Monday, November 24, 2014

best mistake ever!!


So first, thank you for all the birthday cards & wishes & packages & etc!! 
Much appreciated :)


I like having a birthday around Thanksgiving, it makes me doubly grateful for everything from my birthday. 

AND I like having birthdays on the mission, because then I get to focus on everyone but me and I get the joy of helping others discover Christ :)

The coolest thing this week happened on my birthday!
(Best birthday present ever. Thanks Heavenly Father!)

It all goes back to that lady we met because I thought the car heater was going to explode. Saturday was the return appointment we set up with her.

She had wonderful questions, about why God lets bad things happen if all He wants is for us to follow Him, if her children were going to hell if they died because she had not had them baptized yet, if she wasn't among the chosen people of God because she wasn't born Jewish, why there are so many churches when there was only one church when Christ was on the earth, and then she expressed her desire to find a church that will finally feel right to her.

golden.


We answered all of those questions as we taught the Restoration. The spirit helped Sister DeBry and I guide our words so we could know how to help her understand. At the First Vision, she felt as though Joseph Smith's experience was true because she, too, was searching for the one true church, the "one Lord, one faith, one baptism" in Ephesians 4:5. When we extended a baptismal invitation and a date for the baptism, she readily accepted both. She could not make it to church week because of a prior family engagement, but she expressed her desire to come next week with her kids.

and NONE of this would have happened if our heater hadn't gotten all weird and if we hadn't been convinced to knock on the wrong door. It's the Lord's work, and He guides and directs the effort. That's all I've got to say on that one.



You wanted birthday details. So that lesson ^ was our first thing for the day, then we went to the office to work on the Christmas slideshow, then back to the heights for a musical practice, then for lunch Sister DeBry and I got ice cream cupcakes from Dairy Queen (tradition!) and then we tried people and went to dinner at the family who went to the temple, and next we had a weird Thanksgiving dinner for the single adults of which they wanted missionaries to perform at (really weird. But I played piano for 3 of the musical numbers.) and then we went to talk to one of our ward missionaries (who is actually less-active) about some of our teenage investigators that had ODD and ADD and ya know, normal teenage defiance. So we asked for advice and threw in lots of testifying and other good things.

Anyways.
It actually was a tougher week, no one was home OR they just weren't answering their door OR they cancelled. Primarily the middle one. In fact, we actually caught someone in the act. We went to visit a less-active family, the one where the daughter wants to learn so she can get baptized. They did not answer when we knocked, even though we knew they had to be home because all of their cars were there. But they have a St. Bernard puppy that had decorated the tiny yard with numerous droppings. We found a shovel and decided to clean it up since all of our appointments fell through anyways. About 3/4 of the way through, the mom came out and said we didn't have to do that, etc., but we just insisted on finishing. Anyways, the mom texted us out of the blue yesterday, confirming that we could come over this upcoming Tuesday. And in the text, she admitted she was hiding.. Blessings from doing stinky service, I guess! haha


We had a family sign up for Thanksgiving dinner, but now we cannot get in contact with them... ehh sketch. But we have had other families ask what we are doing for Thanksgiving, so hopefully we will have a place or two to go to.

I'll see what pictures I have to send along. 


Enjoy Thanksgiving!! make sure to reflect on what you are grateful for this Thanksgiving season!


Love,
Sista Griffin

Monday, November 17, 2014

Montana heat wave!!

The high today is supposed to be above freezing. MAJOR HEAT WAVE! Dad, stop complaining about 20 degree weather. :P

Funny miracle:

We were driving in the super cold negative temperature weather, trying a few people, when the fan for the heater started making some super sketchy noises. Remember when the lawn mower practically exploded on me because I accidentally put kerosene in the gas tank? Well ever since, I am always convinced that, when I hear funny noises, the car/machine is going to explode on me. 

Needless to say, I was freaking out. So I insist on driving to the Tennessee family's place because they are close by and I know they have a knack for mechanics. They did not answer.

So then we only have an awkward 30 minutes before dinner, and dinner is close to just around the corner, and I didn't want to drive far because this car is literally going to explode, I just know it. I just kept driving down the Tennessee family's street when I suddenly remember we could try a less-active family just down the road. 

I pull over at what I am convinced is their house. But just to be sure, I check the directory, the address on the house, I check the directory again, the house again, and conclude we are at the right place.

We knock at the door. 
"Are you Sister So-and-so?"

"No."

"Oh. Are you babysitting?"

"
No, I live here."
"Oh. Well that's awkward, somehow we must have ended up at the wrong house"

"Well do you want to come in? It's freezing. Come warm up"

(Don't have to tell us twice, we are missionaries)

Long story made a tad shorter, this lady had met with missionaries before. She thought they were really comical and awkward and so she kind of flirted with them to freak them out. Needless to say, they WERE freaked out and never came back. But she is currently going through a divorce, which was conflicting with the religion she was raised in- Catholicism. She said she would be willing to learn more, and even gave us her number, name, and address so we could return to share about our church. Woot woot!

...leaving her house we double checked the address again on the house....it was totally the wrong address. So I am an airhead. I get it from mom. BUT HEY. Worked in our favor! Thanks, mom!

Another crazy thing? As we drove away, the heater completely stopped making weird noises, and it has not made any noises since.

Other news is that we finally got in to teach a handful of new investigators. One is a 50-60 year old lady that is just sweeter than sweet. We asked to give her a hug at the end, and she exclaimed "Oh, I've just been waiting for this!" Apparently she really loves hugs. But she loves BYUTV and she is drawn to the peace that she sees in LDS families. Anyways, she said she wanted to pray about what we had taught. Her husband, however, thinks his wife is going slightly crazy and thinking "what has gotten into her?" because she has never sought learning about different religions before. But hey, we've dealt with reluctant husbands before, just takes lots of patience and prayer and developing understanding. And sometimes more prayer. And more patience. 

We also had a lesson with two teenage girls. One of them referred herself to missionaries at Wal-Mart, who in turn passed the referral to us. The other girl was her roommate (they live at a Tumbleweed home, kind of for homeless teens) and she was way more interested than the girl that was referred, but both wanted to set a baptismal date. But they are teenagers, and so keeping them focused and on track might be difficult. I dread having teenagers down the road. Sorry mom & dad if I was ever a brat :)

Update on the family that got baptized - he was interviewed for the priesthood and has a calling in the young men's on the way! We also started them on their family history, and we found two names for him and one name for her to take to the temple to do baptisms. Hollah! So hopefully that should be soon. They made a comment that everything with church just feels so right and how it should have always been in their family. We just love them, I can't wait for you to meet them!

So that's our report. We are teaching so much more now that we don't spend so much time in the office. Which is ironic in a way, because we still go down to the office to work on Sister Mecham's Christmas project. Which, BTW, it's going to be awesome, we brainstormed some pretty great ideas. #goinghashtagcrazy,peepsgonnagetmad
Yeah, don't worry, I know that's not a real hashtag.


Anyways, stay warm! and have a great week!
The family that went to the temple back in August - they are feeding us on Saturday and she knows it is my birthday, so I am very excited and I should be well taken care of :)

Love,
Sista G

Monday, November 10, 2014

and so it begins...


FIRST SNOWFALL.

and also first below 20 degree weather.
Fabulous. 

I was kind of hoping that the first snowfall would be a little bit warmer. we keep hearing different rumors on how cold it is supposed to get - one person insisted the lows would be in the negatives sometime this week...

Yay for freezing!

Transfer news - Sister DeBry and I are staying together in Lake Hills. But we are getting phased out of the office. I am really torn because I love the office, but I also want more time in our area. 

Here's the funny part of why we are staying though - Sister Mecham wanted us to work on the Christmas slideshow and she doesn't want anyone else to know about it. So she requested to President Mecham for us to stay. Apparently after Heavenly Father, Sister Mecham has the next greatest pull. BTW, I loved the picture you sent, it made me laugh. I definitely remember the Christmas that it was taken.

Anyways, we won't be completely out of the office because we will be working on that slideshow. 

But what President is doing makes a lot of sense - he switched an elder's area to a sister's area and is having those sisters working in the office. And those sisters live 5 minutes from the office. We live 25 minutes from the office. And Sister DeBry and I have been able to get the office super organized, done lots of cross-training, so they should be fine. My goal was to work myself out of the office, and it's been accomplished! I guess I would have preferred getting moved too, though.

Story time!
There is a young mother that is coming back to church after a nasty abusive relationship. I think I told you about her. One morning she wakes up with an awful headache and she has a super hard time getting her kids awake. They were super lethargic. She just thought all of them were getting sick. After getting them out of the house and drive around, all of them start to improve. 

That afternoon, she has someone come check the house. Her furnace had been leaking 25% carbon monoxide. Apparently a 9% leak is a big deal. But then that left her without a furnace. The bid she received to replace it was $2100, and she does not have any money right now. We made sure the relief society president a few other ward leaders knew. This Sunday we asked her how the house was doing without any heat. She then told us how someone from the ward came by and installed a new furnace and everything for free. Not sure where the members got the furnace from, but we were so touched how much our ward stepped up to help. That meant so much to that sister.

Next story!
Remember the 85-year-old that just started going back to church? He is a snowbird, and he is leaving for Arizona this Wednesday. We went by yesterday after church to say goodbye. I think I mentioned his wife passed away 6 years ago. He wanted to give me a new shirt and jacket that was hers. I was super touched. I'll send off a picture.

We also have new people to teach!
A 17-year-old tracked down some elders at Wal-Mart, asking for missionaries to be sent to her. She's in our area! So they passed the info to us. She took lessons down on the south side. We visited her mom who is in the nursing home in our area, and she wants lessons as well. 

Other new people!
There's a couple that moved from the Hilltop ward to our ward. They're in the 60s about. He's Catholic and she is recently reactivated. We had a joint lesson last night to transition them in to our ward. He knows Joseph Smith is a prophet and he wants to go to the temple and be baptized. He just is having a hard time letting go of some former ideas and notions. But they are super sweet, I look forward to teaching them. Hopefully they will like us. They loved the Hilltop sisters.

I don't know that I can think of any other news!

Love you all!
I hope the cold storm isn't as cold for you as it is here!

Love,
Sista EG

Monday, November 3, 2014

oh how sweet :)



THEY GOT BAPTIZED!!!! wahooooooooooooooo :)
So many people from the ward came to support them that we had to add tons of chairs. Sister Mecham was there as well. We conned her in to playing the prelude and interlude music so I wouldn't have to worry about it.

And then President & Sister Mecham were there for the confirmation. They congratulated them, in addition to a large portion of the ward.
The mom said the sweetest things. She thanked us for pushing them and commented how great she felt. She said she had not realized how much she needed baptism. 

All three of them were just glowing :)

                                                            


This week has been very full, the baptism preparations taking up most of the time.

First, Temple Tuesday!
We went through the temple with Sister Singson & Sister Templin. Beforehand though, Sister Singson had us write these letters of things we needed to let go. Then we tied them to white helium balloons and let them go before we entered the temple. Such a "sister" thing to do, but it was nice. I was so grateful that Sister DeBry had a great experience with it. She was able to feel such great comfort from that activity. We took pictures, I'll try to remember to send them along. I engineered the better way to attach the letters, maybe I'll remember to comment on it next time.
 


But that was not the end of our Temple Tuesday! Because then we had the mom & daughter that got baptized to come take pictures at the temple. I'll try to include one of those, too. The mom LOVES Pintrest and had been looking up ideas of pictures to take of her daughter at the temple before their baptism. We were able to talk about the importance of temples and the special spirit there, and how in the temple we can be sealed to our family forever. We went just inside the entryway where there are two fountains that have great symbolism to the Fall, eternal life, and Christ's atonement. Super cool experience.
Anyways, it was a great day at the temple.

Wednesday!
The family getting baptized was moving the day before their baptism, and so we helped them with the majority of their moving. We had a blast, we spend so much time in emotional and spiritual labor that it is super refreshing to perform some physical labor.

Thursday was, of course, the baptism. 
Friday was Halloween, so we had to be in by 6PM. We got permission to watch Ephraim's Rescue with some of the other sisters in the heights. Honestly, I am not a fan. But I was not a fan of 17 Miracles either. But on your mission you are just grateful for any movies that you are allowed to watch! I think I scared some of the other sisters thought when I expressed my opinion....they seemed to think I was turning apostate. In reality, though, I just enjoy quality, and readily recognize when quality is missing. 

On Saturday we actually had dinner with the family that got baptized! They wanted to thank everyone that helped them move. So they took us and some others who helped from the ward to Pizza Hut. Super awesome of them!

I'm getting bored of spelling out my week, so I'm just going to rant about this family. 
We frequently ask them if they have any questions, either from their Book of Mormon reading or just other questions. 

They ALWAYS have a question. Which means they are thinking about it, they are desiring to learn, they want to completely understand. And the next great part? They remember. I LOVE Gospel Principles class with them because they always have the most amazing answers and comments, stemming from conversations we had in lessons. What we share is sinking in. And people recognize and comment on that, on how they already have such a great depth of knowledge about the gospel. But the catch is neither of them have a religious background. So the spirit has been teaching them hardcore. They truly are just remembering the things they have been taught from before this life..

So I pulled out the calendar. True, we have been teaching the mom for quite some time, June or May. But her husband? He was ready for his baptismal interview in 2 weeks of teaching and baptized in 3 weeks. So prepared! But I would have never guessed, especially since he was the reason that his wife dropped us back in August. Such a miracle. And I am so grateful to be a part of their journey. Their eyes are truly set on the temple, and I cannot wait to come back to be with them in a year. I won't miss it for anything. (Just hopefully it is on a Saturday!)

Missionary work is truly the sweetest work. It's hard! It definitely can be frustrating. But it is filled with those incredibly special moments that mean everything. I cannot wait for you to meet this family!

Have a fantastic week! I shall send some pictures along :)

Love,
Sista G