Monday, August 31, 2015

Turning 20 in Bama!!

Hey everybody! 

So, we haven't had a whole lot of craziness this past week. No more guns have been pulled on us, yet. But yesterday was a really good day, because I celebrated my big 2-0! I started the day making myself our usual family tradition of birthday pancakes! Then we had church, which went good. We came home to eat lunch and also some birthday cake, (I couldn't resist) and I opened a few presents! After that we went to visit a couple members, had a lesson with a cute older lady on her porch, went contacting at the park, had a "12 week" session with Sister Pyrah (the in-field missionary training program), and then called it a day. Overall it was a great day! A few members here surprised me as well with a couple presents and birthday treats, which I was so grateful for! I'm so blessed! Thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes!

Last night while contacting at the park, we started talking with a guy named Jeff. He was telling us about his life, some of the struggles he's had, as well as his belief in God. He mentioned something that stuck out to me. He explained to us that he believes in visions, because there's been a few times in his life where he feels like God has spoken to him (not face to face, but in other ways). He said that a lot of people think he's crazy. I told him that we didn't think he was crazy because, well, our faith whole-heartedly believes in visions, and revelation, and the Heavens not being closed. I think it's interesting that Jeff has this knowledge, that he believes in it, but he didn't really know where to go with it. He has bits and pieces of the Gospel but doesn't know how to string them all together. We can blame the apostasy on that one! Gospel truths were broken up, distorted, and lost. But luckily in God's perfect timing He strung everything back together. 

I've been doing some study on the apostasy lately from Preach my Gospel, as well as the New Testament. It's really interesting to note that prophecies of the great apostasy were given by Christ, the Apostles, and others. It is written so plainly in the scriptures, and yet so many have a hard time recognizing that the apostasy was a real thing and that in consequence a restoration of Gospel truths was desperately needed. I won't get into it too much, but as an example, here in Alabama, there are churches on every corner. Think about how many denominations we have. This is because of the apostasy. There should be "One Lord, one faith, one baptism", and this is why God restored His Gospel. 

With that, I'll close in saying how blessed we are to have everything strung together! Love y'all!

Sister Griffith

Sister Pyrah drawing our chalk message.
We did this one on being a light to the world!

The pretty park in the evening time.

A missionary's worst nightmare

My birthday cards! (I still had two to open)

My birthday treats! I'm so spoiled!

Happy birthday to me!

#missionarybirthdayinbama #twentyyearsold

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Company

I work for a company, 
that's quite large.
There's thousands of us employed,
all at the same charge. 

The pay isn't what we expect;
in fact we soon find
the salary we work so hard for,
is actually a spiritual goldmine.

In the company, there are leaders to oversee my work,
and I have one main associate (of whom I may love or dread).
But despite all of this, I only answer to one Head.

Our job sends us to different areas,
overhill, overdale, to faraway places;
each unique and full of new faces.
We find certain challenges we combat in phases.

Our clients are a privilege to work for!
Our main goal is to relay information.
And never have we had a meeting that's a bore;
because suddenly they see a difference in their life,
a couple dews of Heaven's light.

All the preparation, our long hours of work,
become worth it at this transaction.
A transaction of the Spirit, a transaction of truth,
the heart-throbbing beauty of the Gospel brought forth!

Oh how magnificent, oh how excited I am,
to be involved in this glorious work,
and be led by the Master's hand.

I work for a company,
that is changing lives.
And never could I have guessed,
that it would change mine.

New Companion, and a Gun Pointed At Us!

Woohoo! Transfers came and went and suddenly I'm the senior companion, designated driver, and a trainer!! Got to love responsibility! ;) All in all, it's been great. My new companion is Sister Pyrah, who is from ID. She is so nice and I can see so much potential in her. I'm blessed to be able to go step by step with her in her first transfer. I remember when I was going through my first transfer in Tuscaloosa. So much changes in just 6 months. What's really weird to think about is that in another 6 months it will be February of 2016! 

So Sister Pyrah has gotten a big dose of "Alabama" her first week! Some of these include:

1. Getting accustomed to southern accents and drawls
2. Talking with a guy in the ghetto, and almost seeing a fight go down between a few women
3. Praying with people in the store
4. Eating deer stew at a member's home
5. Getting rejected at the first house we knocked on, in her first tracting experience

6... and the last one is too good to not include an explanation: so we were tracting last night around 7:30pm. We knocked and saw an older lady through the front-door glass. She got up to answer. As she was walking to the door, I could see she had a pistol in her hand. I said, "Sister, she has a gun." Sister Pyrah was like, "You're kidding, right?" And before I could answer, this lady was looking through the glass, pistol in hand and pointed at us, asking what we wanted. We explained who we were and what we were doing, and she said "Well I don't want to hear what y'all have to say", and so we left. I couldn't help but laugh as we walked back up her driveway. And I commend that lady's safety skills. 

Our investigator Mable is doing well, although there's been a few complications so her baptism date will be pushed back a few weeks. Everything will work out! Also yesterday our investigator Charlotte surprised us by coming to church, for all three hours! 

Lately in my personal study I've been noting the commandments that Christ gave us. In 3 Nephi 18 (pg. 442) there's quite a few commandments. He talks about taking the Sacrament, praying (with an emphasis on praying with your family), "meeting oft" (church), letting your example shine, and lots of others. Never before had I looked at these things in this way, that taking the Sacrament is a commandment, praying is a commandment. But it is. God wouldn't say something just as a suggestion. "This shall ye always observe to do, even as I have done" (v. 6) Are you obedient to His commandments, and how much do you treasure the things he has given us to help us stay on the right path?

I love y'all so much! Please pray for Sister Pyrah and I to be safe, successful, and susceptible to the Spirit. 

Love always,
Sister Griffith

Sister Olsen and I with Kimberly (5 yrs old), Heidi,
and baby Nicole :)

One of Sister Olsen and I's last days together

I'm gonna go crazy without her!

Out and about with Sister Olsen and Sister Nelson :)

A foggy morning driving to Birmingham 

Sister Olsen and I at transfers!

The Wetumpka Sisters & Elders, after we got out of church!

Sister Pyrah and I!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Small miracles and blessings!

Good afternoon everybody!

This past week has been pretty crazy! On Thursday we were out biking, and as we were going across the bridge, my rear bike tear completely deflated. I don't know what happened (maybe it got old, I ran over a sharp object, etc.)! We went through all our options but nothing would work out, so we ended up just walking our bikes home and it took us an hour to get back. 

Despite that setback, we've had lots of small miracles and blessings. The same day (Thursday) we had two great lessons, both with members present. The first was with a cute lady named Mable, who we've been teaching and who is getting baptized on August 29 (yay!)! The second was with a lady named Charlotte, who is investigating the church and has such strong desire to come closer to God. 

Other blessings include this past Friday when we were at Walmart picking up some groceries and a member spotted us and paid for all our groceries!! As we were pulling out of the parking lot, some random person waved at us and gave us a thumbs up. Also on Wednesday we were at the park, and when we got back to our car we found an anonymous note (although we could tell it was from a member) with encouraging words on our windshield! We are blessed!

We got transfer calls this past Saturday! We already knew what would happen, as Sister Olsen is done with her mission and going home, which meant that I would be staying in Wetumpka. Although it was a surprise to hear that I'll be training a new missionary, and getting all the responsibilities of a senior companion! I think all of this is happening at the right time, and is exactly what I needed, to keep me motivated in the work and to gain more experience as a missionary. The Lord is very aware of us and our needs!

For an inspiring thought, I'll include 3 Nephi 15:9 (pg. 437). Read this and ponder what it means to you and what you're doing because of it. 

I love y'all so much! Have a great week and wish me luck!

Sister Griffith
Mable and I :) It was her birthday.
We get all sorts of bugs and moths outside our door, and one day we found a giant one!! We put our phone next to it for size comparison. It was about as big as our phone! 
Us and Evy Young. She was so worried that her hair didn't look good for the picture!
We reassured her that it looked great. 
Out tracting and a butterfly landed on my hand!
It reminded me of that Bible video with Jesus and the little girl playing with the butterfly!
We had a Jesus-butterfly moment!!

Sister Olsen with the butterfly

Sister Olsen and I loving our moment with the butterfly.

Monday, August 10, 2015

A Mormon meets a Buddhist, a Pentecostal, a Methodist, a Wicken and a Baptist!

Hey everyone! 

So we had Zone Conference in Montgomery on Thursday, which was really good! We have an awesome Mission President and leaders who give inspiring trainings! Sister Olsen, the Wetumpka Elders, and I also did a musical number, singing "Where Can I Turn For Peace?" It went well :) After Zone Conference, we went on exchanges and I went to Alexander City, AL. That night, a storm started coming on. The weather radio went off while we were visiting with some investigators. Then the town sirens went off, warning of the bad weather! We got some rain, thunder, and lightning, but not much else. Although I found out there was a small tornado about two hours away from where we were, in Troy, AL. We were lucky to not have to deal with it!

On Saturday we had a really interesting day. We did lots of tracting, which means meeting all kinds of people. We met a Buddhist, a Pentecostal, a Methodist, a Baptist, and someone who claimed to be Wicken. Woohoo! While out knocking doors, we came across an area that seems to have been sprinkled with cars. We could tell the cars had been there for a long time, as some were not even visible due to vines and bushes growing in and around them. It looked like an apocalypse scene! The first chance we got, we asked someone what the deal was (it was actually the Buddhist lady) and apparently it was her uncle or someone in her family that used it as a junk yard. Whatever floats your boat.

Well we don't have much else to report except that the work is continuing on! Thank you to everyone for their prayers and support. This week I challenge y'all to read Alma 32 and see how you can apply it in your life :)

Sister Griffith

Sister Olsen and I by the Coosa River

 Our latest chalk drawing :)
Pretty sunset (sorry it's blurry, I took this while riding)
Out on the open road in Wetumpks, just a few minutes from our apartment!

The road with the apocalypse cars

Sunday, August 9, 2015

A Week In Review.....(end of July/first part of August)

Hey everyone! I thought I'd share a little summary of each day this past week!

7/28/15, Tuesday: Went tracting; got bashed really bad at Walmart; had dinner at a member's home; met a new investigator!

7/29/15, Wednesday: Biked 10 miles, riding part of it through road construction; tried to tract but kept getting chased by dogs; went out to dinner with members; went tracting later that night in a different area and saw a possum & deer.

7/30/15, Thursday: Painted at Evy Young's house; weekly planned; had dinner at a member's home; took 3 showers in 24 hours due to the heat.

7/31/15, Friday: Attended Zone Training in Prattville, AL; went to see a less-active; went out to dinner with a member; rode our bikes to the park to contact. 

8/1/15, Saturday: Had a really good first lesson; watched the Restoration with a less-active; spent 2 hours knocking 23 doors. 

8/2/15, Sunday: Had a great day at church; went tracting; had FHE with two families in the ward.

8/3/15, Monday: Today! We have our usual P day activities (email, writing letters, cleaning our apartment, etc.) Later tonight we will go to the YSA FHE, and have a lesson with someone after that!

Hope y'all enjoyed having the inside scoop of our week. ;) Missionaries never have a dull moment. If we have free space on our schedule, we'll go out and tract or contact. 

I hope everyone's upcoming week goes well! Fill your time with productive activities, but also remember to stop and smell the roses. Life is good :)

Sister Griffith

On the Wetumpka bridge :)

Partial view from the bridge. The river is huge!

Oh Alabama...

Us with sweet Evy Young, who is a member. We helped paint part of her house :)