Monday, June 9, 2014

"are these girls for real?"

Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii :)

OUR NATIVE AMERICAN GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We got some pictures beforehand with him that I shall send along later. He kept joking that the pictures we were taking were mugshots. Honestly, his demeanor in the pictures kind of does make it look like a mugshot haha Anyways, I shall send them along.

The baptism did not run smoothly behind the scene... the ward mission leader's wife forgot the programs and there was confusion for the musical number (we had some missionaries singing "Come Unto Christ". It's the Billings East standard at this point) and no one had been asked to conduct, etc.. But it did still amount to a nice service, I was just completely stressed until it was all over.

I want to share some of what our Native American shared with us, though. I don't know if I've mentioned this, but he lives in a Veteran's home right now. Also living there is a somewhat crazy (but very lovable) less-active/recent convert that we have been working with. We taught in the main living area and had noticed people listening in. And so we asked the LA/RC if he knew anyone also living there that would be interested. That's when he jumped up and immediately introduced us to the man that got baptized this weekend. Anyways, he (our Native American) shared with us that the first thing that went through his head when we were introduced was, "are these girls for real?". It blew his mind that there would be two twenty-year-old girls completely dedicating their time to their religion for 18 months AND were happy doing it! He couldn't understand how we were always smiling and always happy and simultaneously always talking about Jesus Christ.

He continued to share with us how much he has felt the gospel change him. Last week he got caught in a huge rainstorm out on the middle of the reservation. He had gone home to take care of a few things out there. Instead of getting them handled, he just got soaked to the skin. (He doesn't have a car). He said his past self would have been cussing up a storm and very angry. But instead, he just shrugged his shoulders and thought, "that's just how life goes sometimes". That's remarkable change!! The gospel really does help you be more happy, more patient, have a more fulfilling life! What good does getting angry ever do?

After his baptism, he told us that he felt lighter and happier.

But so much happened this week besides the baptism. 
Tuesday was our mission tour! So that means we had a general authority visiting our mission and giving us instruction. Our visitor was Elder Carlos Godoy. He spoke in general conference a few years back on testimony. Look him up :)

It was such an amazing experience! He likened our mission to Alma 26 and shared that if any mission was poised for baptizing thousands, it was our mission. We have outstanding statistics. But that's really besides the point. He talked about how we need to do more with asking for referrals, to have more faith, etc.. He also shared about how we are not so much called to our mission so much as we are called to our mission president. I think that's very true. I've grown so much here, and I attribute much of that to the leadership of President and Sister Mecham. 

That wasn't the only cool meeting for the week, however. This Saturday was a general training for the women in the neighboring stakes. We had the general relief society president, Linda K. Burton, the general primary 2nd counselor, and the general young women's president. We sat in on the meeting with Sister Burton. It was a great meeting, I just overall felt the importance of charity and ministering. And particularly having charity in ministering. Afterwards we got a picture and talked with Sister Burton. She also stressed with us how important it is to take our mission home with us - to not forget the lessons that we have learned here. Particularly with how to be a good member missionary!

Anyways, I'll get some pictures sent off. But there definitely was much that happened this week, I didn't even go over the Lovell sisters we had for a night.

Loves you all!
Happy (early) Father's Day, dad!!

Sister Griffin

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