(Email chat between Elder AJ Griffin and his Dad, beginning about 9 p.m. Sunday in Utah or about noon Monday in the Philippines)
|Elders Griffin and Wooden at a zone meeting in Cauayan.|
AJ: Hey hey!
DAD: Hey man, you're on early tonight! How ya feeling?
AJ: Man I've been as sick as a dog this week, but today I am actually feeling kinda ok. Still dizzy, though.
DAD: Sorry you have been sick. You able to eat and get some nourishment? You gotta keep nourishing that body!
AJ: Yeah a few members brought us food and the district leader even brought us Macdos, so doing pretty good. I am impressed with dengue fever. I thought I could get over it in like a day, but now it's at a week and a half.
DAD: Kicked your butt eh? Do you feel like it is starting to go away? You need to take care and take this thing seriously.
AJ: Yeah, like from Tuesday to Saturday I was exhausted and slept most of the day. Monday to Thursday I had a terrible headache and dizziness and then I had fever and rash for awhile. Today though, I just am a little dizzy, but my body feels pretty good.
DAD: Is your companion going nuts? What about your investigators?
AJ: Yeah, he is going nuts. We've been able to teach a lesson at night a few times, but I come home all dizzy. We have been able to kind of keep up with ones with a baptism date, but with the other ones, not at all really. It's too bad. I've been wanting to go out and work so bad, but I just get all dizzy and out of whack.
DAD: I had a comp with mono when I was in New Jersey. Fortunately, I was able to do a ton of telephone contacting and setting appointments and stuff. We visited every member in the Audubon Ward with a member-missionary presentation that month. But I was kinda stir crazy, too. That was when I met your mother.
AJ: Haha – you dog! Were you attracted to her then or did you not really think much of her?
DAD: Nah, she was 16 and kinda nerdy and stuff. I didn't really talk to her again for a year until the end of my mission. My last couple of weeks we had a stake conference in her stake and I saw her there and she said she was coming out to BYU. Even then, she was kinda quiet and wore glasses and stuff. Never really considered her as anything but a friend until she came out to Utah, then it was Bam, Pow, Fireworks!
AJ: Haha, well I don't plan on meeting my wife on my mission. We have a baptism on Saturday! Mac-mac is a stud!
DAD: Sounds like your young men are studs, too, fellow-shipping him. How old is he? Does his family support his decision?
AJ: Yeah, the young men have been studs. I've only met like his aunts and uncles and cousins and they are mostly members. He is 15.
DAD: I hope he is strong. Do you think people there accept the Gospel because they have nowhere else to turn? They seem very humble, but also very poor. Does the church have a lot of people on welfare and stuff, or are they prideful and won't accept help? Just curious.
AJ: They are super humble and sometimes it seems like they accept the gospel because they have nowhere to turn. I haven't really seen anyone on welfare. I don't know how they use the fast offerings. There are no Bishop's storehouses or church-owned farms or anything. I don't know how the bishop gives out welfare. But people ask us for money all the time, so they aren't too prideful to ask.
DAD: Did Sister Carlos say anymore about this fever of yours and how to get rid of it? You just have to wait it out?
AJ: She just said I need to rest and take paracatamal (like Tylenol). She said if I push it too hard too fast it just makes it worse.
DAD: Well, listen to your mission mama. I guess there's not a whole lot we can do from here. We are praying for you (and Dallas) to get better. Holly gave a nice prayer at Grandma's asking Heavenly Father to bless you better.
AJ: Thanks, I think it's almost gone. Hopefully. I didn't even know Dallas was sick. Dangit! It just started pouring and our clothes are hanging outside of our house – supposed to be drying. They were close to dry when we left, too.
DAD: It rained coming home from G-Ma's, and I hit some big snowstorms the last two weeks. Mom was talking about sending you some hot chocolate. Cracked me up. She forgot that it doesn't get cold there.
|AJ and Dallas (far left) Christmas morning 2004.|
AJ: Yeah, it does not feel like Christmas season at all. It's just hot and rainy still. People are trying to tell me it's Christmas all the time though. I don't believe 'em.
DAD: Hey, only 36 shopping days til Christmas. Haha. If it's any consolation, I saw three houses with Christmas lights up today and all the stores are decked out for it, too.
AJ: Yeah, like 10 minutes ago these dudes came by with drums and a guitar, singing some Christmas song. It's still not even Thanksgiving! Settle down Philippines!
DAD: Guess you gotta go, eh? Well, I am so thankful to have a son like you. Your work and example there will touch the lives of so many, from your brothers to your nephews and nieces and your own children, plus all the lives you have touched in the Philippines. Thanks you for being a great son!!!
AJ: Thanks for being a great Dad. I sure treasured all our sports road trips.
DAD: Yeah, those were some great road trips. I loved 'em as much as you did.
AJ: We need to go on another one as soon as I get back! Love you! Bye!
DAD: Love you too!
Happy Turkey Day!
I don't think I will come across any turkey this Thursday, but I am thankful anyway.
Well, this week I've just been sick and we have been able to work just a little bit. Tatay Ania pretty much fell off the face of the earth. On Friday, they went to Nueva Ecia Daw and didn't go to church this week, so his baptism isn't gonna happen on Saturday.
But Mac-Mac has been doing awesome and he passed the interview on Saturday. So he will be baptized this next Saturday.
The ward has been really cool, bringing us food a couple times when I was sick. Our district leader brought us MacDonalds, too, so that was awesome. Hopefully my sickness is almost gone. I am tired of being sick. I wanna work.
Well since it's almost Thankgiving, here are a few things I am thankful for:
I am thankful for you, Mom and Dad, for raising me from a throwup-ey little kid to an annoying teenager. Thanks for putting up with me. Thanks for writing me every week. Thanks for sending me packages and thanks for praying for me everyday.
Thanks to Mom for waking up early all those times and driving me to football practice, even though I was terrible at football.
Thanks Dad for taking me to games for 15 years. Some of my fondest memories are driving to random places like Delta and Tooele and watching football and eating good food and having long conversations about life!
Thanks Dallas and Bryce for putting up with me and always hanging out with me. Thanks for always being there to play some Sega or throw the football. Thanks for reading the scriptures with me.
Thanks Katie and Holly for being so sweet and darn cute.
Thanks for taking us to Grandma and Grandpas every week and thanks for feeding me for 19 years. You are anything a kid could ask for in parents. I love you so much, Mom and Dad. I am eternally indebted to you. You are the best parents in the world! I definitely picked you in the pre-existence and wouldn't want it any on other way.
Mom and Dad, You are awesome!
Happy Turkey Day! Go Cowboys!
I love you! A.J.