Monday, October 26, 2015

The Lost Phone- Jakobsberg Week 12

Whelp, the subject line says it all. It has definitely been an interesting week...

But we will start with the beginning of the week...

Tuesday was just one of those normal days of missionary work. Lessons, finding, the like. Wednesday we had a really good Restoration re-cap with an investigator from Eritrea. The language barrier is really the problem. We used pictures and drew things out and did all that we could, I hope that he understands! He can speak way good Swedish, but not the Gospel Swedish. BUT! I know that he feels the Spirit when we are together. The day pretty much just went downhill from that point... We had to go up to Kallhäll so that the Bishop could sign something for us. We were on a bus that had some malfunctioning doors. So at almost every stop, the bus driver had to go and release the pressure system and manually close them. This meant that the 15-20 minute bus ride took more like 40 minutes. Signed the paper, hopped on the train, then to another bus on the way to a less active. Well, the buttons that you press to let the bus driver know that you want to get off were not working...so Syster Hong tried about 8 different buttons and in the process, somehow dropped/left the phone on the bus. We finally got off the bus, walked to the apartment, then realized that the phone was gone. We called the office elders right away and they put a track on the phone to find it (it for sure got stolen and currently looks like a computer genius has locked it up from what they know...probably not getting that back....). We could either be real mad about it or just laugh about it, so we just laugh about it.   

But we did have a nice lesson with the less active girl. Just got to know each other and talked about why we are members of the Church and how we came to know that the Church is true. She is a very logical thinker, which is cool because I am too :) The only difference right now is that she thinks of all the reasons why God logically does not exist and I see all the ways that it is logical that He MUST exist!

The rest of the week was just really interesting/difficult. Literally I never understood how much we RELY on those phones for missionary work. From calling and texting to Google Maps, Google Translate, and the Gospel Library. We spent a lot of time making calls in the Church this week and doing our best to find our way around town :) We had a really nice district meeting about Diligence on Thursday. I really like what one Elder said, "If you are doing something to help others come unto Christ, you are being diligent." We then had a lovely Enchilada lunch made by my companion. The Elders had a really nice day planned out, but every one canceled, so we went and played "Contacting Tag" with them in their area. One companionship goes and contacts for about 15 minutes while the other sits and calls people (really nice for us because we used their phone). Our contacting was way successful! Gave out 3 Book of Mormons in about 25 minutes and taught people about how we know that God exists and that He loves us. Then gave out another Book of Mormon on the bus later that day. We also had two lessons with members. This ward is spectacular.

Friday was weekly planning....in the Church...then we went to Täby to go to the Halloween Party with our New Convert. I have never seen so many American members of the Church together...It was literally a riktig American Halloween Party with Trunk or treating and everything! SO FUN! Saturday we taught a less active then went and did chalk art. I had a crazy bad headache/probably actually a migraine so I helped another Sister plan a lesson that she was preparing for. The art turned out really good and many missionaries talked top lots of people. Sunday was really lovely. Church was good and we even had Fika after and chatted with people, then had dinner with our new convert and a member, then had cake with the Young Women. They made it because Syster Hong is leaving on Wednesday :( SO SAD! I love that girl and have learned a TON from her! My new companion that will come on Wednesday is named Syster Crawford. Very excited for her to come!

Video of the week:
(that link is not working for me, so here is another one)

This is the newest Mormon Message and I LOVE IT! The whole time I watched it the first time, I just thought about how much our decisions determine destiny (something that President Thomas S. Monson has repeated many, many times over the years). The little things that we do every day really do decide where we are tomorrow and where we will be in the coming years and in the eternities. In order to receive good things, we have to do good things. That's just how it works :)

Love you dearly,
Syster Sarah Griffes

1. Just one this week. We did another Chalk Art in Innerstan (inner city) Stockholm. Joseph Smith praying when he received the first vision :)

Monday, October 19, 2015

"I had a rush of adrenaline and faith....teleporting didn't work" Jakobsberg Week 11

The Scene: Friday night, 7:30 PM. Already completely dark, about 40 degrees.
Syster Hong and I were discussing how it was cold and how it would take at least an hour to get home from where we were and that we still needed to have dinner. All of a sudden, Syster Hong clicks her heels together, clenches every muscle in her body, and makes a weird noise. I pretty much bust out laughing and ask her what happened. " I had a rush of adrenaline and faith....but teleporting didn't work. I really thought it would! That was the weirdest feeling that I have ever had!" Died about it for DAYS! The Elders died when they heard too :)

Highlights:
-Taught a new investigator from Nigeria that knows about the Church there and has seen the temple in Aba. He says that it is the prettiest church building in all of Nigeria (I AGREE!)
-Got to go to the temple in Stockholm on Tuesday! It is a way pretty temple!
-Had dinner with our American family here in Jakobsberg. ROASTED S'MORES!
-Had Systers Conference with all of the 40 systers in the mission. Very spiritually uplifting!
-Really good District Meeting about how we can help our investigators have a good experience at church and how we can keep the Sabbath Day more holy and have the Sacrament be a spiritual experience each week. Got me thinking about and studying about what I need to change
-Sat through a lesson in which Syster Hong taught in Spanish. So many wandering thoughts (we call it space tripping). Reminds me of the Greenie Days when I had no idea what was happening....
-Role played the Restoration with a returned missionary in our ward (he is our ward mission leader) and got some really good tips on how we can teach more effectively. He is a good teacher and a great ward mission leader!
-A less active we work with gave one of the most sincere prayers I have ever heard yesterday. No eloquence, just talking to Heavenly Father. Our relationship with Him is what matters most in this life. My relationship is one of my most treasured possessions. I love Him and I know that He loves me. 

Attached is a video to one of my favorite Discourses by the Savior from John 6. Check out all of the Bible videos! The words are taken right from the King James Version of the Bible. THEY ARE SO GOOD!

Love you all!
Syster Griffes

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Year Mark...October 15th, 2015- Jakobsberg Week 10

Do you all realize that today is October 12th which means that Thursday is October 15th which means that I will have been on the mission for a YEAR! A YEAR! That is just so impossible it is not even funny. Cannot handle that, not at all. That means that I will go back home in 6 MONTHS! Not possible, I am in denial. Time has flown way too fast and there is just too much to do and to learn!

I remember last year after I spent a whole year out at BYU, I wrote this really nice sappy Facebook post about how I had learned so much from my year at BYU and how it was the best year yet and all that jazz. Well, I would like to proudly announce that this year has been even better.

Some of you may wonder, how in the world can this year be better? I am out in Sweden, thousands of miles from home, friends, and family. I have a crazy schedule and missionary rules (which people think are really crazy). I wear skirts every day of my life (and tight season is on us, so that too). I am pushed mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually more now than ever before. I see my weaknesses more clearly than ever and have never before known just how much I cannot do. 

This is why this year has been even better: I have been able to be a representative of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I have been able to help others find the Light that I have found and see the joy that comes into their lives as they have grown closer unto our Heavenly Father. As I have done so, I have grown closer to Him too. I have become more deeply converted to the Gospel and my Faith in Christ has grown immeasurably. As I have come unto Christ, I have seen my weaknesses, but have also seen them become strengths (Ether 12:27). I am now more prepared for the rest of my life; to raise my future family in the Gospel, to help others as a member missionary, and to serve in the Lord's vineyard for the rest of my life (and the rest of eternity). I have grown more and experienced more in this year than ever before. This has been the most challenging time, but the most rewarding and defining time of my life so far. I will never, ever regret the year and a half that I gave up everything else and chose to be a dedicated missionary. I know that it will make all the difference and truly define my life and eternity.

And there was even a miracle this week! Our investigator, Inger, got baptized and confirmed! I can tell you right now that fasting, blessings, and many prayers helped her out more than anything we did. I can see more clearly than ever that when you do everything that you do, then leave the rest to the Lord, He takes care of His part. The baptismal service was simple and beautiful and Inger is just so happy. She has made a huge step towards Christ and I know that Heavenly Father is so proud of her.

Love you all,
Syster Griffes

Pictures Jakobsberg Week 10

1-3. BAPTISM ON SATURDAY!!!! Such a special day!
4. Weirdest picnic table of my life...

Monday, October 5, 2015

"I turned the lights out on myself when I was in the bathroom" Jakobsberg Week 9

Sitting on the couch, doing weekly planning. Syster Hong gets up to go to the bathroom. The door closes and I almost immediately here a scream. "Is everything okay?" I ask. She opens the door and responds, "Yes. I just turned the lights out on myself when I was in the bathroom. I'm afraid of the dark." I busted out laughing for a good two minutes :D

I would like to begin by expressing that General Conference is the best thing ever! (but more on that later)

-Spent nearly all day Tuesday with a member, Nicki, that is preparing for her own full-time mission. We managed to have 4 lessons planned in a row (so like two blåsted us, but it's okay) at the church. We taught one investigator a little about the History of the Book of Mormon and why it is an essential book. We made lunch, then role played the Plan of Salvation with Nicki. We taught the Restoration to a new investigator :) He is looking for truth and was like, "I will make time for this!" which is much different than many people that say we ask for too much time. This is the best thing to make time for!
-Had a lovely trip out to our Island, Ekerö. That place is beautiful. If I had to live in our area, I would like on Ekerö. Swung by some less actives, did some much needed clerical work on the way there and back. Then met with the Elders and the Bishop and finished going through the ward lists. We went to the Bishop's house afterward and had a lesson with his family. He is just an amazing guy! A very strong testimony on the importance of missions and how the missionary is the most important convert. He is right!
-Taught a man that the Elders in Gubbängen (about an hour south of us by public transportation) contacted on the tunnelbana. He met with missionaries about 10 years ago and is really interested in what we believe. He has searched in a lot of different churches and recognizes the Spirit when it speaks to him. He had a million questions and I am way grateful that our ward mission leader was there to help out!

And now on to why General Conference is the best thing that can ever happen: We get to hear from our Living Prophet and receive guidance and direction that Heavenly Father knows that we need today. I love it! We watched two sessions at the Stake Center then one at a members house (with about 10 missionaries), watching the last one today. I talked to a couple different missionaries about main themes that they recognized and we all had different answers. It is just beautiful because we all hear the same words, but the Spirit teaches us the things that we need to hear individually. I learned a lot about discipleship and motherhood. I really loved how much they talked about improving, but not killing ourselves over mistakes and things. But, those are just the things that I needed to hear, so maybe you didn't even recognize those things. I know that we have a living prophet and living apostles that are guided by Heavenly Father to say and teach the things that we need today. Heavenly Father still speaks to His Children today, just as He did in times past. He loves us even more than we can understand and wants each and every one of us to return to Him.

Love you lots,
Syster Sarah Griffes

Pictures Jakobsberg Week 9

1. Drottningholm Palace. It was gorgeous!
2. The whole group that went
3. I love us!
4. Syster Hong always gets amazing pictures of the sky!
5. The nutella obsession is real (plus, this is what I would look like if I had glasses, just so you know :)