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