Monday, July 25, 2016

This last week was a little more chill haha...July 25, 2016

Hey everyone! so my first week as a district leader wasnt too insane, a little stressful honestly just because of all the new things i have to do but its not too bad. Honestly im probably just overstressing myself out about things i dont need to but yeah its all good! anyways i first met my district on tuesday at the bus center in zihua. They are Elder Menchu and Elder Potter. Elder Menchu is from guatamela and hes really cool, and he has about 16 months in the mission. hes just barely leaving the offices(he was a secretary for 6 months) but he is ready to work hard! and Elder Potter is a little interesting haha, but i really like him alot hes funny. Hes from a place close by boise idaho and he has about 15 months in his mission. and so on tuesday we helped them go to their area(pantla) and find their house and we helped them get settled in and since i had been there a few times before i knew where they were gonna eat that day, so after we helped them unpack a bit we walked with them to the food and helped them meet the members and left them in their hands basically! and then on wednesday i gave my first district meeting which went ok i guess. i had each person talk about a christlike attribute and then i talked a little about how those things are what we need to be effective representatives of christ and i ended up having about 15 minutes to spare after i had ended everything i had to say. but it was good though and i think it went ok, at least for my first district meeting! also a cool story from this week is when we visited the branch president he was really sick and wasnt feeling well, so he asked us to give him a blessing and i was the one who sealed the blessing on him! so that was pretty cool as well. and i think the last cool story is that on friday it was my companions birthday, so i threw him a suprised birthday party haha. when we had the family home evening for the branch i asked the branch presidents wife to go buy a cake and gave her a little money and also i had brought alot of decorations that we had in the house(i dont know why but there was alot of birthday decorations at the house, i assume that someone turned 19 who was there before and just didnt use them but i did haha) and she set all of those up in a room and while me and my companion were changing clothes(since we change into sports clothes to play games after) she told everyone to get ready and when i opened up the door and walked into the room he followed me and when he entered they turned on the light and yelled, suprise! so yeah he was pretty happy about that. also an update on the baptism, we didnt baptize our investigador on saturday because the zone leaders told us to wait and see if she comes to church again and to give us more time to prepare her, and she came to church yesterday and weve been preparing her and will continue to prepare her this week so if all goes well we should be having a baptism this week! itll also be cool because ill get to meet my grandfather!(when someone trains someone trainer=dad trainee=son, so grandfather= my trainers trainer and grandson= the trainee of his trainee) if you have questions about that email me and i will explain it better haha, but yeah since im a district leader now the zone leaders have to interview our baptismal candidates and so theyll come here this week and thatll be cool as well! well i hope everyone is doing good and i love you all so much and thank you so much for all of your love and prayers and support because i can definetely feel it! Have a great week! Love Elder Griffin

 The inside of Yaka, peeled and seeded.
 Elder Griffin, Elder Menchu and Elder Potter, Elder Aldana.
 Elder Herrmann and Elder Griffin, District Leaders
 Surprise Feliz Cumpleanos Elder Aldana..

 Coconut Trees as far as your eyes can see...
 My new hair cut today!  Love Elder Griffin

Monday, July 18, 2016

I'M A DISTRICT LEADER!!!! and this week was insane...

Hey everyone! so yeah I'm a district leader now, that's pretty cool. I'm still in San Jeronimito though with Elder Aldana, but more to come on that. first off let me just start off by saying that this week was full of ups and downs and twists and turns and spiritual experiences and crazy things happening that this email this week just might be a little long so get comfortable and enjoy my crazy life haha. Monday night was pretty cool because my companion wasn't feeling too well so he asked me to give him a blessing and he said that he felt really good after and the next day he was absolutely fine so that was really cool. Tuesday we had our zone meeting and that was pretty fun. we had an activity where everyone was blindfolded and we all had to eat different things and i ended up eating some kind of crappy rotten cheese spread that seriously made me want to throw up, I'm honestly surprised i didn't. also Tuesday night i was feeling really good because i just had another "spiritual high" and the zone meeting and when we went to visit a family i asked the mom how she was doing and she said good like always, but i could tell something was off. come to find out she wasn't feeling too good and she had actually been really sick for a few days, so we asked her if she wanted a blessing and she said yes. she also told us that she felt amazing and so much better after we gave her the blessing and it was so awesome just to see how happy she was after we gave her the blessing. on a side note she finally came to church on Sunday for the first time in my 3 months here and she said she felt amazing there as well so that was really awesome. Wednesday was fun because we gave service to a member here. guess what mom? we pulled weeds for an hour haha. i guess all those years of training served for something haha. Also at this point i should say that for last week we set really high goals(sadly we didn't reach them) but we worked our butts off all day everyday last week and i think that Thursday was the most intense! we went from lesson to lesson and had a lesson every hour and we had good lessons and then we would walk as fast as we could to the next one and by the end of the day my feet killed and i was tired but i know that i gave my all that day. also another cool story is that we finally taught the " gangster family". in case you forgot who that is, there is a family here whos dad recently was killed because he was a gangster(thug, thief, robber, pretty sure murderer, whatever you wanna use), and lo and behold the mom and oldest daughter are members. when we tried visiting them a few weeks back they wanted nothing to do with us. but this week we tried to visit their son who is 12 years old because he has come to the church for a few family home evening and english classes but never to church on Sunday so we wanted to visit him. so when we looked for him at the same house the mom invited us in and she was really friendly and nice and started asking us a bunch of questions about the plan of salvation and the spirit world and so that was cool that we could help her understand those things a little better. we went back as well on Saturday and taught the entire plan of salvation to her whole family and we even brought her daughter who is 8 years and their son who is 12 years old to church with us on Sunday! so yeah that was pretty cool:) now about Friday(get your popcorn ready because this is where it gets interesting). Friday we started off the day by visiting a less active, who then invited us to eat with him so of course we accepted haha. after we shared a quick lesson and started helping him prepare a party for his son. part of this service involved taking rocks out of the ground that were poking up that way no one would trip on them. we took out two little 20 pound rocks out of the ground and then we started working on the third. this thing was literally a rockberg. we spent about 25-30 minutes pulling out a huge flippin rock. the guy we did the service for said it weighed about 160. i think it weighed about 190 though, and i was the one doing most of the lifting. i was drenched in sweat after we finished then we helped him also bring back his food that he had cooking in a different place and we just pushed it back in a wheelbarrow( i did alot this day with wheelbarrows). so by this point its time to go to lunch and then after we do more service to help them set up another party!(this day was also the day of parties haha). we just helped them push a bunch of soda, again in a wheelbarrow, to a friends house so they could take it to the church where they were having the party. after we ended up going to a different house to take a whole bunch of rice to the church as well(guess what? again we pushed it in a wheelbarrow). then we went to the church and started helping set everything up. (ready for the most interesting part of my week?). so as i was helping set things up my companion was playing with the kids, like usual. he was throwing a Frisbee and ended up breaking a paper decoration thing they had. so one of the sisters yelled at me and said look what your companion did! so i called him over to me and had him bring me the ladder to help me out, and after he brought it to me i could just tell he had an attitude and he said "im going to the bathroom" so i followed him in there and asked him what his problem was and he started just doing alot of talking without saying much if you know what i mean. without telling me what the problem is he storms out and finally starts helping set things up just so he wont have to talk to me. so i send a text message to the mission president asking for his help. then a few minutes later me and him carry a ladder behind the church and i try talking to him again, but yet again he starts walking away. so i take his nametag and told him that until we talk were not missionaries. so then he gets real mad and starts throwing a big fit and we start arguing alot. by this point some of the members come back and see us fighting and so they go and tell the branch president who then comes back and starts talking to us and its at this point that the mission president finally calls me. and i tell him whats going on and that my companion doesn't wanna talk and so he said to let him talk to him. so my companion talked to the mission president and i did too and then he finally calmed down enough at the moment. he still didn't tell me whats wrong or what his deal was but we put it behind us just so we could get through the night. the branch president pulled us into his office though after and talked to us for a bit as well. so the night went on and we had just put it behind us and we ended up walking all the way up the biggest hill here more food for the party(yes once again i pushed the wheelbarrow up the hill). we came back and finished helping get set things up and then the party was barely getting started and we had to leave because it was late. so we went home and had daily planning like usual and then we talked about what happened. honestly dont even remember what happened that night but i know that we just talked things out and were all good now. so yeah Friday was a butt long day. Saturday was almost as interesting though. we got the call on Saturday telling us about our transfers, i was happy to find out im gonna be a district leader but also nervous as well haha. so yeah ill be staying here in san jeronimito for at least 6 more weeks, i guess well see how that goes. another funny story about saturday is we were walking in the street and some guy was like, "hey you guys wanted a yaka right?" (yaka is a fruit, theres pictures to come) and we were like yeah are they ready?(because we had asked a few weeks before and he said they werent ready) so he said he had a few and we asked how much they cost and he said he was gonna give it to us for free haha. now these things are pretty expensive, like 200 pesos was about how much ours wouldve costed, but it was awesome we just gave it to us for free and we have no idea why haha. so that was fun. also as we got home Saturday night we dropped our stuff of at the house and left again to buy milk so we could make a yaka smoothie but sitting right outside of our house were 2 girls who started talking to us and asking us a bunch of questions! like who we were and where were from and what were doing here and about our church and all sorts of stuff. we ended up talking to them for 20 minutes and we gave them pamphlets about the restoration and left them our phone number in case they wanted us to visit them. we didnt buy the milk sad to say because the store had closed by that point haha. then for the crazy story on Sunday. anybody remember our investigator baldovina? shes an older, kinda crazier lady, and we haven't seen her for all of this transfer since my last companion left. she had feelings for my last companion and we were thinking when he left so did she. but yesterday out of the blue she came to church! she said she had been having alot of doubts because apparently someone told her we believe heavenly father is satan (you wouldn't believe some of the stuff i've heard down here). we ended up having a lesson with her after church and she told us she still wanted to be baptized and during the lesson she commented that maybe in a month or two would be good and when we asked her at the end when she wanted to be baptized she said "well this Saturday would be good i think" i literally turned and looked right at my companion like, "did you just hear what she said?". so apparently well be having a baptism Saturday, but who knows for sure. my leaders are gonna talk about it and see what they think, because she has the 5 assistentces to church she needs and shes received all of the lessons but we don't wanna baptize her if she wont come to church every Sunday, and she didn't come for 5 weeks straight so who knows. also another side story, since its a really small town and i've been  here 3 months i know everyone. Theres a crazy guy here who is almost always drunk, and while we were teaching the "gangster family" he just came and sat outside the door and was listening and then finally came in and sat right next to us and starting asking questions and making big long crazy comments, long story short(because this is a long story i know) he came to church yesterday. he didn't seem that drunk but he was drinking a coke im pretty sure was spiked. now for the last crazy story of the week, this morning while getting ready i found out we had a little friend in our house. weve been killing alot of lizards in our house and so they finally sent a special soldier. when i saw him his head was just barely sticking out of where my pants were!(look at the pictures). so when i kicked him out of there i thought it was just gonna be a regular lizard, but no this thing was a huge fricking iguana that ran on two feet!!! we still killed it haha. but yeah the amphibian army is stepping up its game here people, send me blow darts and firecrackers please.(jk please dont i dont wanna get in trouble). and at this point that is all of the crazy stories i can think of this week. hope you enjoy hearing about my crazy life, but dont be expecting this much each week because my fingers are tired now and this keyboard im writing on is crappy and really sticky. love you all and hope you have a great week! Love Elder Griffin

(Lizard.. or Iguana?.. or Amphibian army?)
 Kaden says, "Out with the old.. in with the new"  they must have new books...
 Elder Cliffords and Elder Wagners "Special Graves"  They both went home today!

 "The boys are lookin good!"

 "and so is the beach!"

 "My package arrived intact!"
 i bought a sharpening stone because the knives in our house are "not good"!
 "the party we helped set-up"
 "this is a yaka. the inside is orange and they taste like mango hi-chews. dont know why, their good though!" 

 "and me in the new shirts haha"

 "it was the only gun i had sadly"

Monday, July 11, 2016

Divisions weeks with Elder Porras. July 11, 2016

so holy cow this last week was pretty cool! Well first off let me just tell you about divisions which were awesome! this week i went to a town close by called pantla to have divisions with my district leader Elder Porras. hes a pretty cool dude from guatamela. anyways we get to his area and after we got done eating at a members house we went right to a service activity that he had planned! so i was pretty happy since it had been awhile since i had given service. so we basically were building a little hut for an old lady in that ward. since we were with two other older guys who were working on the roof there wasnt really alot for me and my companion to do. but my companion told me that the lady there wanted some branches cut off of her tree, so i got to work haha! i picked up the machete that they had and started hacking away! not gonna lie i was pretty happy to get down and dirty again haha. i was also really happy to get to use a machete. so as you can see in the pictures i was on top of the roof cutting branches she didnt want there. it was pretty dangerous honestly since i had no good footing on the roof and since each time i cut a branch off the big branch moved a little higher so i was stretching more and more and i almost fell a fe times but the lord was watching out for me! after we got the smaller branches cut off we had space to cut the big one off completely! this branch was about the size of my thigh in thickness and i got to hack away at it with a machete! i did it haha. so yeah that was a pretty good day. even though i got way bad blisters that opened up on my hand i was still happy. i was pretty tired that night though and the next day was tough! their area is really close to the beach so usually they get alot more of the wind that comes from the ocean, but they also have more humidity. so when theres wind blowing in your face you feel good! and when theirs not you sweat alot haha. well just my luck it seemed like there was no wind that day. oh well! but yeah divisions with elder porras were fun. also another funny side story is youll see in the pictures the 3 elders that are taking notes. they might also seem like they are paying alot of attention haha, well thats because i was teaching them english pickuplines, and if you know me then you know my pickup lines are GOLD haha!! the rest of the week was pretty normal. friday night i think that the heavens were angry because at about 130 in the morning there was a terrible lightning and thunder storm! it was loud and bright and it was raining hard as well! even though it only lasted a half hour haha. now for the downside of this week. yesterday was honestly a pretty depressing day and i didnt excatly have the best of feelings towards the "mexican people" because of it. yesterday morning it was raining before church, and i have no idea why but i think the people down here believe the rain is acid because when it rains NO ONE leaves their house. we left our house at 845 with our rainjackets and unmbrellas because it was raining hard, but when we got to the church at 9 it was barely drizzling, and by 930 it had stopped completely. our branch president didnt even show up until 940, and our services start at 10. but at 10 o clock there were only 14 people at the church... so he waited until 1020 to start and by that point 18 people were there. the funniest and saddest part about this story is that at 1030 we were just finishing up the sacrement and they were still passing the bread. when its the ordinance of the sacrement we close and lock the door to keep the reverence and that way no one breaks the spirit. so i had gotten up and locked the door and stood by it while they did the sacrememnt. anyways as their passing the bread someone tries to open the door, but like i said its locked. this is where it gets really good, because i hear keys outside the door. The second counselor shows up and just opens up the door and walks up to the front like it was nothing. i honestly had no idea what to do and i was in shock. the people here to say the least are "flojo" or in other words, lazy. i was kinda dissapointed with the fact i had been working my butt off all week long and no one came to church just because of the rain. so yeah thats my rant for the week. sorry everyone. dont worry im doing good now and i repented for the bad feelings i had against the people. so yeah that was my week! questions? comments? concerns? haha feel free to email me. love you all and i hope you all have a wonderful week! and who knows maybe the next time i write itll be from a different place! have a good one! Love Elder Griffin

Monday, July 4, 2016

In the back seat of a members car going for pizza... scary!  I don't see seatbelts?

MANGOS... MANGOS... and more MANGOS!!!

Flipped the page to another new month... JULY 2016!
Elder Griffin, Elder Clifford and Elder Herrmann
The Church in San Jeronimito.
Elder Griffin is playing Chicken in the middle of road... the dog lost...  not a good idea!
Updated from a little sweat rag to a towel...  it's really hot here!
Elder Clifford, Elder Wagner, Elder Herrmann and Elder Griffin
Elder Clifford and Elder Wagner are going home in 2 weeks, in Mission language, they "die!"  Obviously Elder Clifford is playing the part well!