have similar views on personal time and space, etc so I'm thinking we will get along well :) Anyways.

Everyone in Lake Hills so far has been super nice! A lot of our ward though is newer/richer, and it kind of freaked me out a bit. Think about it - I've been in Havre/reservation (dump), Butte (old AND dump), and college kids (apartment/practically homeless haha). So being in a new area feels awkward and uncomfortable. But I'm getting used to it :) 

Want to know something cool though? I am seeing quite a few people that I knew from serving in the YSA ward here!! First dinner we went to was a family who has a son that attends the YSA ward. Way cool! Just makes me excited to see them again.

Want to know something else cool? This came as a surprise... I'm back in the office! They didn't tell me that when I got transfer news. We are more just helpers though than the sisters in the YSA ward - they are more in charge. Basically there is a senior missionary couple that serves with recording baptisms and the bike pool, and they are leaving by the end of this month. And so Sister Bateman and I will be taking over their jobs. (We don't have any new senior missionaries coming in) So we have 9 more days to learn their job before they go home from their mission. Their jobs don't seem like they are that hard...but they aren't explaining things very clearly so we are having to ask good questions to get the information we need out of them. 

So I'd tell you about the people in the area, but I don't know too many of them yet. There is a PM/LA family that we visited that came to church! We visited them and the wife (who is a former investigator) said that she knew she needed to be baptized soon. Awesome, right??.....but they are moving at the end of the month to the east end of the state.

There are some potential investigators that we are hoping to get somewhere with soon....the only progressing investigators in this area live in a nursing home. We think they are cognitive enough. They are slightly senile, but only slightly.  Anyways. They are interesting. 

Honestly, that covers everything that has been on my mind.

Love,
E

Monday, April 14, 2014

Bittersweet...


Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii :)

This has been an amazing week!!........and now I'm getting transferred :'(
I'm going back to Billings, but I'll be in the other stake in the Lake Hills ward. (Butte East stake)
The frustrating part though is that I'm just switching places with Sister Pickering. She's coming back to Butte and I'm taking her place in Lake Hills.

I really don't want to leave Butte. Sister Breaux is honestly my best friend and I have developed close friendships with all the missionaries in my district and so many of the people here. I've learned so much here, seen miracles, and truly love all of the members and those we teach.
But I have prayed about this transfer, and know it's what Heavenly Father wants. I may not understand it, but I do trust I'm going where I'm needed. Proverbs 3:5-6 came to mind.

So back to Billings!! and on the bright side, there will be a Target!! And a member owns a crepery who lets missionaries eat for free.... SO GOOD. I had it once before. Anyways.
Oh, and my new companion will be Sister Bateman. She actually is a "visa-waiter" - I think her mission call is for Brazil. I think she came out with me, but I'm not positive. 

Enough of the bitter! Time for the sweet!


                                                               The Awesome Butte District :)


BROTHER C WAS BAPTIZED!!!!!
It was a great baptism. We were concerned about people showing up - Brother C was an orphan and then he lost all of his family about 15 years ago. So he literally has nobody. Thus we really wanted his ward family to be there and support him. Sister Breaux and I spent a good chunk of time calling people to the ward and inviting them. There was a great turnout, I was super happy!
Sister Breaux and Elder Griffith sang "Come Unto Christ" and I accompanied. You should know that song, mom- it's the youth theme song for this year. They sounded so beautiful. A ward member recorded it and put it on her facebook if you would like to listen to it.
The ward mission leader's wife also sang. I accompanied her as well for the song- Amazing Grace. That's one of Brother C's favorites.
Anyways, after his baptism, Brother C was literally glowing. You could see a light in his eyes. The next day, right before his confirmation, he was telling us how happy he was after his baptism - that he hadn't felt that happy and giddy since he was a little kid.

Honestly, the change in Brother C has been amazing. I remember writing about him and sharing how he didn't believe in Christ and didn't want to change anything in his life. He was so jaded towards life, despite his efforts to always serve and be a good person. And now he's pressing forward, committed to living the gospel and following Christ. I am so grateful to have been a part of this miracle in his life.

This week, we have also found two students at Montana Tech that legitimately want to know if the church is true. One is living with his grandma, who is a member, and the other is dating a member from Missoula. Both have heard of the gospel and seen the blessings from it and thus want to know if it's true. So awesome! I'm bummed that I won't be getting to teach them. Oh, and there is a 9 year old kid who agreed to at least hear the first lesson. (The parents are divorced and the dad's a member and the mom's not) Many miracles in finding!
We also are seeing progress, albeit slow, in some of the less actives we have been teaching as well!! One's been reading and another has actually come to church twice!
So it's been a great week! Butte's been great, and I am super sad to leave. But I am grateful to have been able to make a difference.
I'll just have to hike Lady of the Rockies after my mission.

Love,
Sister Elise Griffin

Monday, April 7, 2014

Another crazy week....


hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii :)

This week was crazy. Sister Breaux had exchanges with Dillon, and so one of the three Whitehall sisters was going to come spend the time with me so I wouldn't be alone. That is, until we learned that one of the Whitehall sisters was getting transferred to Missoula. So then that'd leave someone else alone. And so there ended up being a tripanionship, and I spent a night in Whitehall.

While in Whitehall, we contacted a taxidermist whom missionaries had met with in the past. He was friendly, but not interested. BUT I learned a lot about taxidermy while there! I was really curious, so I asked a lot of questions. I think it grossed the other sisters out, though.

Speaking of Whitehall, there is a Community of Christ church in tiny little Whitehall! I was so super shocked, I had never seen the Community of Christ besides Kirtland.

Anyways, then we had to drive down to Dillon to pick up Sister Breaux. Guess who drove?? It was a fun and very beautiful drive. I really love the vast openness of Montana. The small towns are cute and it's all so calming. Pretty sure grad school in NYC wouldn't work for me. I probably wouldn't be able to breathe. 


                                                              On top of the Montana Tech "M" mountain

Oh, can't remember if I told you - I've pretty much decided that I'll try ice fishing and/or hunting when I get home from my mission. I can't serve in Montana and not try it.

So I spent almost all Tuesday night at the hospital.

Did you freak out????? Because don't worry, we were just visiting people. We had received a text referral about visiting a patient at the hospital. She is from Helena, but was in GFalls for therapy when something went wrong and so she got sent to Butte. Anyways, the GFalls sisters found her and sent the referral our way. She is less-active and wanted a priesthood blessing.

BUT anyways, I find it weird that someone was sent to BUTTE for surgery. Butte, as far as I know, is smaller than both Great Falls and Helena. So why Butte for surgery??? Whatever. But while we were at the hospital cheering her up, we ended up helping a lady carry things up to her husband's room where she was going to spend the night. We talked about the gospel with her considerably - there's some potential!


                                                              View from the Montana Tech mountain

GUESS WHAT???? Baptism this Saturday!! I am amazed with how much our investigator has changed and how much happier he is. I am also super grateful it's before transfers so Sister Breaux and I will both be there. I'm excited :)

Our last lesson with him was on tithing. He had problems with tithing the first time he met missionaries, and so I was slightly concerned. But in the lesson, he told us tithing was scripturally sound and that while he would have to rearrange his finances, he was willing to pay tithing. :) When you know the Book of Mormon is true, things fall into place.

LOVED conference, by the way. Because we were out of our area, we didn't really get the chance to set up watching conference in anyone's home. The only exception was watching the Sunday afternoon session with our ward mission leader and our investigator (the one that is getting baptized). The rest of the time we were at the church. But I also discovered that I can pay much better attention when I am at the church, as opposed to being home. I think I may always choose at least one session to watch at the church in the future.

My favorite talk was President Uchtdorf's. I really feel that an attitude of gratitude - being grateful for more than just things - can have a tremendous healing power. So that's what I will be working on. 

Anyways, I don't have any more time. One of the elders in Butte is going home this transfer and so he wants as much time as possible to do things for his last preparation day. So we promised him we'd be fast for emailing. (They don't have a car and so we drive them to the library to email)

LOVE YOU, BYE!!!!

Sister Elise Griffin