Thursday, July 31, 2014

This Is It!

Hello all!

Last letter- that is interesting. I can't say that I never thought I'd get to this point because time inevitably passes. But it is weird being here. I am excited to get home, but grateful to still have time to serve. I hope to make the most out of the time I have left.

First off, trio life has been fun and interesting. Elder Linton is super chill and easy going and willing to take upon himself whatever he needs to do. That had been a blessing for sure! And trio life is good- you can just bounce off of each other and work even better with an added set of dynamics. The only weird things about it are first off that I haven't gotten to know Elder Linton as well as I would if we were just together, and that I am in a weird spot where I am finding the balance of still helping out while allowing them to see how they are going to work together and run the area and zone. I don't want to not do anything, but I don't want to hold them back from doing what they are going to be doing. But I have been happy and we have had a good time, so things are good!

Wednesday, after going to both transfer meetings (that was pretty draining) we went to Mamma Gladden's house. She is  less active that lives on the border of Yonkers, way up in our area that we found about three or four weeks ago. I had heard her name before, and so we were excited to find her. She loves missionaries! Haha she has offered to feed us once a week and she is very possessive of us, doesn't want us to cancel on her for anybody. So we went Wednesday and had a good dinner, we went and did service for her on Monday and she fed us and then tonight we are going again. She makes good food and is awesome and she seems to be lonely too, so we don't mind going over. She knows she needs to go to church, and so she will get there soon. She is from Antigua in the Caribbean and has been a member since the 80s. She is awesome and I am grateful for her. I definitely want to go to the Caribbean at some point after working with Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, a couple Cubans. Jamaicans Antiguans and others. They are great people!

Thursday we did some planning. We had some stuff fall through and so we were going about with back up plans and a succession of two or three people came to mind to go visit in the area. They weren't there, but in the process of looking for them, we got to a place to meet a guy that wanted a bible. We talked with him and set up another meeting. He is solid! It is still awesome to see God getting us to where He needs us- He works in mysterious ways. Afterwards we went to the Riveros- they are Dominicans and there home is like heaven on earth. They are so pure in a way that is hard to describe. And it turns out that she speaks Portuguese and a little Italian so we talked a little.

Friday was a weird/nice/crazy day. Pretty much what happened is that our ceiling caved in in the bathroom and somebody had to be here while they fixed it up and made sure all was well. Elder Meek, another missionary in our zone in a trio, and I, being "expendable," just ended up chilling at our apartment until about 5:00 while stuff was being done. It was like a sick day where no one was sick. I appreciated it though because I haven't had a chill preparation day for about cycle-always something going on, so it allowed me to just knock some stuff out I needed to do. I updated our map on the wall, organized some stuff for me going home, talked with Elder Meek and we played bananagram, and just had an interesting chill day. We didn't have a phone, so that made it interesting. We couldn't meet up with our companions so we just tagged along with my roommates Elder Schneider and Elder Christensen and went up to Riverdale (Northwest Bronx) to teach a blind guy named Kevin. On the way back, a lady hopped on the bus and sat down right by us, a lady that I had just talked to the night before. I remembered what she had talked about, mainly her job, and so we had a friendly conversation and talked a little about the plan of salvation. Seeing her twice in a row was no coincidence, so hopefully something comes of that! We will see. Just another opportunity to see God working here.

Saturday the big thing was a baptism. The sisters in our ward were working with someone and then she had to go to the Spanish ward because she works Sunday afternoons and she speaks Spanish, so she last minute got baptized into the Spanish ward. With that, many of us from the English ward still went. I got to translate a little bit and I felt the gift of tongues working in me, making my Spanish a little more smooth than it should have been after not speaking as much recently let alone translating. It was a great baptism and great turn out.

Sunday was normal church. We had to change the monitoring system thing on our iPads, so we had to take about an hour and a half to have a conference call about that, and then take the time to do it so that we could help our zone do it. Administrating stuff- got it do it. So yep, did indicators, then went to bed.

Monday was good! District meeting was weird because we just spent like an hour going through with everybody helping them to change their iPads over. Looking back at my journal, looks like the highlights for the day were seeing two squirrels fall out of a tree and then having both a lunch and dinner appointment (mama gladden and Lisa Ponce de Leon). We started an exchange that night though- since we are a trio we knocked out two district leaders at once.

So that meant on Tuesday I went with Elder Encarnacion (the Dominican missionary!) and Elder Kerr (new missionary- came out a week ago) at the same time in my old area in concourse. That was unique because usually exchanges are one on one, but I kind of got to sit back and watch them work with each other. They are awesome missionaries with good attitudes. Pretty much everything fell through, but we kept chugging. By the end of the day we had taught five lessons. During former lookups, we were able to find an investigator that Elder Longmore and I found knocking when I had been out in the field for about four months. That was cool- they picked her up as a new investigator. The day was good and it ended with us having dinner with one of my favorite members- Josefina Lopez. When we come back and visit, she will be happy to feed us, and she cooks well! We headed back to unexchange and got back super late, so a Elder Encarnacion and Elder Kerr slept on our couch.

Today has been good. Just relaxed. The city will always be here, but not with these missionaries so we are just hanging out- we are in the botanical gardens. I love it here- nice and peaceful. The rest of the week is looking to be fun. Tomorrow we will go to little Italy to eat and then do some Italian street contacting for my birthday. Friday we actually get to go to queens for a combined mission leadership council with the south mission. That will take up the whole day. There is a baptism Saturday, church Sunday, zone meeting Monday, then Tuesday I will be heading to the mission home in the early afternoon. Crazy crazy! But it will be good! I am grateful for the time I have had out here and I am excited for a new adventure!

Thanks for all the love and support! You guys are great and I hope you have a great week! See you next week!

-Elder Griffiths

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