Monday, July 27, 2015

Örebro Week 16

All the funny things that happened this week were like "you had to be there" kind of things, so no good quote. I think you'll survive :)

Cool things:
-Spent Wednesday in Arboga. We had a lesson cancel, so we were walking around and contacting. Met an older lady and her grand-daughter that speak Armenian. The older lady could not speak very good Swedish, but said that she wanted a Book of Mormon in Armenian. Happy to do that! We also dropped by a mother and daughter that are members to bring them raspberries because they were feeling sick. They are just so sweet! They had us in and gave us food and just did so much for us and all we wanted to do was brighten their day a little bit. Love them!
-Thursday we had work overs with the Syster Training Leaders from Södertälje. So they both came here and one was with Syster Bourelle and the other, Syster Kamauoha, was with me for the day. We had a was weird... We planned to do swing-bys, but almost no one was home, so we did a lot of contacting and gave out Book of Mormons. A pretty successful day, even if all of our plans did fall through 
-On Saturday we had a lesson with a couple that we have not taught in a long while. We randomly saw them this week in town and talked with them. They invited us over. They speak Persian, so we had a member translate over the phone. The lesson was stellar. The translator bore a very powerful testimony and it was just so perfect. They said that they have investigated many churches and that ours is the best and makes the most sense. It was really spectacular. 
-On Sunday we had two investigators in church that Syster Bourelle and Syster Bolton met while we did work overs. We taught them the Restoration afterwards. Neither of them have a religious background, but both are very positive. One of them even prayed for the first time in his life at the end of the lesson. It was way cool. 
-Also visited two member families on Sunday. I just love families.

Our mission is having us do a challenge to learn what it means to "Feast upon the words of Christ" (2 Nephi 32:3). We were challenged to read either Enos or 2 Nephi 9 every day for 30 days. It has really been a cool experience and I have learned a lot. Each day, something new comes to me that I did not notice the day before. I would encourage each of you to do the same. It is really wonderful and has helped me understand a lot about prayer and how necessary Christ is to everything in this life. 

Love you!
Syster Sarah Griffes

Örebro Week 16 Pictures

1. Me on the giant bench in Örebro. One of the few things from Open Art that I really like :)
2. A family here in Örebro that I love with me and Syster Bourelle
3. All of the zone after the Zone Volleyball Tournament today :)

Monday, July 20, 2015

"I'm British. We're treacherous, it's what we do" Örebro Week 14

Quote comes from Elder Falkner, from my MTC group. Saw him this week at a Zone Training and he said that line. Perfect. I don't even remember what all he said otherwise, but caught this perfect one :)

Kind of a weird week, but good things too:
-We taught the Restoration quite a bit this week. I think that it is and probably will always be my favorite lesson. It just has such a strong Spirit with it. I love testifying to people about why I know that the Church is God's church, the Book of Mormon is His word, and Joseph Smith was His prophet. It is great to see how this message changes people.
-Taught this one investigator the Restoration and he really softened up during the lesson. He always tells us that he does not need God and that there is no reason to pray and stuff, but then he sees the logic and feels the Spirit. We have it narrowed down to the question, "What do you have to lose by asking?" He is going to think about it and get back to us. (the Answer is that he has nothing to lose, but EVERYTHING to gain!)
-Saturday was super packed. But like the language barriers are killers. An investigator from Kurdistan, one from Eritrea, and one from Iran. Like each can speak basic English or Swedish, but the Gospel jargon is NOT basic. Google Translate is a huge blessing for missionary work :)
-Had dinner on Sunday with a member family. Every time we are with them, I am just so happy because they remind me of my family in so many ways. Terrible (but lovely) dad jokes, the mom that holds it all together, sisters that are close and talk about everything, a little brother that is hilarious (older brother is on a mission) and pretty much just happiness :)
-We had a lesson with an investigator from Iran that cannot speak much English, so we had a translator over the phone that speaks Persian. We taught the Restoration then our investigator and the member translator went on a really long conversation and we have essentially no idea what in the world they talked about...Good things, but like we just don't know what :)
-We had a special zone training on Friday. President and Syster Beckstrand essentially had Family Home Evening with all of the missionaries in the zone. We were allowed to ask them questions and they answered. It was just a marvelous experience. They are amazing examples and literally give everything for us. I know that they were chosen specifically for this mission and specifically for me today. I have learned so much from them and continue to learn from them. Could not ask for better Mission Parents :)
-The Elders here in Örebro (Elder Smith and Elder Williams) had a baptism this week! The new member is from Sudan. He traveled 9 days by boat from Sudan to Egypt, then to Italy. He and his wife then traveled as far away as they could and ended up in Sweden. He was Muslim, but decided he wanted to become Christian. Told a friend, the friend gave him the missionaries' number and BAM! He got baptized last week. There are prepared people out there!

Wednesday was my 9 month mark! That mean that I am now more than halfway done with my mission. Time has absolutely FLOWN (at times, other times it just seems to crawl :) It is just so crazy to think about all that has happened and how much I have changed and everything. A lot has happened: many trials, many smiles, and lots of growth. I have learned a lot so far about many different things, but mostly I have learned about Heavenly Father's love for each and every one of us. He really knows us, individually and perfectly. He has a plan for YOUR life that is amazing and personally tailored for you. He really loves us and I have learned so, so much about that since I have been here on my mission. Excited to make the second half even better, grow even more, and work even harder. God speed!

Love you!
Syster Sarah Griffes
A Servant of the Lord

Monday, July 13, 2015

"Z-dawg was like..." Örebro Week 14

When Syster Bourelle and I do companionship study in the mornings, we recount different stories from the Book of Mormon that we studied during personal study and they usually include ridiculous names and modern phrases. She called Zeezrom Z-dawg :)

Things from this week:
-Taught the Plan of Salvation to an investigator that really doesn't have a belief in God. He likes that we look at God as our Loving Heavenly Father instead of a harsh God. He also liked how we admitted that we do not have all the answers. We had two members with us and they were great. Both bore powerful testimony on how the Gospel has blessed them
-Spent a day in Arboga with a member couple. They are super great and give everything for the Lord. Such great examples of Charity and Sacrifice. 
-Randomly met and investigator we have not seen in weeks on the bus. We had a really long conversation/lesson about who God is and how there is absolute truth. We just have to ask God what that is.
-Visited some less actives and they want to go to the temple. We are making goals and figuring out how to get them there. Neither has been before. Excited to help them see what they are missing out on right now!
-Not this week, but the week before, we had a random guy that we street contacted come to church. We met him this week and he is pretty positive. Only barrier is that he speaks Persian and we are still looking for a good translator...Language Barriers all day long....
-Like two weeks ago, we met this guy street contacting and talked about the meaning of life. He has been going through a rough time in life, so we gave him a Book of Mormon and testified of how much it has helped us through our weaknesses and trials. He did not want to give us his number, so we thought we would never see him again. BUT! He randomly showed up to Church yesterday! His first time ever in a church and he liked it! We are meeting him this week :) The Book of Mormon is the BEST BOOK EVER!

I read this talk this week by President Henry B. Eyring and pretty much loved it. The only thing that is covering us from the Lord is the pavilions that WE create. He is always there. He has promised that He will never leave or forsake us. We need to remove the pavilions in our life (pride, distractions, unwillingness, lack of love, etc.) to receive the fulness of His blessings. He want to bless us, but we have to allow Him to do so. Take time and think about how you can allow His light into your life more starting TODAY!

Love you, praying for you. 
Syster Sarah Griffes

Monday, July 6, 2015

Independence Day 2015- Örebro Week 13

Happy Belated Independence Day! Hope you all had a lovely time :) I celebrated by making Strawberry Cupcakes, wearing Red, White, and Blue, and trying to teach my Canadian companion the national anthem (I wish that this e-mail would let me send was priceless) :)

Things we did on this, the hottest week so far (debatably the hottest week of the whole summer):
-Finished up with the roof we have been working on with a member family. Good times :) (picture of the roof attached)
-Visited a less active family. They are really coming along! They even shared the Gospel with a friend and wanted some materials and stuff to give her about the church. PERFECT!
-Visited a nice old lady we tracted into the other week and taught her the Plan of Salvation as we walked with her to get eggs from the store. Her husband recently passed away, so the plan of Salvation was really good for her to hear. We will see our loved ones again! In fact, we can be with them for Eternity!
-Had zone training and talked about using the Book of Mormon more in all that we do. Was a really good meeting and got me exciting about flooding the world with the Book of Mormon. If you haven't read it, you really should. Favorite book in the world!
-Read from the Book of Mormon with an investigator from Eritrea. Language barriers all day long (they do not have the BOM translated in her language yet...)

Read this talk by President Thomas S. Monson this week and love this quote about making the most of today:

"This is our one and only chance at mortal life—here and now. The longer we live, the greater is our realization that it is brief. Opportunities come, and then they are gone. I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that illusive and nonexistent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey—now."

Find joy. Walk in nature. Watch some birds. Play with your kids. Hug a friend. Write a note to someone that needs it. Say I love you to the people you love. Reach out. Do something that makes you happy. Try something new. Make the most of today because tomorrow is all too soon.

Love you and praying for you,
Syster Sarah Griffes