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. :)
Love Always, Sister Kelsey Michelle Griffin 
Keep working hard, till the work is done. 

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.
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
-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?
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
-Sister Kelsey Michelle Griffin 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Pictures AND Long post!!

We made crepes for some of our friends and labelled them :)
Special People Like You! We love you!!! 
-2 Nephi 4:15-16-

Madainn Mhath (Good Morning) -> pronounced "Matin Vah"
Feasgar Math (Good Afternoon) -> pronounced "Fesker Mah"
Oidhche Mhath (Good night) -> pronounced "Oycher Vah"
Just a little Gaelic for ya :) 

Volunteering at Action Aid charity Shop :) 
Eating Fish and Chips with the Maddocks! :) I LOVE FISH AND CHIPS with salt and vinegar and ketchup! :D
Funny Story from the Stornoway sisters:A few weeks back Sister Brozzu and I went to a friends mother's funeral service in a different church. When the preacher guy went up to pray he lifted up both arms above his head, and I went to do the same thing. As I was lifting my arms I realized no one else was doing it as well, so I stopped myself. A few days after that Sister Brozzu and I were teaching an investigator and we asked him if he would be comfortable closing with a prayer. He said he had never prayed before, but he didn't mind as long as it was discreet (we were in public afterall). We said okay, and both began to put our arms up the way the preacher guy did. Our investigator's eyes got very wide, and Sister Brozzu and I looked at each other in horror realizing that we both had the funny idea, so he probably thought we were serious. Haha, no worries though. He is a cool guy and when we explained that we were only joking he laughed about it. :)
My Week Feb. 16th - 22nd:
This week was so fun! On Monday (16 Feb) we went to the Stornoway castle! Woot, woot! I love that in the mission there are so many castles for us to see! At the top of the Stornoway castle Griffin's are carved into it. I told people they did that because they knew I was coming. ;)
Tuesday was a good day. District Meeting was about the importance of Family History and sharing it with others. I am so grateful for my Grandad and the pictures and stories he sent me of his parents. That is exactly what I need for the "My Family Booklet". If anyone else has pictures and stories that they can send of our ancestors that would be very helpful. We also went to teach our internigator (Investigator who has been learning for eternity ie over a year) Coleen. Our friend, Davy, who is a recent convert came with us to teach. He bore such a beautiful testimony. It is always amazing to me to hear new converts of the church bear testimony. Later that day we went to our neighbors home with freshly baked cookies. She was very friendly. We taught her about the importance of families in our church and how the gospel can strengthen her family. She said her and her husband have been looking for a religion to raise their two adorable children in. She invited us to come back when her husband is home so we can teach the family the Restoration. That was very exciting!!! :)
The 18th (Wednesday) was a good day. We were able to teach a guy named Jens. He is really cool. It is hard because he is going to college and has a girlfriend and is in a band and has to work on his motorcycle a lot, so he is very busy. But is was SO GOOD to teach him!!! That evening we were able to visit a family from the branch. Catriona and Alastair are both so friendly. It was nice to visit with them and get to know them better. :)
Thursday was an interesting day. I really learned the concept of fearing God more than man. I got a prompting that we needed to read the story of the 10 Virgins with a less active woman. She says she knows the church is true and she loves the Gospel and Jesus Christ, but she goes to a different church. Not only that, but she calls this other church "her church". Anyway, I wasn't too sure how this lesson would go with her... Sister Brozzu said it would be fine because she isn't the best at applying what we teach to her own life anyway. So we went and we read Matt 25:1-13, D&C 133:10, D&C 33:13, Matt 7:21-23. She acted like she really enjoyed the lesson. We never once told her if we thought she was like the foolish virgins or the wise ones. We simply invited her to make a list of things she needs to do to personally prepare herself for the coming of the Lord and actions she can be taking to be prepared. She said she understood and she smiled and said she can't wait for our next visit. I was proud of myself because I listened to the prompting of the Spirit and I was teaching boldly and lovingly. That night we received a text from this less active woman. She sent a very long message saying that it was wrong of me to judge her and think of her as the foolish virgin. She told me that I am just a stupid 21 year old and I don't know anything about life. Apparently we need middle aged missionaries who understand life and the word of God. It was a lot to take in. I did reply to her text saying I am so sorry if I offended her. I know that I am young, but I was called by the prophet of the Lord to be here sharing the gospel. We all have things we need to work on. Not one of us is perfect and we should all be preparing ourselves for the coming of the Lord. Then I finished by saying if she has any suggestions of how I can improve to please let me know. I prayed so hard the rest of the week for her. I don't want her to hate the Gospel of Jesus Christ because she does not like me and what I said to her in a lesson. Then I realized that fear comes from Satan. I did my part. I taught what I know to be true. If she was doing the things she should have been doing then she would have no need to be offended. It was an interesting lesson anyway.
Friday is our Day of Service. We volunteer at a Charity Shop called Action Aid from 10am-12. Then we have a lunch break for an hour. Afterwards we volunteer at another charity shop called Save the Children. When we are done with that we go to a Retirement Center and take Gaelic Lessons. Then at 6:30pm music night starts. It is a really cool day because we are able to talk to a lot more people than we normally would. If we are on the streets are knocking doors people avoid us as if we have leprosy.
The rest of the week was pretty quiet. We just prepared to take a plane to Glasgow on Monday, the 23rd. :)
Hope that you all had a wonderful week! :) 
Thank you for all of your love and support. 
Remember what President Monson said, "Prayer is not just for times of trouble." Our Father in Heaven loves you very much. He wants to hear from you at all times! He is there for you and will help you with anything. Sometimes it is nice to just say a gratitude prayer. "When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed, when you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, count your many blessings; name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done. Count your blessings; name them one by one. Count your blessings; see what God hath done. Count your blessings; name them one by one. Count your many blessings; see what God hath done."
Alma 34:38 That ye contend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the name of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Oh, Stornoway! The place I call my home!

I like to preach to the sheep. Most of the time they talk back :) 

This is the Stornoway church building. I love it. And it is SOOO close to our home! :) 
Quote Of The Week:
"The mission is tough, pretty much the whole thing, But the reason why every missionary loves and cherishes it is because of the growth and guidance from the Spirit during all the hard times. Cherish the hard times and seek how you can grown in the Spirit." -Dale Larson
Scripture Of The Week:
John 14:27- We are promised peace. How incredible is that in a world that we live in where nothing seems to slow down. We have no need to be worried are fearful. The Lord has a plan for each and everyone of us. If we be sure to keep the commandments and put our Father in Heaven first before ANYTHING then we WILL be blessed. I can promise that. I have seen it happen. I am so grateful for the peace that Heavenly Father gives us. In moments of stress and panic if we only sit and breathe deep, read a scripture, and say a pray I promise we can feel of that beautiful calming, peace.

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! I hope you all know how much I love you and pray for you. :)
This week was CRAZY! On Tuesday we made cookies for our Zone Leaders and District Leader. We got picked up from our flat by the Maddock's at 2pm and they took us to the airport. Sister Brozzu and I flew over to Glasgow. It was a fun flight!!! The plane was so itty bitty! Sister Brozzu was a little nervous on it, but I told her that it is like a game... "Are we gonna live? Are we gonna die? Hmmm... we won't know till we hit the ground!" Hahaha! We got to Glasgow around 5pm. The Zone Leaders picked us up and dropped us off at the 4 Sister Flat. Then they left us. Luckily I served in Glasgow, so I was so comfortable being left with Sister Brozzu in this big city. I went to go visit my friends... but we had bad luck. Willie had literally JUST left when we got there!! And my friends Sammy and Stuart moved about 2 months ago... I was pretty bummed. Then we were going to visit Pierre and Sister Barnshaw, but Pierre had the missionaries over for a lesson and I couldn't remember EXACTLY how to get to Sister Barnshaw's and I didn't want to get lost in Glasgow in the dark... So we went over to my friend Maddy's home. It was so nice catiching up with her. She is GREAT! I love her so much! Then she took Sister Brozzu and I to get hamburgers and chocolate milkshakes for dinner! MMMMmmmmMMM! It was good. And while we were there some elders and sisters came to join us. It was a PARTY! :) Man, I love Glasgow. It was nice to be back.
Now, don't think I've gone apostate. We didn't just go to Glasgow to see my friends and eat yummy food. We went there for Zone Interview Training on Wednesday. It was an amazing meeting. The Spirit was so strong there. We focused a lot on How To Begin Teaching. I think it is so good to go back to the basics sometimes. I got to have a nice interview with President Brown. He is so nice. I could have sat and talked to him for HOURS! But ain't nobody got time for that.... Then I did something pretty awkward.... I saw an Assisstant to the President and had a MAJOR brain fart... for some reason in my head I thought he was my Zone Leader, so I asked him how he liked the cookies. Then when he said, "What cookies?" I realized that we didn't make cookies for the AP's... So I just said, "Oh... what? I don't know.. Never mind." Which made him under the impression we had cookies for him and I just ruined the surprise... Well I ran over to Sister Brozzu and asked if we had any cookies for the AP's and explained my mistake. Haha, luckily we had Subway for lunch, so I took one of those cookies and made them split it. Then I confussed of my awkward confusion. Haha, hmmmm, as I'm sitting here typing I'm realizing that story might only be funny if you were there. Sorry for such a lame story. I feel as if I don't share enough stories, but I don't know what kind of stories to share. Emailing just doesn't do funny stories justice!!!
Thursday, Febuary 12, we went on exchanges with the STLs, Sister Johnson and Sister Montgomery in Irvine, Scotland. It was a fun exchange. I was a little bummed at first because I missed Sister Cannon so so much... but Sister Johnson and Sister Montgomery are lovely. :) We did this think called "street boarding". It is where you take a white board and you go on a street and you write something catchy on the white board and talk to people about it. The first one said "We believe in Jesus Chirst, do you?" Then we stopped EVERYONE we saw. It was so fun. We were there with some elders as well. And you don't stop people with a companion, that way you are stopping more people. I met a man named Chris Thor. He was so cool! He was dressed in a really spiffy suit. He looked like he could be a super hero. I told him he lived up to his name. He took a Book of Mormon and said he might want to learn more someday. That was the most success I found that day. But it is always fun talking and meeting new people. Right when we decided to leave, the 4 of us sisters said that we would stop one more person before we catch our bus. I went over and started a conversation with a lady. She was kind and had some quiestions, then out of NO WHERE a lady charges over to me and starts yelling "How dare you call yourself a Christian. You aren't a Christian. You worship the devil. You don't read the Bible. You changed the Bible!" And a whole bunch more horrible things about us that I shouldn't type... As she was screaming at me, the lady I was talking to walked away. When I tried to talk to the screamer she shoved her hand in my face and yelled as she waked away. It was interesting because in the beginning of my mission I would have felt so defeated and dejected, but it was at this moment that I realized that was the closest I could feel to Jesus Christ. How amazing is that? HE knows exactly how we feel. He took on every emotion we have ever felt, but we don't have the same opportunity to understand Him. While Chirst was on the Earth many people were unkind to Him. They put a crown of thorns on His head and mocked Him. If all I need to take is some lady yelling at me and calling me names on the street because I am trying to share a message about my Savior and Redeemer who can bring us so much peace and happiness, then I will take it with my head held high. I know that my Redeemer lives. I am so greateful for all that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have done for me.
We took a train back to Glasgow on Thursday and the Zone Leaders picked us up and dropped us off at the airport. We were able to get some yummy food from Tesco... well, I thought it looked yummy and ended up not liking ANYTHING I bought for myself. Luckily Sister Brozzu was kind enough to share. I slept the whole 45 minute flight to Stornoway. :) Not too shoking I'm sure.
On exchanges Sister Johnson and I talked a lot about "boldness" because that is what I am focusing on this transfer. My whole mission I have been committed to be more bold, so I decided I would work REALLY hard on it. Sister Johnson said something that really stuck with me:
B  =Believe
O  =Obey
L  =Love
D  =Diligent
When we are bold we believe that the person we are being bold with will change. We believe that we are being prompted by the Spirit to be so bold and direct with them. When we are bold we are obedient. We are doing and saying what we are guided to say and do no matter how uncomfortable we may feel. When we are bold we are speaking with love. When we are bold we are diligent. We are doing exactly what the Lord wants us to be doing at that moment. Then Sister Johnson explained that being bold doesn't mean pointing the finger and shouting repentance at people. There is a kind and quiet boldness as well. I really learned a lot on this exchange. :)
Friday, we went to a funeral for our friend Davy's mother. He was so strong and brave. He knows his mother is okay and that he will see her again. It is amazing to see what hope can do. In the evening we went to a Retirement Center and Sister Brozzu was able to play her flute with a band. She is so good! Tonight, one of the men that was there, named Allen, said he would come to Family Home Evening and play the guitar for us. We are so excited!!!
Well, that's me done I think. I don't want to be too long winded :) Sorry for the lack of pictures. I am so silly. I forgot my camera charger in Limerick. BUT Sister Brozzu was kind enough to send me a few pictures, so I will try to figure out how to send them over.

This coming week is going to be a week full of miracles. Keep your eyes open for them all. The Lord is blessing you all the time :)

Love you all! 
<3, Sister Kelsey Michelle Griffin 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Greetings From Far, Far Away. :)

Well, I have had quite the week! Sister Montoya and I were pretty sad to be leaving each other and I was pretty devastated to leave Limerick. I really had began to love the city and all the people there. Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday were days that I ran around the city with Sister Montoya saying my goodbyes and expressing my love to them all. It is so amazing the successes that are happening there! My friends Cian and Mike are progressing so well and are walking towards the waters of baptism. I am so happy for them both!!
On Wednesday the elders came to our flat at 4am to pick us up and drive us to Dublin. I was very chatty the whole car trip! When we got to the bus station I glanced over my shoulder and saw someone taking a picture of me... It was a little creepy... but then I realized it was my friend McCLEARY!!!! :D I was so so happy that she came to the bus station so early in the morning to wish me farewell. I am going to miss her so much. She does a lot for me. When the bus finally came we travelled on it for a few hours then we got off at another bus station and travelled on another bus for a few hours. Then we got our suitcases and went to get in the queue (line) for the ferry. Suddenly I realized that I needed my passport to board the ferry and I had NO IDEA where my passport was!!!! :o Oh my goodness, I was in a panic. I soon realized that I think it was in the bottom of my suitcase. I was that crazy person on my knees in the corner of the room digging through my very stuffed full suitcase looking for my passport. Yes, it was pretty intense. Don't worry though, I did find it and I was able to board the ferry right before it departed. While we were on the ferry the waves were HUGE!!! I really thought that we might die. The perfume shop on the ferry had a lot of problems with all the perfume bottles falling off the shelves and breaking everywhere. Then beer bottles were falling everywhere and breaking. Oh wow! The smells were very strong. I am so grateful that Elder Butler let me have his motion sickness pills! I didn't get sick at all! Many missionaries were throwing up though... When we got to Scotland we boarded a bus that drove through Glasgow. It was so nice being somewhere that felt like home. The bus continued on to Edinburgh. When we got off the bus I was told that I would take another bus to Aberdeen where I would meet my companion and have a sleepover at the sisters flat. We had to walk quite a distance with all of our luggage to the other bus station. Suddenly an elder ran up behind me and said "Sister Griffin, wait! You aren't going to Aberdeen anymore. You are coming with us to the mission home." So he helped wheel two of my suitcases while I wheeled the other all the way back towards the way I had just come. Boy, I was TIRED! The mission van came and picked us up. They took me to the mission home. Once there I met my lovely companion, Sister Brozzu. I also had the opportunity to meet her old companion, Sister Sawyer. I felt bad because I was WRECKED from all the travel, so I wasn't my normal talkative self. I was very grateful to know there were sandwiches in the kitchen because boy I was hungry!!! It was a pleasant surprise that night, after I had taken a shower and gotten all prepared for bed, I was sitting on one of the beds when Sister Allen and Sister Jacques walked into the room! They are from my MTC group! They were in the mission home because they are both training again this transfer. It was so nice to see them and chat with them! :)
Thursday we woke up at 6:30am to do our morning workout. From 7-8 we got ready and went downstairs for some breakfast. The mission home is HUGE and BEAUTIFUL... I should have taken a picture. Sorry. We had cereal for breakfast, and bananas. At 10am Sister Brozzu and I got a lift from some elders to the train station and took a train to the ferry. Well... we were supposed to get on a train that would take us straight to the ferry, but we got on the WRONG TRAIN!! :o No worries though! The right train ended up coming. The ferry to Stornoway was VERY small. Some lovely people sat by us... unfortunately I don't remember the couples names... but there dog Will was nice and cuddley! :) We arrived at my new home at around 9:45. It felt good to be home. I slept really well that night.
Friday was a fun day. Because the island is so small, and most everyone here is VERY religious, it is hard to find people to teach. We have the opportunity to do a lot of service though. On Friday's we volunteer at two different Charity Shops. It is really fun! I am a bit nervous though... My whole mission I have only used pounds for 4 months. I don't get this money at all. Oh well. I am sure it will be fine. :) We were able to visit the senior missionary couple, the Maddocks after service. They are very kind people. They are from Mesa, Arizona!!! How funny is that? They live right by the Mesa temple. Sister Maddock says she knows my Nannie (Grandmother). It is crazy how small the world is.. especially when you are a Mormon!
Saturday was a fun day. I was able to meet our investigators Jen and Georgiana. Jen is Georgiana's mother. Georgiana is 17. They are both amazing women. So strong and brave and faithful. Georgiana has cystic fibrosis, but she doesn't let that get her down. She reads the scriptures and prays everyday. I think she is so inspiring. They was to be baptized. I am so grateful that the Lord has sent me here to meet such amazing people.
Church starts at 10am on Sunday. We do Relief Society first, then Gospel Doctrine, and finally Sacrament Meeting. It was the most interesting church service I have ever attended. We stayed in the same room for every meeting. Only about 10 people (including the 4 missionaries) came to the church. We only have one youth. He is 11 and passes the sacrament. Two less active members came which Sister Brozzu was very excited about. Something interesting that I have learned about the Branch in Stornoway is that they used to have 80 members coming out to the church. They went from 80 to 10 in a few years. BUT, the members who do come out to church on Sundayare some of the strongest, most dedicated people that I have ever met. The Spirit during Sacrament Meeting was so beautiful and sweet with those people there. I know the Lord has a plan for me. I also know the Lord has a plan for Stornoway. I am very excited to work with these wonderful children of God on this Isle.
I have been studying the Atonement. I like the scripture in Alma 7:11-12. Jesus Christ has done so much for us. He is not just our Savior and Redeemer. He is our Big Brother who loves us more than words descibe. He wants us to use the Atonement. He knows that we are not perfect people. He wants us to work hard and try and not give up. I am grateful for Jesus Christ and all he does. I absolutely love the talk "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox. I am sure that I have talked about it before, but that is just how good it is! It has helped me so much. Everytime I read it something new sticks out. I really like what he says about the Atonement. "The miracle of the Atonement is not just that we can live after we die but that we can live more abundantly (see John 10:10). The miracle of the Atonement is not just that we can be cleansed and consoled but that we can be transformed (see Romans 8). Scriptures make it clear that no unclean thing can dwell with God (see Alma 40:26), but brothers and sisters, no unchanged thing will even want to." I had a friend tell me that my whole mission has been preparing me for my last area, and how right that is. I have learned so much out here. I have also learned that change is hard, but so necessary. I am grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I am grateful that because of Him I can repent of my mistakes. I don't need to carry anything negative around with me. I can be forgiven and loved 1000 times over. As long as I say sorry and decide to change my actions He will hold His arms outstretched to me. I can promise you all the same thing. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have a beautiful plan, and part of that plan is us returning to them. I know I don't want to return to my Father in Heaven feeling uncomfortable. I know that we have repentance so we can use it now. Don't procrastinate the day of your repentance. I know that God lives, and He loves us. I love you all as well. Even though I am far away from everyone I know and love, I know that I am not alone. I can feel all of your love and prayers coming to me. I can also feel the love of my Father in Heaven.

I hope that you all have a wonderful week! Sorry for me going on and on and on with NO pictures... My camera literally JUST died when we got to the church building to email.
Please write me though! I haven't received post in about 4 weeks!!!
Stornoway Sisters Brozzu and Griffin:
6 Seaview Terrace
Isle of Lewis
Outer Hebrides
*Did I tell you that the beach is right outside the church and just next to our home!! It sure is funny to see snow on a beach! But it is oddly sunny right now :)
If you wanted to write me you could also include a small note to my sweet companion. Being out here with no other missionaries and a lack of members, it would be nice to hear words of kindness and encouragement from ANYONE! :)

Love you all! Have a wonderful week!
<3, Sister Kelsey Michelle Griffin 
Azariah and I before I left. 

Elder (Uncle ;)) Norup's wedding!!

Eoin and Halley Hogan had their baby! It was a beautiful baby boy, 6lb 10oz and they are calling him Simon

And Elder Hutchings and Walters stuffing their faces with Azariah's cinnamon rolls.