Sunday, December 7, 2014

last week at CCM

Ok, last week in the CCM! Talk about busy!
                Thursday was Thanksgiving and I helped Hermana L. cook Thanksgiving for everyone in the CCM! It was so fun and crazy. It wasn’t nearly as good as our thanksgiving though mom, I just wanted Pumpkin pie and Pauline´s goodstuff. We got to watch Meet the Mormons and see a live devotional from Elder Bednar in Provo. He did a Q&A and they let us email him questions. It was really interesting! Also, that night, we built a blanket fort and put our mattresses on the floor and slept there… worst idea ever! I did not sleep at all.                                                                                          This week in the park, my companion was, a Portuguese sister from Cape Verde and she only speaks Portuguese! It was really fun though. We understood each other about 95% of the time and pretty much all of the people in the park spoke Portuguese and English, not Spanish. So it was really great! We met two really receptive people, one on the Metro and one in the park. The  one on the metro said she´d never read the Bible before and was worried to read the Book of Mormon, but we assured her that she´d understand it. We suggested that she think of a question before reading, pray, and then pick a place to start reading. She was actually on her way to catch an 8 hour bus to Barcelona and she said she was so thankful for the book so she´d have something to read on the bus. She said she´d try what we suggested. In the park, we met a guy named D from New York. He said he´d never really heard much about the church. For Christmas, at the park, we have been giving away “The Living Christ” so we talked to him about Christ and said that would strengthen his testimony and faith in Christ. He also took a Book of Mormon and said he would come by to see the temple this week! I hope I see him. He was really interest and had lots of questions! This coming week, our last time in the park, our companions are our normal companions. Im excited, but I wish I could be with Hermana F! She´s the best, and Im sooooo gonna miss her after this week when she leaves for Barcelona.
                I gave a talk in Church Sunday! I got called up to give the last talk. The topic was Obedience. I think I did alright. I stumbled on some words, but other than that, my Spanish even surprised me!        
        Michela and Joel! There is an elder here who lives super close to you! He´s actually in your stake! He went to your ward every morning for seminary. His name is Elder P, though I doubt you know him. He´s really great. If you happen to meet his family ever, let them know he´s an awesome missionary.
                We learned how to teach the Law of Chastity this week. It was super funny. Our teacher pretended to be an investigator and used words we´d never heard before that pertained to the lesson. It was crazy, but such good practice. Then, we taught one of our investigators the same lesson and it went so smooth!
                How are Ash and the baby? Hopefully doing better. Cant wait to see pictures soon! I´m getting way excited to have another baby in the family.        
        Today I´m going to the royal palace with Hermana F  for pday. We get to take a tour. Im really excited to see it and just to spend a day alone with her. I really do love this girl! What a sweetheart.
                We learned subjunctive this week and they basically said, “ok, everything you´ve been doing for the last 5 weeks when speaking Spanish, is wrong”… so good luck to me in the field because now I feel like I know nothing again!
                We met the first Patriarch of Spain this week too! He is the sweetest man you could ever know. He just has a light about him, definitely the light of Christ for sure. I felt so blessed just to meet him and talk with him for a brief minute.
                 Also, this December, we are doing the “He is the Gift” campaign. I hope you’ve heard about it. If not, go to
                President J is coming Sunday to interview me. After that, that night he will give a devotional for the whole CCM. Im so excited to finally meet him. I leave Tuesday morning too! I will go next door to the stake center, drop off my stuff and then go with the J´s to the mission home for Lunch. I´ll have another interview and then come back to the Stake Center to get my stuff and meet my trainer. Since I leave Tuesday, I will be emailing this Monday too. I don’t know the exact time, but it´ll be early morning for you no matter what time it is.
                Anyways. I love you all so much! Im keeping busy and am super excited and nervous for the actual mission field. 6 weeks have flown by! I love you all!
Love,  Hermana Griffin

Saturday, November 29, 2014

week 5 at CCM

Oh my goodness! Time is flying by! This is week 5! What the heck!
Let´s start with the park this week! It was spectacular! I got partnered with a native Ukrainian so she of course spoke no Spanish so I was alone contacting basically,, but she´d find the people and Id have a conversation and translate for her and then translate whenever she wanted to say something. It was super difficult but really good practice for me too. So at the end of our time in the park, we sing as a group and companionships are chosen for contacting while people listen to us. I was one of those companionships this week and met the coolest guy! He was with his daughter and I asked him what was most important in his life and he said it was of course his family. I was able to tell him a bit about the plan of salvation and that families could be together forever. He seemed so genuinely thankful to meet us and I felt so much love for him. I know that what I felt for him is only a fraction of the love our Father in Heaven has for his children, which is insane to think about. On the metro ride back to the CCM, we rode past our stop because my companion was talking to a woman from Ukraine! So we rode two stops past and then turned around to go back the right direction. When we were waiting for our next metro, my companion spotted a guy and asked if we could talk to him. I was a bit hesitant, but I agreed. HE WAS AWESOME! We explained we were missionaries and asked if he´d heard about the Book of Mormon or if he´d like to and he said he´d never heard of it, but would love to hear more. I gave him some background and said it testified of Jesus Christ, and he said, oh, just like the bible! And I was so excited! I told him it was just like the bible and they both testified of Christ. I shared my testimony and asked if he´d like to know more from some missionaries in the field and he said yes. I gave him a contact card and we only need their name and one way to contact them, so I told him that and he gave me every possible contact form he had! He was so thankful. It was such an awesome day in the park! My companion was such a positive influence and really helped me to be optimistic even when I didn’t want to be.
                Every week, we are assigned talks for sacrament meeting, and you prepare a talk and then random people are assigned to speak, but it´s in your mission language. I haven’t been called up yet, but I have a really strong feeling I will be this week, which is our last week giving talks since our last week is Fast Sunday.
                We sing on the temple steps every Sunday evening and the teachers contact the people who come listen. We started singing Christmas music  this week, which is insane because it´s still about 50-60 degrees here! Speaking of Christmas, I´ll be skyping you in less than a month. Isnt that insane! We learned all about Spanish Christmas yesterday and it´s actually on January 6, but I´ll still be calling on our Christmas.
                I tried this drink called EKO which is huge here in Spain apparently. It´s pretty good. It´s made from like barley and wheat and weird other grains and such, but doesn’t taste like that at all. It´s supposedly really healthy for you too, so that´s a plus. It looks and smells like dirt before you mix it with milk though.
                In the park, I met 2 brazilian families! I told them about Joel and Michela and they seemed more willing to talk to us after. It was kind of funny. We have Portuguese speakers here in the CCM  now too. Two are from Brazil, but I couldn’t tell you what part.
                I went to the Prado! Super cool! I saw the Mona Lisa that was painted by Davinci´s student and in my opinion is better than the original. We didn’t get pizza on Thursday like we´d planned, but whenever a group leaves from the CCM, we all have pizza for dinner so we just had that the other day and it was DELICIOUS! I ate so much and tons of ice cream too. I miss American food. The food here in the CCM goes through good and bad cycles. Lately bad though.
                I memorized the first vision! In Spanish, people! I did it in less than a week and it is super useful in lessons! Also, I´d like to know all of your opinions, I got asked in a lesson what the difference between Savior and Redeemer was, so email me because Ive been asking around and I´m curious what you all think. Have the ward email their opinions too because Im curious. I read in 2 Nephi 2 this week. I loved verses 6-8 and you should all take time to read them. I am so grateful for the knowledge I have that Christ is our Savior and that he died for each and every one of us, and I am so thankful for the opportunity that I have to share that knowledge with the world! Well, Spain!
                I met Hermana Jackson! She is the sweetest and I cant wait to meet President Jackson next week…. HOLY COW! NEXT WEEK!
                I love you all. Happy Thanksgiving! We are having a special thanksgiving p-day today with a huge thanksgiving lunch and then we get to watch meet the Mormons and later tonight we have a live devotional from the Provo MTC. I´m so thankful for all of you and for this gospel and the opportunity to share it! I love you all so much! Here are my pictures! None of me this week, sorry.
1.       We think it´s the palace, but I´m not sure.
2.       The Prado

Monday, November 17, 2014

spiritual giants

Hello Friends!
 I made it to the CCM! I’m in the Abinadi District. We currently have 46 missionaries here. We have 4 French speaking missionaries, 9 Russian speaking +33 Spanish.. We have missionaries from all over the world, currently from England, New Zealand, Albania, France, Canada and the US. Mi compañera es Hermana J. She’s the absolute best. I met her when I was picking up my visa for Spain & I hoped we’d be companions. I’m so blessed to work with her. We constantly strengthen each other and encourage each other to do better. We teach so well together & enjoy every moment we have together.
Every Saturday we are assigned a temporary companion & go teach in one of the most common & popular parks in Spain. Even with our little knowledge of Español we are able to teach so much, without a doubt because of the help of the Holy Ghost.
The food is so good here! I’m sure I will gain so much weight in the CCM, but that’s ok. Seriously delicious and I hear the CCM food isn’t as good as typical Spanish food. The soup is strange though. They cook any vegetables & then puree them so its soup consistency. But, they do the same with the fruit and make juice and it’s delicious!
The teachers & atmosphere in the CCM is unbelievable. There is music every morning & night that plays throughout the building. I love, love, love, going to sleep to the Mormon Tabernacle choir singing “Abide With Me”. My district is so great too. Elder K our district is so funny& keeps us all focused as well as being related to Spencer W and Heber C. Elder Kn is 24 and is from England and has been a member for just over one year. Elder P and Elder S are the zone leaders for the whole CCM. Elder P is a totally a Cali. “surfer” guy. Elder S is 6’7” and is like a big brother even though he is just barely 18 years old! Hermana F and Hermana W are the music coordinators. Hermana F is 20 and is 6”2”. She is my favorite! She is my go to person for everything, especially spiritual things. She’s so sweet & such a great friend and missionary, her parents are mission presidents in the states too! Hermana W is a sweetheart . Next week they will get a 3rd companion Hermana O’
I’m so blessed to be here with these wonderful people. Our district set a goal to bare our testimonies this past fast Sunday in Spanish. Here it is for you all. It’s pretty simple, so if you need to, I’m sure Google translate will be fairly accurate.
“Yo sé que Dios es nuestro Padre Celestial. Yo sé desuchristo es mi Salvador. Yo sé que el  Evangelio de Christo es verdadero. Yo sé que tenemos un profeta hoy. Yo sé que a través de la oración podemos recibir respuestas a nuestros preguntas. Le estoy agradecida a mi padre celestial por este conocimientos. En el nobre de Jesucristo, amen.”
I love you & pray for for you often. Thank you for your wonderful e-mails. If you’d like to write to me, mail is better because I have more time to write letters; then to read e-mails y respond I love you have a wonderful week!              Hermana Griffin

Saturday, November 8, 2014

First Week In The Spain Missionary Training Center

November 6, 2014
Just a note from those of us who have been asked to help Hermana Griffin by keeping the blog up to date: We have been asked to not post any personal info for privacy reasons, we hope you understand and also the e-mail address for Hermana Griffin was originally entered incorrectly but that has been fixed, so feel free to send her emails as she can always use the support.

The food is sooooo good! Everything is better in Spain! Especially the peaches! We can't take pictures in the MTC, only outside and on P-days. On P-day we go to the temple in the morning. The temple is gorgeous! I love it sooooo much! We go to the park on Saturday and its hard but fun! I taught the ambassador from Belgium or Switzerland, I can't remember. He thought we were so great for being missionaries and leaving home. I also gave out a Book of Mormon and the lady asked us to come teach her after the park, but were not allowed to in the MTC, so it was just a referral, but still way exciting.

I have a language tutor because I am literally terrible at Spanish. My companion is a pro. Its a little frustrating. My roommates are the best. They are Hermana "J", "F" and "W" and Tuesday we are getting another from Provo named Hermana "O"! My District is the best. I love them. They're mostly from Utah, but one from Montana, two from California and one from England. We work so well together! Our district leader is second cousins with Heber C Kimball and 5th cousin of  Spencer W Kimball. He's totally amazing.

Anyway, I have no time to do anything. It´s constantly busy! I feel like they are just cramming info into my head and I absorb only the smallest fraction of info. Its not an effective way of teaching at all.

I love my morning teacher, Hermana "D", she's from the Malaga mission, but she served in Madrid with President Jackson. My second teacher is Hermana "S" who I don't understand at all and it worries me, because she's from Madrid. She's super difficult and frustrating. My last teacher is Hermano "R". He's from Portugal and doesn't have any formal training in Spanish but he´s way easy to understand and I think he's my favorite teacher.

Hermano "R" is one of our "investigators" Hugo. He is hard to teach because he always asks hard questions and I know so little Spanish to answer them, but it helps me learn, for sure. Hermana "D" is our other "investigator". She is easy to teach, but hard at the same time. I'll try to tell you more about her later.

These are the girls who flew from Frankfurt with me, the blonde one is Hermana "W", from my district.

I love you all! I miss you, when I have time to think about anything at all. I love you and pray for you all frequently. Please pray for me and the language. I'd appreciate it so much!
-Hermana Griffin
PS It won't let me send pictures because this is literally the worst computer/program ever.
I'll send them when I can.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Farewell Talk

Good morning, Brothers and Sisters. This morning I was asked to speak on an address given by our prophet, President Thomas S. Monson in 2006 entitled,"The Master's Blueprint" and how it relates to missionary work. President Monson’s address talks about how we can become what he calls, “builders of eternal houses.” Essentially, President Monson talks about developing Christlike attributes that will help us return to live with our Heavenly Father.
President Monson said, “Paul, in his epistle to his beloved Timothy, outlined a way whereby we could become our better selves and, at the same time, provide assistance to others who ponder or ask the question, ‘How can I [find my way], except some man should guide me?’  The answer, given by Paul to Timothy, provides an inspired charge to each of us. Let us take heed of his wise counsel: “Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” I’d like to first talk individually about each of these ways to be an example.
First, being an example in word and conversation. One key to being an example of the believers through word and conversations is by including your faith in word and conversation! It can often seem intimidating to talk about religion with friends and family because you don’t want to be preachy and blunt by putting your beliefs out there, but rather we can use them in everyday context and avoid these fears. What do I mean? Months ago, Brother Kaski gave an awesome talk and directly illustrated this point in his talk. I apologize if I don’t recount this story word for word or switch around some facts, but the gist will be the same. So Brother and Sister Kaski were visiting with some friends at their friend’s house. Their friends offered them some coffee and Brother Kaski declined. That could have been the end of it, no explanation about it, but this is where Brother Kaski put his faith into everyday conversation. He could have said no thank you, we don’t drink coffee, but instead he said no thank you and explained that in our church we follow what is known as the Word of Wisdom and he then proceeded to explain what the Word of Wisdom is. Simply put, the Word of Wisdom is the Lord's law as it relates to what we take into our bodies. It tells us to eat some things in moderation, and to abstain from other things. Following the Word of Wisdom helps us to keep our bodies and minds healthy and strong. It may not always be evident to those around us that the way we live is directly related to our faith. Creating a habit of being open and talking about our beliefs without seeming abrasive or like we’re pushing our beliefs allows us to be examples of the believers of Christ and also allow us to create an environment that will allow future gospel conversations to seem natural and comfortable.
Second, we are examples in charity. We can find in the chapter heading of chapter 13, in 1 Corinthians, “Charity, a pure love, excels and exceeds almost all else.”  The scriptures state that without charity, we are nothing. In the New Testament, 1 Corinthians 13:2, it reads, “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. The Book of Mormon echoes this as it says in 2 Nephi 26:30, “Behold, the Lord hath forbidden this thing; wherefore, the Lord God hath given a commandment that all men should have charity, which charity is love. And except they should have charity they were nothing.” It is through these scriptures that we learn that charity is highest above almost all else. Charity is the pure love of Christ. Moroni 7: 47 reads, “But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.” As we read about Moroni speaking face to face with Christ we come to know that charity truly is the pure love of Christ. Ether 12:33-34, gives Moroni’s response to Christ saying, “And again, I remember that thou hast said that thou hast loved the world, even unto the laying down of thy life for the world, that thou mightest take it again to prepare a place for the children of men. And now I know that this love which thou hast had for the children of men is charity; wherefore, except men shall have charity they cannot inherit that place which thou hast prepared in the mansions of thy Father.” By following Christ’s example of love for all men and being charitable, we can return to our Heavenly Father.
                Third, spirit. Elder Dallin H. Oaks said in this passed General Conference, “We are to live in the world but not be of the world. We must live in the world because, as Jesus taught in a parable, His kingdom is ‘like leaven,’ whose function is to raise the whole mass by its influence. His followers cannot do that if they associate only with those who share their beliefs and practices. But the Savior also taught that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments.” We learn through this that we can be the best example of believers in Christ by following his commandments. We also are examples by associating with many different people. As Elder Oaks said, we cannot be a positive influence by solely associating with those of the same belief. We can help strengthen and lift each other and be a light in the lives of those we come in contact with by following the commandments and living by the example of Christ. One commandment given by Christ can be found in Matthew 5:14-16. This commandment was given by Christ to his disciples as he directed them to be good examples. These verses read, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” It is the light of Christ that pulls us and influences us to do good. Every person ever born, in history, now, and in the future is influenced by the light of Christ for goodness. As we yield to that influence to do good and become good that light of Christ increases in us. Doctrine and Covenants 50:24 reads, “That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.” As we continue to do what is good, we are examples of the believers in Christ and allow others to see our good works and as it says in Matthew, “glorify our father which is in heaven.”
                Fourth, faith.  Hebrews 11:1 reads, “ 1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Whenever you work toward a worthy goal, you exercise faith. You show your hope for something that you cannot yet see. Faith in God is more than a theoretical belief in Him. To have faith in God is to trust Him, to have confidence in Him, and to be willing to act on your belief in Him. It is a principle of action and power. The Lord does not ask us to have a perfect knowledge of things.  Alma 32:21 reads, “And now as I said concerning faith—faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.” However, as I said, to have faith is to be willing to act on our belief in Christ. This is illustrated in Moroni 10:4-5 which reads, “And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” To have faith is not to have a perfect knowledge, but rather to hope for those things which are not seen and then to pray and ask if those things in which we have faith are true.  Ether 12:6 reads, “And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.” Again, we learn from Moroni that we can receive a knowledge for ourselves as we put our faith to the test and ask through prayer if those things are not true. By doing so, we have been promised to know the truth by the power of the Holy Ghost.
                Fifth, purity. Elaine S. Dalton said, “Virtue begins in the heart and in the mind. It is nurtured in the home. It is the accumulation of thousands of small decisions and actions. Virtue is a word we don’t hear often in today’s society, but the Latin root word virtus means strength. Virtuous women and men possess a quiet dignity and inner strength. They are confident because they are worthy to receive and be guided by the Holy Ghost.”  As we remain clean and virtuous, we are worthy to receive the guiding influence of the Holy Ghost and return to live with our Father in Heaven.
While preparing for this talk, I found many parallels between 1 Timothy 4:12 and the 13th Article of Faith and after studying for this talk, I found much overlap scripturally between the two. The Articles of Faith are 13 statements that summarize our fundamental beliefs, the beliefs of our church and our beliefs as followers of Christ. The 13th Article of Faith begins, “We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous and in doing good to all men.” We follow the guidance of Paul to, “Be thou an example of the believers,” as we also live the principles illustrated in the 13th Article of Faith.
We are honest and true. Being honest means telling the truth. Telling the truth means telling things exactly as they happen. The ultimate example of honesty can be learned from the Savior in the New Testament.  After being brought before the high priest on false charges, Christ was questioned by Caiaphas. Mark 14:61-62 says, “Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?  And Jesus said, I am” Matthew 26: 65-66 gives account of what happened next saying, “Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.” In the days preceding his death, the Savior prophesied of his death and resurrection, saying he would lay down his life that he might take it again. The Savior knew his life was in danger and that he would die if he said he was the Son of God, but he was honest. We can follow Christ’s example by being honest in all times, no matter the situation or outcome.
We are chaste and virtuous. Part of our Heavenly Father’s Plan of Happiness is for each of his children to come to earth to gain a physical body. Because of our physical bodies, we are able to experience tenderness, love, kindness, happiness, sorrow, disappointment, pain, and even the challenges of physical limitations. Simply stated, there are lessons we must learn and experiences we must have, as the scriptures describe, “according to the flesh.” When the Earth was created, Adam was places in the Garden of Eden, however, God said in Genesis 2:18, “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” And thus God created Eve to be a companion for Adam. 1 Corinthians 11:11 says, “Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.” And so we learn that man and woman are intended to learn from, strengthen, bless and complete each other. The first commandment given to Adam and Eve as husband and wife was to multiply and replenish the Earth. Elder David A. Bednar said, “The commandment to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force today. Thus, marriage between a man and a woman is the authorized channel through which premortal spirits enter mortality. The power of procreation is spiritually significant. Misuse of this power subverts the purposes of the Father’s plan and of our mortal existence. Our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son are creators and have entrusted each of us with a portion of Their creative power. Specific guidelines for the proper use of the ability to create life are vital elements in the Father’s plan. How we feel about and use that supernal power will determine in large measure our happiness in mortality and our destiny in eternity.”
We are benevolent and do good to all men. Mosiah 2:17 reads, “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” Much of the Lord’s ministry was focused on service. President Monson said, “It was said of Jesus that He “increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” Do we have the determination to do likewise? One line of holy writ contains a tribute to our Lord and Savior, of whom it was said, “[He] went about doing good.” Matthew 25: 40 reads, “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” The Lord said to his disciples, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” It is by our actions towards those we come in contact with that we are an example of the believers in Christ and follow Christ’s guidance to love one another.
I’ve talked a lot about how we can be examples of the believers in Christ, but I’d also like to talk about how this can relate to missionary work.
It reads in Doctrine and Covenants 79:1, Missionaries are to go “in the power of the ordination wherewith [they have] been ordained, proclaiming glad tidings of great joy, even the everlasting gospel.” Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Work says, “Missionaries have authority to preach the gospel. When they are set apart by priesthood authority, they receive the right and privilege to represent the Lord. Along with the authority comes the responsibility to live worthy of the calling. As the Lord’s representative missionaries are to be ‘an example of the believers.’ Missionaries should strive to live according to God’s commandments and keep the covenants they’ve made in the temple; know the scriptures; be courteous, on time, and dependable; follow missionary standards of conduct, dress, and grooming; love the people with whom they serve and work. Missionaries honor Christ’s name by their actions.” Missionaries are called by a living prophet to be examples of the believers in Christ. As a representative of Christ, we act in a sense, on his behalf, through the way that we present ourselves and the Spirit that we carry. However, for missionaries to have the spirit, they must follow these principles. They must be open and willing to talk about the church and the gospel of Christ with those they meet, they are always looking for ways to give service, they have the light of Christ, they have faith in what they teach and put their faith to the test and they are pure. As representatives of Christ, missionaries lead by example and live by the teachings and example of Christ. Missionaries represent Christ in the way they speak. Missionaries teach in a loving and understanding manner, much like that of Christ’s,  that beckons those they teach to come unto Christ and to bring with them all that they know to be true and let them add to it.
In closing, I’d like to share a scripture and my testimony. The Lord said to his disciples, “By this shall all men know, that ye are my disciples.”  And Matthew 7:20, reads, “Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them.” By our actions, we can show those around us that we are believers in Christ by living the principles he taught. By doing so, we can come closer to Christ and return to our Heavenly Father. I am so grateful for the example of Christ and that if we strive our best to follow his example, we can return to live with our Father in Heaven again. I’m thankful for the many blessings that our Heavenly Father gives to each and every one of us. I know that my Heavenly Father loves me and that he loves all of his children, and I am so blessed to be able to serve them. I’m thankful to be able to serve the Lord and to be a representative of him. I know that our Savior loves us; that he lived and died, so that we can all return to our Father in Heaven. I’m thankful for a living prophet and the knowledge that I have that he is a true prophet of God. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that as we study the scriptures more, we can grow closer to our Savior and our Father in Heaven. I am so grateful for this knowledge that I have of Christ’s restored gospel.
I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Boston Temple

What an amazing weekend! Thursday morning, I left with Devin and my parents to attend the Boston Temple for the first time. It was a fun trip, as most trips with the four of us are, filled with new experiences and some sight seeing as well.

For those of you who are wondering why the Boston Temple, why not a closer temple, this is why... Detroit is closed until the end of the month for cleaning, Toronto is closed for maintenance and Washington DC is closed for cleaning as well. It seemed like our back up and our back ups back up and everywhere we thought we'd go was closed, but if I could do it over and go to absolutely any temple, I wouldn't change a thing. I can't even begin to explain how absolutely breath taking the Boston Temple is! If you ever have a chance to go, absolutely take it. Just the temple alone is magnificent, but then the spirit and the peace you feel there makes all the difference. I know a lot of friends and family have had a lot of questions about what the temple is and what it's significance is. I'd love to answer that for you! But I honestly could not word it any better than these, so I hope these resources help answer some questions about the significance of the temple to me and members of our church.

Why do Mormons build temples?
What happens inside of the temple?
What are temples used for?
So, is a temple just like a chapel?
Who can enter the temple and when?
Why do only Mormons go to the temple?
Why do you go to the temple?
What is it like inside the temple?

Simply put, the temple is a blessing. Elder Russell M Nelson said it better than I ever could.

I can't even begin to put into words the feeling I had at the temple. It was so peaceful and comfortable. It really helps you feel so much closer to the Savior, learning more about the Atonement and our Heavenly Father's plan for his children. What an amazing opportunity to learn more of him in his house. The temple strengthened my testimony that our Heavenly Father does indeed have a plan for us, his children. Our Heavenly Father sent his son, Jesus Christ, to live and die for us, that we may be able to return to live in his presence. We can indeed feel closer to our Heavenly Father as we attend the temple and experience and receive the joy and blessings of the temple.

President Dieter F Uchtdorf said, "Regardless of your circumstances, your personal history, or the strength of your testimony, there is room for you in this Church." If I may, allow me to change just the end of that quote. "Regardless of your circumstances, your personal history, or the strength of your testimony, there is room for you in the house of the Lord." Our circumstances, personal history, strength of our testimony and whatever other excuses we may have matter more to us than to the Lord. The Lord will provide for our needs when we sacrifice what we can for him. Our circumstance does not matter, our history does not matter, and our testimony can only be strengthened by attending the temple. There is room for all in the temple who are willing to make sacrifices for the Lord to attend his holy house, how ever large or small those sacrifices may be. Some may sacrifice money, or others may sacrifice time. Instead of thinking of the sacrifices of attending the temple, consider the blessings of attending the temple.

If you haven't gone to the temple, GO! President Thomas S Monson related a story telling of one family's struggles and sacrifices in order to attend the temple.

 "Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy."- Nephi 2:25
There is no greater joy that can be felt on Earth than the joy felt in the temple. In the temple, we can feel closer to our Heavenly Father. We can seek guidance and direction as we turn to our Heavenly Father in prayer and attendance in the temple. I can testify that joy comes as we recognize that we can communicate with out Heavenly Father and that he has a plan for us.

I can't say enough about the temple, there's so much I want to say, but there is nothing I can say that would be better than you experiencing the temple for yourself. For those of you who are members, go to the temple! Do whatever you need to do to make sure you are ready and worthy to enter the temple and make whatever arrangements are necessary. I promise, that temple attendance will bless your lives. If you cannot enter the temple, there are temples all around the country and world where you can go and sit or walk around the temple grounds. Even the area around the temple is calming and peaceful and there are blessings to be had just from being near The House of the Lord. For those of you who may not be members, there are also opportunities for you to enter the temple as well. In fact, there is a temple opening soon in Indiana, a bit of a drive for some, but definitely worth the travel. You too can feel the peace and blessings of the temple if you so desire. It will be open to the public for several weeks and there will be many wonderful and kind people who would love to walk you through the temple to see it and answer any questions you may have.

One last thing before I wrap this up. I don't have an outside perspective of the temple since I was raised in this church, however, Danielle Tumminio, a female episcopal priest, visited the Kansas City Temple before it was dedicated. This is here experience inside this sacred place. Danielle's experience illustrates the kinds of things that can be felt by attending the temple, whether it is before or after it is dedicated.

I want to challenge all of you, go to the temple. Whether it is the temple grounds or inside, just go. I know that you can receive a better understanding of our Heavenly Father's plan for us on this Earth and you can receive the guidance you may need in your life as you pray and seek the direction of our Savior.

If you want to learn more, you can:
  • Visit, and click the chat button at the top corner, and you can chat with missionaries
  • Call or text our local missionaries at, 810-357-7198
  • Ask me! I'd love to answer any other questions you might have.

Friday, August 22, 2014

"Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work"

My Decision to Serve:

     I wish I could say there was a definitive moment when I knew that I'd serve a mission, that there was one instance to which my decision was tied. Don't get me wrong, this is something I want to do, I'm so excited to dedicate so much time to solely serving the Lord, but I'm not like some people who always knew they would serve a mission. Had you asked me when I was young if I was going to serve a mission, I would've told you absolutely not. If you'd asked me before leaving for college, I would've told you absolutely not. So what changed? Like I said, there isn't one specific instance that changed my mind, it was just random events that when tied together eventually led to the decision. So what were they?

     First, the age changed. I first heard about the missionary age change from my college suite mate. I had missed that session of conference, unfortunately. My suite mate had a friend who was a member of the church and that friend had posted the link to the announcement on Facebook. My suite mate asked why it was such a big deal that the age had changed and what that would mean. I remember watching the announcement and just bawling. I tried to explain why it'd be exciting for people who wanted to serve. I had no idea why I cried so much, I mean it didn't effect me. Sure I was old enough now to serve a mission, but I wasn't planning on serving a mission. But for some reason, I was just happy and overwhelmed at what that meant for everyone who wanted to serve a mission.

     Second, I went to a fireside. This fireside was held in Ann Arbor by Elder David A. Bednar. He spoke and then did a question and answer with the congregation. I honestly couldn't even tell you what he spoke about, which sounds terrible, but I don't have a clue. I cannot remember to save my life. The question and answer seemed to be geared somewhat towards missionary work, but I didn't think much of it. I drove to the fireside alone from college and then drove home alone to my parents after the fireside. I drove home listening to my old EFY CDs and the song, "It Passes All My Understanding" stuck out to me. I couldn't help but put it on replay and listen a couple of times. It had always been a favorite of mine, even though it starts with an awful recorder-like instrument. I listened to the song and the last verse stuck out to me and I cried the whole time, every time I listened to it. I suggest listening to the whole song so you kind of understand it, but the part that stuck out to me said,
                                        "It passes all my understanding,
                                        That the Lord knows both our names
                                        And that He made this world for everyone
                                        That was sitting on that plane
                                        And in spite of all of man's distractions
                                        He offers us His peace
                                        That passes all my understanding"

     Third, I had a kind of breakdown over the summer while living alone in Mt. Pleasant. I called my dad sobbing (surprise, surprise) and we talked a bit and he asked if I had thought about serving a mission. Not really an applicable question to my current situation that I had, but a question none the less. I thought to myself and said not really and just thought about my boyfriend. We'd dated for so long and he was my best friend. At the time, he was not religious at all. I'd try to have religious conversations with him and they'd end in frustration. I thought to myself, "If I can't even explain the church to the person I love, what good would I be as a missionary?" Besides that, he wouldn't understand me wanting to leave him for a year and a half and not even be able to talk to him on the phone and only being able to e-mail once a week. I tucked away the idea because I didn't think it seemed practical for me. I never told anyone about what I'd thought. Well, months later to my surprise, my boyfriend joined the church.

     So how could these possibly have lead me to the decision to serve a mission? Let me explain. After my dad presented the idea, it planted a seed... a seed I didn't take care of and neglected to the best of my ability, but still, it was there. When my boyfriend joined the church, suddenly, a mission seemed a bit more like a realistic option. He had worked with the missionaries and became very close with them, so he would definitely understand if I had a desire to serve. I wanted to see what he thought of the idea, no strings attached, just a "what would you think if" kind of a thing. The day I had decided to talk to him, HE BEAT ME TO IT! He asked, "Would I be able to serve a mission like the elders?" I said he would, after some time in the church to which he replied, "Good, I want to serve a mission. You should too." And that was what tied it together for me. I thought of the line of that song,"The Lord knows both our names." The Lord knows us! He knows each and every one of us! He knows the desires of our hearts. He knows what is best for us. He knows what will make us truly happy in life. After that conversation with my boyfriend, I fasted and prayed. I  don't know that I've ever felt so close to my Father in Heaven and I came to know for myself, that serving a mission was the best option for me. Finally, it wasn't something expected of me or desired of me by those around me, whether it was because of an age change or because my parents wanted me to. It was a decision I had made for myself with the help and guidance of my Heavenly Father.

"He made this world for everyone... and in spite of all of man's distractions, He offers us His peace. That passes all my understanding." Even though I was distracted by my boyfriend, school, friends, and who knows what else, the Lord was there to offer me his peace, to help me when I needed his guidance most at such a crucial point in my life. The Lord made this world for every single one of us, young and old, man and woman, no matter what race or religion. He made this world for every person who was, is or will be on this Earth. The least I can do is dedicate 18 months to him, teaching and serving Heavenly Father's children.

My Call:

 "Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work"- D&C 4:3

"Dear Sister Griffin,
You are hereby called to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," these are the words I'd been dying to hear for months. Everyone I had talked to said I was going to stay stateside for my mission and after many dreams of being sent to the Washington Everett Mission and the several missions in the state of Arizona, I was beginning to believe it myself! The day I received my call, I waited to open it, I had wanted to be able to share this special moment with some special people in my life. About an hour or two before I was to open my mission call, Devin and I took our exchange student to a friends house. While driving, our exchange student asked where I thought I'd go. I had no idea, I was at a loss of places. She then asked Devin who responded with, "Madrid. She's going to Madrid, Spain" I laughed and rolled my eyes. "Why in the world would I get sent to Spain?," I thought to myself. Our exchange student suggested somewhere a little closer to home like Montana or another US state. We laughed and joked about my possible mission location, but not Devin, he stuck to his guns. He said he just had a feeling it was Madrid.

After many long hours of waiting, waiting from 11-6 is a long time, I finally was able to open my call!

"Dear Sister Griffin,
You are hereby called to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Spain Madrid Mission. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months. You should report to the Spain Missionary Training Center on Tuesday, October 28, 2014. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the Spanish language."

     What a shock! This was the last place I ever would have guessed, but the first place I should have guessed. I immediately started researching everything I could on Spain. How could I not have thought about Spain as the place I would dedicate 18 months of my life to the Lord? It was perfect for me. And that itself echoed what I'd come to recognize when I made the decision to serve a mission, "The Lord knows both our names." Watch this! It's good to think that the Lord knows who Hannah Griffin is. He knows what is best for me! He knows what each of us needs. I know there is someone in Spain that is waiting for me. They are waiting to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ from me! No one else could take that place, because the Lord knows them and he knows me. The Lord even knows you.

 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."- Proverbs 3: 5-6
All we have to do is put our full trust in him and he will guide us.