Monday, May 19, 2014

when all his HAIL and his mighty STORM shall beat upon you...

Hey, you & me both!
I wish you had taken pictures of the flooding that occurred this last week in Ohio! Ironically, we had quite a storm yesterday in Billings. Our storm did not last very long, and it did not cause flood damage. But the hail was incredible!

Sister Bateman & I were rushing from a lesson to our dinner appointment. We noted the nasty storm clouds and the rain, but we didn't know what to expect. Just as we parked the car, the most NASTY hail that I have ever seen in my life came pouring down. Golf-ball sized hail. We opened the doors for half a second and immediately closed them because it was evident that one hit from the hail would knock us out. I was worried the hail would break the glass on our car, because there wasn't anywhere for us to park to get the car out of the storm. The storm passed reasonably quickly, though, and fortunately we were okay and while the car suffered several dents, it's okay too.

But this experience brought a whole new meaning of Helaman 5:12 to me. And from the sounds of your stormy week in Ohio, you can relate as well.

"And now, my sons, remember, remember that is is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his HAIL and his mighty STORM shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."

The elements have TREMENDOUS power. And so can Satan have great power over our lives if we let him. But we are promised that if have Christ as our foundation, we cannot fall. So then how do we have Christ as our foundation? Something that has been pressed upon my mind lately is the importance and the blessings of keeping the commandments. 

"And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual" (Mosiah 2:41)

Security, safety, and blessings are provided as we keep the commandments of God. They are NOT suggestions - they are commandments, designed to bless our lives. I asked one of our investigators this week why it was important to not sin. He actually provided quite a profound answer. Almost verbatim, he said, "sin sets you back in whatever plan God has for your life". It's TRUE!! Sin & breaking commandments sets us back in life. God is waiting to bless us. Keep the commandments!!

Okay, I'm off of my soapbox now :) Not sure where all of that came from, but hope you enjoyed it!

Hmmmm what else in life?

We did A LOT of service this week. The Montana Special Olympics was in Billings this week, and so we spent hours helping. We even got cool t-shirts for volunteering!...sorry I don't have any pictures... :/ BUT there was this cute 11 year old who was going around trying to scare the missionaries. It was the greatest thing ever. She kind of reminded me of myself since I take great joy in scaring/creeping people out haha So we helped in escorting swimmers, cheering & awards, and making lunches. Good experience.

In other news, we had SEVEN investigators at church!!! :) There is this sweet younger family that came for their first time. They told us that they enjoyed church, and they also ended up knowing some of the members in the ward!!

So here's an update on some of the people we are teaching:

Mr. X: He's still throwing out tons of anti-Mormon stuff at us at the end of every lesson. I just keep referring him back to the Book of Mormon, specifically Moroni 10:3-5, and whether or not Joseph Smith was a prophet. And a I bear my testimony. He even told us he was beginning to expect what our response to some of his comments would be. Ha!

Young family: Oh, they are so great! They are the ones who enjoyed church. I actually wasn't at their lesson this week because I was on exchanges in the Skyview ward. But they are really wanting to be able to make changes in their lives and strengthen their family. 

Native American: Did I tell you about him yet? Probably not, we started teaching him just this week. He also is wanting to make changes in his life, to get back up on his feet and find a foundation for his life. He loves what we are sharing because it is all so positive, and he enjoyed church this week. We actually kind of had a mini miracle with his lessons this week :)

There are others, but that's the highlights. I actually have to go, we need to start recording call-in numbers and such.

Sister G.

Monday, May 12, 2014

you heard it all!!!

Editors note:  we talked with Elise via Facetime yesterday for Mother's Day... it was AWESOME!!!

Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii :)

So good to see you yesterday!
Not much to say, I told you all of it yesterday.
But I suppose I can tell you what happened after talking to you!

Our dinner was with a family that's huge into band. Get this - the dad was the
mom's band director in high school. Yep. Pretty funny. Anyways, it was nice
to talk band with them.

Sis. Bateman & Sis. Griffin in the Montana Women's Run :)


Next was our lesson with "X". He's kind of interesting. He's the one who brought
up polygamy and priesthood when we first knocked on his door. He did ask for a
Book of Mormon, though. Anyways, he's be unemployed for awhile and had
been praying about what to do before we showed up. He says he was perusing
through the Book of Mormon on the topic of wives when he found Jacob 2:18-19.
He felt like that was his answer and that's why he tracked us down via the mission
home to have us come back and find him a ride to church. So there is potential,
but we are worried about him just searching for welfare. He's kind of hard to read.
He's also very formal. He asked us if he could send us a letter through the church,
thanking us for our efforts. So we told him to send it to the mission home.

Next was our lesson with "T". We taught her the Word of Wisdom, and we brought
a recently reactivated member who has been overcoming her addictions. She
helped the lessons SO much. She was able to testify so powerfully of the blessings
that have come as she has overcome smoking and also given up coffee. AND she
instantly wanted to be T's friend and to arrange a time for their daughters to play

Hmm.... I'm trying to think of anything that I forgot to tell you yesterday.

Well I just talked with Sister Breaux and Chuck has received the Aaronic priesthood!!
That's way exciting! And he wants to work on his family history so he can perform
the work for his family :) It's great to see him accepting the gospel and progressing :)

Yeah, I am really out of things to say. You heard it all yesterday!

But seriously...
Get JIF's Salted Caramel Hazelnut spread. It will change your life.


Sista G.

a quote of the week for you.
ME: I can be funny sometimes.
Sista Bateman: (laughs) That was funny!
ME: See? Told you!
I wanted to share that just in case none of you think I'm funny.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


scatter sunshine all along your way
cheer & bless & brighten every passing daaaaaaaAYYYY!
scatter sunshine all along your way
cheer & bless & brighten every passing day :)

So I had NEVER heard of that hymn until seminary.
and in seminary I didn't care for it much.
now it's one of my favorites!!! 
mainly because of the daaaaaaaAYYYY! part
it reminds me of President Monson because he is a great example of striving to help brighten others' days. especially widows. ;)

Just in case you were wondering, my other favorites are How Great Thou Art, They the Builders of the Nation, and I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go. Pretty sure there are other favorites, but I didn't really have favorite hymns until my mission. That's what happens when you sing at least one hymn every day.

Speaking of singing, I am getting SO MUCH BETTER!!! But I have to be able to hear it from either the piano or preferably someone else singing.

Not going to lie, the highlight of my week was SUSHI!!! 
There is a younger couple here in Lake Hills that is very smart and love culture (and so they will probably move soon because Billings doesn't do it for them). ANYWAYS, I was talking to them last Sunday about sushi & when they found out I missed sushi, they immediately decided that's where they were going to take us for dinner. The place is called Fancy Sushi. It was pretty good! (I already sent the picture) I learned the difference between sushi, sushi rolls, and shashimi (no idea how to spell that)

Sushi = fish + rice
Sushi roll = obvious. rice + fish + whatever else rolled up
Shashimi = just the raw fish

Oh I tried octopus! and I have no idea what kind of raw fish I had besides tuna & salmon. Way tasty though. My preference is still a sushi roll, however.

This week was pretty good....we couldn't go out Monday at all because we were both sick. Sister Bateman was throwing up & I had a bad cold/sore throat that came out of nowhere. So if my email sounded grumpy last week, that probably contributed.

Did my setting apart include stuff about being a good companion, can you remember? Because I didn't write down anything about that, but I feel like it was mentioned... but even if it wasn't mentioned, I feel like that's part of the good I am doing here. So many of my companions have needed support and I have been able to help. I think that's part of the reason why I have gotten transferred a lot....anyways. I remember someone giving me advice that a lot of your purpose is with companions as well as investigators & less-actives. 

Sorry mom & dad, I signed up for the 2 mile, not the 5 mile. Sister Bateman & I haven't ran at all (we've both been sick!) and I don't want to hurt my knee. & the 5 mile would take too long, we can do more contacting if we're not running for so long!

That was WAY COOL about Greg in the HJ!! And that Pres. Albrecht (I don't know how to spell his name) even mentioned it. Hah and I was mentioned, too! I'm so special. ha ha just joshin'

Hmm that's interesting there were a lot of math/stat people. BUT I'm betting many of them were math education. It's weird... a lot of my math/stat friends probably were in that graduation. ahhhh they won't be there when I get back! weird. 

so we got three new people to teach!!!! 2 less-actives and 1 investigator. YAYYY.

and we got someone on date. YAYY. She LOVES her coffee, though. I'm a little apprehensive for the Word of Wisdom lesson. But she LOVES the Book of Mormon and when we taught the Plan of Salvation, she LOVED it and it made so much sense to her. hmmm probably because she's heard it before, back in the premortal life... 
...that and the Plan of Salvation just makes SO MUCH SENSE!

So then there's the less-active and her boyfriend investigator. They are in their mid-30s and they are super interesting! Think punks. They love loud music, drums, and tattoos. In Billings, Montana. (While Billings is big, it definitely has more of a cowboy/farming/ranching vibe) Anyways, they are super nice, super chill, and we are very excited to teach them. 

I'm thinking Facetime. My email/username is just this email address. But if you prefer Skype, that'd be okay, too.