Monday, July 25, 2016

Christmas in July, FINAL Transfer News & Eat More Chikin!

Hey y'all,

Sister Oscarson and I have been plowing through this week! Lots of tracting, lots of doorstep/porch lessons, lots of less active visits. What a blessing to work by her side!

Last night we went through a package Sister Oscarson got from her family. It was a Christmas-in-July package! Nothing like listening to Christmas Mo-Tab, putting up lights, and having an inside snow-ball fight all in the middle of July... haha

We got transfer news Saturday! Sister Oscarson will be staying in Russellville and getting a new companion, and I will be transferring to Talladega, AL with Sister Cullimore! Though I am sad to leave Russellville, I am very excited for what Talladega has in store. Even more exciting is that Sister Cullimore and I will be whitewashed in (both of us are completely new to the area)! Sister Bradford was called to be an STL in Leeds (so she'll be our STL)...and she served in Talladega for 6 months of her mission and I'm sure will give us some tips!

One thing I have been pondering lately is testimonies. We have times where our testimonies are tried, tested, and challenged. A lot like Lehi's dream in 1 Nephi 8, we go through mists of darkness. That is just a part of life. We also might have people who laugh and scoff at our testimonies, our beliefs. The world will always reject the truth. But as it says in verse 30, we must PRESS FORWARD! Trust in the spirit you have felt. Do everything you can to nourish the seed (Alma 32:41-43). You may fall down at the end because of sheer spiritual exhaustion, but we CAN make it. My challenge is for you to ponder your testimony, and look for ways to press forward!

I hope everyone has a beautiful week, and remember: Eat More Chikin.  :)

Sister Griffith

Sister Oscarson got a Christmas-in-July package from her family and we decided to take a Christmas mugshot! 

Fun with Christmas in July!  

Ho ho ho!  Merry Christmas, in July?

Eat more chikin!

Tracting in Sheffield

I wear Sister Oscarson out sometimes;) Found her like this when we came in for lunch the other day.

The YSA (mostly missionaries, haha!), along with the YSA leaders.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Giant dogs, Sister Exchanges and a Birthday Party!

Hey everybody!

This week flew by! Sister Oscarson and I have done lots of tracting and have met lots of interesting people. Two people we met Saturday was a hardcore Baptist and then a Church of Christ pastor. Woohoo! Though we see things differently, we just had to find commonalities, testify, and love them despite differences. What a blessing it is, admidst them telling us that we are wrong, to still try and look at them through Christ's eyes. We are all brothers and sisters, we are all children of God. We are all deserving of love and respect. That is one thing I am very grateful to have learned (and am continuing to learn) love.

An exciting thing this week was when we were visiting with a member and her giant horse---I mean, doberman---Sirus, made friends with us, and specifically was very fond of Sister Oscarson. :)

We had exchanges with the STL's this week and that went well. It's always refreshing for a day to be on exchanges. I stayed in the Shoals with Sister Pierson, and Sister Oscarson and Sister Beus went to Tupelo.

Another exciting thing this week was that Lucille and JC have officially completed the new member lessons! I am so proud of them for their level of conversion and their commitment to the Gospel. Such a blessing to know them!

It was Sister Stark's birthday this past Monday! Despite it being her birthday, we asked her to go on a "team up with us to meet us and our investigator at Dairy Queen at 6pm". She thought the situation was a little fishy but didn't say anything. She walked into DQ and found us and her close friends, Nancy & Gary, waiting with party hats at a table. :) We got some dinner and ice cream and it was fun! She deserves all the love in the world!

Romans 12:24
Sister Griffith

Swingin' like good southerners' do.

We met a doberman for the first time this week! He found a comfy spot on Sister Oscarson's lap.

We celebrated Sister Stark's birthday at DQ. It was a surprise! She thinks we're pretty great. :)

Monday, July 11, 2016

"Y'all are gangster....gangster for Jesus".....Meeting Elvis, Southern Rain and more!

Hey y'all,

Wow, so many highlights this week, I don't know where to start! On Wednesday we went to Tupelo for interviews with President Sainsbury and that went well! He is a great guy and I'm glad that we have him as our mission president. :)

That night, we met with our investigators, Marchelle & Kim. As we were there they described what a light they felt when we taught them, and how much it's helping them, and how thankful they are. Marchelle started crying. It was definitely a sweet experience. Then Kim turned to us and said, "Y'all are gangster....gangster for Jesus!" We couldn't contain ourselves. That is probably the highest compliment I have ever received on my mission! Haha The following day we met with them in the afternoon and their A/C doesn't was 95 degrees in that house. Needless to say, I had to wipe my sweat mustache a few times.

Another funny experience was when we met a guy named Christopher while out tracting on Saturday. He is a hispanic guy and had met sister missionaries before. He was TOTALLY flirting up a storm with us, and so after testifying of God's love I got us out of there! Before we left, I asked if he would be interested in the "boy missionaries" (Elders) meeting with him to teach him more, and he said, "Why can't yall come back?" Oh Christopher...

Saturday evening was an adventure as we were driving on the 43 back to Muscle Shoals from correlation. We could see dark skies and expected rain to come any moment, and soon enough we hit it. Absolute downpour. My windshield wipers were on as much as possible, I slowed down to about 40MPH, and I still could barely see the road. Luckily I had experience driving in southern-style downpours, but this time it was at night and therefore pitch-dark out in the country, and it was the worst rain I've ever driven in! You just have to slow down, stay calm in those situations, and have a little prayer in your heart!

Sunday afternoon we were out tracting and we could see another storm coming on. As we were talking with a lady on her porch, it started downpouring (and y'all ain't seen a downpour til you come to the South). We went from talking normally to yelling to be able to hear each other over the loud rain. Haha Imagine how I felt loudly testifying of the Book of Mormon with rain pouring all around us!

Oh, also, my highlight at church this week was that Lucille spoke in Sacrament! They had given her a specific topic but she decided that she needed to share her testimony instead and it was music to my ears to listen to her up there at the podium. What blessing to know sweet Lucille!

Hope everyone is doing well this summer. May you find joy in the Gospel!

Steadfast in Christ,
Sister Griffith

Oh, Elvis!  This was in Tupelo!

The King loves sister missionaries!  Sisters Oscarson, Whitlock, Griffith & Bradford!

Gorgeous southern scenery!

Breathtaking views!

What to do when you want to bring a twin mattress for a sleepover?  Put it in your trunk!

Sister Oscarson with some beautiful Southern trees!

Love these pretty flowering trees!

A member bought us coconuts! We cracked them ourselves and stuck a straw in :) It wasn't as sweet as I thought it would be... 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A Fun But Wet July 4th and more!

Happy Fourth of July, y'all!

I hope that everyone's holiday weekend well! We were blessed yesterday to have Sister Hart feed us hot dogs for lunch (Sister Stark joined us) and the Todd family fed us hamburgers for dinner! Sister Oscarson and I tracted and had lessons before and after those meal appointments. After dinner with the Todd's, we headed to the bluffs (or cliffs) next to the O'Neil bridge, which links Florence and Sheffield together. We were told that everyone congregates there, and on the other side of the river at McFarland park, for the firework show. It was a blessing for many people in such a small vicinity to talk to! So off we went, talking to people as we waited for the firework show to start and then we noticed that some dark clouds had rolled in. Out of nowhere (and like usual in the South) it started pouring and I swear it looked like an end of the world movie with everyone screaming and running and complete chaos! But pretty quickly everyone found cover under the trees or they used their camping chairs if they didn't have an umbrella. For a few minutes we didn't know if they would do the fireworks because of the rain....but after a few minutes the rain cleared and they started! I can't describe how beautiful it was to watch fireworks being shot from a barge on the river, with us way up on a cliff, with the city of Florence glowing in the background; all the while everyone is a little soaked from the previous downpour just a few minutes earlier. What a great memory!

Sister Oscarson and I had a miraculous link of events this week. We went tracting one morning and met a lady named Jasmine. She explained that her sister, Sherwanda, is Mormon and that she herself has been taught by missionaries before. We asked where Sherwanda lives and it turns out she just moved into our area and hasn't been coming to church. So we got her information and went to see her. It was an awesome visit and we're looking forward to having her come to church (she didn't know where our building was in Russellville and has been having a rough patch in life right now, so the timing couldn't have been better). Our return appointment to visit Sherwanda turned out be a visit with Jasmine and their mom and siblings (who are also less actives members, in Hamilton, AL). We had a great lesson with them, shared a scripture, and watched the 20-minute Restoration. We gave their information to the Hamilton Elders so they can follow up. It's amazing how much can come out of one door while tracting! So happy to be guided by the spirit and to see how things come together.

This past Wednesday we had the Meet the Mission President meeting in Tupelo! I was asked to play piano for the meeting. It went really well and it was nice to be able to meet President and Sister Sainsbury. We were very impressed by the fact that one of the first things President Sainsbury did was pass out cards for us to write a note to the Hanks', which they would then mail to them in a big package. He definitely honored our love and respect for the Hanks' and I think understands that it is a big transition for the mission. But we are excited for the Sainbury's to be here! They are extraordinary people and I know they were called to this mission for a reason.

May everyone feel the love of our Savior this week,
Sister Griffith

Out tracting!

The bridge along the Natchez Trace.

Just hanging out on giant tree stumps in Tuscumbia, AL :)

Look at this old gas pump! I felt so cool!
On our way back from Tupelo, MS we stopped for a bathroom break and took some snapshots next to the beautiful forest!

This is along the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Sister Stark and us having a good ole time!

Oh how we love Sister Stark!

Sister Oscarson and I celebrating Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day from the sister missionaries!

"Pros and watch" We talked to people before the fireworks started and then enjoyed them ourselves (and tried to keep dry) :)