Monday, June 29, 2015

No Coincidences

6.29.15
This week was a good week. We worked hard and were able to meet and teach some pretty amazing people. This week started out with an exchange with one of my zone leaders, elder Webb. It was an awesome exchange. He and I think very much alike, so it was good to have someone to talk to that really understands where I am coming from. He also knows atone of doctrine, and we were able to have some good conversations about the promptings of the Holy Ghost and how we can better following the promptings we receive. On our exchange we were able to teach this man named Jeff. We had a really good discussion about the pre earth life as well as our purpose here on earth. It was cool, because as he was giving us his answers to the questions we were telling him he was literally teachings us the things we were planning on teaching him. At one point he even said almost the exact words of the scripture mastery in 2 Nephi "Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy." It was amazing, he is so humble, and ready to receive the truth we have to give him. As we were leaving he gave us both hugs and told us that he really respects how diligent and consistent we are. What a joy it is to teach people who are willing to listen and have an open heart and mind!
   Also this week we were able to teach two youth lessons. The youth are so fun to teach, because you can feel and see their pureness of their testimonies radiating from them. They are going to make powerful missionaries. It was really neat, because after we taught one of the youth named Zack, he told us that he felt inspired to read a story about the Atonement to us. The story was awesome! It was about a boy who went into a room and it was full of file cabinets. He starts going through all of the file cabinets, and in them are tones and tones of index cards that have all of the actions and decisions he has made in his life, and at the bottom of each one is his signature. After going through quite a few cabinets he starts feeling ashamed and embarrassed and starts to worry that someone will read all of the horrible things he has done. He starts to try and rip up the cards and destroy them, but he has no success in the end. While this is going on someone walks into the room. It's the Savior. The boy feels even more ashamed and hides his face in his hands. The Savior walks up to each filing cabinet and one by takes out each index card and with a red pen signs over the boys signature. He then comes up to the boy without saying a word and wraps him in His arms. It was a powerful reminder of the reality of the Atonement, what a blessing it is to have someone who has payed for everything wrong we have done. His atonement is real, and I have felt it in my own life. All of us through Jesus Christ have the ability to wake up tomorrow and decide that we are going to change for the better. What amazing and beautiful gift we have been given! I was grateful that Zack was in tune with the spirit and followed the prompting to read us this story. 
  Also this week we had a cool experience with a young adult named Victor. On Saturday we were visiting this guy named Kyle, who is super cool and really nice. During our conversation with Kyle he told us that he doesn't believe in coincidences. Well after we meet with Kyle we were riding towards another appointment and we passed a pond where a teenager was fishing. As I passed him the what Kyle said came to my mind about how everything happens for a reason. Well I made a silly justification and didn't talk to the teenager fishing. A little while later we passed by the same pond and the same teenager was there. This time I knew I had to talk to him. Well we got talking to him and found out that he is Catholic and that he has been going to church every Sunday for the past 2 years and that it has literally changed his life. He also told us that he is preparing to get baptized and that there are certain steps he has to go through before it happens. This turned into a good conversation about baptism and we talked about our view of baptism. We shared with him the importance of the priesthood and shared the message of the restoration with him. We then told him that both of us have been baptized by this priesthood authority. He loved our message and I could see his eyes start to light up. We asked him if he would want to be baptized by this same authority, and he said yes. We also gave him a Book of Mormon and committed him to read it. He also said that we could come and teach him more. It was an amazing experience and I am again thankful for the guidance of the Spirit.
            I love you all very much, and hope you are making lots of fun memories this summer. I know this gospel is true and I am thankful every day for the peace, comfort and hope it give me!

Love,


Elder Griffin

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Cement service & Area Book Transitions

6.22.15
This week was an interesting week for missionary work. We have this
area book app, that is going to eventually replace the old area book.
Well part of the transition to a digital area book is that we have to
transfer all of the information in the area book, teaching records,
formers, less actives and potential investigators, into the i Pads
manually. I know in the end it will all be worth it, but right now it
is taking up a lot of our time to do missionary work. Luckily we
should be done with it by the end of this week.
   This Monday last Monday night we were able to help this one member
in our ward with putting an edging around his flower beds. Half way
through doing service for him it started to rain, it was quite the
adventure trying to quickly finish so that all of the stones could
settle together. After we put all of the stones in place we dumped
quick cement around the rocks. It felt good to work hard, nothing like
good old hard work! After we did service the member we helped do the
service took us to the grocery store and bought all of our groceries
for the week! It was such a blessing, and saved us so much money! We
were so grateful for the kind act of service he did for us.
    This week we also got to do some more service for this older lady.
We helped her put in some new fencing. We started out by pulling down
the old pieces of the fence. While we were doing that these carpenter
ants started climbing all over the fence, they were everywhere! Lucky
for us they didn't bite, but it was quite the sight to see hundreds of
ants climbing all over the fence. After we removed the fence, we
started to dig up the old fence posts that was cemented into the
ground. After digging for a while we decided that it would be better
to use an auger (this big drill looking thing that digs holes in the
ground) This thing was a beast! It dug holes in the ground like it was
pudding:) It was pretty cool to see that thing in action. After the
holes were dug we put new poles in and poured cement into the holes to
keep the pole firm. It was a super fun service project, who knew
putting up fences would be so fun.
   This week I also had another district meeting. It went pretty well.
We talked a lot about keeping new converts in the church. We had a
really good discussion about getting the ward involved in keeping your
recent converts active. Without the ward, it is super hard to keep new
converts in the church. They really need to know that they are loved
and that they are important to the ward. While preparing for district
meeting I found this letter that had been sent into the first
presidency. It was written by a man who had joined the church, but due
to not getting support he had left. It was an eye opening letter,
because it really showed me how new investigators really are feeling.
We also talked about remembering our purpose as missionaries,
especially with having i Pads. I have been blessed with an amazing
district, and it is such a joy to be ale to serve them and learn from
them.
 Well I love you all and hope all of you continue to do all you can to
strengthen your testimonies of all of the beautiful gospel principles.
Have a great week!

Elder Griffin

A ride in the trunk:P

6.15.15
The first week of the transfer went pretty well. It was sad to say goodbye to elder Mohrmann, but I know that he will do just fine where ever he is sent. My new companion elder Fullmer is quite the character. He always keeps me on my toes and constantly is making me laugh. Whenever he is tired he always makes talks in these ridiculous voices that always make me smile. He is a huge comic book fan and is a pretty big gamer. He also loves technology, which is good because I am struggling trying to figure out this whole i Pad thing:) He is also very obedient and is willing to work hard, which I am very grateful for! It should be a pretty good transfer.
   We started out this week by going and visiting this part-member family. The guy we are teaching is named Grady and his fiancee is Carla. They are both in their early 20's and are super cool! We went over Monday and they feed us the most amazing chicken enchiladas I have ever had! Following that we taught them the Restoration and the lesson was awesome! At the end we showed this short video about the Book of Mormon, where elder Holland explains what the Book of Mormon is how it can bless your life. It brought the spirit pretty strong. I am excited to continue to teach them, they are both very humble and have a great desire to know what is right. We had biked over to their house and it was getting pretty late, so they offered us a ride home. Well after getting the bikes in the car their was only one seat, and so I found a small spot in the trunk to squeeze in. It was an interesting car ride home:) Also this week we where able to meet with Kaven again. He is so cool, we where teaching out of the Book of Mormon a lot, and showing him all of the scriptures that testified and prophesied about Christ. He was eating it up, and was so amazed that their was another ancient record that testify and prophesied of Christ. He got so excited, it was fun to see him light up as truth was entering his mind. After our meeting with him, he totally opened up his kitchen to us and told us we could eat anything we wanted to. He is the kindest man and has a deep desire to learn all he can. The only down side to that is that he loves all of the deep question. The latest one he asked us is "Where does evil originate?" Hopefully we can keep him focused on the important doctrine:) I love teaching and meeting with him and pray his heart is soft enough to accept a baptismal invitation. So far these are the only two people we are actually teaching, but we have been trying to find more people to teach like crazy:) There are so many potential investigators/part member families that I know would let us teach them, it is just a matter of good timing. I do believe that God can do all things, and so we will continue to be patient and keep doing the best we can. It gets me excited to know that there are people in this are who are ready to accept the gospel, all we have to do is find them. It is definitely a big motivating factor.
   We have also been trying to start up youth lessons in this ward and where able to have our first one this Friday. The youth we taught is named Tyler. Him and his family are super cool. We taught him the Restoration as well as his two sisters and dad. They all gave great answers and were really fun to teach. At the end of the lesson we had a mini testimony meeting, where we had everyone share their testimony of the Book of Mormon. It was pretty cool, they all had strong testimonies of it. One of the girls even shared a missionary experience she had where she shared a Book of Mormon with her friend. What a great family! 
   Have a great week! Enjoy the sun and keep safe:)


Elder Griffin    



I-Pads

6.8.15
This week we finally received our i Pads! It has been super weird, but very exciting to have technology back in my hands again. We have been having a lot of training's that are better preparing us to use these i Pads. This next week we are going to be learning how to use the area book app. It is an incredible app and will help us as missionaries by a lot more organized:) It also has a planning feature, so we won't be needing our little blue and white daily planners. It will be hard at first to make the transition, but I know it will be a whole lot better. We have also started to using in our teaching. We did have a cool little experience with the i Pads this week. We were trackting this street and we started talking to this guy. He told us he was a very devout Catholic, but respected what we do. Usually this leads to them not letting us share a message, but this time I asked him if we could share a quick video with him. He agreed to it and even let us come in his home:) It was cool to see how the i Pad had allowed us to get into someones home, who normally would not have let us come in. There is also these cool interactive pamphlets that are incredible. We haven't quite mastered how to contact with them yet, but they will make gospel discussions a lot more natural and interesting. What a great day and age to be a missionary!
    This week we had the chance to go and meet with Kaven again. His knowledge about the bible and its history still continue to amaze me! He asked us so many questions, and a lot of them we could't even answer. During our discussion together he asked us if we thought it was ok to be baptized again. He said he was sprinkled as a baby, but has not found any evidence of that practice in the bible. This question lead to an awesome discussion on priesthood authority and what the right way to get baptized is. Well we kept talking and got on another topic. After a certain amount of time I had a feeling that we needed to talk more about baptism. I told him our purpose as missionaries "to invite others to come unto Christ, by helping them receive the restored gospel, through faith in Jesus Christ in His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. We then told him that we were there to help him take those steps towards the waters of baptism. It opened up another good discussion about baptism and he even told us that the way LDS baptize is the closest way to the bible that he has yet found:) He told us that the next time he meets he had some questions that he has really been wanting answers to. We are hoping to meet with him this Wednesday. We are hoping to invite him to be baptized this next time, after we answer his questions.
   I hope everyone is enjoying their summer vacation and staying safe as well.

Love,

Elder Griffin 

Monday, June 1, 2015

i pads...taking the gospel to all the world

6.1.15
This week we had the chance to go to a mission wide iPad training given by elder Brent Neilson of the seventy as well as this really awesome guy who is over all of the international MTCs. They both did amazing jobs and the spirit was so strong! One of my favorite parts of the training was when they were taking about how the Lord is going to use every righteous method to take the gospel to the whole world. They also talked a lot about how the first presidency wants to teach missionaries how to use technology the right way, so that when the go back into the real world, they won't waste time playing pointless games, waste time on Face book and use the internet to look up immoral and crude images. They talked a lot about how pornography is taking over the united states, and I was surprised to hear how many people were caught in it's trap. Elder Neilson said that about 80 percent of males in the United States are using Pornography!!! What a crazy statistic, it motivates me to makes sure that I do everything in my power to keep myself safe from this dangerous indulgence. They also briefly mentioned all of the amazing things we will by able to do as missionaries with this digital tools. The area book, daily planner, lds tools, Facebook, blogging, emailing and being able to show videos are only a few of the many things we will be able to use to hasten the work even further! It was just so crazy to me to see our Heavenly Father using modern technology to flood the earth with the message of the Restoration. So many more people will be able to be found and taught through using the i Pads and once we get members on track with us the work will become even more amazing. It will take some patience and some time to adjust to using the i Pad in our teaching, but it will be so worth it once we get a hang of it. It was also amazing to me to see how much God, the first presidency and President Ames trust us. What a blessing it is to have i Pads!
   Also this week I went on my last exchange for the transfer. I went with elder Coats and elder Reynolds. Elder Reynolds companion had to go home due to surgery and is now staying in a trio with the zone leaders. Being in a trio for the day was a lot of fun, it was a good change of pace. While on exchange we were able to teach George and Shirley as well as a really nice less-active lady. The less-active lady was baptized when she was 8, but hadn't been to church in 45 years. She told us part of her life story and what her beliefs are. She also shared some of the spiritual experiences that she has had. As she was telling us her story, I could see that God has been in her life, and has moved her closer and closer to Jesus Christ. I am confident that as the zone leaders teach her she will feel the spirit and will have a desire to come back to church. Also while on the exchange I was able to do my first baptismal interview. I interviewed this 10 year old girl named Hailey. She is a really sweet girl, but has a hard time understanding and retaining knowledge, so the interview was a little challenging. In the end it worked it, and she ended up saying a very pure and sweet prayer to close the interview. I have a lot of respect for Hailey, because neither of her parents are members. She does have an aunt and uncle who are members and have been great to her, but it would still be hard being the only member of the church in your home especially when she is so young. The cool thing is, that her dad has started to take the lessons with the missionaries and even came to church on Sunday! What a good example she is for her family. 
    This week we were able to meet some pretty cool people. One of them is named Kaven. He was a potential investigator in our area book so we gave him a try. He has been super hard to get a hold of but last night we stopped by and he let us come inside. He is in his late 50's and due to surgery is missing part of his lung, so he gets pretty tired. He has lived a pretty crazy life and told us he grew up in a pretty violent part of town. He said a lot of his family was killed in drive by shootings! Kaven also knows his bible very well, but told us that he is open to any truth he can find. Boy do we have a lot of truth for him! He has also studied Mormonism and knew more about what we believe then most people I run into. In addition to that he has studied a lot of other religions as well, he was a really smart guy! We have him some additional study material and he was excited to learn more. We are going to be going back on Wedneday and will be watching some short videos as well as the restoration with him.
     Well my time is running short, but I love you all and hope everyone has a good first week of summer!!

Love,


Elder Griffin