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.