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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Week 94: AJ says goodbye to his beloved Roxas

Pizza at Greenwich with the Shaners

Dear Family,

So first of all, I've been transferred to what will probably be my last area. I have been assigned here in Santiago 3rd ward and we live here in the city itself. My companion is Elder Mclaughlin from Alpine, Utah. He has been in the mission for 3 months and his trainer just got transferred. We also share an apartment with the ZL's here in Santiago. The ZL's here are Elder Valdez (my companion in Alicia, the one you talked to on Skype last Christmas, btw I am stoked about that he is my homie) and Elder Williamson. It's pretty cool. We are like a 15 min walk or 2 min tryke ride away from Macdonalds. Our area is cool. Our whole area is kind of the outskirts of Santiago and most of our investigators and stuff are kinda far away. We have a couple really cool investigators and things are looking good. 

So next I wanted to talk about Roxas a little bit. We saw so many miracles and I truly feel like Ammon in that I never imagined what great things could happen and what the Lord had in store for my companions and I in Roxas. I've truly made friendships there that will be eternal there. I still am amazed about how many wonderful miracles I saw there. I've seen lives changed and my life has been changed during the last 7 and a half months in Roxas.

A really sweet moment happened as we were teaching the Torres family on Tuesday. So we found them tracting and their whole family has a baptismal date on September 22 in Roxas. The mother said that some people had told her she was just joining the church because it is a rich church or that they might get help from the church but she said that she bore her testimony that the church was really true and that she knew it and that she was joining the church because she knew it was the way to follow Jesus Christ. It was a great testimony that warmed our hearts. 

So I do know that it is true, the Lord directs this work. I've learned things from every companion and every area I've had and I've met people that I needed to meet in every area. I know that the callings president makes are inspired of God. I also said goodbyes on Tuesday and Wednesday to some of those amazing people like the Antiolyn family (the ones that got married), the Tan Family (Fema and her family) The Torres, President Munoz (branch president, class act), Sister Helen and Brother Mark Dieter.

On Wednesday there was a farewell fireside and afterward the Shaners took us for pizza at Greenwich. It was very good and the first time I've had pizza in like 10 months. I will miss the Shaners. I at least get to see them at meetings and stuff, but the Shaners are awesome. 

So it's been a good few days with Elder Mclaughlin. He is a good Elder and we have some great people to teach. We have been working hard and we have already had some great success. We had a cool experience as we felt prompted to stop at a house we passed and we were let in the door. Two young men (brothers) in their 20's invited us in and gave us chairs. As we talked to them, what Elder Holland said about listening is really true. As we got them to open up, we found out that their sister had died when she was 18 and we asked them if they knew where she was. We felt inspired to share with them in Alma 40 and about the resurrection and the glorious news of celestial kingdom and eternal families. I also realized this week that we really aren't perfect in the language and teaching and also that that is really important. The Lord just wants our hearts. So as we shared our heartfelt testimonies with those two young men, we felt they were really comforted and for the first time in their lives they knew where their sister is. The gospel is so true and I feel so humbled to share this with the people. It's one of the sweetest feelings ever when you can see someone understand a part of the gospel for the very first time.

Well I  can't think of much else to say right now but I Iove you tons and good luck moving in the new house. Hope you have a good week!



Elder Griffin and his new companion, Elder Mclaughlin

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