Tuesday, May 31, 2016

100 Days Left and Picture Overload!

Hey y'all,

Happy Memorial Day yesterday! Our P day was switched to Tuesday this week so we could be out and about talking to people who most likely were off work for the holiday. We made a quick run to Walmart to make a little gift for JC, who served several years in the military. We also spent our lunch break at the park and had a dandy time on the swings there. It was good day! :)

This past Saturday the Russellville Elders investigator, Trish, got baptized! It was a sweet, simple baptismal service and we are happy to have her in our church family. Before the baptism, they took pictures together and we had several people who wanted those pictures on their camera, therefore, what I like to call the "paparazzi staircase" developed (pictured below)!

Florence, Alabama, is a culturally diverse place. Partly due to the university and the size of the city, it has a lot of interesting things to look at. We came across one of those things Saturday, when we found graffiti of the famous world war two-kiss picture. Of course we had to take our picture by it ;)

Summer has officially set in! It is hot and humid, no question about it. We especially felt that today when we played ultimate frisbee as a zone....it was super fun to play, but boy that weather is a killer!

Hoping everyone's holiday weekend went well. Please pray for the missionary efforts to be fruitful!

Steadfast in my Savior,
Sister Griffith


Now Mississippi!

JC with Sister Bradford and me last week. (sorry for bad lighting)

Our sweet Lucille!

Missionary Paparazzi staircase at the baptism!

Some pretty cool graffiti art!

Just hanging out at the park on our lunch break!

Sister missionaries do know how to have fun! :)

A little gift for JC on Memorial Day :)
 What a beautiful Hibiscus flower!
 Sister Stark is a wonderful gardener, and I was appreciating the fruits of her work.  

Sister Bradford and I on Sunday, after YSA FHE.  :)

Today, with Katelyn, after playing ultimate Frisbee with our zone!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Fish Fry Success and A Cool Quilt From 1989!

Hey y'all,

Zone Conference went great this past Tuesday! It was President and Sister Hanks' last Zone Conference which made it bitter sweet because they are going to be dearly missed by the ABM. They have influenced all of us for the better and left such a good culture in the mission! One of the things I got out of Zone Conference is that there is real truth in the world---solidified, God-given, established truth. Which means that the principle that one person's "truth" can be different from another person's "truth" is false. The only variance is our own perspective because truth does not change or cannot be altered by popular opinion. I've met several people who say that the Book of Mormon is how God speaks to me and is truth for me, but not for them. In their eyes, truth is molded to the person's perspective. But we believe in real, absolute truth. God does not vary. And while it's true that He speaks to us individually, according to our circumstance, His laws, words, and commandments to do not change... for He is the same "yesterday, today, and forever." (1 Nephi 10:18)

We enjoyed the Fish Fry this past Saturday! It was a great turn out. Sister Bradford tried catfish for the first time and still holds the notion that she doesn't like fish. I enjoyed eating some good ole fried catfish though, along with cole slaw, potato salad, and of course dessert.

One neat thing that happened this week was when I was able to visit with Sister R, a lady who my uncle baptized many years ago as a missionary in Russellville. She had pictures of his time here as a missionary and a quilt that was made by several members of the branch at the time, of which he also contributed by drawing on and signing his name. It was super fun to see and to hear some of her stories about how he and his companion found their family and taught them. She expressed her gratitude of him bringing the Gospel to their family because she says she has been richly blessed ever since. That of course touched me and I'm grateful for my uncle's example, and the fact that I get to serve in the same area. God is very aware of where I need to be. And he's very aware of YOU!

I hope that everyone is enjoying their week. 

Sending love from AL!
Sister Griffith


Sister R and I holding up a quilt that my uncle contributed to as a missionary many years ago :)

See where it says "Elder Griffith"?  That's my uncle!  :)

Sister Todd and I at the fish fry :)

The fish fry coming to a close

Beautiful sunset off of Highway 43

Monday, May 16, 2016

Lions, Companions Moving and Fish Frys...Oh My!

Wow, some more crazy changes! A sister in the mission went home this past Saturday and Sister Hintze was transferred abruptly to fill her place. We were sad to have her go, but Sister Bradford and I are chugging along and working in both Florence and Russellville. We've got several people we are working with and we working hard to find more to bring the Gospel to. :) JC got the Aaronic priesthood yesterday and it was so sweet to see him take his next step in the Gospel. Such a blessing to see the Gospel changing people's lives for the better and molding them into who God wants them to become. And it's such a blessing for me to be on a mission and continuing to be molded myself. I've learned so much from my mission and will be forever grateful.

One day this past week, as we were on the campus of UNA, we stopped by the lion habitat like usual to pay a visit to Leo III and Una. They usually fulfill their feline roles quite well by basically doing nothing all day...but that day we saw them get up and walk around! It was time for their dinner and they were being ushered inside, so were they motivated by food? Yes. But we'll take what we can get!

On Saturday Sister Bradford and I, as well as the Elders, helped a member of the Florence ward who wanted to fix up their garage in preparation to sell their house. We dusted, wiped, and painted several garage shelves. We love shaking up our schedule to do service!

The big events we have coming up this week is Zone Conference tomorrow, and the Russellville Ward Fish Fry on Saturday! I've never been to a Fish Fry before so I'm looking forward to it! They'll have fried catfish...yum!

Lately I have been gaining a testimony of the Sacrament (communion). Life isn't easy and I'm finding myself more and more craving that time on Sunday when I can commune with my Father in Heaven and participate in that holy ordinance. My prayer is that we may all prepare for and appreciate this spiritually-strengthening blessing God has given us. After all, that is the main reason why we assemble every Sunday.

Have a blessed day!
Sister Griffith

We caught Leo III & Una actually doing something other than sitting around like usual!

Una, the Lioness at UNA!

Sister Bradford cleaning and painting for a service project!

Service project for a member... cleaning off and painting garage shelves :)

Selfie!  :)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Goodbye to Sister Fairclough, Hello to Sisters Hintze & Bradford!

Hey everybody,

This past week has been completely full of changes. Our transfer news two Saturday's ago was that Sister Fairclough and I would be staying together another transfer in Russellville, but it turns out that Sister Fairclough had a lot going on with some family issues at home and felt the need, after fasting and prayer, to return home. So when transfers came this past Wednesday, she returned home and I was assigned to a trio in Florence again. This time, though, it will be for the whole transfer! We will be working part time in Russellville too, which I was very happy about---I was not ready to leave the area yet!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there! I was informed by a ward member that the South has a Mother's Day tradition...you give a white flower/corsage to a woman whose own mother has passed away, and a red flower/corsage to someone whose mother is still living. At one of our last lessons with Lucille, she quietly said, "Bring me a flower Sunday!" I had no idea that there was any significance behind that! Sister Stark helped me, a poor missionary who couldn't afford a florist arrangement/corsage, by picking some pretty flowers in her garden and putting them in a vase. All the credit goes to Sister Stark! I was very thankful and had fun giving them to Lucille for Mother's Day. Along with sending something to my own mother as well. :)

My new companions are Sister Hintze and Sister Bradford! We are looking forward to working together in Florence/Russellville and coming to be unified. Sister Hintze is a new missionary and still in training as well, so that adds to our adventure. :)

Hope everyone has a blessed day! Go hug a family member or friend--we need more love in the world!

Sister Griffith

Selfie with my Fairclough!

I still know how to use chop sticks!  (thank you, China!)

Getting some Chinese food last Monday!

Fun bowling activity with the Elders and Sisters in our area! :)
Hello to Sister Hintze, one of my new companions!

I'll be with both Sister Bradford (L) and Sister Hintze for the rest of this transfer!

   The Mother's Day flowers for Lucille :)

Monday, May 2, 2016

Meeting a Sweet Pentecostal Lady.... (and more)

Hello everyone!

Interesting things that happened this week:

On exchanges with Sister Belnap, we got catcalled from the street.

On Saturday Sister Fairclough and I were tracting and we met a woman named Ruth. She is an 80 year old lady who professed to be Holy Pentecostal (hard core worship, speaking in tongues, etc.) but didn't dress how "holiness people" usually do (skirts, long hair). Anyway, she came out of her house as we were talking with her brother and said, "Please lay your hands on me and heal me." We explained we believe that it's a man's role to exercise God's authority, including giving blessings by laying on of hands. So we compromised by praying with her. After the prayer, she said, "Guess what? I wrote a song. Want to hear it?!" We said, "Sure!" So then little toothless Ruth started to sing a song she wrote, a song about telling Satan to get behind her and that he won't stop her from reaching Heaven. It had a very southern-gospel sound. I just stood there smiling, loving the little things like this that I experience here. There are some things you can ONLY experience in the South! After her song, she shared several experiences where she's "healed people" and after listening we explained that we had to go, but she kept on talking. Eventually we just told her good bye and as we were walking down her sidewalk she started yelling hell-fire and brimstone, like she was preaching at us. If you stepped in that moment you'd think she was very angry as she was yelling and pointing fingers and very dramatic. But I think she was just giving us some parting words from deep within her Pentecostal heart. Bless her.

Today we are going bowling as a district! Should be fun. I bought some $10 jeans from Walmart so I wouldn't have to wear my jogger-pajama pants like I did last time. haha 


Sister Griffith

Small cookout with Brother Tom and friends!

Rainy day selfie!

Empty mailboxes make sad missionaries.... ;)

Beautiful skies this past week

Study desk

I picked some weed flowers and made a pretty bouquet. It's the small things. :)