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

https://www.mormon.org/beliefs/plan-of-salvation (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!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Re: Good-byes: Round 2- Örebro Week 17

Forgot this one!
-I finished the Book of Mormon again this week. Every time I do that, I always take Moroni's challenge and pray about it. It was so cool because I could just feel the Spirit bearing witness before I even prayed. I bore my testimony in Sacrament on Sunday and talked about how my testimony grows "Brighter and brighter" (Doctrine and Covenants 50:24) each time I read from, testify of, and give out a Book of Mormon. I love that book with my entire heart. It means everything to me. I know that it is true.

On Mon, Aug 3, 2015 at 3:44 PM, Sarah Griffes <sarah.griffes@myldsmail.net> wrote:
Well, the news is in. On Wednesday, I will be moving to Stockholm. I will be serving in the Jakobsberg Ward :) (Jakobsberg is pronounced like this: Yaw kobbs berry...kind of...Swedish...) Excited for a change, but nervous about being in the city. Country girl, through and through :) I am really looking forward to this new challenge and ready to give my everything to the work in Jakobsberg. Going to finish the second half of my mission stronger than the first :)

The Highlight Reel:
-Read together in the Book of Mormon with one of our investigators. He previously said that he just wanted to read to get information and see if there was good, but now says that he actually wants to know if it is true! YES! He prayed for the first time in our lesson and even came to church on Sunday. He really needs this and the Church really needs him :)

-Taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ to an investigator from Eritrea that now has the Book of Mormon in a language that she can read! It went really well and she said that if she finds out it is true, she will be baptized.

-Oh. My. Goodness. Two weeks ago, Syster Bourelle contacted this guy by Slottet. Met him this past week. He is from Togo (in Africa, by Ghana). We pulled out Le Livre de Mormon and he looked at it, looked at us, then said, "I know this book! I have read it before! I know this church. I want to be baptized in this church!" Turns out he has really good friends that are members, has been to the Church before, and has even been to the Temple in Ghana. So perfect!

-For District Meeting this week, we held a double funeral (two missionares are "Dying" AKA going home). It was hilarious. The "eulogies" were really sweet and we had chocolate chip pancakes after :) Favorite quote? "You will now be leaving your mission and going to the great YSA (Young Single Adult) Ward in the sky" :) Mormon culture is get home, get married :)

-Taught our Persian investigator how to pray in Swedish for a language lesson. He really wants to know about the church and everything. I really wish that the Persian translation of the Book of Mormon was good, but I hear that it is awful!


Holy Cow. 18 Weeks in Örebro will come to an end on Wednesday. It has really flown by. I really have loved this place and these people. Leaving is so hard! I have really learned so much in my time here! The members are such great examples of giving your EVERYTHING to the Lord and to others. I learned about some different character faults of mine and have worked hard at changing them. I have learned that happiness is a choice and we get to decide how things go. We can make the best of every situation and come out better because of it. Because it is me, I have a really good talk about just that :)


Love you all! Next time you hear from me, I will be in the biggest city in Sweden. Here's to hoping I do not get lost! :)
Syster Sarah Griffes
A Happy, Dedicated Servant of the Lord.

Good-byes: Round 2- Örebro Week 17

Well, the news is in. On Wednesday, I will be moving to Stockholm. I will be serving in the Jakobsberg Ward :) (Jakobsberg is pronounced like this: Yaw kobbs berry...kind of...Swedish...) Excited for a change, but nervous about being in the city. Country girl, through and through :) I am really looking forward to this new challenge and ready to give my everything to the work in Jakobsberg. Going to finish the second half of my mission stronger than the first :)

The Highlight Reel:
-Read together in the Book of Mormon with one of our investigators. He previously said that he just wanted to read to get information and see if there was good, but now says that he actually wants to know if it is true! YES! He prayed for the first time in our lesson and even came to church on Sunday. He really needs this and the Church really needs him :)

-Taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ to an investigator from Eritrea that now has the Book of Mormon in a language that she can read! It went really well and she said that if she finds out it is true, she will be baptized.

-Oh. My. Goodness. Two weeks ago, Syster Bourelle contacted this guy by Slottet. Met him this past week. He is from Togo (in Africa, by Ghana). We pulled out Le Livre de Mormon and he looked at it, looked at us, then said, "I know this book! I have read it before! I know this church. I want to be baptized in this church!" Turns out he has really good friends that are members, has been to the Church before, and has even been to the Temple in Ghana. So perfect!

-For District Meeting this week, we held a double funeral (two missionares are "Dying" AKA going home). It was hilarious. The "eulogies" were really sweet and we had chocolate chip pancakes after :) Favorite quote? "You will now be leaving your mission and going to the great YSA (Young Single Adult) Ward in the sky" :) Mormon culture is get home, get married :)

-Taught our Persian investigator how to pray in Swedish for a language lesson. He really wants to know about the church and everything. I really wish that the Persian translation of the Book of Mormon was good, but I hear that it is awful!


Holy Cow. 18 Weeks in Örebro will come to an end on Wednesday. It has really flown by. I really have loved this place and these people. Leaving is so hard! I have really learned so much in my time here! The members are such great examples of giving your EVERYTHING to the Lord and to others. I learned about some different character faults of mine and have worked hard at changing them. I have learned that happiness is a choice and we get to decide how things go. We can make the best of every situation and come out better because of it. Because it is me, I have a really good talk about just that :)


Love you all! Next time you hear from me, I will be in the biggest city in Sweden. Here's to hoping I do not get lost! :)
Syster Sarah Griffes
A Happy, Dedicated Servant of the Lord.

Örebro Week 17 Pictures

1. One of the churches that is right in the city center (Nikolai Kyrkan)
2. Us with this totally legit hippy guy I met on the bus one time. He is way funny
3. Had a double funeral (whenever missionaries go home, we say that they are dying, so we have funerals :)
4. Our district and the Zone Leaders (the terrible, terrible beach shirts from H&M were only 30 kronor. About $3.50)