Monday, April 25, 2016

JC & Jacob's Baptisms, Southern BBQ & more!

Hey y'all,

The highlight of this week was JC's baptism! Everything went great and we had a birthday bash afterwards since it was his birthday that day! We had decorated the gym and asked people to bring some treats, and after his baptism every hustled into the gym and we held JC back for a few moments by taking pictures. Eventually we led him into the gym and he was greeted with a warm happy birthday and clapping. :) JC turned 69 the day he was "born again" and he had his confirmation on Sunday.

We've done lots of walking lately because we are low on our allotted monthly miles and we have designated some days as "car fast" days. But, you definitely see miracles from walking because 1. You have an opportunity to talk with more people as you walk by 2. You work off the "Southern squish" haha!  :)

Saturday morning we had the privilege of attending 12 year old Jacob's baptism, who the Elders have been working with. (no pictures included here with that baptism) I played the piano for the service. He is super cute and was so excited for his baptism and to become a member! Afterwards, Sister Fairclough and I grabbed some quick lunch at our favorite BBQ joint in Russellville, "Pilgrim's Place". My plate included pulled pork with BBQ sauce, fried okra, black eyed peas, macaroni salad, and a roll. Classic southern food (and if you eat too much you get the "southern squish"....)

On Sunday we enjoyed JC and Jacob's confirmations, and I happened to be assigned to speak in Sacrament Meeting. Another Elder spoke, and his companion played the violin as a musical number, so it definitely was a missionary-tuned service, haha. After church, some member's graciously had us over for lunch (as they did last week) with the Elders and Sister Stark. They live out in the country of Russellville and fed us a dish of hot dogs & kraut, potatoes, beans, and cornbread. It was super yummy! Later that evening another family had us over for dinner and fed us their best impression of Cafe Rio! SUPER grateful for that!! It transported me to Utah just for a moment.

Hope that everyone's week is beautiful and please pray for us as we are expecting some storms later this week. 

Love y'all!

Sister Griffith

Forgot to include this in the last email...I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!

Selfie at the font!

Before JC's baptism!

After JC's baptism!

Surprise birthday bash for JC following his baptism!

We LOVE the spring flowers that bloom in the South!

Pretty blooms behind Sister Fairclough!

"Pilgrim's BBQ", our favorite BBQ place in Russellville

Florence bridge over the Tennessee River

Monday, April 18, 2016

Helen Keller Hospital Visits & Hiking Zone Activity

Today we went hiking as a zone activity! This was our third time out at Cane Creek Canyon, except this time we went farther up the trail than we had gone before! It hardly takes any time to get anywhere considering that most of the terrain is flat, so I'm always surprised at how fast we arrive at the different checkpoints. It's a fun place to go!

One new thing we did this week in the Shoals was do visits at the hospital. I've done it before in Huntsville but didn't get around to it here until this past Friday. We needed to do something to switch up our schedule because tracting and contacting all day can get old fast. When you go to a hospital you're supposed to talk with the chaplain to get permission since we are associated with a religious organization (although we do no proselyting.) This hospital, the Helen Keller Hospital, didn't have a chaplain so we talked with the hospital administration services and they allowed us to go. It's fulfilling to be able to visit those people although it's sometimes hard to see them in a sickly state.

We've been on the move quite a bit this past week. We spent time in Russellville, Spruce Pine, and all around the Shoals. The members have been feeding us quite a bit and it's really nice! I've been enjoy the simple, summer dinners they feed us.

This past Sunday we taught the Young Women and the lesson was on the Restoration. Sometimes it's hard to get a response from teenagers but we made it through. :) This Sunday I'll be speaking in Sacrament.

Hope that everyone is doing well and looking forward to summer break! I'll be here, sharing the Gospel. :)

Sister Griffith

 Weekly planning

You know you're in the country when...

Sister Power!

On a hike today!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Alabama State Line!

Howdy y'all!

There were three highlights from this past week:  the first thing is that we had interviews with our mission president on Thursday!  We drove to Tupelo, MS, to the Stake Cente, with the Florence sisters.  I love being able to have a personal conversation with President Hanks, and visiting with Sister Hanks is always fun!  Interviews are great!

The second highlight is that Stake  Conference was Sunday, so back up to Tupelo we went.  This time, gratefully, a member drove us.  We enjoyed the conference, where the stake president, President & Sister Hanks, Elder Zwick (of the Seventy), and others spoke.  Afterwards, we tried to go to a park to eat our lunch that we packed, but it was so windy! So we ate in the car then headed back to the Shoals.  It's about a two hours drive and most of it is through Federal Land known as the "Natchez Trace."  It's beautiful!

The third highlight of this week is that we met several amazing people who have been prepared to received the Gospel!  They are searching for truth, and understand that other faiths are "missing something."  We hope to help them discover the fullness this Gospel offers!

Oh, I forgot to mention I tried Cajun food for the first time this week!  We ate at a cute restaurant called "New Orleans Transfer."  It's my hope you find something new to try or see this week.  God gave us an amazing world!

Sister Griffith     

Switching back after an exchange with the STL's :)

Had an exchange with Sister Belnap!

Alabama state line! Stopped while driving to Tupelo, MS

Sister Fairclough and I at the Alabama state line!


Monday, April 4, 2016

Tornadoes and Tracting! Plus Conference!


This past week has been busy! Here's what our schedule looked like:

Tuesday: District Meeting, appointments all day.

Wednesday: Team ups and appointments all day.

Thursday: Zone Training in Russellville. After training, Sister Fairclough and I were out tracting in the country. We got a call from our Mission President, President Hanks. He had been in Florence tracting with the missionaries, and wanted to take us out for dinner. He told us to meet him at the church building in Russellville. We arrived, and found the Elders pulling in at the same time. They were coming as well. President shows up and explains that he's on the lookout for weather alerts, and not a few minutes later one of the Elders (the Zone Leader) got a call from the Florence missionaries explaining that tornado sirens just went off in Florence (Florence is about 30 mins from Russellville.) Since the bad weather hadn't hit our area yet, we drove off to a little hole-in-the-wall BBQ joint for some dinner. But not 10-15 minutes in, we kept getting weather alerts on our phone and the workers at the restaurant explained that the storm was now in Red Bay, a small town not too far. President Hanks apologized to cut dinner short, but he wanted all the missionaries safe. He was making all sorts of calls to missionaries all around the state to get inside and be prepared for bad weather, and then he told us---the sisters---to hop in the car with the Elders....and stay at their apartment until the storm passed (since we live 20 mins from Russellville.) By this time it was around 7:30pm. We were thinking, "Do what?!!" But, since the impending storm loomed over us, we followed orders and did just that. For Sister Fairclough, as a new missionary, you can imagine this wasn't that big of a deal...but for me, who has been out for a good minute, it went against everything I had previously followed! But, we survived the night, finally got home around 11pm, and was glad to be warm and safe.

Friday: Drove to Birmingham with the Florence sisters to a meeting. It was great! That took most of our day.

Saturday: Conference! We watched each session at different member's home. Loved it! Then we went to visit a member who had recently been released from the hospital because she had bronchitis ....she happens to have a last name that is close to mine, and when the Relief Society posted about it on Facebook that she was in need of meals or visits, a few ward members confused her with me and were very concerned for my health, haha. Nope, I'm fine!

Sunday: Conference! This time we watched it at the church, and sweet Sister Stark fed us in between sessions. She's always looking out for the missionaries!

Today: Most of today was spent making personalized monogrammed t-shirts with a member! The South is WAY into anything being monogrammed... a door wreath, bags, t shirts, car name it, they've monogrammed it. So now I feel even more Southern with my monogrammed t shirts! I have one that has "ABM" with a state outline on the back, and one with "MGL" (your last name is always in the middle) and a scripture on the back. :)

Hope everyone enjoyed conference and realizes the blessing of having a modern day prophet and twelve apostles---inspired men who receive continuing revelation. Most people out here can't even conceive that idea. We're blessed!

Steadfast in Christ,
Sister Griffith

Taking a selfie at a pretty viewpoint :)

Out tracting in the beautiful country

Out tracting in the beautiful country

More tracting with Sister Fairclough!

And more tracting LOL!