We had a Facetime (Skype) conversation with AJ for Mother's Day. For our blog this week we decided to write down our reactions after talking to him. Here's what everyone had to say:
AJ still seems like the same older brother that left, but he seemed a lot more mature. He is speaking English with a funny accent. He is really loving his mission and It didn't sound like he was ready to come home, he has an awesome missionary attitude. When I go out for my mission I want to have the same hardworking attitude he has.
It was nice to be able to see him, it doesn't seem like it has been over a year. He didn't seem very different but he seemed much more wise. It was tons of fun to be able to talk to him and it didn't feel like he was on the other side of the world. I was sad when we had to say goodbye, but I am glad he is doing the Lord's work and spreading joy. I look forward to going on a mission and being just like him.
I liked to talk to him and feel as if we were at Cayan with him. He definitely looked like he like he likes it there. I miss him and I'm glad I got to see him.
I think when I talk to him I miss him and want to cry and want to see him or do something with him.
Aj seemed very happy and comfortable there. I was very happy to see how loved he is by the Senior mission couple (the Shaners). It makes me not worry as much to know that he has people that love and care about him. I really enjoyed hearing about his testimony growing and the strength he has from serving a mission. I think he has grown up and matured into a wonderful young man and I'm so thankful he is setting a good example for his younger siblings.
It was interesting to hear about his apartment and travels in the Philippines. It makes me thankful for my flushing toilet, warm shower with good shower head, oven, washer, dryer, van with a/c...etc! He seems to be extremely humbled and grateful for all that he has (and will have upon returning to the great USA).
He was much more comfortable this time, especially after the first few minutes. We actually interrupted his breakfast when we called (it was about 8:15 a.m. there). I had connected a little early. I was testing Facetime (kind of like Skype for Macs) and did not expect an answer. But they answered and we got to see AJ chew some sausage and pancakes that the Shaners had prepared.
I know I viewed him through the eyes of a man who has changed his diaper and taught him how to walk and talk and baptized him and taught him how to keep score at a baseball game, but he still seemed like my little boy in a lot of ways. Some of the things he said were to try and impress us or please us, some of it was to brag a little, but all of it was said with love and familiarity, even though we have been apart all these months.
He told us of a time when he had to jump off a moving truck because the reckless driver was drunk and crazed. He described some of the wild things he has had to eat. Sis. Shaner came on for a minute and told us she loved that Elder Griffin was NOT a picky eater. She said, “He eats anything as long as it's not moving.” That made us wonder if there was another Elder Griffin, because the guy we sent out there would barely eat french fries after he found out they were “made out of potatoes.”
But all things considered, AJ looked happy and healthy and every bit a missionary and a zone leader. In about five and half months we will see him ourselves.
By the way, transfers is this week and he has been in Roxas a long time, so he may be headed out soon. We will let everyone know when we know.