Monday, January 25, 2016

First Snow Of My Mission.....

Good morning!

This past Friday it snowed! It last about 24 hours until it all melted and now the sun is out today (typical AL). The threat of snow here sends everyone into a wild frenzy, and this is what happens... 1. The weather is forecasted and a snow warning is sent out. 2. People scramble to the store to buy eggs and milk during "the freeze". 3. Relatives or friends visiting will stay a couple extra days because they are "snowed in". 4. Parts of the roads are blocked off. 5. Businesses close early (lots of the stores at the mall were already closed for the day, and the rest closed at 4pm). 6. School is out. It seems somewhat humorous for those who are used to living in snowy conditions, but in actuality the South isn't very equipped for cold weather and doesn't have a lot of experience dealing with it. So people stay off the roads to be safe and kids are out of school and off sledding in the 1-2 inches of snowfall. :)

We had two exchanges this week and that was fun! Sister Mitchell and I were together on Friday when it snowed, and as we were walking home we couldn't help but indulge ourselves by doing some snow angels!

We watched the worldwide Missionary Broadcast this past Wednesday, and it was really good! The broadcast wasn't working in the main chapel, so we (our zone) all ended up squeezing together in the family history center and another room to watch it on the computer. :) I'm really grateful that we have inspired men guiding our church and helping us learn how to better our work as missionaries. One message that I liked from the broadcast was "Teach Repentance, Baptize Converts." As missionaries, we help people come unto Christ which leads them to want to act on their faith (repentance); and it's our job, as that leads them to the waters of baptism, to make sure that they are converted---converted to the gospel, understanding that they are covenanting to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. As you desire to be baptized, you should already be converted before you make those covenants with God. This doesn't mean that one has to have a perfect knowledge, or be extremely spiritually developed, but simply that their heart is in the right place and they have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Thus we are "baptizing converts".

What a privilege to be in this work!
Sister Griffith

Getting caught in the rain without a hood or umbrella...

We got snow for a day!

Snow Day exchanges!

Hello from the great snowy South!

Hermana Mitchell and I on exchanges!

Sister Snow Angels!

Our act of kindness yesterday was feeding a skinny cat and giving him a box to sleep in. :) We named him Diddy.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

11 Months a Missionary, and Answered Prayers!

Good afternoon y'all,

It has been FREEZING! 20 degrees + humidity = no hope in my books, yet we're still out tracting and doing the Lord's work. :) I will say though that I'm very grateful that we aren't in an area with 8 feet of snow because that would prove to be difficult. We are very blessed to not have to deal with any ice yet, and that we have a car to get around. There are several missionaries here in biking areas and they are troopers!! The Southerner's don't seem to be effected much at all by this cold drop in temperature. We see people walking around with light jackets, jeans...and then there's us...fleece tights, boots, sweaters, thick jackets, scarves, gloves, and hats.

This past week we did a 70-hour week, where we sacrificed a little more of our time and energy to the work. We left earlier than usual, had shorter meal breaks, and stayed out later. Several cool experiences come from it. :) It was tiring, but worth it!

One awesome experience we had was last Wednesday... we got a text from an older lady in our ward who said that she had been at the doctors office and was talking to the receptionist about why Mormons don't drink coffee. She said we should go and talk to this receptionist, but she couldn't remember her name and only had the address to the doctors office... we were hesitant to go without a name, and we got wrapped up in our busy schedule and didn't end up going. A couple days later, all of our morning plans fell through. It was 9am and we were filling our car up with gas, and had no clue where to go. We had prayed for Heavenly Father to guide us. No answers came, until all of the sudden our phone vibrated...we got a text from that same member, who suddenly had remembered the receptionists name: Cynthia! An answer to our prayer!! Immediately we drove to the doctors office. We found the right suite and introduced ourselves at the desk. Cynthia was working that day, and it just so happened that the office was completely it was quiet and we had lots of time to talk with her because she wasn't busy helping patients! First we discussed coffee, and I really thought the conversation wasn't going anywhere...she didn't seem to interested. Then Sister Castagno whipped out the Book of Mormon, explained what it was, and testified of it. The atmosphere completely changed. Soon Cynthia was crying, and telling us personal experiences like how the night before she had prayed to God for help, for a sign. Her mother is very ill, and she has lots to deal with, and she told us that she recognized that we were an answer to her prayer, and that God is sending things to give her strength (like the BoM)! She said that she was very excited to read the Book of Mormon and we exchanged contact info. Miracles happen!

Loving the Gospel but not the weather,
Sister Griffith

Some gator ball pics from last Monday :)

Gator Ball is intense!

I love the South :) This was on someone's front door.

Sisters in Stripes!
Sister Mayfield and I!

Life as a missionary....walking, walking, and more walking!

Walking in the freezing cold to go visit people at the hospital :)

26 degrees plus humidity!! I don't know how the Southerners do it!

Riding in the back of a mustang!!!

Making an "11" at Waffle House for our 11 month mark!

January 18th=11 months for both of us!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Calling 911 and more....

Hey y'all,

This week was really good. :) Tuesday we attended MLC in Birmingham, and that night once we got back in Huntsville we didn't have any solid plans so we said a prayer and asked for guidance. Immediately after the prayer a less-active's name came to my mind. Turns out that's exactly who we needed to focus on that night. I love the Spirit!

We are continuing to meet with our investigator Lynn! He is doing really well to quit smoking! It's been such a privilege to see how the Gospel and Atonement are working in his life. 

Wednesday night we had an adventure! We were driving home, and Sister Castagno was merging onto the highway. A car zoomed by and almost ran us off the road because it didn't yield as we were merging. Sis C jumped on the brakes and we were fine and brushed it off. We continued driving and off in the distance of the intersection we'll turn left in to go home, we see two cars. I said, "Why are their lights off?" Then we saw smoke. We pull up in the left-hand turning lane, and see there was a wreck!!! It had JUST happened! We jumped out of our car and heard a lady from one of the cars screaming and crying! I immediately dialed 911 and was on the phone with the operator answering questions. In the meantime, in the other car, a guy got out and his face was all bloody and he was in shock, and said, "What just happened?" Sister Castagno was trying to comfort them and soon a few other people that saw the accident came over to help. After the 911 operator told me ambulances were on the way, I went over to the mom who had been screaming and held her 2-3 yr old son who was also upset at everything. We were in the middle of all this craziness, in the middle of an intersection, as cars zoomed by on both sides of us. Within a few minutes the ambulances and firetruck showed up and took over. Cops soon arrived. We stayed because they asked us to give our witness and report on what happened, and we also couldn't leave because the ambulance and other cars were blocking us getting out. Turns out the dude that had been bleeding from his nose, and the girl driving with him, had been drinking and were the ones who caused the accident. They had been going 50-60 MPH and hit the car of the mom and little boy, who were fully stopped and waiting to turn left out of the intersection. No one was killed, and I believe there was only minor injuries. But it shook us up a little bit. We're pretty sure that same car with the drunk drivers who had almost ran us off the road was the same car that caused the accident. If we had left 20 seconds earlier, that could have been us. It really made us appreciate the Plan of Salvation, deepened our testimony of the Word of Wisdom, and we were reminded that God is looking out for his missionaries!

On Thursday life resumed as normal and we had our Zone Training! It went really well. :) My favorite part of Zone Training was one of the Elder's testimonies of the Book of Mormon! It is such an amazing book!!! You have to read it with an open heart and sincerity to be able to get a witness from the Holy Ghost. If you are an investigator, you need a testimony of the Book of Mormon because our entire religion hangs on the balance of this book. If you are an in-active or less-active member, you need to read the Book of Mormon because it will invite the spirit into your life again and help you rediscover the beauty of the Gospel. If you are an active member, read the Book of Mormon EVERY day! I can testify that if you do, you will have a deeper understanding of Gospel truths, a better relationship with your Heavenly Father, and an increased ability to feel the Spirit. Sister Castagno and I have been focusing on reading the Book of Mormon FIRST, every day!

We are so blessed to have this Gospel! Don't let it go in vain. 2 Nephi 9:27

Love y'all!
Sister Griffith

The SUPER nice people we met at Subway!

First ones on the scene of a car crash

Having a lesson with Daphne and her family!

Sister Castagno and I after contacting :)

Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy New Year!


2016 has come and I'm partially in denial but mostly excited about what it has in store! We still have just over 7 months left and I know there's many amazing miracles waiting to happen. :)

This past week I have had increased love towards the people we are teaching. Being on a mission has allowed me the privilege to talk with people that I probably would never have the chance to meet otherwise. I am able to teach, testify, get to know, serve, and love, and it's such a blessing. I've also felt the joy lately of helping strengthen and reactivate members. Our main goal is to help people come unto Christ and we do that by helping them make commitments. It's so rewarding to see the fruits of our labors, and to see how the Gospel is blessing their life once more! This week missionary work brought me joy.

We've also been dealing with cold, humid weather and lots of tracting this past week!! One day in particular, we were tracting in the projects and it was so cold! But we were able to teach a couple lessons, and as we were walking down the street a truck pulled up with some (heavy!) bedroom furniture and we helped lift them out of the truck and carry it inside. The people were really grateful that we were there to help, because originally they only had the two of them and they definitely needed some more hands. They said, "God knew we needed some help."

Tonight we will be traveling to Birmingham to stay overnight with some sisters and the following morning we'll go to MLC. It will be Sister Castagno's first MLC and Zone Training as an STL, so that's exciting. :) We haven't had MLC in a while because of the holidays, so it will be good to have this one and to receive some fresh training again.

Sister Castagno and I are continuing to do well. :) At the moment we are teaching a guy named Lynn who has a baptismal date! So we are excited about that.

Praying for everyone's success as the new year has begun. Remember that true success comes through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Sister Griffith

Our awesome investigator, Lynn.  Don't worry, he wasn't mad about getting his picture taken, he just wasn't ready for it! :)

Hermana Mitchell and I out on exchanges with our new friend, Rob.

In some forest-y areas of Huntsville you'll find deer!


The Eskridge's and I :)