Monday, October 27, 2008

Another Change

My first companion was Elder Apaza from Puno, Peru.  My new companion is Elder Cruz of Arequipa, Peru. 
He was in the jungle and got dengue. It is a very scary disease that’s called the dengue bone break
fever). He got changed because they don’t want the risk of him possibly catching it again. He also
has some problems with his stomach. We have been in and out of the hospital here for the last week.
Our numbers are down just a little bit because of that. I trust that everything will be good.

I had a really good week. We had to reschedule the baptism of Alison Osorio because of the change
we had. Her dad went to church for the first time in a while. That was really cool. Her baptism
is for the first of November. We also found 2 really cool families. The first has two kids that
are members but their mom, dad, and uncle are not members. We taught the uncle about the Book of
Mormon and gave him one to read. We also set two visits for the parents. Ireally feel that they
will all get baptized soon. The other family we contacted a guy in the street that I thought was
gringo.... because a few people from here are a little close to the same skin color as we are and
I assumed, anyway, we talked to him and his wife and son aren’t members but he is inactive. He
really is an awesome guy and we have taught his wife the first lesson. I know that we are just
tools in this great work and that the only things that we have to do is have the spirit everyday,
walk around and talk to everybody. I know that the Lord is our rock and is the only thing that
keeps us going some days.
Thanks mom for everything! I was talking to Elder Rhoton last night about everything, and I
realized that I was really kind of a bad kid growing up. You guys were always there to help me
out and were always there to love me. I love you all so much and can’t wait for the day when I
see your loving faces again.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE, for putting up with me for 18 yrs.

Mil Gracias.

- Elder Griffin

I also forgot to tell you that we went to the zoo and had some fun. I took some really cool pictures.
Elder Christofferson visited the CCM.  He shook every single missionaries hands.  He talked about the importance
of us being on the mission and what things we can improve on as missionaries. He told us the exact process that
they go through when they call missionaries. Everything that he said was just way cool. He is such a powerful
apostle of God.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Gospel Changes Lives

This week was good. We had the baptism of Miguel Fernandez and it was really cool. He is such a strong man and really has a powerful and spiritual testimony of the gospel. I love the feeling of seeing a life change and really have the person see some light in their life. We have two more scheduled baptisms for the next two weeks. Alison Osorio and Jasmine Gonzalez. We were walking yesterday and walked close to this guy, I had a really bad feeling over me and continued walking I looked back and saw him looking at us. I asked my companion did you feel something bad. He said, “You felt that too”! The spirit talks to us in subtle small ways, but He is constantly watching over us.
Artemio received the priesthood yesterday. I wasn’t there to see him bless the sacrament but the other missionaries said that it was pretty cool. Alejandra is really good and continues to go to church. Her mom is really kind of hard hearted. She was (BORN) catholic but still claims to be catholic. She doesn’t really want too much to do with the church.

Yes, Miguel is the doctor and really is amazingly smart. The parents of Alison Osorio, an investigator, (Alison is a future member, her dad is inactive and her mom is active) has an aunt in Utah.

The soda is kind of a problem, we drink soda almost every meal. NOT REALLY MY CHOICE BUT IT IS BETTER THAN THE WATER HERE. Everything is good. We are going to the zoo today. The (pouch) mail is the slowest. Aleni sent me a letter July 24 and I just barely got it. Elder Christoferson is speaking to us all in the CCM (MTC) on Wednesday.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pay attention in Seminary

Life is great. I received a new companion...ELDER APAZA…he is very different from my last companion. He really is what I have been praying for. He is from Puno Peru and has been out on the mission for about 11 months. He has taught me so much already and now when people ask me who my dad (of the mission) is I will say oh Elder Apaza but Elder Eguez was my first companion. He and I get along great he is energetic and really likes the work. We both love contacting and together are a machine. His testimony of tithing and of everything is amazing....he also really knows a lot of weakness because I didn’t memorize a lot of scriptures in seminary...a lesson to all you kids...go to seminary and memorize scriptures. It will help you a lot. This week was great. We have 1 investigator named Miguel he is 26, is a doctor here and is dating a member. We were over there to eat one day and we had talked to him a little bit but for some reason we didn’t write his information down...he called us about 3 days later wanting to be taught, because his girlfriend wants to get married in the temple. Yes! We have taught him all the lessons and have a date for Saturday. People are chosen and prepared for us and all we are is tools in the Lord's hands.

Tell the family I really enjoy hearing from them and love their uplifting words because missionary work can be very difficult at times and I really enjoy hearing about everybody.

It has been a little cold here. I really have a lot of pictures that I will hopefully copy on to a cd and send off in the next p-day.

Do you know that my six month and eighteen month mark are on Christmas day? I really think that is pretty cool. Time goes by pretty quick here. I was able to look at the blog with the zone leaders because on the p-day I was in their area. It looks pretty cool. It is one thing we aren’t really supposed to do but they did it because they have a little more privileges.

The blog is really cool. Tell dad that we do get to play soccer almost every p-day but as far as national goes PERU is not good. They played Bolivia and got their butt kicked 3 to 0....not really too proud.

It gets kind of cold here because of the humidity and other factors...It really isn’t too bad but it gets a little cold. I have heard from all the missionaries that a camera card will get stolen in the package because the mail system is screwed up here. I think it will be easy just have two cds one for me (for safety) and one for you. I really think that the comp CAMBIO-change was a good CAMBIO-change.

I really think that it is cool to be able to communicate a little bit by e-mail with my family. At least we don’t have to wait 3 weeks to send letters and get a reply.
Love ya lots and keep the letters coming.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

New Companion, Same Area

This week was really a good week. We did get to watch all four sessions of conference 3 in English and the last one in Spanish. I really enjoyed all the talks and really took in a lot as a missionary. I love hearing from Elder Oaks after he visited our home stake. I was a little disappointed to hear the last one in Spanish because I had to try to translate it in English. The Elder that gave the prayer at the end of the fourth session is our area 70 Elder Nash...we have had many opportunities to talk to him and I really enjoy his presence. Monday we visited the areas that Elder Egüez had served. It was kind of sad a lot of the people weren’t home but we talked to some of them and it was really fun. I said good bye to Elder Egüez yesterday. We really had some good times and some bad times...I learned a lot about patience and controlling my temper. I also learned a lot about challenging people to different commitments. I will actually kind of miss him. Today I am receiving my new companion his name is Elder Apaza. I really don’t know a lot about him, but I heard he is energetic which will be a good thing. Artemio and another investigator Victor visited conference with us. I have a cd with all the pictures but need to make a copy. I didn’t really have any weird experiences this week...I know it’s boring. I really feel like because it was the last week of his mission it was a little unproductive but I am looking forward to the new companion.

I forgot to tell you that I about got sent to the jungle but that the president for some reason changed his mind. I am staying in my same area here in Tahuantinsuyo but I only have one ward.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Artemio's Baptism

This week has been a great one.
My interesting experience this week is that I got robbed of 3 soles about 1 dollar. Some guy with cuts on his wrist asked me how much money I had on me because he is a robber... this day I only had three soles. I felt like telling him, that was successful go buy yourself a chocolate bar and an Inca Cola. but I didn’t!! Our golden investigator with a baptism date was as drunk as anyone I have ever seen. It really kind of made me sad at first, but we are going to work with him and hopefully see if we can’t get his problems taken care of.

Artemio Alfaro favorite investigator and my first investigator got baptized yesterday and guess who baptized!!! It was the coolest experience that I have ever had and the feeling that I actually baptized the first investigator that I taught in my mission is awesome. Elder Rhoton and Elder Fidler were really good about it because it was in there area...Hermano Rhoton su hijo es un buen misionero y es mi mejor amigo (Brother Rhoton’s son is a great missionary and he is my best friend)....thanks for posting to my blog.

My companion and I have just had some hard times trying to communicate our differences. He is the leader of the district and my senior companion....he likes to do things different than I do and it is hard to be patient with him. He doesn’t try to do the same for me. He just doesn’t communicate well, he gets angry at me when I do something wrong and never shows patience and it isn’t like he is perfect....he has his weaknesses also but I really try to be patient......that is the one thing that I have learned about this exchange is patience....because you know my temper and I have really learned how to control it. I just remind myself only one more week....

Life is great and my first exchange is almost done. It is crazy to think of how time flies. I love you all and am always ready to hear from you...I love this mission!!!!

My area isn’t exactly beautiful but the view when we go up in the hills is really cool. I am thinking that if you and dad want to visit this area after the mission it might be a good thing for dad to get trained on how to fire a gun and buy one...jk.

I am Great.....I do need to continue studying the language...I love you and the family....BYE!!!!

New Elders from Bolivia and guns

(We debated whether to post this letter or not as it is a little frightening. In the end we felt like it is important to show the protection and care that the missionaries are under and that testimonies are strengthened through our trials in life.)
Life is good. This week has been interesting...We received the two new elders from Bolivia and that split our area. The ones name is Elder Fidler and the other is Elder Rhoton. ASK DAD IF HE KNOWS TOM RHOTON because he served the same mission as dad.
The new missionaries are really cool but the bad news is that we don’t get to baptize the four people we had set up. Some seeds you plant and others you reap. We also have four more baptisms set up in our area. I actually had a gun experience this week. DONT FREAK OUT I AM STILL ALIVE...but it scared the .... out of me. All 4 of us were on the bus, I was in the back and this guy sat next to me a normal looking guy. I started talking to him about the church, when he started saying stuff that I didn’t understand. I said NO entiende -I don’t understand. He pulled out a hand gun out of his jacket secretly and said entiende esto- understand this...I said ya. He put his finger over his mouth not to say anything...I thought I was going to get robbed and shot. Once more he asked me if I understood what it was but this time he did the action of death the finger and the neck thing....I honestly thought I was dead. He asked who I was with and I said the two other gringos and my companion. He said yo su amigo-I am your friend. I didn’t understand because one second he had a gun pointed at me and the next he is saying he is my friend he pulled out a badge (secret police) and smiled..

I still don’t know if he was an actual police man or what but I know that the lord protects us every single day and that every single day is a blessing because I did not know if I had another day. I pray for protection every single prayer and I am alive. That was a good testimony builder. AGAIN I AM ALIVE DONT FREAK.

Things with my companion have been interesting but we have everything worked out and I have learned patience and other great virtues.

I love you and need to tell you that I can’t accept emails from anybody else but my immediate family. TELL THE FAM TO FORWARD THE EMAILS THROUGH YOU.
Love you and hope to hear from you soon.