Monday, May 11, 2015

Southern Food, Spiders and More!

Happy Mother's Day, y'all. :)

I was so incredibly privileged to talk with my family last night for a couple of hours. It's crazy how a simple phone or Facetime call can have so much meaning, especially in this world full of modern technologies and conveniences. As missionaries, it's like Christmas morning! We only get to call or video chat with our families twice a year, Mother's Day and Christmas (of course, we do get to communicate through email on a weekly basis.) I've found that you really prize something when it isn't overused.

There's this really awesome member here, Brother Foote. He is the most humble, kind man I've ever met. He treats us missionaries so well, and loves to take us out to eat, and tries to convert his employees. :) Anyway, this past week he took us, his family, and the YSA Sister's to Cypress Inn, which is a beautiful restaurant on the river here. Their menu had a wide range of food, but I decided that I was going to go as Southern as I possibly could (I haven't had a good ole Southern meal yet) I ordered catfish, grits, and hush-puppies. Yum! A bunch of fried deliciousness! After our meal, we headed down a path which lead us to a deck that goes across the water. We visited there for a bit, and the more time we spent there, the more spiders we noticed. There were spiders everyone! Sister Bailey is deathly afraid of spiders, and I'm surprised she made it out of there without having a panic attack. The webs were some of the biggest webs I've seen, and I thought they were intricately beautiful.

You meet all kinds of people here in Tuscaloosa (it's a big melting pot because of UA). Anyway, we were out tracting the other day and we knocked on a door. A woman in a long dress answered, with adorable children at her side. Immediately she invited us in, without hesitation, and lead us to her living room where three other women were sitting. They were all Muslim, and dressed in their traditional dresses and head scarves. I was so intrigued talking with them. They were from Yemen and Saudi Arabia. I told them that we were missionaries, out here to bring peace to people's lives. They were very nice to us, and they asked us if we have read the Quran (Koran). They showed us a video of a Muslim service. One woman was born in the US and lived here until she was five, then her family went back to the Middle East. The other women had been here for six years. They had three children, all with big beautiful eyes. We didn't have much time to visit with them because we had a dinner appointment, but I really enjoyed talking with them. Culture is amazing. Just because someone doesn't share my same beliefs it doesn't mean I can't respect and visit with them.

Two days ago we were talking with four guys, and one of them said he believed "in Islam." He asked what my opinion was on learning about other religions, and I told him that learning is good, that you should study and come to know things for yourself. Personally, I find sanctuary and peace in this Gospel. We also talked about being judgmental. I told him that if someone considered themselves a Christian and was judgmental or disrespectful because of difference of beliefs or religion, they aren't true Christians. Respect, love, and forgiveness are Christlike attributes. Let him without sin cast the first stone.

Last week I met these people: Wonda, Denise, and Jon. They were at the park near our house. We started talking with them, and Denise and Jon talked a lot about their faith, and trials, and religion. We were so shocked to hear that Denise's nephew joined our Church a few years ago, went on a mission, and now is working in Utah and "very successful". She told us how much of a better person her nephew is, how much the Gospel has helped him, and testified to Jon about how much this Gospel could help him! We didn't even have to speak a word! Denise isn't a member, but she looks up  to our church very highly. We got Jon's number, and he actually texted us yesterday and wanted to meet up with us. He hadn't had the best day, and so we were just listening to him, and reaffirming to him that God is there for us. He told us that he wants better friends, and that he wants a happier life. We gave him a Book of Mormon, and invited him to YSA Frisbee on Thursday.

It's amazing how many different kinds of people we meet every day. I've decided that I'd like to get pictures with people to put on my blog, so I can remember who I met and so y'all can get a glimpse of who I talk to. :)

I love y'all!! Have a great week!!
Sister Griffith

Add The river at Cypress Inn. We cross this river every Sunday
to get to church in Northport. 

Creepy crawly's on the deck!

The YSA Sister's and us

Wonda, Denise, & Jon

Sister Bailey and I

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