Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving and all the Happiness- Jakosberg Week 17

Not going to lie, I accidentally got carried away with emailing other people that I only have like 5 minutes to write this one.

We kind of had a not-so-good week. It was proof to us that the Lord is still in charge of the work and that we cannot get too prideful about everything from the week before. Plus that we need to keep up the high pace instead of falling back into what we did in previous weeks.

-THANKSGIVING! Literally, so fun. I am so blessed! We had all the normal things and got stuffed (as usual)
-Testifying to a bed-ridden member about how much God really loves her, even if she has challenges and trials. He is really aware of us and all of our needs
-Reading through the Introduction to the Book of Mormon with an investigator and seeing understanding come. He wants to really read it :)
-FHE with a member family and teaching their kids about the Holy Ghost using object lessons
-Having dinner at the Beckstrands (Mission President and Wife) and helping them decorate for Christmas. So fun! They are such a blessing in my life. I need them in my life! We found out that Syster Crawford will be training, which means that I am transferring. NOT HAPPY! So sad about it, I really love this place and all the people, but new adventures await. 

Best Website som finns!

Love you all, Have a great week!
Syster Griffes

Pictures Jakobsberg Week 17

1. (low picture quality, I know). Cleaned the Church...Cinderella all day long :)
3. Had dinner with the Beckstrands. LOVE THEM!
4. Selfies with the best mission president and wife the world has to offer :)

Monday, November 23, 2015

Sometimes I check to make sure my skirt is still on- Jakobsberg Week 16

The cold has started, so the tights and leggings are on every day. Syster Crawford sometimes looks down to be sure that her skirt is still on because she cannot feel it through the layers. The first time she told me, I busted out laughing. The struggle is real... :)

Whoa, this week was amazing. Here's why:
-Last Saturday (so, the 14th) I was praying to know what more Heavenly Father wanted us to do. The week had been weird and things felt off. I really felt like we needed to take a whole week and just completely dedicate ourselves to 100% Obedience and to meeting all of the Standards of Excellence for the mission, so we did! We didn't have much to change as far as obedience goes, just a few minor adjustments and a few things we could tighten up. With the Standards of Excellence, we really just needed to open our mouths more and teach more. So we did! And oh my goodness, what a difference it made! I can testify that when we do all that we can, even if we cannot do very much, the Lord blesses us in big ways! He really does! This is not to say that the week was perfect and we did not meet all of the Standards of Excellence, but we were closer than I have ever been in my mission! It was stellar!
-We taught the Restoration to 4 new investigators this week. That is really my favorite lesson, still! Same lesson each time, but with minor adjustments to each individual based on their needs and their backgrounds. It is really cool because Syster Crawford and I teach very similarly, so we can just take it and run with it. Have some very positive new investigators after this week :)
-As with all good things that we try to do, the adversary really tried to work against us. It was definitely true on Tuesday. We had to get our phone fixed because of a broken screen and it took much more time than we anticipated. We actually ended up having an investigator and a potential investigator call and cancel on us because of it. We were a little discouraged because both were very important lessons, but we continued and didn't let it get us down. 
-We spent time with members (active and less active). We even had two less active members that we are working with come to Stake Conference this weekend. Both were inspired and say they will come to church next week :)
-We were given many opportunities to teach people on the street, on the bus, everywhere! 
-We were able to teach quite a few lessons with members. Including a young adult that is preparing for a mission herself. She gave a talk at Stake Conference yesterday about her decision to serve and her preparation and it was just wonderful!
-We testified of Christ all week long. That is really what our message is all about: The Savior. He really is at the center of all we do and all we are. We need Him more than we will ever understand. 

Thanksgiving is coming! Sadly, Sweden does not celebrate it, BUT! There is an American family here, so we will be with them and celebrating it nonetheless :) Take time to thank everyone around you for all they mean to you. You never know who needs to hear that you love them and are grateful for them. Most importantly, take time to thank Heavenly Father for all that He has given you, because He has given you everything.

Love you lots, praying for you, and thanking Heavenly Father that I have you in my life :)
Syster Griffes

Pictures Jakobsberg Week 16

1. In the scary part of our area again :) Middle of the day, no problems!
2. I really love that there are playgrounds EVERYWHERE in Sweden
3. It got really cold this week and we were planning on going on a walk with our investigator, but forgot hats and stuff, so the Elders let us borrow theirs 
4. And now, the most Swedish thing som finns (that exists)... DALAHÄSTAR! (Doll Horses). Finally got one!

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Weird Week- Jakobsberg Week 15

Yeah...this week was just real weird. It kind of went like this...
-All important lessons fell through
-All...interesting...lessons with potential investigators went through, but we will likely not meet with any of them again

But! The Highlights:
-I got to go on splits with Syster Irene!!! (we were companions in Örebro like 6 months ago). I. Love. That. Syster! She is just so great and I always learn form her. I have learned time and time again that Heavenly Father places specific people in our lives at specific times for specific purposes and I know that she is one of those people that He gave me because I needed her. So good to spend even just a short 24 hours with her and secretly (well, not so secret anymore, I guess) hoping that we will be companions again before I head home in just 5 short months! :)
-Visited the American family in the ward. I love them! We even had funeral potatoes! 
-Role played the Restoration with a member so that he could correct our Swedish and he said that we did really well and that we didn't have very many mistakes at all. Good feeling! I just know that I sound really American when I speak, but that will never go away. I recently thought about how weird it will be when I go home and I am able to speak a language that like none of my friends and family can speak or understand...that will be strange!
-Every day in my daily planner, I write down the funny moment, the lesson learned, and the tender mercy of the day. One of the biggest, smallest tender mercy came on Friday. We were on the way home and barely missed the train that we wanted to catch by about 5 seconds, got to our train station and saw that our bus was leaving the bus station. As it drove on the rode by the train station, I half-heartedly waved it down (they usually do not stop) and...the bus driver stopped and let us on! Like it was just such a miracle and a blessing because we were exhausted and did not want to walk home and did not have time to wait for the next bus. Faith in Humanity...RESTORED!

And now...the moment that you have all been waiting for.... THE LINK TO MEET THE MORMONS!

Okay, so maybe you have not been waiting for this moment too much, but really. The documentary is only an hour long, just watch it! It is SO INSPIRING! My favorite is the Candy Bomber because it shows that one person can make a difference! Enjoy. Remember who you are and who you can become with God's help.

Love you and praying for you,
Syster Sarah Griffes

Pictures Jakobsberg Week 15

1. Got to go on splits with this girl! I LOVE SYSTER IRENE!
2. FHE (please take the time to appreciate that the Elders cannot take normal photos
3. The Zone wanted us to take a "fall" photo :)

Monday, November 9, 2015

"It's a nerdy hobbit of mine" Jakosberg Week 14

Walking home from the bus stop, talking about weird habits and Syster Crawford accidentally replaced Habit with Hobbit, but it was too perfect!

We spent so much time with members this week! I absolutely love members! They have taught me so much and helped me through hard times and, oh I could just talk about members for hours. We need them, they need us, it is just too perfect!

-We did Family Home Evening with a family this week and talked about keeping the Sabbath Day Holy with their kids, plus made chocolate chip cookies :)
-Cleaned the church with a single lady in the ward and listened to General Conference over the speaker system as we did so. We then taught her the Restoration as practice. It was really spectacular.
-Visited a member and talked about God's love. Going back this week to do Family Home Evening with her family :)
-Visited another single member and talked about our missionary work and how she can help
-Met with a less active for the first time. Wow, he has the Spirit with him! His relationship with God is so strong!
-Taught our new convert and were able to answer questions and help her understand the Restoration even better.
-Had dinner with a member and discussed how every time we talk about the Gospel, we plant seeds that can grow and flourish later.
-Visited a couple and talked about giving our burdens to the Lord (Matthew 11:28-30)
-Taught a less active about the Restoration

And all of that was just things that we did with members. Here is the weekly investigator report:
-We taught our guy from Sierra Leone (that just showed up at church last week and wants to be baptized) the Restoration. Invited him to pray and ask if Joseph Smith was a prophet and read and pray about the Book of Mormon, but he responded, "I already know that it is true!" He was really excited when we talked about having a living prophet today :)
-Taught an investigator from Congo about keeping the Sabbath Day Holy and partaking of the Sacrament. He has promised to come to Church since we first met him 3 months ago, but still has not, time for a little break.
-Met with an investigator that was taught about a year ago and taught the Plan of Salvation. She really liked it and I know that she felt the Spirit!
-An investigator from Africa came to church for the first time yesterday. He really felt the Spirit and says that it feels different in our church than in any other Christian church he has been to, so he wants to prepare to be baptized! It was just too perfect! The Primary Program was yesterday (where the kids sing and give talks for our main worship service). It was so precious and, as usual, had its fair share of kid-quirks (like the one girl that found a microphone on the side of the stand and started making noises and talking as one of the other kids was giving a talk at the pulpit, priceless!) The Elders had an investigator from China come and he loved it too. We had Fika after and he and I talked for a while about why it feels different in our church, how we receive answers to prayers, what God thinks about families, and many more things. Really cool guy, really deep thinker!

One thing that I have just always loved about being a member of the Church is having a huge family all over the world. That is something that many of our investigators and less actives have mentioned about our Church. You come and feel welcomed and loved and accepted. It feels like home! And to me, it really is home. The Church members are just an extension of my family, literally all around the world. If you have never been or have not been in a while, just give it a try! Come and see what we are all about, you have nothing to lose, but absolutely everything to gain. Greater happiness awaits, you just have to take that first step. 

Love you all and praying for you,
Syster Griffes

Pictures Jakobsberg Week 14

1. We went to an observation tower and looked over the whole city :)
2. I love us :) (Syster Crawford, YSA Preparing for a mission, me)
3. SWEDEN! The streets here are just so cute!

Monday, November 2, 2015

"She is a beautiful gaughter of dod" Jakobsberg Week 13

Well, this past two transfers has been many, many laughs. Like not going to lie, debatably the most that I have laughed in a 12 week period in my entire life. Many of these laughs have stemmed from a District Meeting at the beginning of the transfer. Elder Halterman did one of those word switches and said, "Yeah, that hour we had a meeting ago" instead of "That meeting we had an hour ago." Syster Hong and I held it together really well, but busted out laughing about it later. I kid you not, since that one occurrence, she or I or someone around us has done one of those switches almost Every. Single. Day. And we laugh our heads off every time. My favorite of the transfer was last Tuesday, Elder DeMordaunt intended to say, "She is a beautiful Daughter of God," but it came out "gaughter of dod." WE DIED! The people on the train always know when the Americans are around because we can be so loud!

This week was as follows:
-Tuesday was packing (well, Syster Hong packed, I actually just sat and put numbers back into our new phone because none of them synced into iCloud...really bummed...good thing we kept good records on paper and we actually have the numbers!) and goodbyes. Visited two member families that I love and Syster Hong loves. Syster Hong also gave the Elders their last haircuts before she heads over to the other side of the country :) The free haircuts are gone and many will be mourning that!
-Wednesday was about 2.5 hours at the Train Station in Stockholm, got to see many missionaries come and go. Said goodbye to Syster Hong, going to miss her so much! The Zone Leaders actually were helping her and another elder onto the train and got stuck on it as it started, so they had to go to Katrineholm and back (about 1.5 hours there). Real funny! I was standing outside of the train and knocked on the window when the conductor blew the whistle to let them know that they needed to get off, but they didn't quite get the message. The doors locked and I just waved at them from the platform :) Syster Crawford (new companion!) came in and we dropped her stuff off then headed to a lesson and to visit a member family.
-Thursday was ridiculous. Had District Meeting in Täby at the Mission Office. Went down to T-Central to get back in our area, but found out that there was something wrong with our phone that only the Office Elders could fix, so we went back to the office, then had to go to the Apple Store, but couldn't get in to get the screen fixed that day (two hour wait...don't think so!). Finally got to our area at about 17:30. Did some swing-bys and tracting. Ended up teaching 3 lessons and giving out 3 Book of Mormons in one stairwell. Way cool!
-Did service on Friday with a member family. Had a lesson with an investigator, then met the family of another investigator (he lives here, but they currently live in Italy, but visited). 
-Saturday we visited an old member lady, did some swingbys, visited a member family, then started to head back to our area for Weekly Planning. We got about 20 minutes out and got a call from a member that we had left a note with. Turns out he is active, just goes to Stockholm ward, BUT! He wanted us to come back so that we could meet a friend of his that he wants us to teach, so we went back and had a way spiritual lesson about fasting to receive answers. The member was a very powerful teacher and brought a very strong spirit. It was just great!
-Sunday, best day of the week! A random guy walked into the Church today and said that he met with missionaries about 10 years ago, but that he is now ready to change his life and get baptized. Like he is serious too! I had a good chance to talk to him on the bus to an activity that was later that night and he is already making very important changes in his life. He wants this and he wants to give his life to God. Amazing! Heavenly Father has really prepared people out there! I am so fortunate and blessed to be here and just be a little worker in His vineyard! (Doctrine and Covenants 138:55-56)

We had a really lovely fireside yesterday. President and Syster Beckstrand, the Assistants, and a few members from the Stockholm Stake spoke. They talked about how we need to remember who we are (think Lion King when Simba is with Rafiki, looking in the pool of water and then Mufasa came, we literally watched that clip). We are Children of God! As soon as we forget that, we forget Him. When we forget who we truly are, we lose sight of our endless potential. Remember who you are and who is out there watching your every step and hoping for your best. He knows you and He knows what you need. A Syster in the mission once asked me what the strongest part of my testimony was. I said that it was my knowledge that Heavenly Father loved me. And I know that He loves each of you too!

Love you all! 
Syster Griffes

Pictures Jakobsberg Week 13

1. Stockholm
2. What we do at members houses.... Just kiddin', we also eat...and teach... :)
3. Me and Syster Crawford....Monday morning pictures are the worst!