Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Chick-fil-a on an empty stomach

                                                                                 Nov 24, 2014
This week was great. It started off with us going over to the Newberrys. They are a really nice older couple in our ward. One of there grandsons named Blake is living with them. He is less-active and so sister Newberry wanted us to come over and share a message with him. They feed us a wonderful meal, and we really bonded with Blake while we were over there. After dinner we decided we would watch the 20 minute version of the Restoration. It was really good, except for the fact that Blake fell asleep. Luckily after the movie we had a discussion about how the Restoration has blessed our lives and Blake made some good comments. We will be going over to their house tonight. Sister Newberry has asked us to talk about repentance with Blake. Please pray for him that the spirit can touch his heart.
       Also this week week we had interviews with the mission president. Before the interviews the zone leaders and sister training leaders have a training. The sisters talked a lot about Christ and opened up a discussion about how each of us has gained our testimony of the Savior. It was really awesome. Also the zone leaders talked about this thing the church is doing called the "He is the gift" initiative. It is going to be awesome! The church really wants this Christmas to be centered on Christ. There is a really cool video on Christmas.mormon.org that will put on the website on November 28th. Go check it out! After the meeting, we had our interviews. My interview went great. President Ames is amazing. He has so much love for us as missionaries and always knows what you need to hear. I am so grateful to have him as my mission president. Following the interviews we went on exchange with brother Perks. He is a really cool younger guy in our ward. With him we went to go see our investigator named Chris. We taught him the first lesson, and it went great. He was still doesn't want to pray, because he is still struggling with the idea of blind faith. Brother Perks was able to relate to him very well, and explained to him how we over come that fear of taking the first step to know if God exists. It was really good, and I think it helped Chris feel at peace. Chris has also been reading the Book of Mormon and said he loves the message it  contains. After our meeting with Chris we brother Perks took us to Chick-Fila! It was super good, because we had not eaten anything all day:) 
    Also this week we made a list of all of the part-member families that are in our area, and we went and visited tried to set up return appointments. We didn't have too much success, but at least they know that we are there for them. We did talked to this really nice younger family. They had a boy in 9th grade that loved soccer, so me and him connected really well. I think they defiantly have some potential in the future. While we were going around visiting all of the part-member families this lady stopped us on her bikes. She then went on to explain to us her life story and how she has come to know God. It was an interesting story and was full of amazing answered prayers she had. We left her with a Book of Mormon and she said we could come and teach her. It was a cool experience. 
    This weekend we were able to help this really nice younger family with adorable kids.we helped them move a mattress, a washer and dryer and some tables. We didn't have a truck and so we had to tie the mattress to the top of the car. When we were on the freeway it was bouncing up and down! It was pretty crazy, but luckily it didn't blow off the car:) Also when the husband and I were trying to move the washer up the stairs my hands slipped and it almost fell back down the stairs! Then a couple more steps up my hands slipped again and it landed on my foot and hit me in the shin:) It was quite the move, but the family was so thankful for the help. We also had a good Sunday yesterday. Elder Walker was asked to give a talk on repentance and he did a great job, and then in elders quorum we had a good lesson on testimonies. The brother giving the lesson did an activity where he had a ball that he would throw to someone, then he would have them bare their testimonies on a certain subject. It was a really cool idea. We were also able to have dinner with this awesome family, the Lymans. They just sent their son on a mission. They have 4 daughters and we thought is would be fun to teach them the missionary lessons to help build up the kids testimonies. The lesson went great and the spirit was strong especially when elder Walker talked about Joseph Smith. This Wednesday we are going back to their house, except this time they are going to teach us lesson 2:) It will be pretty neat.
         Well I my time is up, but I love you all and hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving week! Eat lots of turkey and remember to thank God for all of the wonderful blessings he gives us.


Elder Griffin

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

You can teach the gospel anywhere...even in Arby's with worldly music!

This week I got my new companion. His name is elder Walker and he is from Las Vegas. He is a very interesting guy. Here are some interesting things about elder Walker: he loves cats, , he is shorter then me but can do so many push-ups, he loves Hispanic candy, (he let me try some, it was pretty gross!) he likes to talk and makes tones of jokes, he is always happy and loves to laugh, he loves talking to people, he is a good teacher and knows how to work hard, he loves making these glue book marks and has made over 250 of them on his mission and he loves doughnuts:) It has been kind of hard getting used to a new companion, especially sense he is so much different then elder Partridge, but I think together the both of us are going to bring this area and the members back to life!
      This week we finally got the chance to meet with Nina and Dustin. They are the young couple that have a baby due any day now! Nina is also a really good painter and has these paintings in her house that are way cool! She said she plans on selling them for 10,000 dollars! We went over with a member in our ward and taught the plan of salvation to them. She really liked it and said that during the lessons lots of questions she had were answered. We also got to relate the pre-earth life to her and the little one she is about to have, it was pretty cool. Next time we are going to be going over Joseph Smith and the Restoration again, we left her with the Joseph Smith Pamphlet. We also got to meet with a really cool family at Arbys. The parents are divorced, but the father wants his children to grow up in the gospel. The children live with there mom and her boyfriend who dose not like the church. There are two children named Kylie and Chandler, they are super awesome. Kylie is 12 and was just recently baptized. Chandler is in 9th grade and is a really smart kid. We taught them lesson 3, because Kylie is a recent convert. The lesson went really well and the spirit was strong, even though we were in an Arbys with worldly music. I am excited to continue to teach them, they all love learning about the gospel. 

       Also this week me and elder Walker went to go see a potential named Alex. We meet him 2 months ago outside, when he asked us for a Book of Mormon. When we got to his house the first question he asked was why there weren't any F names in the Book of Mormon. It was the strangest question I have ever heard. He also thought that Joseph Smith saw the first vision in his hat:) We told him the story of Joseph Smith and explained that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, not a story that Joseph Smith made up. He also talked about how he didn't understand why there are so many versions of the Bible. We told him that, that is one of the reasons why the Book of Mormon was written, to help get rid of the confusion about all of the different doctrines. We also told him that the Book of Mormon was only translated once and we explained the process Joseph Smith went through. Alex also does not believe in Jesus, he thinks he is an extra-terrestrial being. We talked to him about faith and why we need it. It was a really interesting discussion. He defiantly has some weird beliefs, but he was really open to learning more about what we believe in. We left him with a restoration and plan of salvation pamphlet. That same night we also were able to give a blessing to a sick little girl who is part of a less-active family. It was cool, because when we first put our hands on her head she was nervous, but the mother said that when we started giving the blessing that she calmed down. The power of the Priesthood is real and such an amazing blessing from our Heavenly Father.
     This next week should be a good week, we are finally finding more people to teach. We are also going to be getting our ward more evolved and will be asking for a lot more member referrals. I am so excited to see what will happen this transfer!:) Love you all and hope you are all staying warm and are enjoying the snow!:)


Elder Griffin 

Lost canes and a little cleaning up can save souls!

It really is crazy how fast time flies out here! These 3 months have gone by so quickly and it has been fun to look back and evaluate everything that has happened. I have grown so much and am very excited to see what awaits in these next transfers. This morning I got a call and was informed that I will be staying in the same area, but will be getting a new companion. His name is elder Walker. Elder Partridge told me that he is a really cool guy, and he is my same height:) It will be fun to see what his personality is like.

This week has been a great week. For the last week of my training I got to be senior companion for the week. It was really hard and super stressful, but it did show me that I can run this area now. It has been so fun to be able to know where everything and everyone in my area is.

Here are some of the highlights of the week: we got to go and eat dinner at the Binklies new house! It was so cool to see them in a home happy and safe. We have still been teaching Junior, and will be going over to teach him the other half of the commandments lesson this Tuesday. He is still doing very good, and I believe his new baptism date is December 6th:) Also this week it rained super hard and we got to go out and bike in it! We were soaked, but loved every moment of it:) While we were contacting this week we were in this neighborhood and we spotted this cane laying against a lamppost. We decided that we should see if we could find the owner so they could have their cane. The house it was in front was vacant and so elder Partridge said we should try the one across the street. We went over there and this really nice lady opened the door and started talking to us. She was very open and kind and told us all about her family. We then shared a scripture with her and then invited her to come to the family history center because she wanted help. It was so cool that we were able to find a wonderful lady that we can share the gospel with and all because we found a cane on the side of the road. It goes to show that the Lord always provides a way for his children who are ready to receive this gospel. We were also able to see dear sweet Claudia. When we stopped by to see how she was doing she was out smoking a cigarette:( But she only smoked half of it because she saw that we were there, so that was good. We took her into her room and started talking with her. She was not doing very well and was pretty down. We shared a message from the scriptures with her, but she was still super sad. I then had the thought that we should help her organize her little room. She got a big smile on her face and said that she would love to do that. We then helped her for the next 30 minutes to organize her room. When we were done she was happier then I have seen her in a long time:) I am so grateful for the guidance of the spirit. This week me and elder Peterson went to check on a wonderful family named the Bensons. We were going to see how there 9 year old baptismal arrangements were coming. I was really nervous, and didn't know how to go about bringing baptism up. I decided to start with a short message. After the message the spirit was there and it was easier to bring up baptism. I was so glad that they were open to talk about their daughter baptism. 

We also have gotten a lot of awesome referrals lately that have lots of great potential! I am super excited to start meeting with all of them:) Well I am out of time, but I hope you all have a good week and enjoy the beautiful fall season!


Elder Griffin

Saturday, November 8, 2014

What every mother longs to hear...see the highlighted section:)

This week has been a good one, the weather has actually gotten cold enough that I thought about putting on my sweater:) Hopefully this time it will actually stay cold! This morning one of the members in our ward took us to Whataburger (a famous burger place) because this is probably elder Partridges last week! We got these really good burgers, they were huge! It was a fun surprise.

Early this week I went on exchange with a brand new missionary named elder Price. The exchange was in my area, which is always a good growing experience. While on exchange we went and visited Claudia. Just recently one of her daughters had a surgery to remove some cancer and the surgery went really well! She was very relieved and told us that God truly is watching out for her. Later in our meeting with her she said that she would like a blessing, because her back has really been hurting and she wanted help to quite smoking. It was an amazing blessing and the spirit was so strong! I love that God allows us to be his hands here on earth, and through us he blesses his children. It is such an honor to be his servant. Following the blessing we talked a lot about the scripture in Mathew that talks about taking the Saviors yoke upon us, and how we can put our load into his cart and let him pull with us. It is such a powerful scripture and it reminded me of how much we really need Jesus Christ! Following the meeting with Claudia we were heading to the church to meet with the Binklies, and we decided to contact this man on the street. We starting talking to him and testified to him of the Book of Mormon. After we had testified, he asked us a question that really got me thinking. He said "What is truth and how do you know it is truth" We told him that all truth comes from God and that the way we know that it is from God is through the spirit. It was an interesting conversation, and hopefully he will in the future take the missionary lessons. He also said he had a Book of Mormon, hopefully know he will read it! After that we went and taught the Binklies. We got to teach them the ten commandments, the word of wisdom and tithing. It has been so fun to teach Junior, he is a great listener and always has good questions. Also this week the Binklies moved in to their home! We were so excited for them, they are having us over for dinner this week:) It was a great exchange and I learned a lot.

Also this week for Halloween our ward had a Trunk or treat. Me and elder Partridge were in charge of these Halloween games for the kids. It was kind of crazy, but fun at the same time:) Also this family named the Geurs came, which was really great, because we have been trying to get them to come to church forever! Hopefully this will be a good first step and help them realize that they have a wonderful ward family that want them to come back. That same day a really nice member took us to this really good BBQ place! His name is Sam Cripe, and he is a convert of 1 year:) He is a really nice man and always goes on exchanges with us. 

Also this week we have been biking so much! It makes me super tired, but I love it:) We have been trying to contact a lot of referrals that we have received. There are a lot of good potential investigators that I think are definitely ready to hear the gospel. This one day we were biking to see some referrals, and we saw this homeless man with a flat tire sitting in this yard. We went over and started to talk to him. We helped him fix his tire the best that we could and then we starting discussing the Book of Mormon. He was a really nice guy and said that he loved us for teaching about Jesus. We left him with a Book of Mormon and invited him to church. When we left he have us a hug and said we were like brothers to him:) Being able to help people is one of the greatest things in the world!

One funny story that happened this week. I had gotten a flat tire, and had patched it up and put it back onto the frame. I then proceeded to fill it with air. As I was filling it up I noticed a large bulge in the frame, and then all of the sudden the tube exploded shooting slim and scaring the life out of me! My left ear was ringing for close to an hour, I have learned to be more patient when fixing a flat tire now:)

Well transfers are coming up this week and I am pretty nervous to see what happens. The only thing that gives me reassurance is that all things are in God's hands, and that the companion I get will be the one that I need. I t will be interesting to see what happens. I love you all and hope you had a great Halloween!


Elder Griffin

P.S. I'll try to get some picture this next week, I'm sorry I haven't been very good at sending pictures! 

Frustrations and flat tires...but still finding the good!

This week has been kind of a trying week, but I have grown so much and know that the Lord is watching out for me.

This Tuesday I had the chance to go on exchange with Elder Nanney. Elder Nanney came out the same time I did, and is kind of struggling with being a missionary. He doesn't have any social skills and he has a hard time teaching lessons, but he is full of love and is very obedient. This exchange I got to go to his area. When we got to his apartment our first appointment was with a family called the Moyas. They do have a car in their area, but we decided to take the bikes to save on their miles. Well we got about half we to their house and elder Nanney's tire got a flat, so we had to walk all the way back to their apartment to see if we could fix it.:) Once we got back to the apartment we decided that we would fix the tire later and take the car. It was the first time I had driven a car in 3 months! It was fun to have a break from my bike. The lesson with the Moyas went great. The boyfriend is a member, but his girlfriend is not. We taught them about tithing, prayer and scripture study. It went wonderful and they both shared awesome testimonies about the power of prayer in their lives. Following that lesson we drove back to the apartment and walked to a man's house named Pedro. Pedro wasn't home, but we did get some good contacting practice on the way back. After Pedro we had dinner with the Carl family. They had breakfast for dinner, and it was super good! I was starving and it was wonderful to have a home cooked meal. Following dinner we taught a boy who is 9 the plan of salvation. After dinner we came home and went to see a potential investigator i their area named Quazi. He was the coolest guy! He was super passionate about being kind to everyone. He told us that we all just need to have love for each other and not judge. When we left he gave us a hug and said to come back Monday. It was good to see someone who is being prepared to receive the gospel. One funny thing about elder Nanney is that he loves telling jokes! He told this pretty funny one about this dancing cookie that made me laugh pretty hard. The following morning I fixed elder Nanney's flat tire and we headed off to go see a potential investigator. We had not gone 200 yards when his tire went flat again! At first I thought the patch I had put on his bike had not worked, but when I looked at his tire, he had a nail sticking out of his tire!:) That poor bike tube was just not having a very good week. My favorite part of this exchange was that I got to be the senior companion. It was kind of hard at times, but I liked how it pushed me and allowed me to gain good leadership experience.

This week we also had a hard time with the Binklies. Originally we had Junior's baptismal date set for the first of November, but bishop said he needed to see them at church more and moved their date to December 6th. The thing is the Binklies have come to church the past two weeks, and the only reason they hadn't been coming was because Brother Binkley had to work to be able to feed the family. He doesn't have a job and has to do odd jobs when available. Well when we meet with the Binklies this Thursday we told them the situation. After we finished speaking, brother Binkley got up and left with his kids without saying a word. We were very shocked and very worried that we had said something wrong. That night and the following day were pretty rough, because we didn't know what to do or say. A lot of prayers were said for the Binklies. Well  this Saturday he called us and said that he was sorry he walked out, and that he was just frustrated with the Bishop (they have had other problems before) and didn't want to say or do anything out of anger that he would regret so that is why he left. He also said that he will meet with the bishop this Wednesday, and that he wants to continue to have Junior take the missionary lessons! The power of prayer is real and I was so grateful that everything worked out.  Also the Binklies found a house! This is awesome news, because they have been living in a hotel room that has two beds for the 6 of them living there. They will be moving in this Friday:) The Binklies are such an amazing family, and I am so glad everything is working out for them!

This Saturday and Sunday we had the chance to go to Stake Conference. It was awesome and the whole thing was centered on missionary work and temple work. Our stake President has really caught the fire of missionary work. Also at this Stake Conference this 16 year old girl shared her conversion story and said something that I really liked. She said "We are Heavenly Father's everything". I loved this quote, and It made me realize just how much God loves us, and that he really does want us to be happy while we are here on earth. It also made me so grateful to know that everything is in His hands, and that if we are living righteously he will provide us with the strength we need, through Jesus Christ, to help us keep going on the path to eternal life. Our mission President also spoke, and talked about how it really isn't that hard to invite people to church. He had some missionaries go up and role play asking someone to church. He then had everyone in the audience role play the same thing with the person sitting next to them! It was fun to see people realize how easy it really is.

Hope everyone has a fun Halloween weekend, and eats lots of treats!


Elder Griffin