Monday, September 28, 2015

Tender mercy text!

I have been spiritually filled this week! We first had our zone conference on Tuesday. It was awesome. The over all theme was becoming a full purpose missionary. President Ames talked about the importance of the doctrine of Christ and how it needs to become a pattern of living in our lives. We develop a faith in Jesus Christ, that leads to true and lasting repentance, following that we make sacred covenants with our Heavenly Father and then we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost which increases our Faith in Christ even more, and then the process repeats. The doctrine of Christ is how we truly use the Atonement and slowly, but surely reach our potential. It was a great conference. Then this Friday I had the chance to go to a leadership training with all of the district leaders and zone leaders. It was an amazing training and I left with a new vision of what I need to do and be as a district leader in the Texas, Fort Worth Mission. 
  This week we also had the chance to teach this part-member family, the O'Brien's. They are amazing, and so ready to receive the gospel. We had an appointment with them this last Monday, but around 3 she text us and said that something really stressful had happened at work and they were trying to figure it all out and would now not be able to meet with us. We were super bummed, and frustrated at Satan. Well as it got closer to 6, she text us back and said that they thought we should still get together. We were so pumped! Well we went over and had a great lesson/discussion with them. They had tones of questions and could not stop telling us how much the gospel is blessing there lives already, and the positive affect church is having on there entire family. We also had a good discussion about why bad things happen when we are trying to be good and do what God wants for us. We talked about how the devil is going to do all he can to keep them from hearing the truth. He sees the bigger picture of your family going to the temple and being sealed for time and all eternity, and will do all he can to stop you. We also talked about the atonement and the enabling power of the Savior. The spirit was so strong the whole time, and my testimony of this work and church grew so much. It was cool because at the end we got brother O'brien to pray and he said a great prayer. They were both on spiritual highs, and wanted to know when we could meet again. After the lesson we were trying to figure out when we could come back, but were not really able to find a good time that worked. Well as this was going on, we received a text from a member we were going to teach. They told us that we would have to reschedule for another week. It worked out great, because the day and time we were going to teach the member worked out perfectly for us to come see the O'Brien again. It was such a tender mercy of the Lord! This truly is His work and these truly are His choice sons and daughters. Our meeting with them on Thursday also went really good. We taught the Restoration to them and they were eating it up. They agreed with everything that was taught, and said they felt the spirit when we shared the first vision. We also gave them both Book of Mormons and committed them to read and pray. They were super excited! We even invited Kathryn (sister O'brien to be baptized and she said she would if she got an answer that this was true. They are an amazing family, and it has been such pleasure to be able to teach her. As we were leaving we also gave them the 20 minute Restoration video. About an hour after the lesson they text us and said that they had watched the video and loved it! It is such a testimony to me that God is always preparing people to accept the gospel.
 This week we were also able to help this lady named Darlene move, we helped her for close to 4 hours! It was tones of fun, but she had so much stuff!! Lots of it was super random too, but it made it more of an adventure:) I got to be in the truck and got to help organize everything. It always feels good to be serving.
 Well you are all amazing, and I am grateful everyday to have a family like you! Have a good week!


Elder Griffin

Winging it :)

This week we were able to have some good visits and teaching opportunities. Our first one was with Lindsey, the one who has a baptismal date. So two weeks ago Lindsey text the member who was going to give her a ride to church and told them that she was going back to her old church, because she didn't agree with some of the doctrine we teach. We were pretty bummed, but we deiced to to and see her after church and have an open conversation and see if we could answer any questions she had. Well we went and talked to her, and we were able to set up a time to come and see her. This Monday we went over with this awesome returned missionary in our ward. The visit ended up going really good! We first just listened to her concerns and then used the doctrine of the Restoration to help her overcome her concerns. The spirit was there, and helped ease and doubts she has about all of the new things we are teaching her. During our visit she talked about how weak she feels all the time, and she wanted to know why we are given weakness. We read Ether 12:27 and talked about how weakness is what allows us to be humble enough to reach out to Christ and let Him lift us up. It was such a cool discussion. I love the power of the Book of Mormon and being able to fell the love of our Savior. Lindsey is now re-committed to read the Book of Mormon and come to church. She truly does have a desire to do what is right, and I know that she can feel the peace that comes from having a knowledge of the principles we are teaching her.
     This week we were also able to meet with this super funny less-active guy named brother Christensen. He is in his late 70's and is full of stories from his service in both the navy and the church. As he was telling us of his service in the church I could feel that he really does have a testimony of this gospel. As we continued to talk he told us some of the reasons why he does not come to church anymore. A lot of it had to do with being mistreated and offended by members of the church, especially some of the leaders in his wards. Now I don't know both sides of the story, but It was sad to see that members of this church would say things and do things like he described in his stories. It really taught me the importance of watching what we say and do. It's crazy how big of an affect one word or one action can have on a family. He was the nicest man, and he said he really likes missionaries. He told us towards the end of our conversation that if God told him to start going back to church that he would do it. I am positive that God has already told him that, but we are going to start reading the Book of Mormon with him and help him see that God needs his testimony and service in His kingdom.
  We also had another pretty cool experience with service this week. We were rushing to an appointment, because a lesson had gone a little long and we were going to be late. Well on the way to our next appointment there was a lady in one of the trailer parks we pass through that had her car parked to the side of the road. As we got closer to her she waved us down. She told us that on the way home from work she had gotten a flat tire. She said that she had called road side assistance, but they said they would be a while. She told us that she sees us sometimes when she goes to work. She asked us if we would be able to help her fix her flat tire. We said of course! It was interesting, because I had never really changed a tire and elder Jensen and only done it once. We were pretty much winging it the whole time, but luckily it wasn't too hard to figure out:) I absolutely love when God places people in our path that need help, there is nothing better then being a tool in His hands. I challenge you all to always look for opportunities to serve God's children.
  This next week is going to be a great week, we have lots of appointments scheduled and we have zone conference tomorrow, which is always amazing! I hope everyone is doing well and looking forward to the cooler Fall weather!:)


Elder Griffin    

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Service kicks those negative thoughts!

This week has been a busy week, full of wonderful experiences. God has been so good to elder Jensen and I as we continue to transition to covering two areas. At the begging of the week we were again able to go see Karla and Grady. We brought along one of my favorite members brother Wright. We taught them the gospel of Jesus Christ, the 3rd missionary lesson. The lesson went great, and brother Wright shared a powerful testimony of how the gospel has blessed his life. He even shared a little from his conversion story. At the end of the lesson we had an open conversation with them and Grady said that he has been very grateful for the lessons and has felt that they have helped him gain a greater understanding of where God wants him to go. Karla also commented that they want to be better at coming to church, as well as reading the Book of Mormon together. It is always a great blessing to see the people we are teaching come up with their own commitments and things they want to work on. The mission president's fireside is actually next week, and we are praying that Karla and Grady will be able to come to it. It would be so good for them to hear a couple share their conversion story that is centered on the Book of Mormon. We were also able to go see Bob. It has been a long time since I have seen him, but it was good to be able to meet with him again. We did the usual Book of Mormon reading with him, and then he opened up and talked about how he needs to forgive his dad. We just listened as he talked about his concerns and what was holding him back from forgiving his dad. Elder Jensen was also able to share an amazing personal experience he had with forgiving someone at his school. We are going to study and prepare a lesson for Bob about the importance of forgiveness and help him understand how to go about doing it. I know forgiving his dad, will bring him a lot of peace and happiness.
   This week we also had a small miracle happen, that made my testimony of the reality of a loving Heavenly Father grow so much. On Thursday night we had just finished dinner, and we were about to go out and start working the area. At this same time satan started putting a lot of negative feelings about the work into my head and I started loosing motivation. We got on our bikes and started riding towards the area we were going to work in. I did my best to push the feelings out of my head. Well we got to this street and started trying to contact people. As we were contacting we say this lady by her car loading stuff into it and noticed a moving sign in front of the house. We asked her if we could help her and she went inside to ask the owner. Usually when we ask people if we can help them they politely say no, but this time it was different. The owner said that she would love our help, and that we were an answer to her prayers. She told us that she had been given a very short time to have everything moved out of her house and that she wasn't able to find very many people to help her. She put us to work packaging up all the food in her pantry, we also helped her organize her garage. It was an amazing experience to be able to be a tool in the Lords hand to help this family in their time of need! They said they wanted us to come over for dinner at their new house, and took down our number. We are hoping to be able to share our message with them in the future. They are a very sweet family, and I am very grateful that God put them in our path. 
  We are finding so many amazing people to teach, and I know that this area is getting very close to having baptisms. This work is real, and there really are people that God is preparing to receive the gospel. I love being part of this work, and I love being able to serve and love people. It brings me so much happiness to be able serve the wonderful people of Texas, and to hear their stories and life experiences. This church is true, Jesus Chirst is our savior and God truly does love each one of us. Have a great week!

Elder Griffin

*This is a couple days before transfers. The first on is elder Taylor and I, and the second is my zone leader elder Webb (I was making a weird face for some reason:)) They were both awesome missionaries!  

Our heads were spinning:)

This last week was the start of a new transfer, and a lot of change
has happened! So in my district there is us, the Woodland Springs 1st
ward and Trophy club. Well the night before transfers, the Woodland
Springs 1st ward got a call from the APs. They told them that there
area was being shut down, and that elder Jensen and I would be
covering our ward and theres! No once saw this coming. So with very
little notice, they tried to fill us in on all of the people they have
been working on. It was pretty stressful, and both of our heads were
spinning for the first couple of days:) We worked hard, and prayed a
lot and it has worked out so far. It has been a real blessing to be
able to have more people to teach, and more area to be able to go
contacting in. In fact one of their investigators they found a couple
weeks ago has a baptism date! We get to finish teaching her and get
her baptized. I do feel a little bit guilty that we get to get her
baptized instead of them, but we are all part of the same team and are
all working towards the same goal. Her name is Lindsey and she is
super cool. We have only got to meet her once briefly, but we have an
appointment with her this Tuesday night. Please keep her in your
prayers, satan is going to try everything he can to get her to not go
through with it. Luckily for us we have the power of the Holy Ghost on
our side:) This week we also got to teach a part-member family, Karla
and Grady. Karla is a member, but has not been to church in a couple
of years. They are really hard to set appointments with, but 2 weeks
ago we were able to get an appointment with them. Our ward mission did
a special fast for them to make help make sure the appointment didn't
fall through and it worked! We brought over a member that gets along
with them really well. We taught them the Plan of Salvation and the
lesson went really well. Brother Godfrey, the member that came with
us, shared some personal insights on the Atonement, that lead to an
awesome discussion. It was cool to see Karla and Grady developing a
greater understanding of what our Savior did. The spirit was strong
the whole lesson. Karla gave the closing prayer, and it was awesome.
She talked about her desire to get closer to God. We invited them both
to come to a fireside this coming Sunday, where two recent converts
are going to be telling their stories. From what I have heard, they
both had really cool experiences with the Book of Mormon, so it should
be pretty amazing. This week one of our member invited over this
less-active lady named Vick and her kids to have us do the 21 tips
presentation. The 21 tips is something the one of the Texas stakes
came up with. It is 21 tips to help kids get better grades. We sat
down with everyone and went over the tips and had some really good
discussions. The best part of it all was that Vicki had interaction
with members of the ward, it was so good for her!! It was also really
good for the kids. Our next goal with them is to try and teach the
kids the missionary discussions, because none of them have been
baptized. Hopefully this interaction in the members home, will open
her up to having her kids take the discussions:) Also at church we had
this part-member family come, that hadn't been to church in 10 years!
We talked to them briefly after sacrament meeting, and they are open
to learn. One of the members got their phone number and will be
getting in touch with us about having a lesson with them. I love when
miracles happen! It will be exciting to see what happens with them.
   This work is God's work, and he is gathering all of His children
back into his loving arms. I am so grateful to be part of his mighty
army of missionaries around the world. This church is so true, and we
should never be afraid to stand up an share what we know to be true. I
love you all and hope you have a safe, productive week!


Elder Griffin

Teaching a YW group.  One girl was really impacted by what he said, 
the rest probably walked away with a crush on him:)

P.S Good win for BYU!!! Go Cougars