Monday, January 25, 2016

Laughing Ralph

This morning elder Thomas and I went on a hike on this cool trail we found in Fort Worth. It was beautiful and it felt great to be in nature. I will attach a couple pictures of our hike:)
This week we had interviews with President Ames. Elder Thomas and I had to organize it all and share a training on the Atonement. it ended up going really well and we had a really cool discussion about Christ and his role in the Plan of Salvation. My interview with President Ames was also really neat, he is a very inspiring man and I can feel his love for me and the love he has for Jesus Christ. What a blessing it is to have someone like him to lead the mission. 
 In addition to interviews we were able to have some good lessons. The first opportunity came when a lady in our ward called us, and asked if we would come teach her daughter-in-law, whose sister had just past away. We went over and talked about the Atonement and the Plan of Salvation. We also shared a cool little video that simply teaches the doctrine of the Plan of Salvation, she loved it! We invited her to church this next day and she ended up coming and staying all three hours. She is battling with addiction, but hopefully the gospel can help her overcome that. My other favorite lesson this week was a lady named Janice. She was a referral who had requested a Book of Mormon. Elder Thomas had given her the Book of Mormon on exchange and had set a return appointment for Sunday. Yesterday we went over to do a bible study with her, and ended up teaching her the Restoration. It was really fun to show her through using multiple scriptures from the New Testament that the gospel of Jesus Christ needed to be restored by a prophet of God. It really opened her eyes, and she told us that she was going to pray and also read the Book of Mormon. Teaching truth is so fulfilling! We have an appointment with her next Sunday.
Also at church this week 2 of our investigators had really good experiences. The first one was Ralph. We have been worried about him, because he has been acting kind of strange towards us. Well during gospel principles he felt the spirit pretty strong and was making tones of comments. He also shared a cool experience he had before church. He has really bad health, and has a hard time getting around. He prayed and asked God if he would give him the strength to walk better. Ralph said that he was able to walk better after that, and he even got out of his chair without using the arm rests to get up. It was really good to see him happy and feeling the spirit. When Ralph feels the spirit, it makes him so happy that he laughs. He could not stop laughing during the lesson, it was hard to not laugh myself:) The other person who had a good experience in church was Ray. He is living with a member in our ward, his sister. He has been taught by missionaries for quite some time. He has a hard time coming to church, because he has a really busy work schedule and he is single dad. He ended up coming yesterday! He loved the lessons and made tones of comments. The ward was really good to him and made him feel very welcome. He told us afterwards that he is going to try to come more often. He really liked being at church, and he loved how nice and accepting all of the ward members were. Hopefully we can continue to teach him and talk to him about baptism soon.
 Have a great week!

Elder Griffin 

Referral adventures and Sweet Service

We started this week off by going on exchange with some elders in
our zone. I went with elder Wade, he was in my original MTC group. It
was fun to catch up with yuk and here about his mission experience. He
has grown a lot, it was really fun to see the missionary he has
become. On exchange we had a lesson with one of our investigators
named Ralph. He is about 60 years old and lives by himself. He is
super funny and can be hard to keep focused. We taught him the Ten
Commandments. He is learning them quite well. He always comments on
how he wants to go to Utah and marry a Mormon girl who keeps all of
the commandments:)
     This week we have also been trying to contact tones of referrals!
On Saturday we went on a referral road trip. We went all over Fort
Worth trying to contact referrals. It was quite the adventure. Our
referrals mostly come from and thatThe church has that offers a free
bible, and we as missionaries are the ones that drop off the bible.
The only problem is that our mission is really low on bibles right
now. We only had one bible, and almost 30 people who needed them. It
has been a bit crazy,  but it is keeping us plenty busy!
  We are also trying to work with the Binklies to get Junior and Emily
baptized. We stopped by the hotel they are living at and had a really
good talk with brother Binkley. He is such a stud! He told us how much
he loves the sacrament and how by taking it, he is able to bear all of
the trials and temptations that are put in his path. We are shooting
for February to get Junior and Emily baptized.
  This morning we were able to go to the city of Fort Worth's Martin
Luther King day of service. It was so neat! We started in the oldest
Black baptist church in Fort Worth, where we had a worship service. We
got to hear lots of people offer prayers, as well as sing some really
upbeat worship songs. There was this guy who would lead us in song, he
was a super good singer! It was a lot of fun to see how how different
religions worship. Following that we broke into groups and went to
different locations to participate in service. Elder Thomas and I went
to a Jewish Synagogue, where we were able to help put together meals
for hungry children. They had us work in shifts, and so while we were
waiting to take are turn in the assembly line the former President of
the Synagogue took us on a tour of the building. It was so beautiful!
The worship room was my favorite. It had super high ceilings and
amazing stained glass windows. We also got to see one of the Scrolls
they read from. It was all in Hebrew. It contained the first 5 Books
of Moses. He also told us that there were several other scrolls, some
were over 300 years old! It was a really cool experience. After that I
got to work in the assembly line as the bag sealer. I had this cool
machine I got to use to close off the bags. It was lots of fun. As a
group we ended up packaging over 10,000 bags of food in 2 hours! After
the service we all got back together and had a lunch. It was such a
neat experience to be with so many different religions who had all
come together to serve God.
This area has a lot of work that needs to be done, and a lot of people
that we can work with. It seems overwhelming sometimes, but I know
that as we trust in God and plan effectively lots of good things are
going to happen in River trails! There was a cool quote that I am
going to try and apply this transfer it goes like this "a lot of times
we sit back and wait for miracles to happen, when instead we need to
be the miracle." What a blessing it is to be born during the
Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ! Have a great week:)


Elder Griffin

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Back to River Trails

This week has been a little crazy, but staying busy has been super
nice. The first day I got here we had a really cool experience with
and potential investigator named Joe. The apartment complex told them
that he was going to be kicked out of his apartment in 3 days. He had
no money, no support from his family and no place to go and stay at.
On top of that he is out of medicine for a kidney disease he has and
he is achey all the time. We tried to comfort him,  but it was super
hard, because neither of us had even been close to his situation. We
left him with a prayer and told him we would keep in touch. That night
as we were planning we got a text from him, pretty much saying that he
was ready to give up. He was super depressed and was literally at the
breaking point. We told him we would come over right away. He also had
not eaten for a couple of days, so we brought him so food some members
had given us. When we got there he was super sad and even started to
cry a little. We gave him a hug and then gave him the food. He was
super grateful. We then sat down and just listened to him. On top of
all the things that I mentioned above, he told us his friend had just
died from an over dose. Joe used to be a drug user and dealer, but had
decided to change his life. He expresses to us that he didn't
understand why this was happening to him when he was doing his best to
turn his life around. He said that he could reach out to his old
friend group, get a place to stay and a job sealing drugs. He said
even though he could have money and a place to stay, he wouldn't want
to go back to that lifestyle. I was amazed at his determination and
will. He literally had nothing, and he was still willing to stay away
from his old life. We had a really good discussion about the purpose
of life and the importance of using our agency to choose the right. We
also talked to him about how time is short on earth and every moment
is a gift from God and should not be wasted. We also told him about
the power of turning to God in prayer and the power of Christ's grace.
The spirit was very strong the whole time, and I know that he was
guiding our words. When we left his whole disposition had changed. I'm
so grateful that God allowed us to help lift this man, and help him
find hope again. It was a really neat experience.
      Also this week we had a zone council. I was pretty nervous for
it, because Hurst is a lot bigger then the Arlington zone and I get a
little nervous when I have to give trainings in front of big groups.
It ended up going really well and e missionaries in this zone are
really cool. They are all super nice and supportive. I'm pretty
excited to get to know all of them better:) It really is amazing how
Heavenly Father really does know us and what we need to grow and be
happy. I truly do have a testimony of his love for his children.
   This week we also got to work at this animal shelter. Elder Thomas
and I got to clean out this larger dog kennels. He would bring the
dogs out of the cages and then we would spray them down with a power
washer. It was super fun to use. At first the smell of  dogs and there
waste was almost unbearable, but after we started spraying this bleach
stuff on it, it wasn't as bad. It was pretty sad to see all of the
dogs in these little cages. They were wining and barking like crazy.
Hopefully they will have a nice family to live with some day!  After
cleaning the cages we were able to play with these kittens, they were
pretty cute. We will be going there every week.
I love you guys and hope you have a good week!

Elder Griffin

Monday, January 4, 2016

Heading back to River Trails

I am being transferred! I totally thought I was going to be staying, but I guess the Lord has other plans. What is even more crazy is that I will be going back to my greenie area!!!! During this last year, River Trails changed to a zone leader area:) It will be awesome to see all of the people I love there. I will be serving with elder Thomas, he has been out a little more then me, and is a really good missionary. We should get along just fine. I will really miss Arlington, and all of the wonderful people I have meet. I will especially miss brother Peterson (our ward mission leader) and Cameron. Cameron is this 25 year old guy that decided to stay in the family ward. He is so cool, and is one of the greatest member missionaries I have ever meet. I will also miss elder Pulver, I would really have liked to serve another transfer with him. I will be sending lots of pictures next week:)
  This week we were able to have some good visits. We got to see Haley again and her cute Great Dane puppy. We had a nice meal with her, biscuits and gravy, and we were able to have a good lesson with her about the importance of setting spiritual goals. She mentioned setting a goal about reading the scriptures more as well as better church attendance. She is heading in a good direction! We were also able to meet with a part-member family named the Ngos. We had a really good open conversation with them. They are a really cool family. They have tow sons. One is going to college right now and has sadly not decided to go on a mission, but the other one who is a priest is still deciding on whether he should go or not. During our lesson with them the member we were on exchanges with, Cameron, felt prompted to invite him to start thinking about serving a mission. It was awesome. Also at the end of our message, we invited the 16 year old son to invite his dad to read the Book of Mormon. The father is a really kind man, but has a crazy busy work schedule. He will totally get baptized when he stops working so much:) Our last solid visit of the week was with brother Bernard. He is a member, but his wife is not. His mother just passed away, and he was able to talk with us about how he is feeling. He told us a spiritual experience he had while he was with his mom before she died, it was pretty neat. After that experience he was better able to understand the Plan of Salvation and has felt at peace ever since. He is a really cool guy! He is also way in to guns, so we got along just fine. Elder Pulver and the new missionary are going to go over to his house in a couple of weeks and share the Plan of Salvation with the whole family. Hopefully the wife sits in!
     Well I love you all and hope you have a good week. I know this church is true and am grateful every day that I get to be part of this incredible work!

Love, Elder Griffin