Monday, August 25, 2014

I'm not to worried about him starving anymore ;)

I still can't believe that I am really in Texas! This first week has literally flown by! When we got in Tuesday we went to this stake center where we had an orientation with all of the new missionaries. While there we learned bike safety, how to use our debit cards, how to teach and much more.  The entire thing lasted about 5 hours! It was really hard to stay awake, because that morning we had to get up at 3:15 so we would make it to our plane on time:) We also had a chance to have a short interview with the mission president. He and his wife are amazing! During the interview he looked me in the eyes and said "I'm not worried about you at all, you are going to be a great missionary' I could feel how strong his love was for me, and it made me want to be the best missionary ever! Following the orientation me and a few of the elders went to the mission presidents first counselors house where we were to sleep for the night. it was a really soft bed and I slept like a rock! The next morning we went back to the stake center where we got our trainers. I got really lucky, my trainers name is Elder Partridge. He is a great guy and has taught me a lot! He is our district leader, so he is a really obedient solid elder. We connect pretty well and have already had some good laughs and discussions. Also while at the stake center we got our bikes!! I was pretty pumped to see my sweet new ride! (thanks dad, you picked a good one:)) After that me and my companion got a ride from a member family. There name is the Talbots. They are a really interesting and funny family. The Talbots have a 21 year old son living with them named Joseph. He is quite the character. He absolutely loves the missionaries and calls us only by our last names:) The Talbots dropped us off at our apartment. It was really fun to finally see where I am going to be living for the next few months. Are apartment is pretty nice. I sleep on a pretty cozy bed. We also have a washer and dryer! In addition to that we also have a fridge stove and dishwasher, but my favorite thing of all is the fact that we have weights and a pull up bar! It has been kind of hard adjusting to having to workout right when I get up. After I hot unpacked we went and taught a really nice newly converted family named the Paraltas. They have a little girl who is 8 that we are preparing to get baptized. They also have a two year old girl, they were super nice and we even sang frozen songs together:) After that we went back to our apartment and I had my first nights rest in Texas.  

The next day we headed out to go and help the Talbots move some furniture around. On are way there we meet this lady named Tracy on the street. We taught her a quick lesson and asked if we could teach her more. She said yes! When we got to the Talbot's house they had us move this huge couch from there garage into their house. It was so big that we had to remove the door from the house and push and shove before we could get it into the house. We left very sweaty and tired, but glad to be of service. Following that we went over to another members house to help a family called the Jorgensons put on part of their roof. Brother Jorgenson is the coolest guy! He is actually a member of the Texas Fort Worth police force and has tones of cool stories. Getting the roof on the house was quite the chore, but after some time we were able to get it on the roof. Brother Jorgenson then bought us powerade! It was much needed!;) After that we went to the family history center and I found some really cool stories about our ancestors!

The following day we went to teach Tracy. She was the nice lady we meet on the street. We found her home and she let us in. Then we taught her the Restoration. The whole time we were teaching her she loved it and was accepting everything! In the end we left her with a Book of Mormon and asked if she would be baptized is she found out for herself that the book was true. She said yes! She also said that she would come to church with us on Sunday:) It was so fun to have my first real lesson with a investigator! That night I was introduced to a really nice old man named brother Davis. He was really cool! He was way into scouting and let me pick a cup out of his huge cup collection! I chose this cool Indian cup. I now use it as a pen holder:)

Saturday was an interesting day. We started out by going to brother Jorgensons house to fix elder Partridge's bike peddle. He has been serving for a year now and has worn out his bike. Oh, by the way, we are in an all bike area! It's pretty tiring but I love it! After we fixed his peddle we went to a less active family named the Calvins. We talked to him for a while, and he ended up giving us rides to all of our investigators. We tried to visit lots of investigators but no one was home. We finally decided to go back to our apart to get ready for dinner. For dinner this really nice member named brother Perks took us out to get steaks! It was super yummy and I downed my steak in a matter of minutes;) After dinner we went out and tried to proselyte some more, we did end up teaching a quick lesson to two guys we found on the street, but other then that we weren't having much success. Then as we were heading home for the night, we saw a homeless man sitting on the curb. I stopped and gave him a few bucks and we got taking to him. He told us some pretty sad stories. He also told us all of the good he has been doing and that his feet were really sore and hurt to walk. He also said he was looking for a job. I was prompted to give him a blessing, so we took him over by a tree and administered to him a blessing. We then talked with him some more and I got to give out my first Book of Mormon! It was pretty cool. Then as we were leaving he said that his feet felt a lot better! It is such an amazing experience to be a missionary. 

This Sunday I got to attend my new ward, the River Trails ward. There were a lot of awesome members I got to meet. On top of that Tracy came to church! She seemed kind of bored during the meetings, but said that she enjoyed it! She is the sweetest lady and has a great love for our Savior. That afternoon we went and ate dinner at a younger couples house named the Atkinsons. They feed us these amazing tacos! They said the secret was that they mixed the tomatoes with honey. After that we went to a fireside where this really cool family that was recently converted told there conversion story. They have 3 little girls that are all full of energy and love. They are so darling and I love them already. Brother Webster actually got the Aronic Priesthood! It was pretty powerful. Following the meeting we got to have this amazing lemon sheet cake! It was soooo good!:)

Today we got to go shopping for my first time! It was kind of nerve racking, because I didn't want to got over my limit, but in the end I got plenty of food and did pretty well with what money I had:) I also bought a water bottle and a camera case. Following the store this nice member took us to a BBQ joint and we had lunch. It was really good and I left very satisfied. Well now I am off to play a little basketball and do some laundry, but I love you all so much and hope everyone is having a good first week at school!


Elder Griffin

P.S. Mom, could you please send me some more shoe polish? The bottle I have exploded out the back. Thanks! My camera can't send pictures at the moment, so I will send some next week when I get a cord. My mailing address is 4273 Rufe Snow dr. #523 North Richland Hills, TX 76180

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Phone call from the airport

Dal got to call us from the airport before he
flew out to Texas this morning.

It was so fun to hear his voice
and chat for a few minutes
but as soon as we said goodbye
a deep aching set in and I
could hardly stand it.
It lingered for several hours
and I told Rick the only
way to describe it is that my
insides felt bruised.
I tried to keep the tears in
but of course the spilled over
until they had run dry.

The MTC was safe and predictable
and 20 minutes away
but Texas is not quite that same
familiar place.
(I can't imagine how I'd feel
if he were going to Africa!)
I'm grateful he was flying
with 20 other Elders who he
has become dear friends with.

I am anxious to hear he has arrived
safely and settled into his new surroundings.
And I am fervently praying for him to
get a GOOD trainer.

Suzy gave me a quote today along
with a necklace in the shape of Texas
with a heart of Fort Worth.
I hung the necklace on my rearview mirror
and the quote on my fridge.

It was, as usual, exactly what I needed…

Friday, August 15, 2014

Week 2

I can't believe that I have already been at the MTC for over a week! Time literally blurs together here:) I don't think I have ever been more busy in my entire life, but I'm loving every second of it! I have learned so much this week about how to bring others to Christ. We have been focusing a lot on teaching by the spirit and testifying from the Book of Mormon. I have such of love for this book and have seen its power in converting others. My MTC teachers are amazing. I have one in the morning (Sister Klein) and one in the afternoon (Brother Anderson). They both have super fun personalities and a love for teaching the gospel.

One of my favorite parts of the MTC has been the opportunity to get to know all of the amazing elders and sisters in my zone.  They are all great missionaries and we have awesome personalities. I have never felt the spirit, laughed so hard and taught so powerfully then with the missionaries in my zone. Every night before we go to bed we have this elder (Elder Parkinson) tell us a story. He is literally the most interesting man I have ever meet! He knows anything about everything and can make me laugh until I cry. I have another elder (Elder Hassinger) who has only been a convert for 1 year and is now serving a mission! My companion and I have grown closer each day. We have such a great connection when we teach. He also has a very powerful testimony that touches our investigators. I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to meet all of these amazing people and will miss my companion dearly! He leaves a day earlier then me, this Monday. He leaves at 8:30 and flies to Texas, then he goes to London and finally to South Africa! I think he told me that the total time he will be flying is 26 hours! 

In my first letter I mentioned we would be teaching an investigator named Frank. We have now had the chance to teach him for a week and my experience with him has been amazing. The first time we taught him my companion and I were super nervous. We didn't have that much teaching experience and we didn't know much about Frank. When we got to his room we knocked on the door and he let us in. Then after introducing himself we dove straight into the restoration and blew through the whole lesson in about ten minutes. We left him feeling confused and it left us feeling frustrated and a little disappointed. The next time we visited him, we were determined to do a better job. This time as we entered his room we took the time to understand who he was and what he needed to help him get closer to Christ. We learned that he was a die hard Catholic and had a great love for following Christ and serving others. After we took the time to get to know him we decided that he need to hear about the Atonement of Christ and that we should talk to him about baptism. As we taught him about the atonement and baptism he started to become curious and wanted to know more. Towards the end of the lesson we talked about following Christ and being baptized the way he was. We then asked him if he would follow Christ and be baptized by the proper authority of God by immersion. He didn't except. He said that he had already been baptized as a baby and he didn't think he needed to do it again. We decided to leave him with a Book of Mormon and had him read 2 Nephi chapter 31, that talks about the doctrine of Christ. We also asked him to pray to God and ask if he needed to be baptized again. He said he would:) We were so happy that this time we had been able to be lead by the spirit to know what to teach him. As we continued to go and teach Frank he continued to understand more about Heavenly Fathers plan and how he needed to be baptized, but he still didn't feel like he was getting an answer to his prayers. After teaching him four times, we felt like we had hit a wall. Frank wasn't getting an answer to any of his questions, and we felt like he hadn't felt the spirit testify to him that he needed to get baptized and that the Book of Mormon was true. We prayed and prayed to know what to do and finally during one of our classes we found the answer. We decided we needed to read the Book of Mormon together. We had an amazing experience that lesson. As we read from the Book of Mormon, something clicked. He finally softened his heart and started to realize why he needed to be baptized again. Also while Frank was reading the Book of Mormon with us, he received personal revelation from God. We were so excited to see Frank finally started to feel the spirit testifying to him! I can't wait to teach him again.

This Wednesday we got to see all of the new missionaries come into the MTC! It was so fun to see them, and know that I was in that exact same spot a week ago. It brought back a flood of memories and it made me realize how far I have already come. My companion and I also had the chance to welcome all of the new elders and sisters in our zone. We got to give them a tour of the MTC and let them know all of the tips that we have learned. They are a great group, full of energy and a willingness to serve! Well I am out of time, but I want you all to know that I love you and have appreciated all of the letters and packages!!!! It's such a blessing to know that I have so many loved ones supporting me!:)


Elder Griffin

P.S. Here are some pictures!! My companion is the big guy with the swoopy hair:)

7 days never seemed soo long

Can I just say that a week is kinda long when your 
waiting to hear from your son!  

Friday, August 8, 2014

First Email from the MTC

Hello wonderful friends and family!

I hope you are all doing wonderful and are enjoying the last month of summer:) I don't even know where to begin with the MTC! It is such an amazing place. From the moment you get out of the car and are rushed into a whole new life, they keep you as busy as a bee! My district is by far is full of the most amazing,spiritual elders and sisters in the whole MTC! My companions name is Elder Branch. He is from a little town called Stansbury Park in northern Utah. He is 6 foot 2 inches. He is a huge baseball player and loves to eat!! He is very intune with the spirit and has lots of great teaching ideas.

My MTC teachers are also terrific! They are both in there early twenties and are full of life and a love for teaching the gospel. We have class every day for at least 3 hours. I have learned so much about teaching the gospel and its only been two days! One of the coolest things I have done at the MTC so far has been attending this teaching workshop. We went in to this room where a pretend investigator was sitting in front of this class room. It started out with the two elders who started out by asking questions and figuring out why this specific person needed the gospel in their lives. After that the two elders left it was up to us as a class to teach the investigator. It was super exciting to experience what it will really be like out in the field. It was pretty nerve racking to share your testimony and gospel knowledge with my whole class watching! We as a companionship did not end up sharing anything with the investigators, but we both had lots of ideas and thoughts come to our head as the investigator was talking. We learned that we should be bold and share the inspiration we have received instead of keeping it to ourselves.

On Thursday we had the chance to go to another workshop by another amazing teacher called brother Tanner. He was really animated and funny. His workshop was all about developing a love for people and being able to see them the way God sees them. It was really eye opening and motivated me to develop that kind of love for everyone i come in contact with.

Thursday night we were able to meet with our branch president, president Bradford. He is the most kind and loving man I have ever known. He was so full of wisdom and testimony. At the meeting with him, he had each of us share our testimonies and the reason we decided to go on a mission. It was so powerful and the spirit was really strong. It was a really good bonding experience for our district. Also during that same meeting zone leaders and district leaders were chosen, and guess what! My companion and I were made the zone leaders!!!We are both humbled and excited to serve our fellow elders and sisters in our branch:)

Today is our P-day! We had the chance to wash our laundry and get our mail!  It was so fun to receive packages and letters.  Thank you all for your support and love.  Today we get the opportunity to teach our first investigator as a companionship.  We are both very nervous and excited to see how it will go.  Our investigators name is Frank.  We are going to teach him about the Book of Mormon and the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Well, my time is about up, but I want all of you to know that I love you so much, especially you mom!  I also want to end with a brief testimony.  I know this church is true!  I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that is the most powerful teaching tool we have!  I'm so excited to go to Texas and preach the gospel and bring them the peace and happiness I have grown to love and cherish.  Without this gospel I don't know where I would be today, it gives my life purpose and I'm so blessed to know where I come from, why I am here and where I am going.  Again I want to tell you all how much I love and care about you!

P.S. I will send pictures next P-day:)

Elder Griffin

Aug 6th…An Unforgettable Day!

Dallin was quiet on the way there…nervous and reflective.
Rick was really good to keep things light and fun 
as we drove to the MTC.
I was doing my best to hold back the tears:') 
had to look out the window and bite my lip
a few times...
but thanks to the prayers of many good friends
Dal got really excited as we got closer 
and I was able to keep it together
until the good-bye hug:)

It was such a joy to watch him walk away with confidence
and a big smile on his face.  He has worked hard to prepare
and stay worthy and now he is enjoying the benefits of those 
efforts.  He is soooo ready to serve the Lord 
and all of Heavenly Fathers children in Texas!

My head hurts from crying, yet my cheeks hurt from smiling.
Amazing how we can have so many conflicting emotions
all at once!
It was an absolutely indescribable feeling to let my son walk away
but to be completely willing to do so!
How could I not…the gospel has brought me
untold joy and happiness
and the least I could do is share my son for a few years
so others can have those same good things:)