Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Breaking Barriers

Hello All!

We are getting ready to go the Yankees game, so I will try to get as much off to you as I can, but forgive me if my writings are limited today. But here is part of what happened last week...

We went to he beach as a zone for p-day last week- it was fun! We played football, ultimate frisbee and hung out. The beach is nice and induces a feeling of peace, so it was a good getaway for all. After going for twenty one months without having my feet exposed to the sun, however, they got sunburned. It was a weird sensation, having the tops of my feet burnt. Luckily it only lasted a day so walking wasn't too bad. But it was still fun and I am coming home with a decent missionary tan. Haha

After the beach, we actually had to go to the other side of the Bronx to the other zone, Olmstead. The Spanish district leader was baptizing somebody and the Olmstead zone leaders don't speak Spanish, so we had to do it. We got to see the other side of the Bronx, the other chapel, and it was good. We ate at cross Bronx pizza, where they sell slices of pizza that are massive. I got a picture of it, but I think it is on my camera. So yeah that was cool.

Thursday, we were on our way to a dinner appointment and eventually our whole district ended up on the same bus (tends to happen when we have the same destination for the same time). I was sitting across from Sister Westlund and she signs, so I decided to sign to her a little to practice and get better (she had a deaf friend at home and so she at one point was fluent at ASL). Anyways, after a little while we noticed that a lady sitting next to Sister Westlund was watching us intently and so then I asked if she signed, to which she answered yes. I asked if she was deaf, to which she answered yes. We got excited, but then she moved as though she was getting off the bus, and get off she did. We were able to sign a couple of things to her, but nothing too deep. But it seemed to make her happy that we were signing and Sister Westlund did point out that she saw our name tags. It was cool because that was the first time I ever met a deaf person and almost contacted them. We will keep on practicing so the next we will get her video phone number or something.

We had a linger longer Sunday after church. It was sweet just being able to mingle with members with no worries of having to do anything, be in our seats or anything. I love talking to the members and it made me realize how important that is that we do mingle and get to know those with whom we go to church. We can be of real strength and support to one another, and we often show our love by spending time with each other. That is why ward activities are so important. So I loved that!

I went on a split on Monday with Elder Encarnacion, the missionary from the Dominican Republic. Haha it was fun spending an entire day with a Dominican- he is super smart and has English down well enough that you can ask him any question about Spanish and he knows what you are talking about. He is serving in my old area in Concourse, so that was fun too- we went and visited Rafael, had a nice lunch of sandwiches. We talked to a lot of people on the street and had a good time. Splits are sweet! Elder Encarnacion is great!

Here is my report of French for the week- had a couple of cool experiences. First off, with Elder Encarnacion, we were on an elevator and we talked to a lady. We found at the she was from West Africa and so then I asked if she spoke French. She did, so we talked and it really opened her up. That is why I like to learn the languages- it opens people up to hear their native tongue and so she was a lot more willing to listen to us. She asked where our church was and it was great! Yesterday, we were at the church, and the Spanish district was doing church tours. They ran and got me saying that there was a French speaker, so a sister in the zone that speaks a little and I gave her a tour. We talked about Christ and invited her to come to church Sunday. She agreed and gave us her number too. Between our broken French and her broken English we were able to figure things out. It was sweet and I hope to continue to have similar experiences.

So things are great! I am loving it! Time is flying, so I am just trying to hold on! Thanks for the love and support- I will talk to you next week!

-Elder Griffiths

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