Monday, March 28, 2016

"I want to be a giant teddy bear...Everyone will love me!" VF Week 10

Quote of the week is from Syster Jackson. Syster Bateman and I were out shopping with Syster Hall and Syster Jackson last Monday and we saw a giant teddy bear. She is so funny, I wish you all could meet her!

Pretty good week:
-Had dinner at the Bishop's house. He is French, but we all spoke English because 1. I do not speak French. And 2. There was an American family there too. It was really a lovely time and we shared the new Easter video because you know...Easter! It was good and we had a nice discussion on how Christ and the Atonement have changed our daily lives.
-Spent a lot of time doing swing-bys and contacting this week. Pounding the pavement every day :)
-Met with our Swedish investigator a few times this week. She is doing well. We talked about how we just need to move forward with faith, ignore temptation, and trust in the Lord. We shared a clip from the talk, "Cast not away therefore your confidence" by Elder Holland. That is one of my all-time favorite talks :) She is so ready to be baptized!
-Shared the Easter video with as many people as we possibly could this week! I love it!
-On Friday, we had my last ever zone conference. It was just a roller coaster of emotions! I bore my final testimony. Every missionary going home does that, it is just weird to think that I am done with it now. I talked about how much the mission has changed me, but the biggest change has been that my relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ has been strengthened so much. It was a very sad day too because I had to say goodbye to some missionaries that I have come to love so much! These people mean the world to me! I held it together until they were all gone, then I totally balled my eyes out for a good 20 minutes. It just hurts my heart to know that my time here is finishing! I just love this place and all these people! But Heavenly Father needs me back home. And I have family and friends there too!
-Service Saturday was a success this week. Zucchinis were like 5 kronor each, so we got a bunch and made zucchini bread then went by members and shared them. It was way fun and we talked to lots of people on the way.
-Easter Sunday was a stellar day. All 8 of the missionaries (2 sisters, 4 elders, and a senior couple) sang "I Stand All Amazed" in Sacrament Meeting. Strong Spirit :) We were invited to a member's house for Easter and had a lovely time with their family. Then we all participated in an Easter Concert that night. Lots of people came and the Spirit really testified to me of the reality of Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice. He lives! And He loves YOU!

Love you all,
Syster Griffes

Monday, March 21, 2016

"It looks like they are coming from a funeral...or they're Swedes" VF Week 9

Quote is from Elder Mecham. We say a group of teenagers wearing mostly black. Swedes wear SO MUCH BLACK! It has rubbed off on me a little... :)

The Week:
-We can definitely start with last Monday. For P-day, Syster Bateman and I took a bike ride ALL OVER GÖTEBORG! We literally biked like 14.5 KM (if my math is right, that might be about 9 miles). It was SO FUN! We made a list of 9 different churches in the city and went to all of them. The sun was shining, it was warm, just a perfect day! We had a blast and we were so tired and sore after :) But I would do it again in a heartbeat. Fun fact, you can actually rent bikes here in the city and drop them off at any of the bike stations all over the city. We didn't do it because we have bikes, BUT if you ever make it to Göteborg, I would definitely suggest that. Another suggestion: do not do it on a Monday because most of the Churches are closed then... :) But the outside of the Churches are beautiful ändå (anyway)
-Almost all of our plans fell through on Tuesday, so we spent lots of time contacting. It was actually really fun and successful (not always so... :) Many good conversations, showed the Påsk (Easter) film with many people. It was sunny and beautiful. We had dinner that night with a wonderful member family. The Spirit is so strong and present in their home! I love them :)
-Had lunch at a member's house on Wednesday with her and one of her friends. It was way fun and we got to teach the Restoration to her. So good! We also had a lesson with one of our Swedish investigators and invited her to be baptized. She feels like the time is right and is preparing to do so :)
-Thursday was all with members, active, less active, and new. It was a stellar day!
-Friday, we had district meeting. We have it at the YSA Center and another district in the area has it same place, same time, so we all go out to lunch together after. The Elders' new favorite thing to do is to ask me questions about things that make me trunky (which means that I am longing/desperate to go home). It cracks me up! I then went on splits to Jönköping with Syster Wilson. She is from Australian and just hilarious. A really great missionary with the potential to make a huge difference in this mission. Her mom is actually from Sweden, so this is another home to her. I wish I could stay longer to see all of the miracles she will be a part of :)
-Saturday was traveling back and weekly planning. Sunday we had a lovely block of Church, a member dinner, then contacting and dinner. I love missionary work!

Been thinking lots lately and having many conversations with different people about different things (many of them are about going home, but I promise that I am still focused here!). One thing that I have thought lots about is who I want to be when I go back. I have learned so many things and changed in many ways, I just want to keep getting better! It made me think of the quote by Dr. Seuss, "Be who you are and say what you feel, for those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." I am me and that is who Heavenly Father needs me to be. Don't spend time trying to be someone that you are not. Always progress and become the very best person that YOU can be. Heavenly Father has great plans for you, individually :) I know that because I have seen it every day of my time on my mission and very day in my entire life. I am so blessed!

Love you lots!
Syster Sarah Griffes

Monday, March 14, 2016

"If we don't go to stan...we won't be in stan.." VF Week 8

Quote this week comes from me (Stan=Downtown...sort of...). We were discussing what we would do the next day and I was trying to say that if we don't go to stan, it would be hard to talk to people on the street, but instead I said that genius of a sentence....

-Had MLC (Mission Leadership Council) in Stockholm. It was really good, talked about Hope and the new Easter Initiative (video attached at bottom). The sad thing is that I had to say goodbye to some of the Elders from my MTC group (they go home in 6 months). Breaks my heart because I love all these missionaries, but I will see them at BYU anyway :) I love the missionaries here so much! Lifelong friends have been made
-Presented part of Zone Training later on in the week, we talked about hope and how it is not just for the future, but can be applied today. And that our source of hope is Jesus Christ (Moroni 7:41).
-Taught a Nigerian Investigator about hope and the Atonement. It was precious and the Spirit was so strong!
-Had a good-bye part/Taco Fest with the YSA for a senior couple, The Hawleys that are leaving soon. So fun! The new couple, the Watson's are great too!
-We were able to be an answer to prayer for Syster Watson on Wednesday. She had dinner to make for the YSA and was behind on things. She said she had prayed all morning for help to come and we just happened to be at the Center when she needed us. We had a lesson planned, but our guy canceled last second, so we had time to be there and help out. I loved it!
-We decided that every Saturday this transfer, we want to do Service Saturday. We hadn't really planned anything out, then Saturday morning we get a text from a member asking if we can help clean the church. Of course! :) 
-Taught another Nigerian investigator the Restoration. The Spirit was way strong and he says that he can feel that this is good :) He accepted a challenge to be baptized if he gets the answer that this is true.
-Our Swedish investigator wants us to pick a date for her to be baptized so that we have something to work towards :) The Spirit is working on her, I can feel it!

Easter Video!

I. Love. This. Video! It is just perfect! In Christ, we can all find new life. I have find new life and greater happiness than ever before. I know that it is only through Him that we can receive never-ending happiness. He is the Way, Truth, and Life. I know it with my whole heart and I love my Savior. 

Love you all! See you soon!
Syster Griffes

Monday, March 7, 2016

"Four Yes-es! We're going to Hollywood!" VF Week 7

You know those days when you get on your email and your desire to send a weekly email is slim to is one of those days. So, sorry for this sad excuse of a weekly email :)

Quote comes from Elder Halterman, our Zone leader (we served together in Jakobsberg too). We had a phone call with the district leaders and tried to decide on something we wanted to for the zone and everyone agreed on the plan. He is the funniest kid on this planet! But definitely not as funny when you weren't there...Sorry that you poor people are not here :) I love it here! It hits me daily now that time is so short and I know that leaving this place will just break my heart!

Sent Sister Stoughton off to Stockholm on Tuesday, had the Trollhättan Sisters over for the night to be with me while we waited for my new companion, Syster Bateman. She came in all safe and sound from Täby (we were actually in the same district when I was in Jakobsberg). She came to Sweden just six weeks after me. I have actually seen her a lot around the mission, so we know each other a little bit. She is way excited and loves this work! So grateful to have her for my last transfer! The Lord has really blessed me :)

-Taught one of our Muslim investigators. He is from Gambia, which is a very split Muslim/Christian place. The good news is, there is a LOT of religious tolerance there, so he is very open to learn. Every time we are together he tells us that he is still meeting with us because he knows this is good and that if it didn't feel good, he would never come again. He started reading the Book of Mormon and is coming to understand things better....then he moved...So he now lives outside of our boundaries and we had to give him to the Utby Elders....lame! But they will take good care of him. Plus, it doesn't matter who is there for the beginning, middle, or end, it is the Lord's work and He has it all taken care of :)
-Our investigator from Nigeria is doing really well. Talked about Tithing and he loves the principle of helping the Lord's work move forward
-Our Swedish investigator is doing really well! She is so ready to be baptized, just needs her answer!
-Met two potential investigators and both are really open and positive. The cool thing is that they both were contacted a few months ago and their numbers have just been sitting in our phone for a while. Most missionaries really hate to call through all those older potential investigators, but I have found it to be very successful. Some people just needed a little time and they are ready now :)

I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance. (1 Nephi 1:20)
We read this scripture with our Nigerian investigator and he asked, "How do we become the Lord's Chosen people?" We talked a lot about it and came to the conclusion that we are the Lord's chose people as we do the things that He asks us to do. Keep the Commandments, live the Gospel, study the scriptures, go to church, pray, serve, give of ourselves, all of those things. That is exactly what the Lord wants us to do and He has PROMISED deliverance to us as we do it. If you are going through something hard right now, evaluate your life and be sure that you are living in a way that you can receive all the blessings of the Lord, then wait patiently. He will be there to help you and eventually, in His timing, you will be delivered. He loves you! I know it!

Love you all dearly! Praying for you lots!
Syster Griffes

P.S. Wasn't as I thought it would be :)

Pictures VF Week 7

1. The six Västra Frölunda missionaries on the last day of transfers
2. The West Coast of Sweden :)
3. Haga (the Old City in Göteborg)
4. Me and my new companion, Syster Bateman...low picture quality...p-days :)