Wednesday, February 25, 2015

the digital age...

I think I told you last week about an amazing grilled cheese sandwich that I was going to be eating with some nonmembers.

Yeah, it was delicious. 
I'll make one for whoever wants one when I get back.

We took some pictures - we'll send them along. But amazingly, I was able to help this lady with her family history, and she's okay with us coming back in March when she gets more information from her relatives to keep helping her out.

Guess what? It happened.
We FINALLY got to teach the other Japanese foreign exchange student.

She had almost no religion back in Japan. The concept of God was something completely new to her before coming to America. She probably would still not believe in God if it weren't for the fact that she received a blessing a few months back - she had twisted her ankle pretty bad while running. But during the blessing, she felt peaceful, and her ankle healed in a matter of days instead of the several weeks typical for healing. So she knows God exists.

We started off with the Restoration, but very quickly realized that she did not understand the role of Christ. Needing to be "clean from sin" was very foreign to her. But we left her with a chapter to read that went over the Atonement.

It made me realize, however, how often we take that knowledge of a loving Savior for granted. But if it weren't for him, it would not matter what we did in this life, everything would be for naught.

Other news. We went tracting and were able to find a new person to teach! This lady has actually come to church in the past with her LDS friend, and she enjoyed it. She was grateful for our coming by and accepted a visit from us the next day.

When we returned, we discovered that she not only had already read from the Book of Mormon, but she remembered what she had read and was able to discuss it. Crazy!

She wants to be baptized, but understands there is much studying and other things that need to be taken care of first. Anyways, she is going to shoot for April 22 as a baptismal date.

The biggest news is that we are having an ALL MISSION meeting in Bozeman on March 4th. The reason? Our mission is getting trained by Elder Zwick of the 70 on how to do missionary work in the digital age. So this will be going over iPads and the internet. iPads are finally out of the testing phase and are getting integrated! The interesting part - I'm good because I am going home soon - but all missionaries going home after August 23 are receiving new iPads and also are paying for them, but also keeping them at the end of their mission.

Hope you have a good week, and I hope Grandpa gets better soon!

Sista G

Monday, February 16, 2015

Happy President's Day!

Remember how I would always order a grilled cheese when I was little, no matter which restaurant we went to? I am realizing that I never actually grew out of that, it's just my taste is getting more refined.

I bring this up because tonight we have dinner with a potential investigator family. They are going to be making us specialty grilled cheese with brie, apple slices, and fig jelly (if I'm remembering right)

Anyways, last Monday we showed up because they were a couple in our area book that we didn't know. We ended up talking about family history, and they invited us over for dinner tonight and a tutorial on family history. Yeah, neither of us are very good with family history, so we may end up just getting them in touch with the family history center here in Lovell. I'll have to let you know how it goes. But needless to say, I have been looking forward to this sandwich for a week now. Nothing is better than brie and apples together.

.....I figure since Dad wants me to train for TOSRV, it won't hurt to eat what I want now....

But we hope that family history will soften their hearts and prepare them to learn more about the gospel. They are pretty active in their church - it's a nondenominational one here in town. 

Other news. We should be teaching the other Japanese exchange student this week. But I also know that I have been saying that for a couple weeks now. So we will see! I am a little more hopeful this time haha

Moving on.
Did I tell you about the man we tracted into a couple weeks ago? The one who has spent his life drinking and chasing woman and tearing up a few marriages along the way? I'll refer to him as G.

Well, we taught G about the Restoration this week. He still feels like he is too old to get baptized, and by that he means that he is too old to change from his less-than-upstanding ways. But, the key is that he does want to change. He just doesn't have the faith to do it yet. He didn't come to church, but he did keep up his promise to skim through the Book of Mormon and the Restoration pamphlet. 

Anyways, "anyone can change. anyone can choose to leave the past behind them and move on"
(Pretty sure that's an exact quote from "New Years: look not behind thee" mormon message. Watch it, and then let me know if I nailed it.)

I'm thinking of maybe showing him "Reclaimed", another awesome Mormon message. Because he can change, and I know reading the Book of Mormon and praying will be key to helping him grow in faith. I've seen it before with that good ol' man from Butte.

Honestly, it comes down to agency. We do not have to let anything define us - "the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself" ( 2 Nephi 2:16) and because Christ has redeemed us from the fall, we are given the chance "to act for themselves and not to be acted upon"

"Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil" (2 Nephi 2:27)

Anyways, because of agency, we can choose... and even if we have chosen wrong in the past, because of Christ, we have the opportunity to change and begin to choose the right. That's what the Atonement is for.

But yeah, that is what has been on my mind.

Hope you have an awesome week & that it warms up!
I'm all bummed because this week is going to be in the 30's instead of being in the 50's... (: As long as it stays above freezing, I suppose I shouldn't complain!

Sista G

Monday, February 9, 2015

going 2 by 2 again!... finally ha

Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhh buddy!
Her name is Sister Rasmussen, she is from American Fork, UT. She did a year of school at UVU for nursing before coming on her mission. She is very sweet and has such a strong desire to work hard. It is a nice contrast from my last companion, of which just wanted to hang out with members. Hence the lack of meaningful work last transfer.

She seems to be adjusting okay... we definitely both shared moments of stress. I had forgotten how much is new to a missionary just from the MTC. Both of us want her to be able to just know everything instantly, but there isn't time to teach everything all at once. It has to be steps at a time. And she does understand that she won't get everything instantly, but that it will come over time.

Anyways, she is super cute and awesome, and things are going really well :) I want her to learn how to do everything exactly according to direction from our mission president, because most companions I have had choose to omit certain things that they don't agree with. So my goal is to help her develop good habits now that she can stick to, no matter her future companion. Anyways.

There has been a few exciting things this week!

First, we got a grumpy old less-active to church! He used to be very active, but then he was offended by some decisions from a stake president. He is not bitter towards the church, but he does hold resentment towards those leaders. As such, he used the argument that he should not come to church because he would be taking of the sacrament unworthily, due to these bitter feelings. 

"Partaking of the sacrament worthily" has always been a little enigmatic to me, and so I am planning on studying it further. Commentary would be welcome, but I am pretty sure that my initial feelings are correct, which are that he is full of it. 

Anyways, I told him that he should pray about it, and asked him to pray about it right then & there for the closing prayer. He gave an awesome prayer, but he omitted asking about his attendance at sacrament meeting. Pretty sure he knows he is making up excuses! But, he did show up to sacrament only after the sacrament was passed. Challenge accepted.

Long story short, I am looking forward to working more with him. The spirit there was strong, and I believe he stayed for all of the meetings. 

Other story. 
I went tracting with two sisters that were stuck with me because of transfers. One was headed to Powell, the other to Riverton. First door we knock, he lets us in and accepts a Book of Mormon, Restoration pamphlet, and a return appointment to teach the Restoration. He spent most of the visit telling us about his riotous living, past and present. But repentance is available for all! So hopefully that lesson goes well this week.

Another tracting story.
Well, specific tracting. There's this house that we kept driving by. And parked in front of it was this green bug with a new Ohio license plate. (Ya know, the ones with the red triangle thing) Anyways. It's been driving me crazy for weeks, wanting to know why there was an Ohio license plate in tiny Lovell, Wyoming. (The car next to it was a Michigan license plate, another enigma)

So last night I decided I couldn't take the mystery anymore, and so we knocked. Turns out it was two 19 year old girls, both living here because they are working on some sort of horse ranch outside of Greybull. They are going to the nondenominational church here in town, but accepted us to come by and share a message about Christ. The one from Ohio is in some small town, the name of which escapes me. But she said it was close to Salem. She used Canton to describe it, which tickled me. I definitely know where Canton is! Anyways, I really hope there is an opportunity there to help them learn about the gospel! 

Those are the highlights, we are just plugging along. We are going to focus on finding, since only a few of the people we visit seem willing to progress. 

The other day, I woke up with an idea from my dream that I decided to "save for my last transfer". After some waking up time, I realized that this WAS my last transfer. So crazy, time flies. I am grateful to be training this last transfer, it's making me work as hard as I can.

Sista G

Monday, February 2, 2015

what a relief!!!

Best news first.
This Wednesday.
Brand new missionary.
I won't know who it is until she hops off the transfer van Wednesday night and asks for Sister Griffin. First time training!

Praise the Lord I won't be doing permanent splits for a transfer. I've been doing that this weekend, and it is stressful. It made me be grateful for ANY companion, even trunky ones that don't want to work hard. 

Sister Gray left for Billings on Friday, and ever since I have been with Jordan Harper. She's been my "part time mini missionary" companion (She stayed the night with me Friday & Saturday). The stake president even set her apart this Sunday... I don't think he knows yet that I'm getting a full time companion. So yeah, I'm not sure what was happening communication-wise, but whatever, it's all good. 

I was getting myself and the ward all ready though with sign-ups to go on splits with me. So we'll still drag those members to come because it will be good for them, even though I should have a new companion. And Sister Harper will join us in a trio as often as she is available, even though it's not going to be that often.

We FINALLY got permission for the other Japanese foreign exchange student - so that will start this week! Hopefully Thursday or Friday. I am way excited! There are so many potentials here, we just need to invite by the spirit and hopefully they will commit to learning about the gospel!

Sorry this is short..
This weekend has been hectic and things will continue to be crazy until Wednesday... But it will work out. In the meantime, I am living out of a suitcase with the Lovell 4&5 sisters until the new missionary comes. I have splits and other such things arranged, however..

I also heard that one of my investigators back in Lake Hills got baptized! So that's exciting. It was the old man that needed to quit smoking.. I probably mentioned him.

Pray for the hearts here to be opened and prepared so I can get some good damage done for my last transfer :)

Sister Griffin