Monday, January 25, 2016

Plane delayed, locked out, cereal at 10:30- Västra Frölunda Week 1

Started the week out in the North, ended it down 40 minutes away from where I started my mission...life is weird :)

Monday was a weird p-day. We ended up having a member dinner. As part of our travel there, we walked for about 20 minutes in pitch black (mind you, it was about 4:30 pm...) -24C. good times...many memories :) Syster Jackson is not a fan of the dark, so we was being really loud and waving the flashlight around. We were probably hilarious to watch, but there was no one there to watch us!

Tuesday was last minute packing and goodbyes. We got to see a newborn baby that one of the members had! She was precious! Got me really excited for when my sister and sister-in-law have babies in the next month! YES! I was supposed to fly out that night, but Göteborg had a major snow storm and the flight was delayed for like 3 hours. The Office rebooked me for the next day, so we headed home from the airport and got back around 10:30 pm. Dropped off the new sister's luggage in our apartment, parked the car, then realized that we left the keys in the apartment...oops. Luckily, our apartment door was unlocked and we found someone with the key to the stairwell. We then sat and ate cereal since none of us had eaten anything since like 4. Good times!

Wednesday, I flew down to Stockholm then took a train to Göteborg...was alone for about 7.5 hours (except for the 45 minutes I found the 4 Elders in Stockholm and we chatted while I had lunch). Almost felt like a normal person... :) Met with my new companion, Syster Stoughton. She is just 6 weeks younger than me in the mission and really great! She has an AMAZING singing voice and just loves the work! We had a member dinner and then watched a Worldwide Missionary Broadcast which was spectacular!

Thursday we had district meeting and lunch. Back to my very first district, just with all new faces. So many greenie flashbacks! Met some investigators, learned about the area :) Friday was more members, TUS, and weekly planning. Member dinner on Saturday plus a lesson with a few less actives. 

Sunday was good. Our ward here starts at 2 pm, so we had a meeting in the morning then church. A missionary, Elder Felix Sahlin, came home from his mission here in Sweden and gave his homecoming talk. He was actually a missionary here in Sweden and was an Assistant to the Mission President for 9 months. He really had an impact on the mission. Something that I loved that he talked about in his talk was about how the Lord is aware of us and really prepares a way for us to get everything that we need. He knows us and I know that!

Love you all!
Syster Sarah Griffes



Monday, January 18, 2016

Shocker! -Luleå Week 6

Well, got transfer calls on Saturday and I am moving! WHAT?!? This completely ruins the consistency of my mission! 4 Months in each place, then just 6 weeks in Luleå...that was a real surprise! I am moving down to Göteborg (Västra Frölunda Ward) to be a Sister Training Leader. Definitely a shocker, but I am excited for the new beginning. 

Real quick:
-Went on a road trip out to visit the far away less actives. Way fun! SAW A REINDEER! Bad news is, I didn't get a picture because we were on the highway. Sorry!
-Went to Skellefteå for district meeting. That is a super cute little town! Even had the Zone Leaders there (both were in my MTC group...love 'em!)
-Met with one of our progressing investigators. His real intent is growing so much! It has been really to see his desire to know grow until now when he really wants it. I love the Gospel!
-Said goodbye to the members. It was weird because I didn't get the chance to know any of them really well...Learned lots from them in the time I had!

Need something to read? Try this talk!

We have faith, exercise it, then leave the rest to the Lord. He knows best!

Love ya!
Syster Griffes

Monday, January 11, 2016

I survived the week of Jan 4, 2016 - Luleå Week 5

If you haven't yet, go take a look at the pictures I just sent out. Yup..it really was that cold. From Wednesday to Friday, we were resting around 0 to -20 F (or -15 to -30 C)...it was a long week...

Funny lines from this week:
-"Stores make me want to throw up right now" -Syster Jackson after we went sweater shopping last week
-"I have a mom question" -Elder Kendall when he wasn't feeling well
-"I am the gate keeper of my destiny. I am the master of my fate" -Elder Kendall after giving me advice on my future

On Tuesday, we went to Boden to go by our new member's place. We answered some of her questions from her recent reading of the Book of Mormon and just spent some time with her. Love her to death! We also visited a few older ladies in the ward. We just swung by and they loved it :) I loved it too, I learn so much from people here :)

Wednesday through Friday was really rough because it was just so cold! We planned as many lessons and inside things that we possible could because it was kind of dangerous to be outside. Like our noes froze as soon as we stepped outside, the car almost didn't start, and the cold feet never really went away :) We had some good time to plan and organize things. We made a killer member missionary plan that we will be implementing in our ward soon. Yay! President and Syster Beckstrand along with the Assistants came up to do interviews with us. That was really a pleasure...to see humanity again and all... I just love the 5 of them! 

Our two progressing investigators are doing really great. One was even in church yesterday and he is working on reading and praying every day. We challenged the other to baptism, but he wants to keep thinking. The work moves forward :)

We got to go down to Piteå yesterday to have dinner with a member family. While it was cooking we helped their little daughters make a movie :) It was cute. They invited us and the Elders here, plus the Elders down in Skellefteå (because they have literally 5 active members). Also visited a really great less active in Piteå. I love her! I just love the country people here in Luleå; reminds me of home! 

I have been thinking a lot about regrets lately because I am the master of dwelling on regrets and need to get over it. In all reality, if we just do everything we can, what we expected doesn't matter, just what the Lord expected. I am really working on turning around and dwelling on the good instead of the "I could have..." or " I should have..." You cannot change the past, but you can change the future :) I loved this talk by President Uchtdorf. Enjoy! 


Love you all!
Syster Sarah Griffes
A Happy, Healthy (Cold) Servant of the Lord :)

Pictures Luleå Week 5

1. We actually saw Christmas lights on someone's house in Sweden...weird!
2. This was the temperature in Celsius on Wednesday :)
3. And this is Fahrenheit :) Good times...good times.... 

Monday, January 4, 2016

"You are both my wife"- Luleå Week 3-4

Had p-day last Friday with our district. We were trying to decide where to go/what to get for lunch and the Elders were really struggling to decide what they wanted to do. Syster Jackson and I tried to reason with Elder Kendall about it and we just started laughing about how it sounded like a conversation a married couple would have, so he decided that we were both his wife in the conversation. 

-Got to try some Finnish Christmas Cuisine like a week and a half ago. It was good. On the mission, I give everything at least one try. Some food you never would have thought was good ends up being delicious! The day after, we had another member dinner and they made us American Christmas-y foods. It was way sweet :) I love this branch! They are all so open and loving with us!
-The work was pretty hard this week because everyone is still out of town, but we managed to fill our time with swing-bys and contacting :) this coming week should be better because everyone is back. The new challenge: The weather is going to be around 0F/18C a few days...yeah...week of the icicle :)
-Had a Pizza Party with the YSA in the ward. Way fun, one of our investigators came and had a great time. 
-Taught one of our investigators the Plan of Salvation and he said that it all made sense :) He came to church yesterday with a friday. Both enjoyed the service (it was Testimony meeting and a lot of people bore very strong witness of the Book of Mormon and the Church, which was perfect). I am eternally grateful to members that are good missionaries. They all talked to them and one of the members even took over Sunday School to teach them about the Church and answer some questions that they had from what they had researched on the internet. His Swedish was way better than mine, so that was great :) I translated for someone from Egypt and from Albania. I am always amazed that they can make it through Church in a language (English) that is neither of their first languages. Super grateful that I get to go back to English church in a few months. It will be weird to understand absolutely everything again :) 
-For New Year, we were allowed to be out with members until 12:30. It was way fun! We were with the Boden and Skellefteå Elders at a member family's house. Get this, we had steak. I love steak. Pretty sure that is the first time that I have had it since my mission and it was cooked perfectly (the father had been to cooking school before). All the food was delicious. The dad talked with us about his mission and how he met his wife. Then headed out and watched fireworks in Luleå. They actually shot them off on the ice in the bay, so that was pretty cool. Cannot believe the 2015 is over! My entire year on the mission came to an end. Crazy! 2016 will be great. Full of new adventures and probably lots of unexpected things :)

I love this scripture (it is actually the Youth Theme for 2016)
Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life. (2 Nephi 31:20)

Love you all. Press Forward. Keep on Keeping On.
Syster Griffes

P.S. Found out that I now have less than 100 days of the mission. How is that even possible?!?

Pictures Luleå Week 4

1. Luleå
2. Tried to crack the ice...just wouldn't work!
3. Only in Sweden would the garbage shoot be painted like this
4. Flashback..Jakobsberg Chapel in the snow (the Ward Mission Leader in Luleå was down there for church yesterday and kindly took a picture and told everyone that I love and miss them :)