Monday, October 26, 2015

"That's my son, and I love him" story

We started out this week by having interviews with President Ames. It
was kind of stressful at first because we had to fill about 3 hours of
time with trainings, but it ended up going really well. Most of the
trainings were focused around building relationships with the bishop
and ward council. We also had a really good council about how we can
better place copies of the Book of Mormon. Our mission is again having
a Book of Mormon challenge. We are reading 20 minutes everyday and
placing one copy of the Book of Mormon everyday. We are hoping to hand
out 8,500 by Christmas.  Our mission President has three things that
are important when placing Book of Mormon: I know,(bear testimony)
will you, (commit them to read and pray) and when can we follow up on
your reading. It's so simple, but a powerful approach to placing Book
of Mormons.   We had some really good discussions. I love this zone
already, we have a lot of amazing missionaries.
   This week we also had the chance to go on exchange with the
assistants. I got to go with elder Tanner in his area. We had an
amazing exchange! We were able to teach a recent convert as well as
two of their investigators. My favorite lesson we taught was with this
guy named Mike. He has struggled with drug addictions for a long time,
but is doing his best to clean up his life. During our lesson with him
the spirit was really strong and elder Tanner bore his testimony to
him and told him that God needs him to be in the church so that he can
be a missionary to those people who have similar struggles. During our
lesson I could feel that this man was going to get baptized, and I am
almost positive that he felt the same witness. I love the hope the
gospel brings into people's lives that are lost and in a bad place. It
was a wonderful lesson to be part of. Also during the exchange this
member meet us at a fast food restaurant to have dinner with us. When
the member got there we noticed he had another man with him, and I
just assumed it was his friend. Well as we got our food and started
eating we asked how they knew each other. They told us that they had
meet only 20 minutes ago. The man, whose name is Cory, told us that he
had been coming home from work on the bus and had missed his regular
stop for some reason. He started walking home in the rain. The member
saw Cory walking home and asked him if he could give him a ride. What
an awesome member!! Elder Tanner started teaching him about the gospel
using a temple pass-a-long card and then transitioned it into the Book
of Mormon. Cory said he would love a copy to read. He then went on to
tell us that he believes that this meeting happened for a reason. He
said that he had gotten out of jail a little while ago and was now on
parol for the next 5 years. He decided that he needed to change his
life. We got his contact information down and will be giving it to the
elders where he lives. It is so cool to see God's hand working in this
man's life. If he wouldn't have missed his stop, and if that member
would not have offered a ride this man would have missed the
opportunity to hear the gospel. It was a pure miracle!
  This week we were also able to attend our stake conference. We had a
member of the 70 attend. The Saturday night session was amazing and
the spirit was so strong. President Ames spoke and shared 3 very
inspiring stories about following the spirit. I want to just share one
that was very touching. He said that he was out visiting investigators
with some missionaries and had gotten soaked from the rain. He had an
hour before he was going to go out with another set of missionaries
and he decided to go to the gas station to get something to eat and
dry off a little bit. While he was there he say a man who looked
homeless. He got a prompting to buy this man lunch. At first he
ignored it and went in to dry off. After drying off he came back out
side and he didn't see the man anymore. Then off to the right he saw
the man making his way towards the dumpster. President Ames finally
decided to follow the prompting and went and bought him something to
eat. When he offered it to the man he at first kindly refused saying
that he didn't want to take his lunch from President, but President
told him that he had bought it for him. The man was very grateful.
After excepting the food the man looked at President's name tag and
asked if he could pray with him. President Ames put his arms on the
man and prayed with him. As he was getting back into his car he heard
a voice in his head say "That is my son, and I love him" It was such a
powerful story about the reality of God and how much he loves each one
of his children. There was also a man who got in a car wreck and it
ended up paralyzing him. He told us off his experience
and how he was able to get through it and still stay positive. It was
so inspiring! It was an incredible conference:)
  This has been such a great week and I have truly been spiritually
charged! I love you all and hope you have a happy Halloween!


Elder Griffin

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Arlington & Chelsy the car

Ward Mission Leader and Family in Woodland Springs

This last week was a little crazy, but I loved every moment of it! It
started with a good last P-day in Woodland Springs, and then we went
and said good bye to the O'briens. It was really hard, but I know that
I will be able to see them again someday and hopefully I will be able
to go to Katy's baptism:)
 My new companion is elder Smith. He has been out for 21 months, so
he is nice and seasoned! He is a great missionary, and we have had
tones of fun these last couple of days. I has been such a blessing to
have a companion who knows how to do missionary work. He is from
California, and is a super funny guy. I have a feeling like this is
going to be a really good transfer.
 So far I am really liking my new area. We have already gone on a
couple of member exchanges, and all of the member we have gone out
with are awesome. We have been able to visit some pretty cool people
and it is getting me excited to be able to teach them and serve them.
Also elder Smith and his old companion baptized a 17 year old named
Ja'quintman the day before transfers, isn't that the coolest name you
have ever heard, he seems like a really good young man. We are working
on getting him home teachers  and making sure that we help him develop
a relationship with the young men. I also meet a cool recent convert
how is coming up on his year mark of being baptized. He is so cool,
and has a great love for this gospel. He is working on preparing to go
to the temple and he is super excited. He has some health problems,
but is still one of the happiest people I know. Right now we also have
a baptismal date with another 17 year old named La'marcus. We had a
short lesson with him this week and talked about baptism and talked to
him about us teaching him the rest of the missionary lessons. He has a
great desire to learn. He also works at Smoothie King, so hopefully we
can get some sweet discounts on smoothies!!
 This week we also had quite an adventure with our car, which we
named Chelsy:) The first day I got hear, we went over to this
neighborhood in our area to visit some people and do some street
contacting.  Well after working for a couple of hours we started
walking back to the car. As we walked up to the car, elder Smith
noticed that the driver door didn't look like it was shut all of the
way. He then looked down and saw that the driver side door was smashed
in! Apparently someone had backed into us and then drove away. The
door was so smashed, that we couldn't get it open. Well we called the
mission office and then called the police. They were super busy,and it
took the cop an hour and a half to get there! We had to fill out tones
of paper work stuff and had to send in pictures of the smashed door.
After that we took it to get an estimate at a car shop. They told us
that they would have to replace the whole door. Also after the car got
hit, the car would make these occasional jerking motions when we would
speed up and slow down. We took it in to the dealership, but they said
they wouldn't be able to work on it until Monday, so we decided to
just wait until Monday to take it in. Well the jerking got worse and
more frequent. There was even one point where we were pushing the has
pedal and the RPM dial was going up, and you could hear the engine
revving but there car was only going like 10 miles an hour. After it
did that we decided to just take it in. Well as we were getting on to
this frontage road it did it again! The speed limit was 40 and it
wasn't letting us go over 10. Luckily we were pretty close, so we just
kept revving it until we turned into the dealership. It was pretty
crazy! We get to be on bikes for a week, but this area is pretty easy
to bike in. It has been quite the adventure with this car:)
 I hope everyone has a happy Fallish week!!


Elder Griffin

Saturday, October 17, 2015

November 3rd will be GLORIOUS! Katy's getting baptized!


This week we were able to meet with the O'Brien's 3 times, and each lesson was amazing. They just soak in everything and are so eager to learn more! During one of the lessons we asked Katy (the wife) to pray for a date to be baptized. Well a could days later she text us and said that she wants to be baptized on November 3rd! We are so excited for her! They also came to church this week and Katy was making a lot of really awesome comments. During our gospel principles lesson we were talking about agency and the importance of our choices. We also talked about the reality of the devil and that his temptations he uses to get us to choose the wrong choices are real. We also talked about the safety and peace of making good choices. Katy started talking about how once she started investigating the church that she decided she needed to stop listening to some of the music she really likes. She started to realized how bad the lyrics where and how she felt when she listened to that kind of music. She then told us that she is now listening to church music and how she has really seen it make a difference in her life. I loved her comments, because it showed me how converted she truly is becoming. She isn't even a member yet, and has stopped listening to music that she know is bad, when there are lots of good members who have yet to conquer that small weakness! It has been so fun, to see her start to recognize and follow the promptings of the Spirit.     I truly love this family and can't wait to see them sealed in the temple.
   This week we did a cool service project at an orchard. We went there as a zone and were able to help with various things. One of my favorite part of the service project was pulling out dead trees, nothing like getting your hand dirty and working hard! We also got to help them cut off all of the band limbs on trees and pull of the rotten apples. It was fun to be out in the fresh air, in a beautiful orchard. We are planning to go back this Tuesday, so I am excited to be able to serve there again. 
   We were also able to see Kavin this week. Most of the times we go over to see him, he does 90 percent of the talking and we do 10. Will this last time we saw him we were able to have a good conversation. It started with him making comments on the movie "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration". We let him borrow a copy we had. He went on and on about how much he respects Joseph Smith and how horrible it was that the saints had to go through all of the tribulation they went through. He is starting to get a testimony of Joseph Smith, its awesome! This discussion lead to a good conversation about how this church really is Jesus Christ's restored church, and not just another Christian denomination. I was in awe, it was cool to see him getting excited. I have no doubt that he will be baptized someday.
  I also found out this week that I am being transferred to Arlington! It will be nice to be in a new area, but I will truly miss this area! This has definitely been my favorite area of the 3 I have served in. I have meet so many amazing people that have blessed my life and made me a better, stronger person. These two wards are also amazing, and I my testimony has grown as I have taught/interacted with the members here. Luckily there are going to be awesome people where  ever I serve. Woodland Springs will always have a special place in my heart.
  I know this Church is true, I know God lives and I know that Jesus Christ is the savior of the world and that He will come again. I love you all and hope you have a good week. Enjoy the beautiful Fall weather! 


Elder Griffin    

O'brien Family

This week went by so quick! This is the last week before transfers, and I have a pretty good feeling that I will be leaving this area. It will be interesting to see what happens next:) I am determined to finish strong in this area, and make sure that the new elder who comes in to this area can hit the ground running. 
  This week we were again able to see the O'brien family. My favorite lesson we had with them was when we taught them the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We were teaching them about having faith in Jesus Christ and the doctrine of repentance. It was really cool, because after we taught what is means to truly repent Katy (the wife) told us about her experience in the last month of starting to live the principles of the gospel. She told us that in her past when she had done something bad, she knew it was bad, but had never really felt guilt. Well after she started changing her life and learning about the principles of the gospel she started to really feel the weight of her sins. As she continued to change her life and come to church she started to feel the spirit and truly repent. It was wonderful to hear her experience and to see the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Atonement shape her into a whole new person. I love seeing people find true happiness, that can only be found in living the principles taught by our Savior. We are just praying that they will start reading the scriptures and feel of the power of the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon and the spirit are what will really convert them. Katy also prayed for the first time with us! It was a beautiful, and very sincere prayer. As we have been teaching the O'briens I have again been reminded of the power of teaching part-member families. Even though the husband is a member, because he hasn't been to church in a long time, he too is learning a lot. He also is able to testify to his wife about the principles we are teaching, which is strengthening not only his wives testimony, but his own too. Also when we leave, he can help answer any questions or concerns his wife has. It is a wonderful process to watch and be part of. 
  General conference was also amazing this weekend! All of the talks were wonderful, and the spirit was strong the whole conference. What a blessing it is to have modern prophets and apostles who guide us through revelation. I loved the over all themes of conference. A lot of the speakers talked about the importance of listening and following the promptings of the spirit. I loved elder Lawrence's talk about kneeling in prayer and asking "What lack I yet? I also like how he talked about how the spirit will always be honest with us, and is not afraid to tell us what we need to hear, even when those around us won't. I also loved all of the talks about keeping the commandments, and specifically keeping the Sabbath day holy. I look forward to re-watching/ re-reading all of the talks.

  I apologize that this is a shorter email, but I was having a hard time putting my thoughts into words today:) I love you all and pray for your safety and success ever day. Have a great week!