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Monday, November 29, 2010

Week 5: Thanksgiving and a special visit from Elder Holland

Wow so this week was jam packed is the rundown:
Tuesday night we had this funny Swedish guy from the Quorum of the Seventy speak to us.   He was pretty cool and he talked about how the Lord has prepared people all across the world for us to meet and how every ones spirit has already said yes to the plan of salvation. He was pretty good.
Wednesday was fairly uneventful, just studied and had class and stuff. 
Thursday/Thanksgiving was pretty awesome, still not as good as being with you all but the next best thing. We got breakfast and then lined up for the devotional that started at ten(rumors were it was special one, so we lined up early to get great seats). Elder Shelley got there about the same time so we got to hang out and he quizzed me on Tagalog for a couple hours.  We rushed into the big gymnasium and got great seats. Then I saw what I was sure was Elder Holland and we were way excited. Like you well know he is my favorite! Sure enough it was and he brought his whole family with him. He said that we SHOULD not be homesick and that the Hollands are our family today. 
His wife and kids spoke for a little and then his grand kids sang. Then he spoke to us for almost an hour. He is so Amazing!! He reminded us about the great motivation we have to not only be on a mission but to be obedient and work as hard as we can. He talked about how if we serve honorable and hard that we are telling Jesus that we don't want him to have to carry the burden alone any more - that we want to help. 
He also talked about getting up on time (I usually get up early to study) but still every time I'm tempted to sleep a little longer his quote from Thursday pops in my head- "JUST GET OUT OF BED FOR PITYS SAKE!" Haha I love Elder Holland so much!!! 
After the devotional we went out and he was getting in his car and driving with his family out of the place and he said to all of us (about 300 missionaries) Thank you so much ! Have a great mission! Have a Great life! Its weird to think an apostle drives his own car and family around. He also had about 12 grand kids in the back of his little ford fusion or whatever he was driving. 
We also had two more devotionals that day and a big service project,  We made as a whole 33,000 backpacks to give to poor kids all over world. The Thanksgiving dinner was rather lame. About the same as any other meal here so I was missing the big dinner with the family. It was still good, just not Thanksgiving good. They gave us a sack meal for dinner too haha. 
Friday was also crazy- It was our first day in all Tagalog. The teachers only talk Tagalog and we are only allowed to talk in Tagalog. So it was super intense. The crazy awesome part of the day however was, we had been preparing a little bit to teach all in Tagalog but I didn't think we were even close to being ready... Then our teacher said oh, by the way we are teaching the Philippine zone half of lesson one all Tagalog. You have 20 mins. We were like oh man! So we did our best to prepare and then we got paired with Sister McDonald and her Comp (she is from St. George).  Me and my comp were both pretty worried that it would be terrible. 
Well we prayed and did our best and we truly experienced the Gift of Tongues. We remembered the stuff we had studied and got the message across and the Sisters told us after that they loved our lesson and that they really felt the spirit. Truly a miracle.
Then on Saturday we had to teach again and we did alright. Its crazy how much we have learned in a month and how much the spirit will help you!
Here's when things really get crazy... So its the half way point and they switch District leaders at that point. And anyway you know your big trouble when the 2nd counselor greets you by saying "Elder Griffin has the President talked to you yet?"  I was ooooooooooooooo. ... no... why? And boom interview and now I'm the District leader, darn it.. well I guess I shouldn't be sad because its a great opportunity to serve, but it's just another list of responsibilities I have to worry about. Oh well I'll be happy to do it. 
Sunday I got to hang out with Elder Shelley at the films and he is loving it here as well. We are all having a fantastic time and loving it here. I'm so thankful for you family and love you so much. I pray for you everyday and again I love you. 
I got your package today.   Thank you so much. My comp was pretty stoked about the tie. 
Oh, also on Saturday a funny little story. I totally forgot it was the BYU-Utah game and I wore a bright red tie!! Abel gave me a pretty hard time. I 'm just glad BYU was in it and it sounds like they got jobbed out of it anyway. I'm overjoyed that Boise lost -- that will quiet a lot of Elder Spuds :)
Again I'm loving life here at the MTC
Gotta go 
Pinnika MAHAL!!!
(the pinnacle love!!!
Elder Griffin

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