Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas Festivities, A Baptism & My Companion's Birthday!

Hey y'all,

This past week we had a fun time at our mission Christmas party! It first started with a devotional given by President & Sister Hanks, which was super inspiring and spiritual. :) Then we had a big lunch with lots of yummy food!! Following that we had a talent show that was full of beautiful songs and funny acts. It was great! You always need a good laugh now and then!! After that we all watched "Big Hero 6". I had seen it previously before my mission but it was fun to watch again, and yet super strange to be watching a movie other than the Restoration or The Testaments. ;)

This week we also had the opportunity to volunteer at/enjoy the Huntsville Christmas Festival that the Church puts on. They've been doing it for the past 11 years and it is amazing! They set up a live, walk-through nativity, the whole cultural hall is decked out with Christmas trees, quilts, and hundreds of nativities, and they have choir/orchestra performances---which blew me away! They were just regular members of the church, yet they sounded like a mini Mormon Tabernacle choir! I guess they had been practicing for months, and it definitely paid off because the 30 minute concert they did was a-m-a-z-i-n-g! 

Saturday morning was a good day for us, because one of our investigators was baptized! Her name is Daphne and she is 8 yrs old! Most of her other family has been baptized in the last year or two, and it was a sweet day for all of us to see her baptism. It was really fun to teach her because we often tried to incorporate games into the lessons! She was baptized by President Nolan, who is a counselor in our mission presidency, a member of our ward, and a neighbor to Daphne (the Nolan's originally introduced Daphne's grandma to the Church, and look what that sparked! Member-missionary work actually works!)

Today is Sister Castagno's 20th birthday and I've had a few surprises up my sleeve. Last night she went to bed a little early and I told her I was going to stay up to read for a bit...little did she know that I was actually hanging up streamers and decorating our apartment! We also had "birthday pancakes" for breakfast this morning. :) Later today we have a sisters Christmas activity, and there will be a few surprises then as well!! I know that it's nice to feel special and appreciated on your birthday, especially while on mission when you're away from home, so I'm making my best effort! Hopefully everything turns out well!

Something funny that happened a couple days ago was that I was quoting something from someone back home and instead of saying "you" I said "y'all" (which of course that person didn't say being from out West). I realized then that the South has officially ingrained itself in me.

Well, I love Y'ALL, and wish you a great day!!
Sister Griffith

We met this guy who was out walking his dog the other day while we were out tracting. He is agnostic and from Scotland, and was an absolute pleasure to meet. He knew a lot about our religion from his own studies. It was refreshing how he showed us that you should respect others and have a genuine conversation, despite differences of belief---and that chivalry is still alive! It was also fun to meet him because he is Scottish and President Hanks went on his mission to Scotland, so we had some connections there!

The sisters in our zone at the mission Christmas party!

Daphne, President Nolan, and us! 

Setting up for the talent show

Some cute sisters in our zone!

Sister Castagno, our friend Vanitey, and I at the Christmas Festival!

The amazing Huntsville choir at the Christmas Festival!

Us today!  Happy Birthday, Sister Castagno!
Some of the surprise decorations for Sister Castagno's birthday!

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