Monday, April 13, 2015

The Last Epistle of Sister Griffin

My dearest friends and family,
I do not have much time to email this week. We have the wonderful opportunity to go to a place called Harris with our Branch President and his wife. :) It should be fun. I just love the Isle of Lewis so very much. I am so grateful to the Lord for sending me to the Scotland/Ireland mission. I have met incredible people here. I have learned a lot more about our Father in Heaven and about myself. I know this is the true gospel on the Earth today. I know the Lord guides our work. Thank you all for your love and support. I will be seeing you all soon. Please keep in contact. :) 
kelseymichelley@yahoo.com
Love Always, Sister Kelsey Michelle Griffin 
Keep working hard, till the work is done. 
xoxo

PS please come to my homecoming talk on the 26th of April

building is 2224 W. Keating Avenue in Mesa at 9:00 am

Monday, April 6, 2015

Sister Kelsey Griffin regarding departure 20 Apr 2015

Dear Sister Myers,
Your daughter, Sister Kelsey Griffin, will complete her full time missionary service in the Scotland/Ireland Mission on 20 April 2015.   She has been asked to meet with her Stake President as soon as possible following her return.
Sister Griffin has been a faithful missionary and her involvement in the work of the Scotland/Ireland Mission has been meaningful.  We will miss her, along with her dedication and devotion to the work.  Many of the people in the areas she has served have had their hearts touched and their lives enriched as she shared the message of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ with them.  Her contribution to the missionary effort has certainly moved the work forward, and will have eternal consequences. Her special talent of cheerfulness and her happy disposition have endeared her to all who have come to know and love her during the time she been with us.
You will find attached to this email a listing of the areas she has served, her companions, and herassignments.  Hopefully this will prove useful in helping you learn more about her mission experience.
You will also find attached information on tuberculosis testing that should be completed as soon as possible after she returns home.
Our love and prayers accompany her as she returns home to family and friends.
Sincerely,
Alan H. Brown
Alan H. Brown, President
Scotland/Ireland Mission


"Some bunny loves you" ;)

I am so grateful for the week I had. It was a little hard since Sister Hurskainen and I both fell ill and were confined indoors on the few sunny days that we had... But we saw miracles! I love the mission!
I am grateful for all that I have been able to learn on the mission.
I love General Conference so much. We are so blessed to know that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He knows us and He loves us. I know that President Thomas S. Monson is a prophet on the Earth today. He has been called by God to give us the guidance and council that we need. We are not perfect people, so we desperately need our Lord's help and the prophet can help us to know what MORE we can do to find eternal happiness.
Easter was wonderful. We had a pot luck at the Stornoway Church Building. Sure the food was nice, but I love that we were able to hear prophets and apostles speak on the day that we should remember our Saviour, Jesus Christ and all that He has done for us.
I know that Jesus Christ loves us so much that He was willing to suffer and die for us. God loves us so much that He prepared a way for death to not be the end. Jesus Christ was resurrected. He opened the way for each of us. How incredible is it to know that after this life there is so much more. After this life we can live with our Father in Heaven and with our friends and family. I love the beautiful plan that God has created for us. We are so blessed. When you feel the pull of life trying to bring you down always remember that Jesus Christ knows exactly, 100% how you feel. Heavenly Father wants to hear from you. No one said life would be easy, but they did say it would be worth it. We don't need to battle our way in life alone. We are NEVER alone. We just need to remember to open the door and let Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in.
I love you all. I am grateful for your kind words, thoughts, and prayers.
Have a wonderful week. Always remember: prayer works.
Talk soon <3
xoxox
-Sister Kelsey Griffin 
Here are the group photos from Zone Conference.  Please send them out to your teams.  Also, print them out and frame them because of their amazingness.  <3 you all, stay classy ;)  -Elder Martin and Elder Stewart 


For Zone Development Day Sister Riesen put cool designs on Sister Womack's face and my face! :D Isn't it cool?


These are some of my best friends! What funny guys! Limerick District will always be a winner <3 This shows how sad Elder Beckstrand, Elder Illori, and Elder Campbell will be with me leaving.


Monday, March 30, 2015

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

What a WEIRD week!!!!



Top of the mornin!
Alright there mate?
Hiya!
Well, well, well... I spent about two days in Stornoway this week! I had to give my departing testimony already. I said quite a few goodbyes to good friends. The end is coming too quick.
I will start by telling yous about the crazy week! :D
March 16th (Monday) was pretty normal :) We went to Family Home Evening. Sister H (I'm the WORST! I still can't spell or say her name... The members like to poke fun about that one let me tell ya! Hahah!) and I were in charge of sharing a funny story, so we told about our crazy travel to Stornoway a few weeks ago. They got a good chuckle out of that for sure. I love the Family Home Evening here with Stornoway Branch. We really are like a giant and happy family. <3 We share a Spiritual Thought, a Funny Story, and eat treats while playing an activity. The activity is usually Uno and let me tell you! EVERYONE cheats! My first week on this island I somehow won the first three games and ever since they try to make me lose every time. It is quite fun though :)
It is a tradition for the Stornoway Sisters to bake something nice for the leaders on the mainland since they must do so so much for us...On Tuesday the 17th we baked cookies in the morning and packed and got everything ready to fly to Glasgow! I LOVE baking! :) I doubled the batch of cookies and we were able to give the Assistants to the President, Zone Leaders, District Leaders, Sister Training Leaders, and the sisters whose flat we slept at all about 10 of their own cookies. They were all pretty happy about that! We took some of the extra cookies to neighbors and less actives before we left the island. A miracle happened as well! We went to find a less active member that I have been trying by her home since I came to Stornoway and we have NEVER been able to meet her, but we have heard that she is just so sweet! When we walked up to her home she was just getting out of the car... Oh boy, excitement ran through my body and I couldn't help myself running over to her shouting her name! Sometimes I just can't help myself, but I just REALLY wanted to meet her! We gave her a big bag of home made cookies and introduced ourselves. She was lovely. She told us that her brother and sister JUST came to town (don't worry, it wasn't a lie, they were standing right there) and she asked us if we could come back in a few weeks. We grabbed her phone number and I can't wait to see her soon! :) We then got picked up at our flat by the Maddock's and they drove us to the airport. The flight was good. We got to the sisters flat in Glasgow at 19:45 (7:45). We helped ourselves to their food and waited for their arrival before we partied all night ;)
March 18th (Wednesday) was Zone Conference. That is when the whole Zone gathers together and we receive instruction of how we can be better missionaries by President and Sister Brown, the APs, the Zone Leaders, the District Leaders, and the Sister Training Leaders. It was a wonderful meeting. This is where I had to give my departing testimony. It was weird standing up there and thinking about the past year and a half of my life and all that I was able to learn. I didn't get choked up or cry or anything... In fact, it didn't feel real that I will be leaving at all. Probably because I still have about 4 weeks left and I'm away on my own island away from Elder Lewis telling me how many days we have left every time we see each other ;) After the Conference the STLs took us to Irvine (their area) and we went on exchanges. Boy the drive their made Sister Johnson and myself pretty carsick... Not to worry though! There was no puke! I was on exchanges with Sister Martin. She is just so sweet and talented. I feel so blessed to be able to have been able to learn so much from her our short amount of time together! We made a promise that when we are both home we will do quilting with her mum. That will be fun! :D
On Thursday Sister Martin and I did a lot of exchanges. It was good. Well, I mean, no one was really home so early in the morning, but it was a BEAUTIFUL day!!! The sun was shining! I sometimes forget the sun is a real thing. I think it's just a myth a majority of the time!Hahaha! We had an amazing experience at a member's home during a lunch appointment. She had us over and fed us an amazing meal. Then we were talking to her about missionary work and about Zeezrom in Alma 12 and 15. We were saying how at first he was so hard hearted and saying pretty bad things then he had a change of heart and we never know when our friends and family will have a change of heart learning about the gospel. Suddenly she started crying and I immediately thought, "Oh dear, we have offended her..." Then she said that for a few years now she has known that her neighbors need to hear about the gospel, but she knew it wasn't their time to be invited to church yet. Then this last week she was asking the Lord when she should start to talk to them more about the gospel and our message completely answered her prayer. It really strengthened my own testimony and was a great reminder that our prayers are constantly answered, but sometimes it is through other people. AND sometimes we might be the answer to someone else's prayers so we must never hold back from any promptings which we receive from the Spirit. That night the STLs drove us back to Glasgow and we stayed at the sisters flat again. We ate pizza with them before bed. It was a fun sleepover! Sometimes it is SO good to be in the mainland with other missionary's!!!
Friday morning we were picked up from the sisters flat by the zone leaders around 6am. They drove us to the airport and our travel toStornoway began. :) It was funny though because when we finally got on the plane we were a little behind schedule. As soon as I sat in my plane seat my head fell back, my eyes closed, and my mouth fell open. I was dead asleep. When I woke up we were on the ground and we were NOT at Stornoway airport! Oh heavens, my heart skipped a few beats! I totally thought the plane took us to some unknown land... Then I realized we STILL hadn't taken off yet... Friday's are a fun day since they are our day of service so it was good to get home around8am. We saw the eclipse at around 9am. Then we went to the first charity shop around 10am. :) It was a long, tiring, and very fun day! :)
Saturday was a good day. We were getting prepared to fly BACK to the mainland for Zone Development Day (the day when all the missionary's get together and we play games) :) We didn't know when we would be travelling, but we made brownies for our leadersSaturday night so we would be all ready by Monday morning. We went to an area called Point on Saturday evening. While we were doing try bys (you know, trying by people who used to learn from missionary's) we met this adorable older couple. They invited us into their home. We explained the Book Of Mormon and what a wonderful book it is, then the woman just looked at us and said (very kindly), "I don't want that book. I can't have it. Do you know what people say about you's here?" Yes, we don't have the best reputation on this island.
I love Sunday's. On the 22nd of March we had some guest speakers come. It was nice to hear their testimony's. AND they brought a wee 18 month baby!!! I haven't had a baby at church in SO long! It was fun! :) After church Sister H and I both got a sudden feeling to check our flight info online. When we checked it the APs at booked a flight for us leaving Stornoway on SUNDAY at 18:25 (6:25). It is so good that we checked because we thought we were leaving Monday morning. We also were planning to check the times at our dinner appointment with the Maddock's that night... so we would have missed our flat! Inspiration, I'll tell ya! Luckily we went home and got all packed, the brownies were already made, and the Maddock's still offered to feed us before they took us to the airport. :) All went very well. We stayed with the Knightswood Sisters (Sister Riesen and Sister Womack) that night. It is so nice going back to one of my old areas. <3
Yesterday (March 23- Monday) was SO fun! It was weird though because that is the last time that I will see a lot of those awesome missionary's for quite a long time. We played a lot of games and I was able to talk to a lot of people. We had pizza for dinner from Costco, so of course it was delicious. Then right before we went to watch the Best Two Years I was surprised by two of my VERY good friends from Glasgow! Pierre and Shaun were both at the church building and it was SO good to see the both of them!!!! I feel like they are family. We were able to catch up. I hadn't seen Shaun in just about a year, so it was nice to know that he is doing well. Zone Development Days are always so fun. I LOVE being around people! I just get so happy and so much energy. Even more so now as well since we are banished from civilization! ;)
We just flew in about two hours ago. I have taken SO many planes just this week! It was crazy. And fun. I mean, we get juice and a cookie on the plane. What gets better than that?? Haha! My whole body is so sore... I'm not sure if it is from running around all day yesterday or sleeping on a tiny couch for two nights... or a little bit of both. But I'm not complaining. :) I had so much fun and I wouldn't change anything about our crazy week. <3
I hope that you all had a wonderful week! Know that I love you. I am grateful for you. Thank you for your love, support, and prayers. I know that I get a lot of my strength from the Lord because of prayers that have been uttered by you. I am so grateful for that. I love you all! Talk soon!!! <3
xoxoxoxox -Sister Kelsey Michelle Griffin 
Exchanges with Sister H, Sister Johnson, and Sister Martin! :) 
Sister Martin and I!

Then some crazy girl let loose from the zoo... ;)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Stornoway :)

Sister Hurskainen, from Finland, is my new companion. She is almost 26. She has been a convert for 4 years. She is REALLY tall. The two cameras I have are both dead and I can't find the chargers for them, so getting pictures to yous will be SLOW... but it will be funny when you see us next to one another. Everyone calls us little and big. Things are so good. I love Stornoway. It will be hard to leave this place. This Sunday we had 19 members at sacrament meeting. That is the most we have had in about a year. My first Sunday we had about 6 members there... This is apparently the worst winter in like 20 years or something! BUT we have had 3 days of sunshine which has been a miracle! This week we are flying to Glasgow on Tuesday and won't be back until Friday for missionary meetings and exchanges. I love flying. Sister H says she HATES flying. Sister Brozzu hated it too, she would cry if the turbulence was bad whereas I would just laugh :) Haha. All is well over here though :) Love you! Have a good week!! It will be weird going to the mainland so soon... Just this Tuesday(March 10th) Sister Brozzu and I took the ferry to Ullapool, then the bus to Inverness, then the train to Edinburgh, then got picked up by the Zone Leaders and dumped on a random street to find them people to teach for 4 hours. It was pretty crazy. Then we spent the night in a sisters flat! Guess who was there!! My old companion, Sister Pitcher, from Limerick! It was cool seeing her again! AND isn't this funny! Sister Pitcher and Sister Montoya are now serving together! So when my mum comes to pick me up from the mission home she can meet two of my companions! :) There were about 8 of us sisters in the flat that night. We slept on the ground for about 5 hours. Then in the morning the zone leaders picked us up and took us to the train station. Sister Brozzu and I hugged goodbye and then I hugged hello to Sister Hurskainen. It was weird to just switch that fast. Then Sister H and I ran to get our train. Then we got a bus to Ullapool. When we were at Ullapool waiting for the ferry they told us the wind was SO STRONG the ferry hasn't left Stornoway yet!! We called the APs and told them what was going on and they told us to just wait there until we know what will happen with the ferry. Luckily for me, Kerri and Marwenna have both been trying to teach me to knit, so I had my knitting stuff with me and Sister H and I took turns knitting while we talked. When I first met her she told me "I don't like to talk very much. I am quiet and keep to myself." I told her "I don't know how to stop talking and I am pretty good and talking to myself to keep me entertained." Well, let me tell you, I guess I have a gift for talking because we haven't stopped talking to one another since we met. Hahah! We had to wait for the ferry for about 4 hours. Then it came and they weren't sure if it would want to do the trip back. If it did travel back we would get home around midnight. I called the APs and told them and they said we just need to try to get home. The ferry decided to sail back to Stornoway, so we boarded and got home around midnight. The Maddock's were kind enough to come and pick us up. The are so wonderful and do so much for us. I just love them. <3 Then when I was getting ready for bed I was suddenly VERY hyper! I think my sleep habits were wonky. I called the APs to ask if there was anyway we could have permission to sleep in, and they (half asleep I'm sure) said we could sleep until 10am. Then I sang them the "Good Morning Song" that my mother used to sing to me in the mornings. I thought it was appropriate since it was technically morning... :) I think they liked it. Hahaha! ...Sorry friends and family from home, I think the mission has made me MORE crazy then before! I know, I didn't think that was possible either... ;) The week was a weird one because we just felt not on the missionary schedule ever since sleeping in... We were so stoked for a REAL missionary week in Stornoway, but now we are flying away on Tuesday... Good thing we will be back on Fridaythough. Friday is our day of service. I don't know if I have decribed our Friday schedule before... but it is exciting! :)
We wake up at 6:30 and work out (like every morning, except Sunday's)
We get ready for the day from 7-8am
We study personally with the scriptures from 8-9
We read from the white hand book (which contains the missionary's rules) and sing a hymn
Then we walk to Action Aid Charity Shop. We do work there from 10-12.
After Action Aid we walk home and eat lunch :)
Then we walk to Save the Children Charity Shop and are there from 2-4:30.
When we finish at Save the Children we go to the Retirement Center and take Gaelic Lessons from our friend Maggie. It starts at 4:30-6. We are usually late because we can't be at two places at once, but Maggie understands. We hope to be able to teach her soon! :) 
From 6-9pm we are at the Retirement Center for the music night. It is really fun. We have so many friends there who are so talented and play songs all night. Sister H might sing in Finnish next week. She is really shy though. We'll see if she does it or not. :) I would love to play the violin there. It makes me bummed I didn't keep that up and didn't bring it on the mission. Awe well. Can't do it over now. 
But that is about everything that we do on a Friday. It is so cool because we get to meet so many new people and share with them the light of Christ that we carry and bear testimony of how this Gospel can change their lives and bring them so much happiness.
I love the mission. I love that I am able to spend 18 months out here to help people know how they can be with their families for eternity. I am grateful for the scriptures and for all that they teach us. We really can learn so much from the scriptures and apply them to our lives. I am grateful for temples, and that they are the closest we can get to Heaven on Earth. I love to see the temple. I am going back someday.
I hope that you all have a good week.
Man, this was a long and random email. Hope it isn't too boring.
Know that I love you lots and I am so grateful for you love and prayers and support! <3
xoxox
-Sister Kelsey Michelle Griffin