Sunday, February 22, 2015

Goodbyes and Hellos: Trollhättan Week 13

Officially not a greenie anymore! (for those of you that don't know, the newest missionaries in the mission are called greenies) 

Last Monday was all about cleaning and packing and getting Syster Sorensen ready to leave. On Tuesday we were crazy busy teaching lessons and telling everyone goodbye. It was way hard to see it and think that, in 6 weeks, that could be me! We taught our investigator from Macedonia and it turns out her granddaughter has been reading some in the Book of Mormon! Yay! We had lunch with some members, 2 lessons, then dinner with some other members. The husband told us all about his mission experience and that the most important conversion is our own. You cannot convert someone beyond your own conversion, so it is really good to KNOW the things that you teach are true and then TESTIFY to others. 

Wednesday was my last day with Syster Sorensen. We said some more goodbyes then she took off and Syster Hoke came in. Syster Hoke has been in Sweden for 6 weeks longer than me and served for her first 3 transfers near Stockholm in Södertälje. She is 19, from Texas and is way upbeat. We actually were at BYU together, but have yet to find a common acquaintance. We will keep trying! :) It is really cool to get to introduce Syster Hoke to Trollhättan and all the investigators and ward members. I just love this place and know that she will too!

Thursday was a good day, even though it seemed like nothing went how it was supposed to. We had some lesson re-arranging and actually had some time to go tracting. Syster Hoke knows how to do that, so she is teaching me :) We dropped by a less active and taught about Jesus Christ and visited some new converts too. Friday was district meeting with our new district. Seems like it is going to be really fun, but also really insightful and spiritual. We taught a new investigator then 2 other investigators. The work is just moving along here! It amazes me how much Heavenly Father has a hand in this work and how many people He is preparing for the Gospel!

Innebandy on Saturday was really lame...hahaha...only us and 3 other people. We played some badminton then Innebandy and Syster Hoke and I are terrible at both :) The poor other players had so much patience with us :) We went to Vänersborg and dropped off a Book of Mormon to a referal then visiting a member and watched a video called Daily Bread: Pattern (I'll link it below, you should watch it! It is way good!)

Sunday was wonderful. The Swedish just gets better and better every week :) The Relief Society lesson was on a talk by Elder Uchtdorf called, "Lord, is it I?" Which is a wonderful talk about not judging others and seeing ourselves as Heavenly Father does. Then Sacrament Meeting had some really good related talks and another real good one about Temples and how each time one is build the influence of Satan is weakened and the Light of Christ because brighter. Just wonderful, just wonderful! We visited some members and had a grand old time seeing their birds and talking about Jesus Christ and the Atonement :)

This transfer, I am planning on studying the Nature and Character of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I started just a little bit and read about Heavenly Father. It is so cool to think about the fact that there is Someone out there that knows us better than we know us and that cares for and loves us more than we can even comprehend. I read this part about how prayer because natural when we recognize that. It's really like talking to your own Father or Best Friend or something. He is always there listening, we just have to raise our voices and talk with Him.

Love you and praying for you,
Syster Sarah Griffes



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Trollhättan Week 13 Pictures

Just two this week
1. Us before Syster Sorensen took the train
2. My new companion, Syster Hoke



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Monday, February 16, 2015

"The Spirit is strong with these ones" Trollhättan Week 12

This week's quote is from Syster Sorensen while we were weekly planning. It was hilarious and I basically died of laughter. I love Star Wars!

P-day last week found us at some really pretty, old churches in Göteborg. I love the colors in them so much and the architecture is wonderful!

Tuesday we had lunch with an investigator and he told us that he wants to get baptized! Oh my goodness we are so excited! One of our old investigators gave us a call and said that her dad needed some religious help and asked if we could meet him. We, of course, said yes and taught him the Restoration. The cool thing is that he was praying really hard for some guidance and his daughter called him right then and said that we wanted to meet him. He sees it as a sign, which is good, because it is! Heavenly Father really has a plan!

Wednesday we taught some lessons. We actually talked with some investigators about the Second Coming of Christ because they had questions. We also went to the Book Bindery with some members from our ward. They are just the best!

Thursday we spent some time with a member, tried to meet with two investigators, but they were busy then almost had a heart attack because we accidentally left the phone on a bench. We literally RAN the whole way back. Luckily, a police officer had found it, so everything was a-okay. We had dinner with some members. The ward here is pretty much perfect.

Friday was our last district meeting with the current district. I am so sad to see us break up! I just love this district! We taught an investigator the Restoration, did some Family History and went to a member's house.

Saturday we got transfer calls. Syster Sorensen will be leaving and I will be staying. So glad to stay in Trollhättan! I love it here! My new companion, Syster Hoke, is from Texas and has been in Stockholm. We will switch off on Wednesday. We played Innebandy and had 12 people! It's good because the more people that come, the less I have to play :) An investigator made us lunch then visited some people so that Syster Sorensen could say goodbye. 

Sunday was good. Church is really a struggle when I'm having a hard time focusing. Seriously, Swedish requires all of my efforts. 

This week I have really learned that the Lord has me exactly where He wants me. If He needed me to be back home or at BYU or where ever, that is where I would be. But, the fact of the matter is that He needs me here in Sweden! He needs me in Trollhättan and He really has a plan for me. I just have to do everything that I can to figure out what that plan is and then do it! He guides us so, so much!

Lots of love,
Syster Sarah Griffes




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Trollhättan Week 12 Pictures

1. We went to some historic Churches in Göteborg last P-day. They are so gorgeous!
2. Me at the Book Bindery with Gerd and Christer (members) and one of their friends. I love them!
3. Syster Sorensen had a spaghetti taco. Like seriously, she put spaghetti in a tortilla then ate it...
4. Another view of the gorgeous church. Just look at those colors!



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Monday, February 9, 2015

The Week I Was Bit in the Leg...Trollhättan Week 11

Sometimes I think the hardest thing about missionary work is simply the fact that no one answers their phone...Seriously! If everyone did answer, I think that we would not have enough time to do everything we could do! But then we call a million people and no one answers! It's lame. Ah well, nothing we can do about it!

On Tuesday we were having a hard time figuring out what to do, but we just kept feeling like something was going to work out just how it needed to. So, we made some tentative plans then went out and started doing things. And then a really cool thing happened. One of our investigators called and said that he had a friend that wanted to talk to us, could we come right then? And we could! So we did and we taught his friend the Restoration. It was really cool. 

On Wednesday we got to be an answer to a member's prayer. She is a way nice older lady who had a stroke a while back. She was having a crazy week and prayed that someone from the Church would come and visit. Then, Bam! We showed up! She bore her testimony to us and it was so sweet and we just sat and cried together some. I love this! Then we met with a potential investigator. He met a Mormon about 18 years ago and it left a huge impression on him, so he has been looking for the church. He actually came to a baptism and church this week. Way cool.

The title of this week's e-mail comes from Thursday. We left and investigator's place and found a guy laying in the snow with some blood around him. We asked him if everything was okay while another man called the ambulance (the emergency number here is 112, in case you wanted to know). We were talking to this guy (he has epilepsy) and he couldn't hear us well (he was about 10 feet away), so he crab crawled over to us (it was really weird...we weren't sure whether to run or what, but we just stayed put). Then the guy calling the ambulance asked the guy on the ground if he was going to take anyone with him to the hospital and he said that he would take us and grabbed our skirts. Syster Sorensen got away fast, but he grabbed my leg and held on. She tried to take a picture then I all of a sudden felt his teeth on my leg! He almost bit me! You better believe that I escaped that grip real fast! He said it was just kidding. It was really quite hilarious! Crazy, crazy things happen! 

Friday we had district meeting. I love our district! Sad to think we will be at least partially splitting next week (transfer calls come on Saturday, Syster Sorensen or I will be leaving as we are finishing training this week). We also had a member dinner. So fun!

Not many people came to Innebandy this week, so they played badminton instead. An 8 year old, Alice, from our ward got baptized. It was way sweet and the Spirit was strong. Sunday was really good. I translated again for our Indian investigator. About 5 million times better than a month ago :) The talks were so good! One was about how we all have weaknesses and tempations, but that we can overcome them by turning to the Lord and remembering that He loves us perfectly and infinitely. She quoted Moses, "And it came to pass that Moses looked upon Satan and said: Who art thou? For behold, I am a son of God, in the similitude of his Only Begotten; and where is thy glory, that I should worship thee?" 

Remember who you are! Never forget that you are a beloved son or daughter of an all-powerful, all-loving Heavenly Father that has a plan for YOU specifically. He knows you and loves you more than we can even imagine. Look to Him, lean on Him, and everything will work out just fine :)  https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2010-05-12-good-things-to-come?lang=eng

Love you all!
Syster Sarah Griffes



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Monday, February 2, 2015

"We are going to zero lesson it up!" Trollhättan Week 10

Dearest Family and friends (and random people of the internet that read my blog),

I don't know if I've told you, but I really love Sweden. Like seriously. It's beautiful and sometimes just downright adorable. The architecture, the houses, the colors. It's perfect. I may never come back... just kidding! I love America too!

On Monday after p-day, Elder and Sister Tolley, the apartment couple for our mission, came over and checked our apartment then we had dinner with them. Elder Tolley served his mission here in Sweden. They are way cool to talk to! Most mission couples are older, but they are in their 50s and they literally sold everything that they owned to come and serve. Like, they are going back to the US in July and they don't have a house or jobs or anything. They sacrificed so much and it is amazing! They are just the best! It felt like having parents with us for the evening :)

Tuesday we had lunch with the Relief Society President. Then we went to a less active. She was actually one of the very first members in Trollhättan and is a great example to use of perseverance. 

Wednesday it seemed like nothing went as planned. We did our final church watch (our mission is getting rid of it...Allelujah! We just sat in the church for 3 hours...So boring and unproductive!) With the darkness and weather and all here, seasonal depression is a pretty real thing, so we have had the opportunity to be rays of sunshine in the lives of many. We have been reading Matthew 11:28-30 with them. Great scripture!

Thursday I got really tired of Snain (snow-rain). It has been happening much too much this week! We went to the hospital to visit an investigator, she had a mini-stroke, but is recovered pretty well now. After, we went contacting and got 3 different people's numbers in 5 minutes! Crazy! 

Friday we had a specialized zone training with President and Syster Beckstrand and the Assistants in Kungsbacka. It was so good! We talked a lot about how we can use our time more effectively and plan more effectively. Best part of the meeting? We got to watch MEET THE MORMONS! I literally almost cried when they said that we would get to! OH it was SSSSOOOO GOOD! Seriously, find it and watch it. 

Saturday we played innebandy. There were 10 of us! It's growing! It was way fun, but I mostly like watching. Then we went to an investigator's and listened to some Mormon Tabernacle Choir with her. So peaceful! 

Fast Sunday was so good! Oh the Spirit was just so strong in Fast and Testimony meeting. We got complimented so much, it was crazy cool. The ward here really loves us and we are getting them pumped about missionary work. They are willing to help with everything and they really do help with everything! Holy cow this is probably the best ward in the whole world! Hahahaha, but really. This week's title quote comes from Weekly Planning. When we first meet with people, we call it a zero lesson because we just get to know them and see why they want to meet and ask about their religious background and all.

In case you didn't know, I love being a missionary. In my call letter, there is a line that reads something like "Greater happiness than you have ever experienced awaits as you Serve the Lord" It's so true! Sure there are tough times and there are people that reject us or drop us or whatever, but then there's those people that are so prepared for the Gospel! Bringing them to it and even being a small part of their journey is. The. Best! This Gospel really changes lives, I just want the whole world to have it!

Cool things that have happened since I got to Sweden:
-I can now officially eat like a European (fork in left hand, knife in right). It took a lot of practice!
-We exercise 30 minutes everyday, so this is, sadly, probably the most muscle I have ever had
-I can now understand enough Swedish that I can listen to random people speaking on the bus and understand most of what goes on in church.
-I can now speak enough Swedish that I can sit next to random people on the bus and have a mostly Swedish conversation
-Sometimes I forget the words to English hymns...

Love you all,
Syster Sarah Griffes



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