Saturday, December 26, 2015

Adventures, Service, Caroling, Christmas- Luleå Week 1 and 2

2 Weeks of Missionary life in one email...oh dear.

Bara så ni vet (just so you know)...missionary work is really difficult around Christmas time in Sweden. Everyone is out of town. No one has time to meet. But we kämpa (rough translation: fight)

-We had a lovely Christmas Conference last week down in Stockholm. Took the plane there and back :) You want to know something crazy? They literally didn't even check my ID at all in the 3 times that I have flown since being in Luleå. Cannot handle that. You can literally go through security in like 30 seconds flat. No shoes off, no scanner. Just a good, old magnetic detector. The airport in Luleå is really small, but super nice. Someone on the plane that I talked to literally commutes to Stockholm for work. HE FLIES to his job every day. That blows my mind. Men iallafall (but any ways)...Conference was really good. It was all of the Stockholm and Norrland Zones :) Saw lots of missionaries I love. Talked about giving gifts to Christ :)
-We have a new investigator from last week. He is pretty positive and really interested in what we believe. He is actually a Free Mason and invited us to help out with a service project on Monday. So, we helped 9 Free Mason men bag up 100 packages of food for needy people in the area. It was really cool. I love service!
-A member took us out to lunch twice in two days. It was really nice :) Have I mentioned before how much I love the members here? They literally have my heart!
-Last Friday, we went to visit a member family that lives in the middle of NOWHERE. I'm sure the drive was pretty, but it was 5 o'clock, so it was completely dark by the time we drove out with the Elders and a member. Well, we're driving and it is pretty icy, but no problems. The problem hit when we turned into their driveway and they hadn't plowed the snow yet. We got about halfway up the 1/4 mile drive and got stuck in the snow :) Luckily the member that was with us knew what to do and got us out okay. We trudged through the snow up to their place to find out that they completely forgot that they invited us over...oops! They have no running water and use a wood-burning stove to cook food, so we helped out to get everything ready and enjoyed a nice meal together. Turned out to be a really nice night :) They loved the surprise :)
-We got to help an old member lady wrap Christmas presents. It was so sweet to help her do something that she could not do on her own. Plus she would remember one more person that she wanted to give a gift to and we would start looking around for something to give. I loved every second of it! I love people! They just amaze me every day :)
-Spent quite a bit of time baking earlier this week. Then we went caroling with the Elders and the YSA on Tuesday to all of the members in Boden and Syster Jackson and I visited all the ones in Luleå. It was really sweet to see their surprise and just bring a little bit of the Christmas Spirit. Loved it! My family has gone caroling every year and it was nice to keep up the tradition :) 
-Speaking of my family, I got to skype with them yesterday. I LOVE THEM! It was so good to see them face-to-face, even if I am thousands of miles away. They are just the best and I am so excited to be back with them again soon. I have learned so much on my mission about the importance of families and have come to love and appreciate mine even more. Sure, none of us are perfect, but we need each other. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father gave me the family that I have. I need them!
-Spent Christmas Eve with two ward families. Started off the day by watching Up (Christmas is the only time of year that we can watch normal movies), which is one of my all time favorite movies. We headed to the members' house and did the most Swedish Christmas thing that you can do...watched Kalle Anka (Donald Duck). Basically it takes little clips from different classic disney movies and puts them together. Then the last two clips are from new movies. Every Swede I know starts out their Christmas on Christmas Eve at 3 pm by watching Kalle Anka :) Ate a whole ton of food from the Julbord, read Luke 2, exchanged gifts (literally just warms my heart that the members give gifts to missionaries that they have know for only 2-12 weeks. They don't even know how much it really means to me that they thought of us in all of their other preparations!), just hung out together after that.
-Christmas day was with another member. So much food! We watched Inside Out...IT WAS SO GOOD! Skyped, hung around. We were spoiled so much this Christmas! I will never understand what it is about missionaries that makes people do such nice things for us, but I plan to be the best ward members for the missionaries when I am married and stuff. Like best friends with all of the missionaries :)

I have been thinking lots lately about things like New Year's Resolutions and goals and improving and such. I feel like, as people, we sometimes have really good intentions to do good things, but really struggle with the follow-through. So my challenge for this week: make a goal/resolution and make a plan to follow through with it. Then check yourself on a regular basis to be sure that you are keeping up with it. It could be anything: doing service weekly, stop complaining, read scriptures daily, express love better, etc. Just do it! Now, don't bite off too much you can chew, but do all you can :)

I love this quote by Elder M. Russell Ballard,  "I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don't set goals in our life and learn how to master the techniques of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential. When one learns to master the principles of setting a goal, he will then be able to make a great difference in the results he attains in this life."

I know that we have endless potential and that Heavenly Father wants us to reach that potential. Tell Him what you want to be, ask Him what He wants you to be, then give yourself to Him. He will help you be more than you can be yourself :)

All My Love, 
Syster Griffes 

Pictures Luleå Week 2

1-2. SAW THE NORTHERN LIGHTS! The pictures just don't do it justice! They literally dance like all the people say. It was beautiful!
3. All of the food bags that we packaged for the needy. It was so fun!
4. Sunset- 1:03 PM :)
5. Skyping with the Fam on Christmas Day

Monday, December 14, 2015

Up in the North- Luleå Week 1

The weather report first:
Sunrise: 9:45
Sunset: 13:05
Temperature: 9 F, -13 C
Snow on the ground, TONS of ice. 

The cool thing is that I have already gotten a glimpse of the Northern Lights, Waiting for a really clear night so that we can see them fully :)

Transferred up here on Tuesday. That is the only time when we are alone as missionaries. It is always really good, but also a good time for reflection and preparation. I also talked to a really nice guy on the plane that is a professor up here in Luleå. He said to get in contact if I had any troubles or anything. I love people!

Having a car is weird...But the Elders have it more often, so I ride buses lots still. Which is good, because that is the best way to talk to people :) We had a couple lessons this week, but not lots. Got to meet some ward members and a really cool teenage investigator that is really willing to act and try things out.

Had my second Ward Christmas Party. So cute! In Sweden, they celebrate this really cute holiday called St. Lucia (with the girls in white dresses with candles on their heads) and all the little primary kids did a Lucia train, it was precious. More Christmas ham and pepparkakor (do yourself a favor, go to Ikea, buy pepparkakor, you will thank me later! I can eat those things by the TON). The branch up here is really cute. About 40 active members (like 144 people on the ward list, but some people live hours and hours away, so they cannot come). Very spiritual meetings. I love it already :) We have two really stellar new members and the ward wants to help with missionary work. I love them!

Video of the week (I think that maybe I have shared this one already, but cannot remember):

We watched this in Sunday School yesterday. Really got me thinking about what I am doing to serve people here. I think that I want to serve more. I love that last line in the video about giving of ourselves. When we are in the service of our fellow beings, we are only in the service of our God (Mosiah 2:17)

Love you all,
Syster Griffes

P.S. Weird schedule for Christmas, so you will not be getting any good emails for at least a week and a half. The good news is that it gives you plenty of time to email me! :)

Pictures Luleå Week 1

1. This is actually a tree with ice on it, but the light made it look really cool
2-3 . These were taken at about 9:30 AM, the light over the ice 
4. Me and Syster Jackson
5. In case you are having a bad idea where this came from, but it was on our phone

Monday, December 7, 2015

Good-byes Round 3: Jakobsberg Week 18

This is important:
I don't know if you have ever actually looked at a map to see where I go, but this one is important. So...
1. Open up google maps or something
2. Search Luleå, Sweden (I think you can type Lulea and it will pop up)
3. Stare at the map in shock

For those of you without google maps, I have attached a few pictures from our phone :)

Yeah, I am going to the most northernly area in the mission. Literally have to fly up there tomorrow. 1.5 hour flight or a 14 hour train ride. What have I done to be cast out from all of the other people?!? :) The good news: There is a set of elders there and a car shared between the two of us. The bad news: the sun already comes up at 9:31 and goes down at 13:15 and we have two more weeks before it switches so that the days get longer. This will be a new adventure.

This does mean that I get to see the Northern Lights :) And the Arctic Circle. And maybe even the world's first ice hotel (which is about a four hour drive farther north)

But, the last week in Jakobsberg:
-Got to spend most of Tuesday with Nicki, a YSA preparing for her mission. We did language study, lunch, and taught together. She is so great! One of our investigators did not show up, so we took the time to do a little bit of mission preparation and read through a section in the book we use as missionaries called Preach My Gospel. The very first thing that we teach anyone is God is our Loving Heavenly Father. That is really the basis of everything else. God loves us, so He made a plan and here we are! God loves us, so He sent His son, He gives us prophets and families and every good thing. We are who we are because of a loving Heavenly Father. Everything else depends on that one fact. 
-Last district meeting of the transfer with the North Stockholm District. I have loved being in this district so much! I have learned so much from all of the missionaries! One of them, Syster Powell, is going home this week, so we had a "funeral" for her. We each shared something that we like about her then watched videos that each of her previous companions had made about how much they love her. It was absolutely sweet :)
-On Thursday we went down to Västerhaninge with the Elders to help clean the Guest Home that is used for visitors of the Temple. Some people come from thousands of miles away and they stay at the Guest Home. It was really fun :)
-On Friday Syster Crawford had a meeting (because she is training a new missionary), so I got to be on splits with Syster Stetler (one of my companions in the MTC)! It was so fun to be together and catch up. We really had a good opportunity to talk about the mission and everything. We talked about our last 3 transfers and what it will be like going home. Love her! We got to teach our new member about the First Vision. We read Joseph Smith's account from the scriptures and talked about how we get opposition every time we try to do a good thing, just like Joseph Smith did. If you haven't read it recently, I would encourage each of you to read Joseph Smith-History, especially verses 1-26. I love that he says, "For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it." There are things in each of our lives that we know, but sometimes we begin to forget or doubt. Never forget! Hold on to the ground you already have! Rely on the Lord through times of trouble, "Cast not away therefore thy confidence!" 
-Interesting fact about Sweden:public transportation cannot handle any type of weather. Like its raining? Oh! Train is cancelled! There is some wind? The whole train system shuts down for 12 hours. That was the weekend for ya :) Plus buses are late and tunnel-banas are delayed and...yup. I am not completely converted to the idea of public transportation for many reasons. One thing that I am grateful for is that Swedes are much more patient with these kind of things than Americans. They just calmly wait until everything is figured out instead of getting frustrated about it :)
-We had the Ward Christmas Party on Saturday. It was a huge deal! We had a Julbord (rough translation: Christmas Table) with all of the traditional foods like: ham, potatoes, Johnssons Frestelse (Johnson's temptation, a dish with potatoes and anchovies), red beets, sausages, deviled eggs with caviar, and sill (weird fish stuff). Plus lots of desserts :) They had a talent show and it was just spectacular. We (the missionaries) shared the video, "A Savior is Born" and bore testimony on why we need a Savior.
-Good-byes on Sunday. I hate Good-byes! It is so hard to say goodbye to these people that you have just come to love so much! I got to bear my testimony during Sacrament Meeting. Talked about Christ and how much I have learned about Him and from His example. We went to our Ward Mission Leader's house for dinner (Swedish meatballs, potatoes, brown sauce, and lingon berry jam...typical Swedish meal!) then spent the evening contacting and swinging-by people. Already making mental plans to come back to Sweden to visit all of these people that I have come to love with my whole heart!

Spiritual Thought this week:

I love this video! It perfectly explains why we need the Savior. There would be literally no purpose to life without Christ and the Atonement. There would be no chance to start over, no chance to improve, we would literally be stuck here without any hope. Thanks to Christ, we have hope of more happiness, of more joy, of returning to our Heavenly Father. I am so grateful to have a Savior that understands me. Someone that knows me better than I know me. Someone that I can always look to and rely on. I know He lives! Through all of the hustle and bustle of Christmas, remember to take time to remember the real reason for the season. Remember Christ and all that He has done for you personally.

Love you all,
Syster Griffes

Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving and all the Happiness- Jakosberg Week 17

Not going to lie, I accidentally got carried away with emailing other people that I only have like 5 minutes to write this one.

We kind of had a not-so-good week. It was proof to us that the Lord is still in charge of the work and that we cannot get too prideful about everything from the week before. Plus that we need to keep up the high pace instead of falling back into what we did in previous weeks.

-THANKSGIVING! Literally, so fun. I am so blessed! We had all the normal things and got stuffed (as usual)
-Testifying to a bed-ridden member about how much God really loves her, even if she has challenges and trials. He is really aware of us and all of our needs
-Reading through the Introduction to the Book of Mormon with an investigator and seeing understanding come. He wants to really read it :)
-FHE with a member family and teaching their kids about the Holy Ghost using object lessons
-Having dinner at the Beckstrands (Mission President and Wife) and helping them decorate for Christmas. So fun! They are such a blessing in my life. I need them in my life! We found out that Syster Crawford will be training, which means that I am transferring. NOT HAPPY! So sad about it, I really love this place and all the people, but new adventures await. 

Best Website som finns!

Love you all, Have a great week!
Syster Griffes

Pictures Jakobsberg Week 17

1. (low picture quality, I know). Cleaned the Church...Cinderella all day long :)
3. Had dinner with the Beckstrands. LOVE THEM!
4. Selfies with the best mission president and wife the world has to offer :)

Monday, November 23, 2015

Sometimes I check to make sure my skirt is still on- Jakobsberg Week 16

The cold has started, so the tights and leggings are on every day. Syster Crawford sometimes looks down to be sure that her skirt is still on because she cannot feel it through the layers. The first time she told me, I busted out laughing. The struggle is real... :)

Whoa, this week was amazing. Here's why:
-Last Saturday (so, the 14th) I was praying to know what more Heavenly Father wanted us to do. The week had been weird and things felt off. I really felt like we needed to take a whole week and just completely dedicate ourselves to 100% Obedience and to meeting all of the Standards of Excellence for the mission, so we did! We didn't have much to change as far as obedience goes, just a few minor adjustments and a few things we could tighten up. With the Standards of Excellence, we really just needed to open our mouths more and teach more. So we did! And oh my goodness, what a difference it made! I can testify that when we do all that we can, even if we cannot do very much, the Lord blesses us in big ways! He really does! This is not to say that the week was perfect and we did not meet all of the Standards of Excellence, but we were closer than I have ever been in my mission! It was stellar!
-We taught the Restoration to 4 new investigators this week. That is really my favorite lesson, still! Same lesson each time, but with minor adjustments to each individual based on their needs and their backgrounds. It is really cool because Syster Crawford and I teach very similarly, so we can just take it and run with it. Have some very positive new investigators after this week :)
-As with all good things that we try to do, the adversary really tried to work against us. It was definitely true on Tuesday. We had to get our phone fixed because of a broken screen and it took much more time than we anticipated. We actually ended up having an investigator and a potential investigator call and cancel on us because of it. We were a little discouraged because both were very important lessons, but we continued and didn't let it get us down. 
-We spent time with members (active and less active). We even had two less active members that we are working with come to Stake Conference this weekend. Both were inspired and say they will come to church next week :)
-We were given many opportunities to teach people on the street, on the bus, everywhere! 
-We were able to teach quite a few lessons with members. Including a young adult that is preparing for a mission herself. She gave a talk at Stake Conference yesterday about her decision to serve and her preparation and it was just wonderful!
-We testified of Christ all week long. That is really what our message is all about: The Savior. He really is at the center of all we do and all we are. We need Him more than we will ever understand. 

Thanksgiving is coming! Sadly, Sweden does not celebrate it, BUT! There is an American family here, so we will be with them and celebrating it nonetheless :) Take time to thank everyone around you for all they mean to you. You never know who needs to hear that you love them and are grateful for them. Most importantly, take time to thank Heavenly Father for all that He has given you, because He has given you everything.

Love you lots, praying for you, and thanking Heavenly Father that I have you in my life :)
Syster Griffes

Pictures Jakobsberg Week 16

1. In the scary part of our area again :) Middle of the day, no problems!
2. I really love that there are playgrounds EVERYWHERE in Sweden
3. It got really cold this week and we were planning on going on a walk with our investigator, but forgot hats and stuff, so the Elders let us borrow theirs 
4. And now, the most Swedish thing som finns (that exists)... DALAHÄSTAR! (Doll Horses). Finally got one!

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Weird Week- Jakobsberg Week 15

Yeah...this week was just real weird. It kind of went like this...
-All important lessons fell through
-All...interesting...lessons with potential investigators went through, but we will likely not meet with any of them again

But! The Highlights:
-I got to go on splits with Syster Irene!!! (we were companions in Örebro like 6 months ago). I. Love. That. Syster! She is just so great and I always learn form her. I have learned time and time again that Heavenly Father places specific people in our lives at specific times for specific purposes and I know that she is one of those people that He gave me because I needed her. So good to spend even just a short 24 hours with her and secretly (well, not so secret anymore, I guess) hoping that we will be companions again before I head home in just 5 short months! :)
-Visited the American family in the ward. I love them! We even had funeral potatoes! 
-Role played the Restoration with a member so that he could correct our Swedish and he said that we did really well and that we didn't have very many mistakes at all. Good feeling! I just know that I sound really American when I speak, but that will never go away. I recently thought about how weird it will be when I go home and I am able to speak a language that like none of my friends and family can speak or understand...that will be strange!
-Every day in my daily planner, I write down the funny moment, the lesson learned, and the tender mercy of the day. One of the biggest, smallest tender mercy came on Friday. We were on the way home and barely missed the train that we wanted to catch by about 5 seconds, got to our train station and saw that our bus was leaving the bus station. As it drove on the rode by the train station, I half-heartedly waved it down (they usually do not stop) and...the bus driver stopped and let us on! Like it was just such a miracle and a blessing because we were exhausted and did not want to walk home and did not have time to wait for the next bus. Faith in Humanity...RESTORED!

And now...the moment that you have all been waiting for.... THE LINK TO MEET THE MORMONS!

Okay, so maybe you have not been waiting for this moment too much, but really. The documentary is only an hour long, just watch it! It is SO INSPIRING! My favorite is the Candy Bomber because it shows that one person can make a difference! Enjoy. Remember who you are and who you can become with God's help.

Love you and praying for you,
Syster Sarah Griffes

Pictures Jakobsberg Week 15

1. Got to go on splits with this girl! I LOVE SYSTER IRENE!
2. FHE (please take the time to appreciate that the Elders cannot take normal photos
3. The Zone wanted us to take a "fall" photo :)

Monday, November 9, 2015

"It's a nerdy hobbit of mine" Jakosberg Week 14

Walking home from the bus stop, talking about weird habits and Syster Crawford accidentally replaced Habit with Hobbit, but it was too perfect!

We spent so much time with members this week! I absolutely love members! They have taught me so much and helped me through hard times and, oh I could just talk about members for hours. We need them, they need us, it is just too perfect!

-We did Family Home Evening with a family this week and talked about keeping the Sabbath Day Holy with their kids, plus made chocolate chip cookies :)
-Cleaned the church with a single lady in the ward and listened to General Conference over the speaker system as we did so. We then taught her the Restoration as practice. It was really spectacular.
-Visited a member and talked about God's love. Going back this week to do Family Home Evening with her family :)
-Visited another single member and talked about our missionary work and how she can help
-Met with a less active for the first time. Wow, he has the Spirit with him! His relationship with God is so strong!
-Taught our new convert and were able to answer questions and help her understand the Restoration even better.
-Had dinner with a member and discussed how every time we talk about the Gospel, we plant seeds that can grow and flourish later.
-Visited a couple and talked about giving our burdens to the Lord (Matthew 11:28-30)
-Taught a less active about the Restoration

And all of that was just things that we did with members. Here is the weekly investigator report:
-We taught our guy from Sierra Leone (that just showed up at church last week and wants to be baptized) the Restoration. Invited him to pray and ask if Joseph Smith was a prophet and read and pray about the Book of Mormon, but he responded, "I already know that it is true!" He was really excited when we talked about having a living prophet today :)
-Taught an investigator from Congo about keeping the Sabbath Day Holy and partaking of the Sacrament. He has promised to come to Church since we first met him 3 months ago, but still has not, time for a little break.
-Met with an investigator that was taught about a year ago and taught the Plan of Salvation. She really liked it and I know that she felt the Spirit!
-An investigator from Africa came to church for the first time yesterday. He really felt the Spirit and says that it feels different in our church than in any other Christian church he has been to, so he wants to prepare to be baptized! It was just too perfect! The Primary Program was yesterday (where the kids sing and give talks for our main worship service). It was so precious and, as usual, had its fair share of kid-quirks (like the one girl that found a microphone on the side of the stand and started making noises and talking as one of the other kids was giving a talk at the pulpit, priceless!) The Elders had an investigator from China come and he loved it too. We had Fika after and he and I talked for a while about why it feels different in our church, how we receive answers to prayers, what God thinks about families, and many more things. Really cool guy, really deep thinker!

One thing that I have just always loved about being a member of the Church is having a huge family all over the world. That is something that many of our investigators and less actives have mentioned about our Church. You come and feel welcomed and loved and accepted. It feels like home! And to me, it really is home. The Church members are just an extension of my family, literally all around the world. If you have never been or have not been in a while, just give it a try! Come and see what we are all about, you have nothing to lose, but absolutely everything to gain. Greater happiness awaits, you just have to take that first step. 

Love you all and praying for you,
Syster Griffes

Pictures Jakobsberg Week 14

1. We went to an observation tower and looked over the whole city :)
2. I love us :) (Syster Crawford, YSA Preparing for a mission, me)
3. SWEDEN! The streets here are just so cute!

Monday, November 2, 2015

"She is a beautiful gaughter of dod" Jakobsberg Week 13

Well, this past two transfers has been many, many laughs. Like not going to lie, debatably the most that I have laughed in a 12 week period in my entire life. Many of these laughs have stemmed from a District Meeting at the beginning of the transfer. Elder Halterman did one of those word switches and said, "Yeah, that hour we had a meeting ago" instead of "That meeting we had an hour ago." Syster Hong and I held it together really well, but busted out laughing about it later. I kid you not, since that one occurrence, she or I or someone around us has done one of those switches almost Every. Single. Day. And we laugh our heads off every time. My favorite of the transfer was last Tuesday, Elder DeMordaunt intended to say, "She is a beautiful Daughter of God," but it came out "gaughter of dod." WE DIED! The people on the train always know when the Americans are around because we can be so loud!

This week was as follows:
-Tuesday was packing (well, Syster Hong packed, I actually just sat and put numbers back into our new phone because none of them synced into iCloud...really bummed...good thing we kept good records on paper and we actually have the numbers!) and goodbyes. Visited two member families that I love and Syster Hong loves. Syster Hong also gave the Elders their last haircuts before she heads over to the other side of the country :) The free haircuts are gone and many will be mourning that!
-Wednesday was about 2.5 hours at the Train Station in Stockholm, got to see many missionaries come and go. Said goodbye to Syster Hong, going to miss her so much! The Zone Leaders actually were helping her and another elder onto the train and got stuck on it as it started, so they had to go to Katrineholm and back (about 1.5 hours there). Real funny! I was standing outside of the train and knocked on the window when the conductor blew the whistle to let them know that they needed to get off, but they didn't quite get the message. The doors locked and I just waved at them from the platform :) Syster Crawford (new companion!) came in and we dropped her stuff off then headed to a lesson and to visit a member family.
-Thursday was ridiculous. Had District Meeting in Täby at the Mission Office. Went down to T-Central to get back in our area, but found out that there was something wrong with our phone that only the Office Elders could fix, so we went back to the office, then had to go to the Apple Store, but couldn't get in to get the screen fixed that day (two hour wait...don't think so!). Finally got to our area at about 17:30. Did some swing-bys and tracting. Ended up teaching 3 lessons and giving out 3 Book of Mormons in one stairwell. Way cool!
-Did service on Friday with a member family. Had a lesson with an investigator, then met the family of another investigator (he lives here, but they currently live in Italy, but visited). 
-Saturday we visited an old member lady, did some swingbys, visited a member family, then started to head back to our area for Weekly Planning. We got about 20 minutes out and got a call from a member that we had left a note with. Turns out he is active, just goes to Stockholm ward, BUT! He wanted us to come back so that we could meet a friend of his that he wants us to teach, so we went back and had a way spiritual lesson about fasting to receive answers. The member was a very powerful teacher and brought a very strong spirit. It was just great!
-Sunday, best day of the week! A random guy walked into the Church today and said that he met with missionaries about 10 years ago, but that he is now ready to change his life and get baptized. Like he is serious too! I had a good chance to talk to him on the bus to an activity that was later that night and he is already making very important changes in his life. He wants this and he wants to give his life to God. Amazing! Heavenly Father has really prepared people out there! I am so fortunate and blessed to be here and just be a little worker in His vineyard! (Doctrine and Covenants 138:55-56)

We had a really lovely fireside yesterday. President and Syster Beckstrand, the Assistants, and a few members from the Stockholm Stake spoke. They talked about how we need to remember who we are (think Lion King when Simba is with Rafiki, looking in the pool of water and then Mufasa came, we literally watched that clip). We are Children of God! As soon as we forget that, we forget Him. When we forget who we truly are, we lose sight of our endless potential. Remember who you are and who is out there watching your every step and hoping for your best. He knows you and He knows what you need. A Syster in the mission once asked me what the strongest part of my testimony was. I said that it was my knowledge that Heavenly Father loved me. And I know that He loves each of you too!

Love you all! 
Syster Griffes

Pictures Jakobsberg Week 13

1. Stockholm
2. What we do at members houses.... Just kiddin', we also eat...and teach... :)
3. Me and Syster Crawford....Monday morning pictures are the worst!

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Lost Phone- Jakobsberg Week 12

Whelp, the subject line says it all. It has definitely been an interesting week...

But we will start with the beginning of the week...

Tuesday was just one of those normal days of missionary work. Lessons, finding, the like. Wednesday we had a really good Restoration re-cap with an investigator from Eritrea. The language barrier is really the problem. We used pictures and drew things out and did all that we could, I hope that he understands! He can speak way good Swedish, but not the Gospel Swedish. BUT! I know that he feels the Spirit when we are together. The day pretty much just went downhill from that point... We had to go up to Kallhäll so that the Bishop could sign something for us. We were on a bus that had some malfunctioning doors. So at almost every stop, the bus driver had to go and release the pressure system and manually close them. This meant that the 15-20 minute bus ride took more like 40 minutes. Signed the paper, hopped on the train, then to another bus on the way to a less active. Well, the buttons that you press to let the bus driver know that you want to get off were not Syster Hong tried about 8 different buttons and in the process, somehow dropped/left the phone on the bus. We finally got off the bus, walked to the apartment, then realized that the phone was gone. We called the office elders right away and they put a track on the phone to find it (it for sure got stolen and currently looks like a computer genius has locked it up from what they know...probably not getting that back....). We could either be real mad about it or just laugh about it, so we just laugh about it.   

But we did have a nice lesson with the less active girl. Just got to know each other and talked about why we are members of the Church and how we came to know that the Church is true. She is a very logical thinker, which is cool because I am too :) The only difference right now is that she thinks of all the reasons why God logically does not exist and I see all the ways that it is logical that He MUST exist!

The rest of the week was just really interesting/difficult. Literally I never understood how much we RELY on those phones for missionary work. From calling and texting to Google Maps, Google Translate, and the Gospel Library. We spent a lot of time making calls in the Church this week and doing our best to find our way around town :) We had a really nice district meeting about Diligence on Thursday. I really like what one Elder said, "If you are doing something to help others come unto Christ, you are being diligent." We then had a lovely Enchilada lunch made by my companion. The Elders had a really nice day planned out, but every one canceled, so we went and played "Contacting Tag" with them in their area. One companionship goes and contacts for about 15 minutes while the other sits and calls people (really nice for us because we used their phone). Our contacting was way successful! Gave out 3 Book of Mormons in about 25 minutes and taught people about how we know that God exists and that He loves us. Then gave out another Book of Mormon on the bus later that day. We also had two lessons with members. This ward is spectacular.

Friday was weekly the Church...then we went to Täby to go to the Halloween Party with our New Convert. I have never seen so many American members of the Church together...It was literally a riktig American Halloween Party with Trunk or treating and everything! SO FUN! Saturday we taught a less active then went and did chalk art. I had a crazy bad headache/probably actually a migraine so I helped another Sister plan a lesson that she was preparing for. The art turned out really good and many missionaries talked top lots of people. Sunday was really lovely. Church was good and we even had Fika after and chatted with people, then had dinner with our new convert and a member, then had cake with the Young Women. They made it because Syster Hong is leaving on Wednesday :( SO SAD! I love that girl and have learned a TON from her! My new companion that will come on Wednesday is named Syster Crawford. Very excited for her to come!

Video of the week:
(that link is not working for me, so here is another one)

This is the newest Mormon Message and I LOVE IT! The whole time I watched it the first time, I just thought about how much our decisions determine destiny (something that President Thomas S. Monson has repeated many, many times over the years). The little things that we do every day really do decide where we are tomorrow and where we will be in the coming years and in the eternities. In order to receive good things, we have to do good things. That's just how it works :)

Love you dearly,
Syster Sarah Griffes

1. Just one this week. We did another Chalk Art in Innerstan (inner city) Stockholm. Joseph Smith praying when he received the first vision :)

Monday, October 19, 2015

"I had a rush of adrenaline and faith....teleporting didn't work" Jakobsberg Week 11

The Scene: Friday night, 7:30 PM. Already completely dark, about 40 degrees.
Syster Hong and I were discussing how it was cold and how it would take at least an hour to get home from where we were and that we still needed to have dinner. All of a sudden, Syster Hong clicks her heels together, clenches every muscle in her body, and makes a weird noise. I pretty much bust out laughing and ask her what happened. " I had a rush of adrenaline and faith....but teleporting didn't work. I really thought it would! That was the weirdest feeling that I have ever had!" Died about it for DAYS! The Elders died when they heard too :)

-Taught a new investigator from Nigeria that knows about the Church there and has seen the temple in Aba. He says that it is the prettiest church building in all of Nigeria (I AGREE!)
-Got to go to the temple in Stockholm on Tuesday! It is a way pretty temple!
-Had dinner with our American family here in Jakobsberg. ROASTED S'MORES!
-Had Systers Conference with all of the 40 systers in the mission. Very spiritually uplifting!
-Really good District Meeting about how we can help our investigators have a good experience at church and how we can keep the Sabbath Day more holy and have the Sacrament be a spiritual experience each week. Got me thinking about and studying about what I need to change
-Sat through a lesson in which Syster Hong taught in Spanish. So many wandering thoughts (we call it space tripping). Reminds me of the Greenie Days when I had no idea what was happening....
-Role played the Restoration with a returned missionary in our ward (he is our ward mission leader) and got some really good tips on how we can teach more effectively. He is a good teacher and a great ward mission leader!
-A less active we work with gave one of the most sincere prayers I have ever heard yesterday. No eloquence, just talking to Heavenly Father. Our relationship with Him is what matters most in this life. My relationship is one of my most treasured possessions. I love Him and I know that He loves me. 

Attached is a video to one of my favorite Discourses by the Savior from John 6. Check out all of the Bible videos! The words are taken right from the King James Version of the Bible. THEY ARE SO GOOD!

Love you all!
Syster Griffes

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Year Mark...October 15th, 2015- Jakobsberg Week 10

Do you all realize that today is October 12th which means that Thursday is October 15th which means that I will have been on the mission for a YEAR! A YEAR! That is just so impossible it is not even funny. Cannot handle that, not at all. That means that I will go back home in 6 MONTHS! Not possible, I am in denial. Time has flown way too fast and there is just too much to do and to learn!

I remember last year after I spent a whole year out at BYU, I wrote this really nice sappy Facebook post about how I had learned so much from my year at BYU and how it was the best year yet and all that jazz. Well, I would like to proudly announce that this year has been even better.

Some of you may wonder, how in the world can this year be better? I am out in Sweden, thousands of miles from home, friends, and family. I have a crazy schedule and missionary rules (which people think are really crazy). I wear skirts every day of my life (and tight season is on us, so that too). I am pushed mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually more now than ever before. I see my weaknesses more clearly than ever and have never before known just how much I cannot do. 

This is why this year has been even better: I have been able to be a representative of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I have been able to help others find the Light that I have found and see the joy that comes into their lives as they have grown closer unto our Heavenly Father. As I have done so, I have grown closer to Him too. I have become more deeply converted to the Gospel and my Faith in Christ has grown immeasurably. As I have come unto Christ, I have seen my weaknesses, but have also seen them become strengths (Ether 12:27). I am now more prepared for the rest of my life; to raise my future family in the Gospel, to help others as a member missionary, and to serve in the Lord's vineyard for the rest of my life (and the rest of eternity). I have grown more and experienced more in this year than ever before. This has been the most challenging time, but the most rewarding and defining time of my life so far. I will never, ever regret the year and a half that I gave up everything else and chose to be a dedicated missionary. I know that it will make all the difference and truly define my life and eternity.

And there was even a miracle this week! Our investigator, Inger, got baptized and confirmed! I can tell you right now that fasting, blessings, and many prayers helped her out more than anything we did. I can see more clearly than ever that when you do everything that you do, then leave the rest to the Lord, He takes care of His part. The baptismal service was simple and beautiful and Inger is just so happy. She has made a huge step towards Christ and I know that Heavenly Father is so proud of her.

Love you all,
Syster Griffes

Pictures Jakobsberg Week 10

1-3. BAPTISM ON SATURDAY!!!! Such a special day!
4. Weirdest picnic table of my life...

Monday, October 5, 2015

"I turned the lights out on myself when I was in the bathroom" Jakobsberg Week 9

Sitting on the couch, doing weekly planning. Syster Hong gets up to go to the bathroom. The door closes and I almost immediately here a scream. "Is everything okay?" I ask. She opens the door and responds, "Yes. I just turned the lights out on myself when I was in the bathroom. I'm afraid of the dark." I busted out laughing for a good two minutes :D

I would like to begin by expressing that General Conference is the best thing ever! (but more on that later)

-Spent nearly all day Tuesday with a member, Nicki, that is preparing for her own full-time mission. We managed to have 4 lessons planned in a row (so like two blåsted us, but it's okay) at the church. We taught one investigator a little about the History of the Book of Mormon and why it is an essential book. We made lunch, then role played the Plan of Salvation with Nicki. We taught the Restoration to a new investigator :) He is looking for truth and was like, "I will make time for this!" which is much different than many people that say we ask for too much time. This is the best thing to make time for!
-Had a lovely trip out to our Island, Ekerö. That place is beautiful. If I had to live in our area, I would like on Ekerö. Swung by some less actives, did some much needed clerical work on the way there and back. Then met with the Elders and the Bishop and finished going through the ward lists. We went to the Bishop's house afterward and had a lesson with his family. He is just an amazing guy! A very strong testimony on the importance of missions and how the missionary is the most important convert. He is right!
-Taught a man that the Elders in Gubbängen (about an hour south of us by public transportation) contacted on the tunnelbana. He met with missionaries about 10 years ago and is really interested in what we believe. He has searched in a lot of different churches and recognizes the Spirit when it speaks to him. He had a million questions and I am way grateful that our ward mission leader was there to help out!

And now on to why General Conference is the best thing that can ever happen: We get to hear from our Living Prophet and receive guidance and direction that Heavenly Father knows that we need today. I love it! We watched two sessions at the Stake Center then one at a members house (with about 10 missionaries), watching the last one today. I talked to a couple different missionaries about main themes that they recognized and we all had different answers. It is just beautiful because we all hear the same words, but the Spirit teaches us the things that we need to hear individually. I learned a lot about discipleship and motherhood. I really loved how much they talked about improving, but not killing ourselves over mistakes and things. But, those are just the things that I needed to hear, so maybe you didn't even recognize those things. I know that we have a living prophet and living apostles that are guided by Heavenly Father to say and teach the things that we need today. Heavenly Father still speaks to His Children today, just as He did in times past. He loves us even more than we can understand and wants each and every one of us to return to Him.

Love you lots,
Syster Sarah Griffes

Pictures Jakobsberg Week 9

1. Drottningholm Palace. It was gorgeous!
2. The whole group that went
3. I love us!
4. Syster Hong always gets amazing pictures of the sky!
5. The nutella obsession is real (plus, this is what I would look like if I had glasses, just so you know :)

Monday, September 28, 2015

Skipping, Hiccups, Laughing, Scaring, and More :) Jakobsberg Week 8

Funny things this week:
-We got to watch Meet the Mormons with our ward this week. We finished cleaning up then left with the elders. There is a really long, empty path from our church to the bus station, so we all decided to skip like complete idiots down the path. It was hilarious!
-We had a meeting with the Bishop and went through about half of the ward list, discussing who is positive and wants visits and such. Elder Halterman had uncontrollable hiccups for a good 10 minutes. 
-The Elders scared Syster Hong so bad when us four were leaving a member's house that she pretty much fell on the ground. The rest of us just laughed our heads off :)

Now the more serious things:
-Had a lesson with a new investigator. He is from Eritrea and has lived in Sweden for 8 years. This week in the church was the first time that he has been in a church since he moved here. It was a very spiritual experience for him. We taught the Restoration and he seems very positive.
-Had the opportunity this week to spend some time Syster Beckstrand (my mission president's wife) and help her out with some things (she lives about 20 minutes from us). She is really a stellar woman and I learned a lot from her about life and the mission and things. I need the Beckstrands in my life!
-Had a really spectacular zone training about how to do missionary work with the members more effectively. We need their help more than they understand and more than we understand!
-Had a really good lesson with our investigator preparing for baptism. We re-taught and clarified some things with the Plan of Salvation. Got to talk about family history and temple work too. Everything about the Gospel and Heavenly Father's plan is just perfect. It all makes sense and takes care of any questions or worries that we have.
-And of course, watching Meet the Mormons was wonderful. Not a super awesome turn-out, but more than we expected. That movie! My favorite part is when it talks about the Candy Bomber and how a single person can make a big difference. Or the mom that is sending her son on his mission. Oh, it is just a perfect movie! Go watch it! It is on Netflix, I hear :)
-We were with a member family and they asked each of us to share a something that has helped us to grow our testimonies. It was a very spiritual experience and we each had opportunity to witness of something different. We expressed our love and gratitude for them. I love this ward!
-Cool thing happened! A few weeks ago, I contacted a guy on the bus from Sierra Leone and he said that he heard about our church before and wanted to learn more. We had to get off the bus and I didn't have enough time to get his number, but I gave him our card and told us to call him. Well, he never did (this usually happens). BUT! Yesterday he did call and came to church and it was awesome!

At our weekly Family Home Evening with the senior couple in our ward, the Elders shared a really good message on perspective. It really is all about how we see things. We have trials in life, undeniably, and we have to decide how we see them. Opportunities to learn or something to complain about. A chance to grow or something that will defeat us. Remember that Heavenly Father loves you and has a plan for you. This plan includes "opposition in all things" (2 Nephi 2:11), but we can overcome opposition and trials as we keep our eyes focused on the Lord and have an eternal perspective. This talk lays it out really nice:'

Love you all dearly. Always here for you! Just shoot me an email
Syster Sarah Griffes


Pictures Jakobsberg Week 8

1. We had lunch out with (almost all of) our District for Elder Bliss's Birthday :) (almost) Real American Burgers 
2. Stockholm is really a beautiful city!
3. Sometimes I make cake for our investigator's birthdays and Syster Hong makes me take a picture with it

Monday, September 21, 2015

"Oh! It burned my bun!" Jakobsberg Week 7

Undeniable fact of the day: Sometimes weekly planning turns into a big baking session in which we talk about everyone we are working with and end up with not only guidance about specific people, but also delicious food. This past weekly planning was so. Made banana bread (recipe from my mom) and raspberry cobbler (from Jane Tibbitts). The oven was on and Syster Hong accidentally leaned against it for too long, hence this week's quote.

Stellar week:
-Role played the Gospel of Jesus Christ with an American member and talked about church-y things in English (my first Sunday back in the US of A will be weird because it will be the first time I understand absolutely everything that happens in 18 months). Love that family so much! Americans still have a special place in my heart, even though Swedes (and immigrants from all over the world) do too!
-Had a member lunch and a member dinner within 3 hours on Thursday. Lots of food. Really stuffed, but both where delicious. Continuing to build relationships with the ward members. I just love this ward so much! They are spectacular and need us here! We have a new elder, Elder Halterman, that is very excited about the work and has a plan to change things her in good old Jakob's Mountain (berg=mountain in Swedish).
-Got contact with an investigator that we lost contact with for about a month. He just called us out of the blue after we called him about a million times
-Called a referral from the Täby Systers on Saturday and he wanted to meet right then! So we headed over as soon as we could and taught the Restoration. He is very open and is searching for truth. These people are always my favorite because we have the truth!
-Spent Sunday afternoon and Evening in Sundbyberg swinging by all the less actives, tracting, and contacting. When we really look, we can see the little miracles that are everywhere (like when someone walks in and opens the exact portcoded door that we needed to get in right when we walk up to the door). Heavenly Father really blesses us!

I gave a talk in church yesterday. I talked about daily bread and quoted some from this talk by D. Todd Christofferson (attached below). We really need that daily bread and daily communion with our Heavenly Father. I talked about John 6 and how the people wanted to continue to be fed the physical bread that they had received the day before (when Christ miraculously fed the 5,000), but how Christ explained that He is the Bread of Life. We need to look to Him in everything. My favorite part of this chapter is the last few verses. Many of Christ's disciples had left Him after the discourse, declaring that He asked things that were too hard. He turned to His Apostles and asked if they would leave too. Simon Peter responded, "Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God."
There are times in each of our lives where we are tempted to turn away from Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Gospel. The things of the world call, claiming that the things of God are too hard for us. That we are not enough, that we do not do enough, that it is pointless to continue. When these times come, we need to remember Who it is that we are following and what the end goal is. It is not just momentary pleasure, we are looking for Eternal Happiness and we are promised that we can have that as we endure to the end in faith in Jesus Christ. When temptation comes, look to God, turn to Him, and let Him lift you higher than you will ever be able to lift yourself. He loves you personally, perfectly, endlessly. Never forget that.

Love you,
Syster Griffes

(also available in a 3 part video series):

Pictures Jakobsberg Week 7

Super lame...only two this week 

1. Our weekly Family Home Evening with a senior couple in our ward. We switched off who is teaching the lesson and who is making dessert and everything :) This was the last week with Elder Treat there, we now have a new elder, Elder Halterman
2. Really pretty church in Sundbyberg. That little area of Stockholm is gorgeous!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Pictures Jakobsberg Week 6

1. Swedish Flag...FAVORITE!
2. Found this bench outside of a Swedish Church (Jesus said, "I will give you rest")
3. During chalk art

Monday, August 31, 2015

Jakobsberg Week 4

Another week come and gone...these things just keep going faster and faster!
-Had a really great FHE with the Elders in Jakobsberg and the Senior Missionary Couple (they work with records preservation for Family Search) that is in our ward. The Elders shared 3 Nephi 12:14-16 and talked about sharing our talents and letting them shine for the world. It was really good! We each have God-given talents that people in this world NEED! Share who you are and what makes you you, you never know who needs it!
-Tuesday was full of lots of blåsts and language barriers. Still waiting for the day when we have a common language with everyone! We role played a lesson with a couple in the ward that speaks Spanish (and by we, I mean Syster Hong taught and I sat there...I do not speak Spanish!)
-We had the wonderful opportunity to visit the Bishop and his family this week. It was really fun and really uplifting. We talked about communicating with Heavenly Father and how He is always there listening. He really is!
-Went on splits with Syster Powell (Syster Training Leader) in Uppsala. It used to be the capital of Sweden and is now just a huge college town. It was gorgeous there! Oh, so pretty! We got to go to an American store where they sell goodies from America and I got a jar of Jif peanut butter for about 60 kronor (like 8 dollars). Most expensive peanut butter I have ever bought, but it will be worth every single spoonful! I learned a lot on our splits and we talked about how to get Jakobsberg really moving. Syster Hong and I are ready to try out new things!
-We got to teach three new, pretty positive investigators this week. One in particular says that he is very ready to change his life. I love that! There are people that are ready to accept the Gospel and bring their lives closer to Christ. Makes me so happy!

This week I learned that my Grandma Griffes (my father's mother. In Swedish, farmor) passed away. She is someone that I look up to because of her work ethic and willingness. She has had a major impact on my life and she will be sorely missed. As I received this news, I was sad that I will not see her again in this life, but I also felt a lot of peace. I know that it came from Heavenly Father and from my knowledge of His plan for us. I know that my Grandma still exists, just not here on the earth. She is in the Spirit World, likely working hard to teach the Gospel to those who have not received it and seeing many people whose lives she has positively influenced while here on the earth. I know that I will be able to see her again someday. Through the hard times in life, I am just so grateful that I know that my Heavenly Father has a plan for each and every one of us. That we lived with Him before we came to earth and that He wants each of us to return and live with Him again. I cannot express how grateful I am to have a loving Heavenly Father that knows me individually and perfectly and that loves me (and all of His children) enough to send His Only Begotten Son to this earth to atone for our sins, transgressions, weaknesses, everything. I am so grateful that I know that death is not the end and that there is a purpose to this life. This knowledge is something that has carried me through good times and bad and it is the reason that I am here in Sweden, so far away from my family and friends. I want the whole earth to receive this knowledge and I know that everyone can through study and prayer. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to share this joy and knowledge with people I meet every day. (Alma 26:36-37)

With love, 
Syster Sarah Griffes (you can email me with any questions that you have :)

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Shortest E-mail Yet- Jakobsberg Week 3

This is not going to be very long...sorry!

-Went to my first funeral in Sweden and the entire service was in Spanish...
-Taught an investigator about the Plan of Salvation. He says that he can feel the Spirit when we met :) He plans to come to Church this week
-Had dinner with two member families. One if from Chile and the other from Latvia. It was a weird mix of Swedish, English, and Spanish. :) Good times!
-Doing lots of swing-bys, tracting, and contacting lately. Trying to build up our teaching pool. Any out-of-the-box ideas are welcome :)

We had a kind of empty day this week and one of the Elders said, "An empty day is just a day full of possibilities." I loved that! There are endless possibilities to every day. Never forget how much you have and how much you can do for others. Live up to your potential! It is endlessly more than you think. You are a son or daughter of Heavenly Father. He knows you and has a plan for you! 

Love you all! Sorry that this is terrible! Better next week! 
Syster Sarah Griffes

Monday, August 17, 2015

"I hear it hurts your soul less if you lie in your mission language" Jakobsberg Week 2

Quote comes from Elder Johnson (an elder I was in the MTC with). A few of us from our group were talking about who we thought was going to get married first after the mission. We all voted on this one specific sister then another elder, Elder Jones, said, "But what if mom (they all call me the mom of the group) has a guy in her sleeve and just gets home and bam she wins!" To which I replied "Det finns inget" (there is no one) then Elder Johnson threw that back at me. I just love my little mission family so much! So many great friends :) Plus they make fun of me just like all of my closest friends back home from high school and college (you know who you are!)

This week was one of those weeks where we had quite a bit planned, but people kept calling and canceling or changing plans. So we made up a lot of impromptu plans and called about a million people. 
-We role-played the Restoration with a Young Woman in the ward. It was so sweet and the Spirit was very strong. All the Young Women here are just spectacular. I know that they need us here and I can see that our influence is helping them already. They are just the greatest!
-We got to visit two members that are from Latvia and are both Returned Missionaries. They are super great examples and the Spirit of their home is so strong! Love them!
-We spent most of the day on Friday doing chalk art in Stan in Stockholm. Nearly our whole zone got together to draw the temple that Christ came to when He visited the Americas (well, that was the end goal, but we did not quite reach it...that painting is impossible to do in chalk!). The real objective was to talk to as many people as possible. It was really fun to be with everyone and we were able to give out many Book of Mormons. A lovely time :)
-Visited an old lady in the ward. I love elderly people! They just have so much experience and I always learn so, so much from each and every visit. Wisdom definitely comes with experience!

Sometimes we have to exercise a lot of patience before we receive the things that we think we need or want. Heavenly Father really knows those things that we stand in need of and gives them to us in His timing according to His plan. Trust in Him. He knows best 

Love ya! 
Syster Griffes

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Crippled Week- Jakobsberg Week 1

So like, I am not actually crippled. I did, however, over-strain a ligament in my right ankle. Walking is not so fun and the doctor says I need to stay off of it as much as possible, but like missionary work does not work that way. It has gotten better in the past few days and the swelling has gone way down :)

-Last P-day in Örebro was superb. We got to go out hiking with a family for FHE and grilled hot dogs (actually called korv, not as good as hot dogs which is saying something because hot dogs are really not that good). 
-Last full day in Örebro was really packed. We met three very positive investigators. Including the one from Togo I talked about last week. He is way busy with soccer and training (he came here just to play), but is super positive and has really good questions. Sad to leave that one, but I know that Syster Bourelle and Syster Jacobs will take care of him. 
-Picking Syster Jacobs up was an adventure. Her train was supposed to come in at 20:43 on Tuesday. We got to the train station and she was delayed until 21:13 then it progressively got worse until she pulled in to the station at about 12:43 on Wednesday morning. There was a fire really close to the tracks, so things were way delayed. We finally got home around 1:15, just to wake up at 6:30 and I caught my train at 7:46. Also delayed, but only by 30 minutes. I met my new companion, Syster Hong, in Stockholm and we headed to the Pendeltågs to go to Jakobsberg (north west of inner-city Stockholm) where we live. 
-Systers have only been in Jakobsberg for 5 weeks, so we have been doing a TON of organizing, calling, and swinging-by people this week. We had 2 member meals and both were spectacular. This ward seems really great and I am excited to get to know all of them! The first Sunday is always a whirlwind because a million people tell you their name and you remember about 5 of them...if that... I also bore my testimony in Sacrament Meeting to introduce myself. This ward is much smaller than Örebro, but we are going to build it back up to its former glory :)
-On Saturday, we taught a guy from Congo that we met the day before. Gave him Le Livre de Mormon. He seems really interested and pretty positive. 

We shared the following video with a member this week. I love it! We really do never know how much the little things we do mean to other people. Look for those little miracles that are around you every day and you will come to find that the Lord is really in the tiny details of your life. I know that He truly is there through every moment, good and bad. 

Love you all!
Syster Sarah Griffes
A Happy (almost healthy) Servant of the Lord

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Jakobsberg Week 1 Pictures

1. The Elders in Örebro were interviewed for the newspaper, then they took a picture of all four of us :)
2. We live down this road here in Jakobsberg. We actually live in an apartment attached to someone's house in a very nice area of town. Tons of huge houses, super pretty!
3. Me and Syster Hong, my new companion. Love her!