Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Jeep and a big bucket of cookie dough ice cream

Hey everyone! it's been a good week!

Tuesday we had specialized training and got to ride in the transfer spaceship (big fancy 12 passenger van). It was lots of fun. and at specialized training we learned a lot about the new Easter initiative and the talk "We're doing a great work and cannot come down."  It was really good, and we had a lot of fun doing team building activities. We also started teaching Jim, who's an awesome investigator who's living in a member's home. it was a really powerful lesson and we had a lot of fun getting to know him too.

Wednesday,  we had a really good lesson with Jim and he basically told us a bunch of stories from his

childhood. He apparently was like the sandlot kids -- times 10! It was fun! I also got pulled over for having a bike rack on our car! it was funny, but the officer was really nice once he saw we were missionaries and didn't give us a ticket. We also had a really good lesson with a lady in the ward who's been struggling with coming back to church and then she found a copy of "Our Search for Happiness" in Wal-mart or something and the book just spoke to her soul. it was truly a miracle! Her daughter is actually considering taking the lessons now too, because we didn't push anything on her while we were there.

Thursday was a long day. We got to road trip to the doctors in Liberty Lake and had Carl's jr and almost stopped for Slurpees, but we missed the turn. it was a lot of fun though and we listened to some good talks as well. We had correlation meeting after that and then played basketball with the Elder's Quorum.

Friday we had a lot of fun doing service at the food bank and they gave us a huge thing of Umpequa ice cream -- it's super tasty! Cookie dough! We also had one of the Young men in the ward come out with us and had several good lessons.

Saturday we had a baptism for a girl in the ward, then we met a few people with Bro. Marugi, who's super nice, awesome guy! And then we did service for Sis Warren, helping her move some stuff into a storage unit and such out in the boonies. We also met with her son and daughter, who aren't members and just made a good impression. NO one out here likes to be pushed.

Sunday we had Stake Conference and set up for exchanges with the Ione elders -- it's going to be fun and miracle filled! We also had a couple nice visits and have some service projects coming up this week that are going to be fun!

It was a solid week and i'm excited for the prospects of meeting the ward next week in church!

Love ya!
Elder Griffin

Monday, March 16, 2015

Spiders, a Jeep and life in the boondocks

Bryce has spent almost a week in his new area -- Colville, Wash. -- and he said it is sooo different from Spokane. The pic posted in last week's blog is, in fact, his apartment (actually a duplex) and he said it is huge compared to his last place, though they have spider problems.

Bryce and his new companion were double-transferred in to replace a couple of sister missionaries and Bryce is the new District Leader in Colville. His district includes six Elders and a lot of miles.

He said there is no snow right now up in Northeastern Washington, but it does rain a lot. We (Andy and Shelly) are glad to have our boy out of the inner city, but Bryce did say he enjoyed his time there and will miss some dear friends he made.

Here's a couple of other excerpts from his letter:
"It's been an interesting week adjusting to the new area! My companion is Elder Buckley and we're full time car and we drive a jeep compass (it's sweet!). Elder buckley's from Lindon, Utah, and he's super fun!
We had a really good visit with my new bishop and his family and they're excited to have Elders in the ward. It's going to be a lot of fun!
Thursday we had a funny experience -- we had been planning on the new DL training being on Thursday and then we called the ZL's about it and looked in the Spokane Word (mission newsletter) and both said it was supposed to be on Friday. Then we got a call about 9:15 Thursday asking if we were coming to the meeting which started at 9, sooo we drove for the full 2 hours went to the meeting for 2 hrs and then another 4 hours of driving from getting lost finding the gas station and everything. it was super funny! We were so exhausted by the time we finally got home! it was a really pretty drive though and the Jeep is way fun to drive!
Friday was weekly planning and just slow going with learning the area, it was tough. but we met some ntersting people and got to try one of the local restaurants. it was pretty good. and we finally got the spiders under control in our basement study room.
Saturday was a good day -- we walked most of the day, which was a nice change of pace, and we met a few people who were fairly receptive to the gospel who we're starting to teach. We also got to check out the church a little bit and get to know some of our boonies a little bit better.
Sunday we got to meet the ward a little bit and get to know some of the brethren better. We even met one of our investigators, which we didn't know about! We also had dinner at our WML house and he lives WAAAYyy out in the boonies. It was quite the drive in the rain -- learned a little bit more about hydroplaning and such -- it was fun! We arrived safe and sound though. I did accountings for the first time and it was pretty simple and fun.
Bryce did send his love and some good pix:

Elders Griffin and Larsen with Doc.

The new comp.

Bishop Olsen from Spokane gave Bryce a ride to Colville.

The new digs.

Elders Griffin and Buckley.

It's a pretty big place.


The basement study -- minus the spiders.

The open road in Northeastern Washington.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Transfer! Headed to Canada -- well almost!


Hey everyone, Bryce has been transferred out of Spokompton! He has been on his mission for seven and a half months and finally got transferred. His new area is Colville, Washington. It is a small town (less than 5,000 people) in the northeastern part of the state. about 30 miles from the Canadian border (here's a link to it on Bing maps).

We went on Google Street and got right to his apartment, took a "drive" around Colville and even went to the Colville Stake Center.

With transfers and all, he didn't have much time to write. Here's an excerpt from his short letter:

"Wednesday we had a kinda bad day and so we finished it up by stopping for a pizza on the way home and it was SOOO GOOD! Funny story though, I asked Faustin if he could give me a haircut and he said "I no give you haircut. I never cut white man hair. If I cut your hair I make you skinhead and people say 'Who give you haircut? It very bad' and You say 'Faustin' and that is bad." It was hilarious!Thursday we got to visit with Sister Dowell and Doc had his first homecourt. It was really good and he learned a lot about family history.Friday we had dinner with Doc and talked about his baptism. We found out he had coffee and so he had to push the date back til the 21st. i might not get to go.Saturday we Had an awesome lesson with Faustin and resolved a lot of his concerns and it was awesome. Also, I attempted the 5 lb challenge at Pizza Rita and failed, it was disappointing, but I still got the t-shirt. It was fun! Doc even came to support me!Sunday i found out about transfers -- I'm going to Colville, WA and i leave tomorrow to sweep in and get to work! Elder Buckley is my new companion. I haven't heard much about him yet, but he sounds like a nice guy. I'm excited for the new challenge and it's going to be great!
My new address is 179 S Walnut Colville WA 
So there you have it. We are happy that Bryce is out of the scary part of the mission, though we know he learned a lot and will miss the many friends he made.

Here are some screenshots from our Google Street tour.
We think this is his apartment -- it's what came up under his new address.

Colville Stake Center, though with only 5,000 residents in town,
the people must come from all over the county.
 The town is just off of Lake Roosevelt and it has a Wal-mart, Taco Time and even a Zip's Drive-in -- but no more Pizza Rita for Brycie-Boo!

Here are a couple of other Colville pix -- seems like a picturesque small-town -- though it does have some harsh winter weather. Hopefully that's mostly done with!

View from Colville Mountain

Lake Roosevelt is nearby.

Uh, yeah, it does get cold in Colville.