Monday, February 20, 2017

Week 80: My Last Week

February 20, 2017
Well, friends.. this will be my last email as a full-time missionary. In preparation to leave the mission field, the mission asks returning missionaries to write their "words of wisdom" (insight to other missionaries), and "what my mission has meant to me" (I don't know how they expect us to put that in words.. so, I want to attach those things for all of you to read as my final email. But first:

Ponderosa is doing really well! We have a miracle former who just came back from not being able to meet with her for many months. When we went on Wednesday to have a lesson with her, she had found an Ensign about The Book of Mormon, and was super excited to talk to us about it. ...then, she asked us 5 times throughout the lesson, "So.. what are the requirements for me to be baptized?" She is really excited about everything right now, which is nothing short of a miracle! She came to the Relief Society activity this week, and was telling everyone she met, "Yeah, the sisters are coming over and teaching me, and I'm going to be baptized soon!" It is such a tender mercy to witness people's hearts change! :) 

Words of Wisdom: "And I do this for a wise purpose; for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the Spirit of the Lord which is in me. And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will" (Words of Mormon 1:7). Elders and Sisters, what a wise purpose the work of salvation is. How blessed we are to be able to be missionaries - to bear the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  I have seen great miracles in this work. I know the truthfulness of Mormon's teachings that "I do not know all things," but I can also testify that the Lord does know perfectly the things that are to come, and we need to be the kind of servants and disciples that He can work in "to do according to his will." Will we do what it takes to let Him work in us? Will we repent, read the scriptures, and pray fervently to be the instruments in His hands that He needs us to be? I have felt the Lord working in me, and know without a doubt that the Atonement of our Savior has strengthened me, enabled me, healed me, and helped me and all of those that I have had the privilege to serve. This is the Lord's work - He wouldn't call us to do it if He didn't know that we could. I know my Savior lives. I know as we turn to our Father in Heaven in humble prayer, pour out our hearts to Him and then listen, we will be enabled to do everything He needs us to do, and we and those we serve will be better for it. This Gospel is all we need. Rely on His grace, and in His timing, all will be well.

What My Mission Has Meant to Me: It's so hard to describe what my mission has meant to me in words. Everything that I have experienced has been in the most marvelous feelings, not in words. Everything that I have been able to learn, every lesson that I have been able to teach, everyone that I have been able to talk to... It has blessed my heart forever and changed me. Not because every experience or encounter with someone was a positive one.. because it wasn't. Not because everything that I have been through I would want to experience every day of eternity, because I wouldn't... and not because it has been easy, because it hasn't... but because through this time, I have become closer to my Savior. I have felt that He has guided me. I have been able to see others grow in their knowledge of the Savior and in their testimonies of His restored Gospel. I have felt the joy and gladness - eternal - that comes into your heart and soul when you are in the service of other people. I have felt more lasting happiness than I ever thought I would have the capability to - that feeling has come through serving others and loving them the way that the Savior would. This whole experience reminds me of the quote, "The best things in life are not seen or heard, but felt with the heart." These feelings have blessed my life so much. I have been changed because of the love of my Savior that He has allowed me to feel through serving my Brothers and Sisters. I will forever look back on this time. It has shaped my outlook and allowed me to gain a greater perspective of who I want to become, and can become, in the future and throughout eternity. All that I have felt and learned here on my mission will be a pattern that I will follow into the eternities. I would not have any of these blessings if it weren't for this mission.. for which I will always be grateful. 

I have a testimony of missions. I know that they are inspired of our Heavenly Father and that through this amazing work, hearts are changed! I know that I have changed, and that those that I have had the privilege to meet and get to know have been changed through the Atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I would not change a moment of this work for the world. I will miss it, but I am so excited to be a full-time member missionary and implement all that I have learned here in the field to the rest of my life. 

What a beautiful work this is.


"God be with you 'till we meet again!"

Hurrah for Israel!

Much Love,
Sister Jennifer Griffith

Week 79: 18 Months

February 13, 2017
This week was definitely an adventure! As time draws to a close, I have been thinking a lot about these past 18 months, and have been pretty distraught about having to leave this all.. this wonderful land I have truly come to love and those whom I have met that I will never forget. What an amazing blessing missions are. The mission field truly is the Missionary Training Center for Life. I find great comfort in knowing that this time wasn't just for me to learn how to do missionary things, this time was to prepare me to become a missionary.. with my whole heart, might, mind and strength. To learn how to invite others come unto Christ, and to continue to help them receive the restored gospel.. these are tools that can be used forever. What a blessing this Gospel is. The principles we learn are truly eternal. 

My testimony is continually growing in the reasoning behind trials and being in the "discomfort zone." It seems that those times of hardship, trial, and difficulty have really been the most refining, growing times of this mission. It gives me a much greater testimony and perspective on eternal progression and growing more to become like our Heavenly Father and Savior in this life - the purpose of the plan!

On a lighter note.... haha... There were some amazing blessings that happened this week. We were able to see one investigator that we have never met this week for the first time. We literally sorted 3 THOUSAND stamps (like the rubber craft kind) into theme, so that was crazy. She is amazing and knows that this Gospel is true and that this is where she needs to be. She has felt the Spirit here and the lack of the Spirit in other churches that she has gone to. We have another appointment to help her this week. THIS WORK IS THE BEST!!! She knows that the only thing that is holding her back from baptism is not coming to Church, and she is currently working on getting Sundays off so she can come. Another amazing spiritual experience was being able to get some investigators at Church this week that have never come before. One of them, Dan, has been meeting with the Elders for the past several months, and never was able to make it to Church when they invited him. He texted us, thinking that we were the Elders, when we first texted him and invited him to Church that first week and said that he "chickened out" and that he would probably need us to come and "escort" him to Church so that he actually comes. So, this week we were able to do that. We walked with him there, and it was definitely nothing short of a miracle. He texted us last night thanking us for coming and getting him there.

This is the most amazing work. I am so grateful that I have been blessed to take part in it. It will continue, my love for this work and excitement for it, whether or not I'm wearing a nametag or not. Sure love you all! Have the best week! :)
-Mini Zone Service

-18 month photos... I had to take a cute one, but this is how I actually feel. Such is life. 
"God be with you 'till we meet again!"

Hurrah for Israel!

Much Love,
Sister Jennifer Griffith

Week 78: 4 Cars, 7 Hours, and a Broken Shovel Later

February 6, 2017
In case you didn't catch the hint by the subject line, we may or may not have experienced a teensy bit of inclement weather here this week. ... so... that was a good experience. Especially the day that we couldn't drive our car, so we walked.. that's the best option. So, we had intended to go visit some people, you know, like missionaries do, but then, literally every single street corner that we walked past, there was a car like super stuck - in a driveway, on the road, - always in the most inconvenient spot, and we wouldn't be very good people if we decided we were just going to walk on past like we didn't have a care in the world, so we got to help 4 people get unstuck... it also took us 7 hours to accomplish our original plan because we stopped so many times, but hey, that's what Heavenly Father needed us to do, and it's the dream of a missionary to be able to just serve. :) 

Right when we thought we were good and heading home to change socks and warm up a little bit during our companion study, we got a phone call from a little old lady saying that the Elders said if she ever needed help to call them again... so, we got to go shovel her 2' of snow off of her very large driveway. Looking back, it was so cold, my feet were soaking, and we didn't talk to very many people about the Gospel, but I was so happy and we were able to help so many. What a metaphor for life. Sometimes our circumstances are less than ideal. Sometimes we have soaking feet, and a sore back, and its all we can do to put one foot in front of another, but as we focus on the Savior and His light, we are warmed through and through, and given increased capacity to overcome those blizzard moments in our lives.

...also... we definitely got the idea to walk around with our shovels on our backs that day so we would be well equipped to help people, and mine may or may not have broken in half... apparently I'm stronger than I thought I was... okay, it was already broken when we got to Ponderosa, but now it's completely split in half, so... nailed it. 

ANYWAY, on the more spiritual side of things this week, one night we were wondering who Heavenly Father needed us to go see because all of our plans fell through. We had in mind someone who we had met earlier in the week when we were tracting - also in the snow (we walked a lot this week.. it was good for the soul) - who had expressed interest in having us come share a message about Christ with her, but as we prayed, I wanted it to be her, but a different, distinct name came instead. Sister Spackman had gotten the same impression.. but it was 7 o'clock at night, and the person who referred us there said that she's only home in the morning, so... this sure didn't make any sense... but we went forward anyway. We got there, knocked twice - no answer. Hearing someone behind the door, we knocked again, and a different person than the one we were supposed to find behind the door answered, saying that the person we had been told lived there didn't exist. ... but.. we had been led there for a reason. We started talking to Alyssa, and she said that she doesn't really have a religion, but she likes to learn many truths and she takes "whatever is right for her soul" and that's what she accepts. She said she loves religious text. We testified to her of The Book of Mormon, and that she can know this is Christ's Gospel, the "only true and living Church upon the face of the whole earth" and she was super excited to learn more (Doctrine and Covenants 1:30). We shared with her in 2 Nephi where the Lord talks about speaking more than one word and she was so touched when we left her with a copy to read (2 Nephi 29:9). I know that Heavenly Father loves us. He is aware of our needs, and He will answer our prayers as we push aside our desires and try to focus on His will. 

Well, that's about all I have for now. MLC (Mission Leadership Council) and Zone Training was this week.. it was so amazing to be able to see so many of the missionaries that I came out, and to be able to teach the other missionaries about Teaching Repentance and Baptizing Converts. What a blessing of a life this is. <3 Sure love you all! This Gospel is so good! We are indeed so fortunate. Sorry for the super long email - it was super fun to write though. Have the best week and enjoy these pictures! :)

-Broken Shovel...
-All of the Missionaries that came out with me minus 5 who weren't at the meeting.
-Who's left of my MTC district minus one Elder
-Plastic Bags over your feet provide maximum protection so your feet don't get soaked.. just in case you were wondering. 

"God be with you 'till we meet again!"

Hurrah for Israel!

Much Love,
Sister Jennifer Griffith


January 30, 2017
^^^^Basically we're super blessed because everyone ALWAYS cancels on us last minute.. but this week, we had a miracle lesson with a new investigator, Ryan, and he didn't cancel, so... miracle!! I will talk more about that later.

This week was honestly SO CRAZY! One day, we went outside in the morning to leave just to see that we had been egged.... ..... .... with only one egg.... what the purpose of that is, I do not know... but... whatever floats their boats! It made us chuckle because it was so cold outside when we were cleaning it up that the yolk and white literally froze to the cement on our porch.. so. funny. 

The highlight of this week was our investigator, Katie's baptism. SHE IS SO CUTE!!! Little Miss Katie had a really neat experience ( I realized that I totally forgot to mention that she was even getting baptized until now.. whoops..) She was SO nervous and so scared all the way up to her baptism, but the night that she was getting baptized, she came in an was just so happy and not nervous at all. She was so calm and peaceful when she went into the water, and again on Sunday when she received The Gift of The Holy Ghost. This Gospel, His Gospel, truly does change people and their hearts. I never get tired of witnessing that incredible change of heart. How Heavenly Father must feel about us when we change, or turn, and repent.... and it was so awesome because like 90% of the people that were there were all her nonmember family. SO AWESOME!

My testimony grew a lot this week in the fact that people are still out there - there are people here who are prepared and ready to hear about the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Sometimes when people who are not super interested schedule appointments, it's easy to think that they're not going to follow through on that appointment. Well, praying to keep that faith is essential. On Friday during the exchange, we had a church tour scheduled with a Potential Investigator named Ryan. We texted him and he texted back saying, "I'm so glad that you texted because I left your number at home and wanted to let you know that..." (thought he was going to cancel)... "I might be a few minutes late to the Church Tour because I'm working tonight, but I will be there." It was such an exciting moment! He came to the Church Tour, felt the Spirit, and his faith grew so much. He went from the beginning asking surface level questions like, "What are those numbers up there for?" (the hymn numbers in the chapel) to the end when we were looking at the picture of Christ being baptized and asking, "Well... is baptism really essential to get into Heaven?" and teaching himself why he thought Christ was baptized. We have another appointment with him this Wednesday. What a life indeed! There were other miracles this week too. What a blessing this work is!

Well, that's about all that I have time for. I hope and pray that you are all doing wonderfully and feeling the Spirit so strongly in your lives and knowing that you are loved more than you could ever know by our dear Savior, and our Heavenly Father... and me. ;).. even though I don't compare in the slightest to either one of them. 

Enjoy some extra pictures because of the short email! LOVE YOU! :) 

-The ONE egg
-Sometimes we have to get the ice off of our driveways with the back end of a hammer... Don't worry, we have metal shovels now.
-Katie's cuteness self at her baptism. She is literally just like the orphan Annie.
-We live so close to the Temple now.. we can't go in, but we can be outside and take happy pictures on P-day! BLESSINGS! :) <3

"God be with you 'till we meet again!"

Hurrah for Israel!

Much Love,
Sister Jennifer Griffith

Week 76: Sherwood Forest and New Faces For Days

January 23, 2017
Well... that basically sums up my week right there in the subject line.. we live in a cute little neighborhood in our VERY OWN DUPLEX (we're big kids now), and it's called Sherwood Forest, and we met so many amazing people this week, so .. pretty blessed to be serving here in the Ponderosa ward. With that said, I only have 5 minutes for this email, so.. sorry in advance. 

First of all, I absolutely love Sister Spackman, my new companion. She is from Bountiful, Utah, and she is SUCH a good missionary. She knows how to work hard, and be exactly obedient. Heavenly Father blessed me a lot with this one. :) 

In other news, The area is doing wonderful! These members here.. they are just so amazing! I feel like this ward and stake just has things figured out - how to be member missionaries and just unified with the full-time missionaries in this same, amazing redemptive work.. it is such a blessing to be able to serve here. We were able to get some pretty amazing referrals from the members this week, and were able to see many mighty miracles in contacting them. A few said that they wanted us to come back, and a few placed us in the path at the right time of people who wanted to learn more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

My testimony has grown so much this week in just the simple things - asking for referrals, making the second effort to talk to people when they reject us, and trying people and knocking on their doors even when it doesn't seem like they're home or it's really late or whatever may be the case. 

There was one miracle this week where we knocked on the door of a potential investigator who just turned us down and said he already had a church. Seeing his young child, we were able to testify of the truth of eternal families and how this Gospel blesses families to come closer together. We invited him on a church tour as a second effort and let him know that if he came, he would be able to feel the Spirit and know it's where Heavenly Father needed him to be. His heart was softened and he set up a time with us to go on one this week. Such a miracle! 

Another spiritual experience this week was just with being able to meet our investigators and teach them. We were going to contact a referral, and another lady answered the door who lives there, looked at us skeptically, but then proceeded to let us in. She expressed right away how she has a desire to come closer to Jesus Christ, and we were able to testify to her about The Book of Mormon and the Restoration of the Gospel. We called her about coming to Church, and she said she couldn't this week, but that she really was excited about learning more about "the Mormon church," and for us to come and talk with her more. There were so many more experiences this week like those ones. What a blessing it is to be about His work, and be in this wonderful area!

Well, that's about all for this week other than the fact that we've met some pretty interesting people this week.. got to love a big city! Love you all! ALSO.. we got a full-time car for some reason unknown to mankind, but such a tender mercy. No dying in the frozen tundra for me! :) 
Have the best week! <3 Until next time,

-Fun pictures this week
-also.. our investigator probably doesn't know we're sisters yet.. his response made us laugh when we invited him to church. 

OH! My address for letters is 

9521 E Archery Ave
Spokane Valley, WA 99206

"God be with you 'till we meet again!"

Hurrah for Israel!

Much Love,
Sister Jennifer Griffith

Week 75: Pioneer Children Sang...

January 16, 2017 they walked, and walked, and walked... which is what yours truly will be doing for the next 6 weeks!! WOOHOO!!! ... this should be an experience I'm sure I will never forget.. not even a part-time car, and you can't safely bike with snow and ice on the road, so you'll know more about that next week.

Anyway, so yes, I am being transferred...  to East Spokane (the same stake as the Temple, the Mission President, and the Assistants to the President)... my new area is Ponderosa. My new companion is Sister Spackman and she just finished being trained, so she has been out for 3 months. I know that Heavenly Father wouldn't be sending me there if He didn't know I could handle it. My companion and I will both be new to the area - Elders have been there forever. Sister Nickle is also leaving to a different part of Spokane.. they are putting Elders back in Lakeland 1st. So.. that's it.. CRAZY! I never thought this would happen, but I know that Heavenly Father's will is that I serve in Ponderosa with Sister Spackman for the next 6 weeks.. so I will pray mightily and try my hardest to do what I can.

My testimony has grown a lot this week in just praying for help and strength. When I have been in a hard time or day, saying a prayer is the best resource of all. Strength comes and I am able to push forward. What a testimony builder and has brought me a lot of joy this week which was our focus as a mission, so that's wonderful!

The best spiritual experience of this week was on Monday night. Sister Nickle felt prompted to go to a part-member family, so we headed that way, and the non-member mother invited us in and we sat down and started talking. She said that they had just gotten home and that in the car they were talking about the difference between The Bible and The Book of Mormon, but they didn't know what it was and couldn't answer the question.. They also were wondering about why we don't have the cross as a symbol in our church, and that it was a "coincidence" that we stopped by. We were able to teach them The Restoration - the mother, and her 4 children who are between 10 and 16 years old, and the mom said that they were actually going "Church shopping." They invited us back and we are having another lesson with them tonight. There are prepared people. What a blessing the Holy Ghost is which helps us with His still, small whisper of promptings. I know this is the Lord's work and He is directing it. 

Well, I love you all! Have the best week! Until then,

-There's this ridiculously bright star outside in the west at night and I don't know what it is or where it came from... seriously.. go look at it. 
-A cute RM who came out with us this week. 
-District Picture
-Saying goodbye. :(

"God be with you 'till we meet again!"

Hurrah for Israel!

Much Love,
Sister Jennifer Griffith

Week 74: "Here we are.. in the frozen tundra.."

January 9, 2017
Sister Nickle and I probably say that to each other about 30 times per week as we trudge through the snow.. we do it in an accent like the guy off of that survivor show though, and it's pretty hilarious.. just saying.

WELL.. this week has been such a week! It was amazing! I feel like they just are getting faster and faster, but yet slower at the same time.. it's such a weird phenomenon... but, things are good! :) We are safe and happy and seeing so many miracles in the work of salvation. 

The area is progressing more and more each week. This week we were able to see a lot of our investigators and feel the Spirit with them. It is such a blessing to be able to teach people. The days when we don't have appointments, it is the hardest just knocking on doors and having people not be interested.. especially during these winter months - the days just seem to get longer and longer. BUT.. when we have appointments, the day seems to fly by and we are happy. It's such a testimony to me that this work really does bring happiness to people, and a testimony of setting appointments and not just stopping by at people's homes.. although the latter is better than nothing. 

My testimony has grown so much this week in the Tender Mercies of the Lord. Just when it feels like things aren't going well and that people have stopped progressing, it's so easy to get down and to forget all of the many blessings we have been given. As I have tried to push through those hard times, there have been so many testimonies and miracles that have come. Sometimes they seem smaller, and sometimes they are bigger, but they are always there. Just yesterday, miracles happened as we had THREE investigators come to Church (all 3 of which had either never been before, or it has been forever since they've come). I had a smile on my face throughout church, and were able to share some tender mercies with the 14/15yr-olds since that's what their sunday school lesson was on yesterday. The sister who taught the class shared one of my favorite videos with the youth about Tender Mercies - (just in case you haven't seen it - it is amazing). 

One spiritual experience that happened this week that was such a blessing was just on Saturday. There was a baptism happening, and we were hoping that one of our investigators would be able to go. We texted one of them who we thought would be able to make it, but she didn't respond, and it was kind of last minute too. We were going about our day and eating lunch in the Church parking lot, and she came!!.. and brought her two kids with her, one of which has been baptized and the other of which is 7 and she wants him to be baptized soon. It was such a blessing and testimony to me that Heavenly Father hears our prayers and answers them in ways He knows they need to be. 

So.. there have been so many miracles this week. In case you're itching for another (I could probably go on forever, by the way), it happened yesterday. It's been a little snowy here just in case you were wondering, but... we were up in a boonie part of our area (not the best idea), but the roads were more or less clear, and we were turning around to go contact a referral we'd been given. WELL... there may or may not have been a large snow bank on the side of the road that our car may or may not have been carried into... I can neither confirm or deny either accusation.. okay, we did get stuck in the snowbank.. on the Sabbath.. but, in my defense, it wasn't entirely my fault. So.. we got our handy dandy shovel out and were trying to get ourselves out of this foot and a half of mess, and did a pretty swell job if I do say so myself.... but, that car was just not going to come out on its own.. poor thing. We said a prayer, and Sister Nickle asked Heavenly Father to either help us get out, or to send someone who could help. Well, JUST THEN.. this man comes down his driveway and proclaims that he had been watching us and says, "You did a pretty good job trying to dig this thing out... and a great job rocking back and forth to get it unstuck, but it's not going to come out without a truck." So, this very nice man Pete got his truck and pulled us out. It was definitely one of those Ox in the Mire situations, and another testimony builder for sure. 

 Well, anyway... that's about all I have for you this week. Other than this wonderful quote from the YSA broadcast that we can't watch as missionaries, but was shared with me by a dear friend who quoted Elder Nelson's talk. 

He invited us to "Accept an important assignment to begin to consecrate a portion of your time each week to studying everything Jesus said and did as recorded in the Old Testament, for He is the Jehovah of the Old Testament. Study His laws as recorded in the New Testament, for He is its Christ. Study His doctrine as recorded in the Book of Mormon, for there is no book of scripture in which His mission and His ministry are more clearly revealed. And study His words as recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants, for He continues to teach His people in this dispensation.
For help completing this assignment, see the Topical Guide, “Jesus Christ.” In addition to the text under that major heading, there are 57 subtitles about Him. For non-English language editions of the scriptures, use the Guide to the Scriptures. Let this resource become your personal core curriculum. Oh
This may seem like a large assignment. But I encourage you to accept it. If you proceed to learn all you can about Jesus Christ, I promise you that your love for Him and for God’s laws will grow beyond what you currently imagine. I promise you also that your ability to turn away from sin will increase. Your desire to keep the commandments will soar. You will find yourself better able to walk away from the entertainment and entanglements of those who mock the followers of Jesus Christ. I can recommend this assignment to you because I recently completed it myself and I know it has blessed my life."

I just love that so much.. and it made me smile because I have a testimony of that very thing. I have been doing this for the last few months, and it is a powerful exercise. What a blessing. :) I know this Gospel is the true Gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth today. He loves us and wants us to feel that love. He has given us ways to do that.. the Scriptures, prayer, and church attendance being some of the most important. Well, I love you all! Have the best week, and know you are in my prayers. :) 

Sorry that this probably took you all ages to read... I may have elaborated a little this week..

-Ultimate Ping Pong at P-Day.. the best.
-MOOSEN!! I haven't seen any since Bonners, but saw a momma and baby this week out in the sticks. SO CUTE! :) They are numbers 4 and 5 I have seen.

"God be with you 'till we meet again!"

Hurrah for Israel!

Much Love,
Sister Jennifer Griffith