Monday, April 27, 2015

The Wonderful Week of Walking- Örebro Week 4

I swear we walked like 25k this week. Seriously, no joke. It was kind of ridiculous, but pretty great all at the same time (especially because we had FABULOUS weather nearly all week!)

On Tuesday, we did service at the church like we usually do with the Elders, a member, and a less active came too! It was pretty fun to just talk together and everything. Syster Irene and I then went down to southern Örebro to drop by two referrals and two less active members. We didn't actually get to see any of them, but we did drop off Book of Mormons or cookies. We then headed down to Kumla (a country town) for dinner with a member family. Oh my goodness, it was beautiful out there! They live pretty much in the middle of nowhere with fields and woods and all the good things. It was nice to be away from the city, hear the birds, and see the open skies. So gorgeous! The family was way fun and nice too. We taught about baptism and taking the Sacrament and how it washes away our sins. Then we practice teaching the Restoration with the parents and oldest daughter. The parents also shared their conversion stories with us. Have I ever mentioned how much I love conversion stories? :D

Now, Wednesday was the day where most of the walking occurred. We were in Odensbacken, south of Örebro, for lunch with a member, then decided that we should go and visit a less active that lived in Odensbacken too. Well, google maps on our iPhone was not quite right about where the person lived, so we tried to find their house. It was another country town, with tons of fields and open spaces and sheep (I saw sheep!). We walked and walked and walked (really started feeling like pioneer children), asked a lady who was outside at her house if she knew where it was, she said we needed to go about halfway back then take a different road. Well, we finally found the guy's house (his name is Adam). Knock on the door, start talking to "Adam."  He was like "Thanks so much for coming all the way out here, it means a lot." Then we talk some more and he goes, "wait, do you know what my name is?" and we go "Adam...?" And he says, "No, Adam used to live here. I'm Ali." We walked all the way out there to find out that Adam had moved to Örebro. Hahahaha, pretty ridiculous, but a beautiful walk. We then visited another less active that lived in the middle of nowhere, also not home. All-in-all, a beautiful 15k walk that day in the country, reminds me of home. So, so, so good to get away from the city sometimes. This Syster is not a city girl :)

Thursday we had district meeting then we dropped by more less actives (we are working on getting through the entire list of less actives by the end of the transfer). We role played the Plan of Salvation (which answers all of those good questions like: Where did I come from? Why am I here? and Where am I going after this life?) with a member, got blåsted by a TU, and role played with a YSA preparing for a mission. We had a member lunch on Monday then lessons with various investigators and role played with other members.

Saturday was weekly planning, role playing, dinner with a member family. I love families here! They are so, so great! This family comes from Africa and are way, way strong in their faith. They are so willing to help us and anyone else out with anything. We then went by (and actually talked with!) a less active that we are working with. Sunday...the best, like always. Church was really good. All the talks were on faithfulness. One speaker got back from his mission a year ago (he served in Lansing Michigan!) and told this really great story about a lady that he met on the mission who converted and how the Gospel really helped her make a 360 change in her life. It was really good. We then had a lunch with the whole ward (riktig Hungarian Goulash made by a Hungarian family here in Örebro). We role played with our ward mission leader, visited an old member lady, then had dinner with an investigator. A pretty smashing Sunday, if you ask me.

I wanted to share two videos with all of you this week. Definitely two of my favorite mormon messages. They both remind me about the why behind our trials and how they make us better. The fact is that we need our trials; they refine us, help us, and allow us to grow as people and grow closer to our Heavenly Father. We just need to learn to rely on Him and let Him make us into all that we can be, because He can make us infinitely more than we could ever make of ourselves.



Love you all dearly. Praying for you lots.
Syster Sarah Griffes
A Servant of the Lord. A Disciple of Jesus Christ (3 Nephi 5:13)




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Monday, April 20, 2015

"It was one of those food revelations!" Örebro Week 3

This week's quote comes from a YSA (Young Single Adult) in the ward. He was saying that a BMT (Bacon, Mayonnaise, and Tomatoes) was a food revelation. This coming from the same kid that likes brown sugar with his bacon...

After P-day on Monday, we went to the YSA family home evening and did the spiritual thought (on our trials and how they are necessary) then we all played Sardines...in the woods. It was kind of crazy, but pretty awesome. On Tuesday, we did service at the church then taught some zero lessons with TUs (tänkbara undersökare or potential investigators). We also are helping a YSA prepare for his mission, so we role played with him too. Syster Irene acts like an investigator and he and I teach her. It is cool, especially because then Syster Irene and I can talk about what it feels like to be the investigator and what we can do better.

On Wednesday we spent the entire day in Arboga with a member visiting lots of less actives and an investigator. On the way home, we were talking about how we are trying so hard to do everything that we can, but we are still not seeing the success that we think we could. The member said, "That is success: doing all you can. I know that Heavenly Father is pleased with you." It really meant a lot and was really good for us. Wednesday was also my 6 month mark on my mission. Crazy to think that this time next year I will be back home. Time is flying by way too fast!

Thursday was...SYSTERS CONFERENCE! All 39 Systers in the mission got together in Stockholm and we had a conference for almost the whole day. The bummer is that Syster Irene, the 2 Systers from Luleå, and I accidentally got on the wrong Tunnelbana (like the subway) and were about 50 minutes late... oops. A whole new spin on "fashionably late." The Conference was SO GOOD! The theme was The Wizard of Oz. We talked about how we can gain knowledge, love more, and be courageous. So good! Lots to think about. We also got about 1.5 hours after to just talk with all the Systers. I got to see Syster Nielsen and Syster Stetler (my MTC compaions), Syster Sorensen (my trainer), and Syster Hoke (my previous companion). So good to see all of them and just catch up and everything. Love it! Back in Örebro, we visited a less active and talked about the Sacrament and how good it feels to take it; to renew the covenant that we have made with Heavenly Father to always take upon us the name of Christ, always remember Him, and keep His commandments. We are promised that we will always have the Spirit to be with us. A pretty great agreement, if you ask me.

Friday we had district meeting and talked about what makes a good missionary. One of those things is being prepared. We really have to be ready! That is why we study so much! We need to be ready to listen to and be directed by the Spirit. We did some contacting, had dinner at a member's house, then had a lesson with an investigator. He is so great! Just so, so funny, but has really good questions and really thinks about what we talk about. That is my favorite! On Saturday, we taught an investigator, role-played with a member, had a member dinner, then did weekly planning.

Sunday...the best. As always :) Church was really good! We had 6 less actives and an investigator in church! Ahh! I love it! The lessons and talks were all really good. We had a member dinner after with a less active member, then role played with another YSA preparing for a mission. For this one, I will be the investigator. Looking forward to it! It is just interesting to be on the receiving side and learn what the people that we teach think and feel. They all really just need to feel the Spirit. That is the real teacher. We are just here to bring them the message, they have to let it enter into their hearts and change them. It really does change people and I love it. It is changing me everyday.

Love you all bunches and praying for you!
Syster Sarah Griffes



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Pictures Örebro Week 3

1. Free Ice Cream in Örebro! BEST DAY EVER! (Except that we want to be healthy and this ruins us :)
2. Pretty church we visited in Arboga
3. Beautiful doors of the church



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Monday, April 13, 2015

"Should we play the Book of Mormon card?" Örebro Week 2

This might be short, I'm running out of time! This week's quote comes from a Young Single Adult (YSA) here in the ward. He is preparing for a mission, so we were role playing a lesson and he wasn't sure what to do anymore.

Last Tuesday, we did service at the church. We raked a lot of the lawn and Syster Irene and I had a really good opportunity to talk and laugh. She is really great and we get along amazing. We have made lots of really great goals and have an awesome vision for this transfer. We can do great things, I just know it! We had a lesson with an investigator from Lebanon and talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was really good. He is really cool and is recognizing the Holy Ghost in his life more and more. 

On Wednesday, we did a role play with a member. We taught her the Restoration and it was really good. The best part was that she taught in Relief Society on Sunday about the Book of Mormon and she said that when we taught her, she felt the Spirit really strong and it reminded of her the first time that she heard the Restoration. She encouraged all of the women to let us teach them too. :)

On Thursday we went to Hällefors to visit a less active family. It's like 1.5 hours away. We had a really good family home evening with them on the importance of families. We read some from the Book of Mormon about the Atonement and how it lifts our burdens. Really good.

Friday was Zone Training in Katrineholm. The bus we needed to take to get to the train station left early, so we ran/walked to the train station, found the elders running to the train, jumped on, only to find out that it was the wrong train. We identified the right train, but it pulled away as we ran up. A member was our life saver and drove the 4 of us to the next train station where our connecting train was. Training was really good. We talked about how our morning studies were our "Time in God's Classroom." It's true! That is the time when we can really be taught by Him for ourselves and for our investigators.

Saturday we had lots planned. We visited a less active and watched a video about the Atonement, had a lesson with an investigator, then got blåsted (when people don't show up/cancel last minute) twice. We actually have gotten blåsted quite a bit this week. We have also walked all over Örebro to visit less actives, but none of them have been home. I think we are being tested. We just have to prove to Heavenly Father that we are still willing to do everything, even if things do not go our way.

Sunday was really good. This ward is huge compared to Trollhättan! Like, so big! Everyone is way nice and there are lots of kids here :) Each new missionary in the ward gets to bear their testimony, so I did that. The last time I did it in Swedish over the pulpit was my second week in Sweden. My Swedish has definitely gotten better. We had a member dinner after and talked about the Holy Ghost and how it can guide us. The member parents shared experiences and stories, it was way good. 

On Wednesday, I will have been on my mission for 6 months. That is just too crazy to think about! The time has really flown and I have just learned so much. Times can be hard, but this is definitely the best and most fulfilling thing that I have ever done. I love teaching people about the Gospel! It means everything to me and I just love to see how it can change their lives

Love you!
Syster Griffes



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Pictures Örebro Week 2

1. Elder Falkner wearing my coat...a little tight for him
2. Lunch after Zone Training. I love missionaries! 
3. Baptism of an investigator in Trollhättan
4. Found some fellow Michiganders :)



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Monday, April 6, 2015

GENERAL CONFERENCE! Örebro Week 1

What a week! Started out in my little, tiny town of Trollhättan to a pretty big city (okay, so it is really not that big, but it feels pretty big!) of Örebro. Good things to come :)

Last Monday we spent the day in Göteborg with our district. Sad to say goodbye to all of those missionaries that I have come to love and respect, but I am sure that I will see some of them around the mission in the future. We spent Monday night and all of Tuesday just saying goodbyes. It was pretty rough. I love the people in Trollhättan with all my heart! They all taught me so, so much and have helped me to become the person that I have become. A part of my heart will always be there.

On Wednesday, my train left at 7:30 from Trollhättan and arrived in Örebro at 11:30. I met my new companion, Syster Irene, at the station. I actually knew her just a little bit before in the MTC because we overlapped for about 5 days. She just finished being trained, so she is 6 weeks younger in the mission than I am. We got right to work after lunch. We visited less actives, helped a member out, and even did some tracting. I was pretty much exhausted after the emotional and physical demands of the day, but I figure that I will feel that way all the time for the next year anyway :)

Thursday we had district meeting. We are the only systers with 8 elders in the district. We had a lesson with a less active, a member, then dropped off a cake Syster Irene made to an investigator for his birthday. Remember how much I hated traveling in Trollhättan? Örebro is WAY worse. Like it takes 30 minutes by bus to get from one side of the city to the other. So many bus rides! But there are enough people on these buses that we can talk to all of them when we travel, so that is really good.

Friday we taught 2 investigator lessons, one was with the Elders the other was with a member. The Young Single Adults (YSAs) here are way awesome and ALWAYS willing to help with our lessons. It is so nice! I love it!

Saturday and Sunday were both filled with the best thing of the year...GENERAL CONFERENCE! I just love it so, so much! So uplifting and answered lots questions I have been having lately. I loved a lot of talks, but I think that my favorite was by Jeffrey R. Holland during the Sunday Morning Session. It was all about how Jesus Christ is there to rescue us through everything. What was your favorite? Here is the link to all of the talks from conference this year:

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/sessions/2015/04?cid=HP_SU_4-5-2015_dPTH_fGC_xLIDyL1-B_&lang=eng

I hope that each of you had a wonderful Easter and that you took time to remember the reason we celebrate: Christ. On Sunday morning for personal study, I read the accounts of the Resurrection and the visits that Christ made to the people from the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and James) and from the Book of Mormon. The Spirit was really strong and witnessed to me of the truth that He Lives! He really does and He understands you perfectly. He knows exactly how you feel because He has felt it before. He is always there for you, just reach out and grasp the Hand.

Love you all dearly,
Syster Sarah Griffes



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Pictures- Örebro Week 1

1. The Castle here in Örebro.
2. My lovely new companion, Syster Irene, with our General Conference Trailmix :)
3. Seriously, this castle is right in the middle of the city...it's amazing



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