Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Week... December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas to everyone and a happy New Year!! this last week for me was a blessing in its own, but as with most blessings it was only earned through diligence, obedience, and loooooooooots of patience haha. First off we had the wonderful opportunity this week of having a multizone conference and Christmas Dinner with our mission President! This was a wonderful training as the President really pumped up the missionaries to start working harder and that we will see the miracles as we do it! we had lots of really good trainings from him, the assistants, the sister trainer leaders, and yours truly, the zone leaders haha. The only problem is that the conference was scheduled to end at 4, but this mission never follows the time schedule haha, so in reality it was planned to end at 6, but the secretary( a senior elder) told me from the second he got there at 10 AM that he wanted to be on the road at 5pm. That meant the entire day i was stressing out about time and making sure everything went according to plan. at about 445 we had had all of the training part of the conference, and the Christmas dinner, but we still had to do the Christmas program, which involves songs and scriptures and cool things like that. Well before we started that same Elder pulled me off to the side and chewed me out basically because we were gonna end late. so that made me feel a little bad. the Christmas program was amazing though and super spiritual. After the closing prayer no one got up to pack up and leave, so the president had us sing one more hymn, and he told us (with tears in his eyes) if we ever have a problem feeling the spirit in the future, just to remember that day. The spirit could be felt without deniance. Good news; the senior companion apologized after haha, and the assistant told me later that he was gonna chew that elder out for chewing me out haha. Gotta love the Christmas spirit here right? anyways that all went well and we got them on the road at 6 like planned. Afterwards we had a farewell for a youth from the ward that is leaving on his mission today! ( i dont know why we had his farewell that day, kinda weird i know). After that we stayed and cleaned the church a bit and went home. At about 10pm we realized something very crucial, although were big mighty zone leaders with over a year in the mission, were still forgetful haha. Remember when i said i froze the flu medicine we were supposed to give to the zone? well they brought us new medicine that day and we put it in the cuboards to bring it home after the activity, but at that moment at 10 at night we realized it was still  in the church! so in tennis shoes, sunday pants and a tshirt we ran to the church for the medicine. the good thing is that we live about 5 blocks from the church. Lots of fun adventures right? lets not forget that up to this point its still only been one day. The rest of the week was pretty normal, working here and there. one day as we were walking to lunch we saw an older man of about 70 years of age sawing away at a huge trunk of a tree they had pulled out of the ground. since we had time we stopped and helped him. I sawed about as hard as i could for about 45 minutes and i sure was sweating after! an i got the blisters to prove it haha. The interesting thing about that service, was that as we finished we handed the man a pamphlet, he hardly cared, but another lady came up from out of nowhere and asked us for one as well. although we didn't get her information or anything, just a calm feeling came over me that my small act of service was a good example for her, and that she would never forget it. Another really spiritual experience we had was when we visited a member of the ward. He is a less active but not really by choice. This member has diabetes real bad, they've about cut his two feet right off, he only has about 3 toes on both of them, he can hardly walk, and is very very weak. He had slowly been recovering and feeling better and was walking more and coming to church more, but because of his sickness something happened that he just dropped right down back to phase 1 of being sick and helpless. When we visited him we could tell he had lost alot of hope and faith and just the desire to keep fighting. That night we sang 3 hymns for him and gave him a blessing. His wife offered the closing prayer and she had tears pouring out of her eyes at the end of it. again we felt the spirit though in its full strength. Saturday morning we had an awesome activity with the ward! we took hot chocolate and bread to a local hospital to give out to the people there! as we got there it was a sad sight to see, people living in huts made of plastic tarps, shivering from the cold, we also handed out old coats that the people there quickly took hold of. We sang two hymns with everyone there, and we shared a small message about the birth of Jesus Christ. When we started handing the food out you could tell on the face of alot of people that they were very grateful for that small gift. There were a few people that rudely rejected us, pretty sad honestly to see it, but we just kept smiling and those that wanted our helped received it. Finally that same night we had about a near perfect family home evening. We ate dinner with a family and we ate goooooood. Although while we were eating, i ate a REALLY spicy jalapeno, and i like spicy food and eat alot of it, but when i bit that thing i started crying haha. and i had never cried before from spicy food! that was funny and the whole family was laughing. then after dinner we started singing hymns and we watched the video of light the world with them. They also gave us Christmas presents! they gave me and my companion each a pair of socks haha. and we gave them little ctr rings, and they really liked it and it was awesome to see the whole family wearing them! Then yesterday was about perfect since i was able to talk to my family! i love being able to talk to them. Just reminds that what im doing is right, and i know without a doubt this is the best way i could spend these two years right now! I love the mission, i know that Christ lives and im so grateful for that knowledge and this opportunity i have to be here! I hope you all have a wonderful week and a Very Happy New Year!!  A special birthday wish to my little sister Lindsey Rose Griffin!!! love you sis!!! may god be with each and every one of you! Love Elder Griffin

December 26, 2016, p-day, visited the Acuedents.

 Trinkets I bought..
 Christmas program celebration...

 handing out bread and hot chocolate at a nearby hospital...

 Christmas Eve, dinner and socks were given to the missionaries.  Thank you!

 Christmas night, enjoying jerky and talking about families...

Monday, December 19, 2016

What a week!!

Hey everybody!! Well this last week sure was pretty crazy!! OK i need to stop saying that because pretty much every week on the mission is crazy in its own special way. But we had so many fun activities this week and so many things go on and it was just awesome to finally be in my area and be able to work and visit and we really focused this week on finding new investigators as well. For about the last 6 weeks we hadn't found 1 new investigator!! but after the leadership council and seeing how bad we were at finding new investigators we decided to go at it 100%! we had the goal to find 20 new investigators this week, and although we only ended up finding 6, we were truly blessed for our diligent efforts and we were blessed with sweet tender mercies! Monday we were only able to make one visit since we had to go home early due to a national holiday here. Tuesday and Wednesday we were able to work at 100% and it felt so good to just be able to talk to people and teach rather than sit in meeting and be traveling haha. Thursday was a very special day, we weren't able to work at all but it was a very fruitful day. We had our weekly planning that usually ends pretty late, like 1 or 2 in the afternoon, we went and cleaned the church, ate lunch, then back to the church! a school of kids with special needs asked if they could use the church for an activity, and as part of it the stake choir was able to do a short program and all the missionaries from the zone were able to do a skit! our skit was the birth of Jesus Christ, and it  was really stressful since we had no clue if we were actually going to do it or not and when they ended up giving us the green light the missionary that was going to play Mary still hadn't shown up haha. Oh i love being a zone leader!! The play was awesome though, the kids loved it and so did the families. We were able to get a few references from it and there was a very special spirit there. It was kinda funny because they teach the kids to hug everyone and love everyone, so they try and put the example and hug everyone as well, and we had a few issues with ladies almost hugging elders haha, that was really awkward. Friday was my companions birthday, and in case anyone forgot im a master at throwing surprise birthday parties. we had our zone meeting Friday morning and without my companion even knowing we had brought a cake and candles and we  celebrated his birthday, along with another Elder (Elder Fullmer) whos birthday was on Wednesday. the pictures say enough of what ended up with the cake haha. That day we ate cake 3 different times as well since alot of families wanted to celebrate my companions birthday. Saturday was pretty normal and Sunday we were able to sing a special hymn in a  priesthood activity as missionaries. It ended up sounding really really cool and again there was a very special spirit there as we were singing. Everyone says that the missionaries sing with the voices of angels, and i think i sing with  the voice of a dying cow haha. So this week has been a really great week. I did my own Christmas shopping and bought myself some really good looking ties. tomorrow is the Christmas dinner with the president and that will be awesome. And i cant wait for Christmas!!! I wish you all a Merry Christmas and i hope you all enjoy this wonderful Christmas spirit! May God watch over  you and i wish you all the best! Thanks for all of your love and support! Have a Great week!!
 Love Elder Griffin

 Elder Bocanegra and Elder Fullmer's Birthday celebrations...
 Zone Meeting...

 They don't have beef jerky in Mexico???  What???  Elder Griffin sharing!  :)  

 New ties for Christmas!

Monday, December 12, 2016

The week we didnt work.

Hey everyone! so yeah as bad as the heading sounds its the truth. We hardly worked at all this week, but let me explain why! Monday was normal but Tuesday we had our district meetings and then we had to travel to Guadalajara!  So we weren't able to work at all that day, and Wednesday we had the leadership council in Guadalajara so there was another day without work. Wednesday was awesome though because the leadership council is always sweet, me and my companion had just been really worried about our zone since we hadn't been finding that many new investigators but we went there and talked alot about the dats of the mission and found out that we weren't the only ones that have that problem, so it was stressful, but good.Wednesday was also awesome because i went to the temple again! this time i went with Elder Herrmann, Elder Emery, Elder Horne, and Elder Herrmanns companion, Elder  Novay. so that was super fun to be able to go to the temple with those guys, we also spent alot more time inside the temple than we did last time, which gave me a  chance to be able to feel the spirit immensely and enjoy that time there. After we left we bought Mcdonalds and dairy queen haha. Thursday was boring since i had to go to the very center of  Guadalajara to fill out all of my visa papers, lots of waiting and waiting and more waiting. Just my luck too because all day i was worrying about whether or not we would make it to take our bus that left at 4 o clock, but it didn't even matter because when we got there at 330 the bus was full. I definitely dont have the luck that my dad has thats for sure!;) so we had to wait until 6 to take our bus, more waiting and waiting, and then we didnt get home till 10. Friday was sad because even though we were in our area we didn't get to work since we had weekly planning until 2 in the afternoon, then we had to go to lunch with the members who lived way far away, and then we had english class! Just my luck again because while about 15 people showed up last week only 5 showed up this week. we found out why at the end of the class because we were literally locked in the church because someone closed the door as they left and no one had keys, so when the person with the keys finally got there we opened up the church and i retaught my english class haha. Saturday was awesome but about as stressful as a day can get. The entire zone of missionaries visited the CRIT, which is like a place for kids with special needs. it was really cool because that day they were having like a big event so they invited the church to take some time on stage and we literally got up on stage and sang! it was all the missionaries and the stake choir! so i hope we won the attention of a few people. Then to put the cherry on top of the cake, the same group of missionaries and stake choir saddled up and we went at it again! We went to a commercial center( a mall basically) and set up our piano and started singing again! while some of us were singing others were talking to people and contacting everyone that was walking by. So that was a really cool day but everything was so fast paced and just go go go that it was crazy! And Finally Sunday came! Me and my companion sang a Christmas hymn in sacrament meeting along with the sister missionaries in the ward and about 3 other ex missionaries. Everyone in the crowd was feeling the spirit and you could tell it by the look on their faces! and after church I had never been more excited to work in my life haha! After we ate lunch we had the entire afternoon to go and visit people! we worked for about 4 hours that day, and a total of 8 hours all week long! I really think im changing because i remember when i was in my training i used to long for days that i could just rest, but now all i want to do is be in my area and work! I know this church is true and i love this time of year and how we remember the birth of Jesus Christ! our Savior and redeemer! i hope everyone has a great week and i wish you all a merry Christmas season!! Love Elder Griffin