Monday, November 25, 2013

Top of the Mornin to Ya :)

Well, this morning I became a legal citizen of Ireland :) Woot, woot!

OH MY DAYS!!!!!! I got a package on Wednesday!!!! Thank you so much my beautiful family!!!! (Yes, Shaela and Kaitlyn, you are also apart of the fam!) I loved getting some sunshine from Arizona over here to cloudy Ireland!! And oh my goodness, those Starbursts were delightful! I loved all the suns also! You all are the best <3 Thanks a bill!

This week went by really fast! I can't believe that it is already P-day again!! I hope that everyone had a wonderful week :) Last week I again tried and tried to upload pictures... I am so sorry I am so bad with technology!!

Shaela Noble! I have been feeling like rubbish all week because last week on P-day while I was e-mailing you the computer shut off and my time of e-mailing was over!!!! :( I love you though and will try to send you a super long e-mail today!! :D

This week I attended my first Zone Conference. It was fun :) It is basically like a giant meeting that missionaries go to and we all sit at a table and listen to people speak. It was good though :)

I finally got letters from my Momma and Heather that were addressed to the MTC this week :) Thanks for those! I love to get letters!!!

We walked to a members house this week during the night and it was a really cold night, so when we got there she made us hot chocolate! Oh. My. Goodness!! It was one of the best cups of hot chocolate that I have ever had!! So chocolatey and she added caramel to it! YUM!

We have an investigator with a baptismal date. His name is Virgil. He is the sweetest man. He just wants to do the right thing so badly and tries so hard to make everyone happy. His wife is not okay with him taking the discussions and coming to our church. She actually hid his Book of Mormon from him this week. We are hoping that even though his family is against it their hearts will be softened enough for him to enter the waters of baptism on December 15th!

Oh my goodness! The other night when we got home from a long day of walking around I went into the bathroom and there was the BIGGEST spider on the wall! I shouted for Sister Douglas. I figured since she likes the title of being my "mum" she would take on the responsibility of killing that spider, but she was too scared... Boy, I took a shoe to it and smacked it quite a few times just to make sure it was really dead. Be proud, I won that battle with a creepy crawley.

Sister Douglas has decided I am a "fast faller asleeper". I think she gets offended that I fall asleep so fast without much talking... I can't help it though! Everyone who knows me knows how easy I fall asleep! No joke, my head hits the pillow and I'm gone until morning!! 

This week was "ignore the Verdemont Sisters" week. (We are called the Verdemont Sisters.) No one would answer our calls, people would cancel our plans, and no one would let us into their homes which resulted in us walking through neighbourhoods and knocking on a lot of doors. I don't mind it though! I think it is fun because you never know who will be behind that door! :) 

The blisters on my heels are getting really cool! The one on my left foot is HUGE. There are like three blisters on top of each other! Question, are you supposed to pop blisters? The one on my left foot was oozing yellow stuff a few nights ago and it hurt really bad! But it is starting to feel better :) No worries! :)

Mmmm, I am getting better at cooking! The other morning I made myself an egg in a basket and it was delicious if I do say so myself.

Speaking of food! McCleary did it again and made us another AMAZING meal! This time it was Mexican Taco Irish Lasagna or something like that :) It was sooooo good!!!! :D My mouth is watering just thinking about it! I need to get that recipe for her and send it out to you guys so you can attempt to make it for yourselves!! :D The meal was again completed by eating Ben and Jerry's ice cream for dessert! I have had more Ben and Jerry's here than in America! It has been fabulous!!!

Some scriptures that I have really enjoyed this week are 3 Nephi 13:32-33 and Alma 37:36-37 if you wanted to read some nice scriptures feel free to look those up :)

As Thanksgiving is coming up I would like to say some tings that I am thankful for....
I am very thankful for my family and my friends. Distance really does make the heart grow fonder. I really can feel all of your love and support from way over here. I am thankful for the scriptures. I know that there are answers in there that can help us with anything in life. I am also thankful for prayer. I never quite understood the importance of prayer, but I do know that Heavenly Father is there listening to what I have to say. He loves me and He cares for me. I am thankful for the kind people of Ireland and all of the wonderful members in the ward I am in. I know that this is where I am supposed to be for the next year and a half and that makes me so happy. I love you all so much! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!! <3
-Sister Kelsey Griffin

Monday, November 18, 2013

Hello!! :D

My dearest friends and family,
I sincerely hope that all is going well with you back in the states! :) Are you all preparing for Thanksgiving? Is it true that "Thanksgiving is on the third Thursday in November?" I have been asked that several times this week! However, I heard that Thanksgiving is on the 4th Thursday this year... What is that all about? What are your plans for Thanksgiving?? :D In my ward we are having an American Thanksgiving part on the 28th I'm pretty sure :) It will be so fun! 

This week has been so great even though the weather is getting soooo much colder! Don't worry Momma, I'm not frozen yet :) 

So, I know that I already asked for many things for Christmas, but I was thinking about it and another thing that I would really appreciate is an e-mail or letter from everyone sharing your testimony with a picture of you doing something Christmas-y! :) Ex: building a snowman, knitting a hat, making ginger bread men (Nannie, I am going to miss those yummy guys this year!), singing Christmas carols....Ya know, that kind of thing :) 

Katie and Heather!! Thank you so much for all of the notes that you sprinkled all over my things! I am still finding them! The baby hands one in my jacket pocket was very clever!!! :p

So, one thing that I am still trying to get used to is all the sister missionaries hugging each other and saying they love each other ALL the time. I mean, sure, I am a fan of hugging and loving each other is pretty important... But it is a little weird when you just meet them and they grab you in a hug and tell you how much they love you! Haha, it is sweet though :) Something different, that's all.

Here there is a TGI Friday's, but it is advertised as "The American Restaurant and Bar: TGI Friday's". Isn't that funny? Out of all of the other American restaurants they choose that one to give us credit for...

Have you ever tried Hazelnut milk? We bought it for the first time last week and oh my goodness!! I loved it! I recommend it! :)

So.... Sister Douglas's mother sent her some workout equipment this week. It is this stretchy thing that you hang on the door and close the door and then you put all of your body weight on this stretchy thing and it is supposed to support you... Hmm, that might not make loads of sense, but I am going to continue my story anyhow. Sister Douglas was working out with this thing for about half an hour the other morning then she asked me if I wanted to try it. It looked fun, so I said yes. As I am putting all my body weight on it I thought to myself that with my luck the door would open and I would fall straight on my bum... Guess what. As soon as that thought entered my head the door flew open and I crashed on the ground! I am pretty sure I bruised my butt. It was hilarious though. Sister Douglas still laughs at me for that one.

Oh my goodness! So, also on Thursday we had a dinner appointment with a return missionary named McCleary. She promised us homemade mac and cheese with Ben and Jerry ice cream for dessert. Needless to say I had been looking forward to Thursday all week long. The mac and cheese was SO good! And she put bacon in it!!! :D Then cookie dough ice cream for dessert. Basically, I was in heaven!!! hahaha

Heather, remember that one time when you borrowed my boots and got really nasty blisters on your feet and got mad at me? Well, don't worry, the blisters on my feet from the new boots I got are pretty permanent. It is so gross! The skin on my heels fell off, and their are blisters growing on blisters! :o Don't worry though, I am finally able to walk normal again. When my feet were tender I was walking like a pregnant lady... It was probably pretty hilarious to see! :) 

Well, this is the week I am going to add pictures! I am going to try until the computer kicks me off! I love you all! Have a wonderful week!! :) One scripture that I really enjoyed this week is 2 Nephi 32:2-5. I hope you find it enjoyable as well! :) 

Much love always,
Sister Kelsey Griffin

Monday, November 11, 2013

News from President and Sister Brown

I apologize that I am not technically savvy at all and it took me FOREVER to figure out how to upload this when I had it e-mailed to me from Kelsey's mission president. Hopefully you can view it okay.

2nd P-day! Woot, woot!!

Hi Everyone! I hope that you are all doing well :) How is the weather over there? Everyday it gets colder and darker here. It is now pitch-black around 5pm already!!! 

I have some quotes that I heard this week and really enjoyed! 
"Be the miracle." -Sis. Mooney
"There are no ordinary people, only potential gods and goddesses in our midst." -Tad R. Callister

Things here are going well! I finally bought boots!!! :D They are so cute! I am a size 4 here! If my foot was a little smaller I would have had to get a child's boot size!!! 

Sister Douglas (my companion/trainer) tells me that I am definitely prepared to be a missionary and she sees me progressing so fast she bets I will be a travelling sister soon!! That is CRAZY! It makes me feel good though. It is nice because most of the time missionary work seems to come natural... There are times when I feel incredibly awkward though. Then I'm sure I make everyone else feel awkward too... Haha, woops!

The members here are so nice in our ward. They are always very willing to help. The other day we were so blessed because we were in the car with a member when it suddenly started to hail really bad!! Sister Douglas and I would have been out in that if it wasn't for the member giving us a little of her time to drive us somewhere. 

I never realized what a blessing it is when members offer their time or house or food or ask for service. There are many times when we wish people would call us asking for service. This week we were able to do service for several members. It was so fun!! I can now REALLY see what a blessing the Noble family and Alexa Staggs are to missionaries! Keep it up! We need people like you! <3

Here we call tracking (knocking on doors) chapping. Isn't that funny? And grand means okay. I always thought it meant fabulous. Then I was told I was using it wrong... Woops...

I found out this week that the Fanta soda was made by the Nazi's. Isn't that an interesting fact?

Hey Matt, do you know what Kebab's are? Apparently they are super popular here! They are from Turkey. In our mission we do this thing where new missionaries get "kebabtised"! I still haven't tried one! But today might be my day and I am super excited to find out what the heck it is :) 

If anyone was thinking of getting me anything for Christmas I actually do have a wish list :) I heard that it is cheaper to get things sent to me instead of buying them here....
-tights (fun colours)
-a slip
-a mixed cd of church songs with the song "Two Years" on it (Heather and Heidi and Shaela I know you guys are really skilled at making mixed cd's :))
-mechanical pencils
-wallet (cute, big, durable, clutch... my old one is almost completely useless dropping money out of it...)

If it is too expensive to send me anything I completely understand :) Don't worry too much about it! :)

Does anyone have any clean jokes that I can use to make people think I'm hilarious?

Fun Fact: Apparently when the Bible was being translated there were many authors and poets who were asked to help translate it. In Psalms 46 the author who translated that section put his name. If you count from the beginning of the verse 46 words down and then start at the bottom of the page and count 46 words up it will tell you who translated it. However, that could be awful instructions and you will never know until I'm there in person to show you... sorry! Hope someone can figure it out!! :)

I hope you all have an amazing week! I love you all! Thank you for all that you do for me! :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Actually Ireland...

Dearest Friends and Family,
Hiya! That is what the Irish folk say when passing each other if they aren't drunk :) How are you all? How was Halloween? What is happening over there in the states??  Anything grand and exciting?

The enter key works here!! They didn't have one in England on the keyboard!

This week I finished the journal that Matthew gave me and I am onto the one that Shaela gave me! Woot, woot! I have loads to write all the time!

Thank you so much Kinsie for your mail!!! <3 that means so much to me! I got mail in the MTC and Mission Home from you! Everyone was so jealous because I was so popular ;)

If anyone would like to write a letter to me you can send it straight to my flat 
Sister Kelsey Griffin
22 Green Briar, Verdemont
Blanchardstown, Dublin 15

Packages cannot be sent to this address however... I guess they can be sent to the mission home! If anyone was thinking of maybe sending me something I would love tights! Thick colorful tights! I heard they sell nice ones at Express... But if you don't want to send anything because it is too pricey I understand!!! :) 

I recently learned that it is called the "Hill Cumorah" NOT the "Hilkamorah"... that was a tad embarrassing.

The Irish do not say their "th's" so it would be "Look at tose tree tree's over tere!" Bahaha! It is kind of hard to get used to...

The MTC is a lot like school, and I loved it! I was so sad to leave! I made so many friends there! But it is fun (and freezing) over here in Ireland! :)

Have you ever wondered if it is you are the Spirit? Well there is this awesome broadcast where David A. Bednar is talking and he says to QUIT WORRYING ABOUT IT! If it feels right-do it. 

Sister Allen at the MTC shared a wonderful quote with me before we parted, "God has not called me to be successful. He has called me to be faithful." I think that can be applied in anyone's life. We all make mistakes, but if we have faith that the Lord will help us through it we don't need to worry! :) 

On October 30th at 6pm we left the MTC on a bus and went to the mission home in Scotland. President Brown is AMAZING! And his wife is so cute and tiny! Momma, you would be taller than her!!

I sent out letters! Did anyone get them? 

Everyone at the mission home was so kind. As soon as we got to the mission home we all put on tennis shoes and went out to hike a "hill" (mountain). It was so windy I thought I was going to fall down and I said if I did on my way down I would shout "As you wish!" Seriously guys, it looked kinda like the hill from that movie!!!!! When we got to the top we all got in a circle and sang the hymn "High On the Mountain Top" then sat by ourselves for a wee bit and made personal mission goals. It was good even though it was freezing!

I was assigned to serve in the Dublin, Ireland mission with Sister Douglas and she will be training me for about 3 or 4 months... She has been out for 4 months already. This is where she started her mission, so everyone here already knows her quite well. They miss her companion and seem pretty disappointed that I am replacing her companion... Woops...

The ward I am in is all so friendly though, even though they miss the other sister.

Things that Sister Douglas and I have in common: 1. we have the same first name, but it is spelled different. 2. we are both lds. 3. we both love the color pink... ya, we don't have too much in common. But we work pretty well together :)

We spent the night at the mission home at at 5am on the 31st of October we took a bus until noon then a ferry until 3pm then a bus until 6pm and then the elders in our ward picked us up and we went to a families home for lasagna, french bread, and this really yummy potato salad. We had red velvet cake and ice cream for dessert. Needless to say I felt as if I was in heaven even though I was so exhausted! They also had pumpkins for us to carve. I carved CTR :) Today Sister Douglas and I looked at our pumpkins and noticed that they caved in and were filled with mold. It was so gross!!!!

On November 1st it was my first real day out in the mission field. Tracking is when you go door to door and knock while telling people about the gospel. Over here they call it chapping. We did that for a majority of the day. And stopped anyone that we saw on the street. I already stopped a drunk man who got angry and grabbed my shoulder when he found out I am in association with "those bike riding Mo-mons" as he said... It was kind of funny...

After my first day my whole body ached from walking so much and I was freezing cold and starving. We didn't have any food so we stopped at the store on the way to our flat and bought some milk. When we got to the flat we made a box of the mac and cheese that Mary gave to me! IT was AMAZing! Thank you so much Mary!!! <3 

I have already invited two people to consider being baptized. Their names are Nick and Michelle. They both said that as they continue to learn more about our beliefs and if it feels right they would love to be baptized. It was amazing! 

Okay guys, look in 2 Nephi 9:39 and try to find the word smile. Let me know if you do :) 

This week I really learned and understood what it means to trust in the Lord. We need to hand Him all of our emotions. Tell Him when and why you are happy or sad or lonely or frustrated or nervous or anything. If you give Him your stress or anxiety or depression know |He will take it away and will help you to be happier. It was such a relief to know that I don't need to worry about anything. I just need to trust that everything will work out. There is a really cool story that I want you all to try to find. The Parable of those who have taken upon themselves the name of Christ and how important He is in my life. And if you find it maybe you can e-mail it to Matthew. It is truly amazing.

Also, I was wondering if you guys would like to participate in a game! What does CTR mean to you? Choose The Right, Children Think Righteously, Christ True Righteousness, Cherish The Restoration, Christ The Redeemer, Change True Repentance, Come to the Rescue, Cling to the Rod, Current Temple Recommend, Charity Transends Religion... are a few that we have thought of. I bet you guys can think of more! Tell Nans and Grumps! They are good at this kind of thing :) 

I hope all is going well! You are in my prayers. Love you all! Talk to you next week <3 xoxoxox