Wednesday, June 26, 2013

DC Week 19-20!

Please forgive my lack of updates these last couple weeks...

This transfer is turning out to be not too shabby. My companions are wonderful. Sometimes it takes a try or twelve to figure things out, but when we get it right, the results are so rewarding.  I love Laurel. The people are very similar to White Oak. Lots of Africans and Hispanics. I love them so much! My Spanish is slowly improving. Yesterday I talked with a few ladies (7th Day Adventist) from El Salvador for a while and got their contact info to send the Spanish missionaries. Sometimes I feel the Lord is teasing me by sprinkling Hispanics in my path, only so I can send them to someone else... Irritating sometimes, but I know I am where I need to be for now. The Lord sure does have a sense of humor though...

Well lets see...I always think of a million and a half things I want to share during the week, and somehow seem to manage to forget them all once I'm on the clock...

At our last transfer meeting, we said goodbye to President and Sister Matsumori. We love them dearly, and they have truly made lasting impacts in the mission. But as Mission Presidents tend to do, they leave for home this week. In their last email to us they said:

If you want your mission (and life) to be rewarding and enjoyable, YOU must assume responsibility to make it so. Likewise, if you are not enjoying your life's situation, it's your fault. You are an agent to act, not an object to be acted upon. You can choose to be happy, regardless of the situation – your attitude determines your altitude.

If there's one thing I'm beginning to learn this transfer, it is accountability. Not sure how or why, but this has been something of an overlooked aspect in my life. Somehow, it always falls through the cracks. I refuse to let that happen anymore. We have a very specific and significant responsibility. "Our authority is above that of the Kings of the earth..." ~Bruce R. McConkie. There is no room for selfish thoughts. I have a growing testimony of qualifying for the Spirit. It's tricky. It's a constant struggle...but maybe that's not necessarily a bad "struggle" for the Spirit. Think about it... 

Hope you have all had a fantastic week! Carly, we are officially serving together!! Couldn't feel more privileged.

Love you all!

Sister Graff
1Nephi 17:3

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

DC Week 18!

Jordyn Reed got baptized! 

She's an adorable 10-yr-old girl that we've been working with for the last several months. Her family is part-member, but has been coming back to church as we have re-fellow-shipped them and established solid relationships. Well, ironically enough, everything that could have gone wrong that day, did. Yet, somehow--and I don't know why I continue to be surprised--it all worked out. Heavenly Father has a plan for her, and it can not be frustrated by the futile attempts and distractions of the adversary. Her father and grandparents are not members, but were all at her baptism. Afterwards, Sister Reed told me her husband wants to be baptized. Oh happy day. So exciting to see the work progressing... 
Today is transfer day. I am leaving White Oak, going to Laurel which is just east by about twenty minutes. My companions are Sister Bowman (from Kansas) and Sister Tembo (from Zambia). Yes, we are a trio! Oh what fun we will have this transfer! We are all very excited to be working together. I am anxious to discover new avenues and angles we can take in this work.

In other news... 
Happy Father's day this week!--Expect a letter :) 
Welcome home, Elder Starr! What an exemplary missionary...I've learned so much from you. 

And Carly, I sure have no doubt your farewell talk went well on Sunday. Can't believe you report in a week! I am honored to serve together as "Sisters" :) 
I will also be praying for little Ashy this week... 

Oh I love you all so much.
More next week,
Sister Graff

Moroni 9:6 ~Let us labor diligently... 

1. Asian market--she was in heaven.
2. Night of Music and Inspiration--power was out downstairs, so we went on with the show on our crowded main floor. Such a humble, but strong spirit.
3. Singing The Lord is my Shepherd with Sisters Clement, Carcamo, Nakasuka, Shaw, and Chappel.
4. Tracting in the rain...
5. Kady's baby boy, Idrissa. 
6. Visiting the Antique shops in Kensington. 
7. Not yet.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

DC Week 17!

This week I have more of a spiritual thought rather than a novel, so I apologize in advance for this mish-mash email...

The following is from a 2001 General Conference address...

"Our priorities are most visible in how we use our time.... Three things never come back the spent arrow, the spoken word, and the lost opportunity. We cannot recycle or save the time allotted to us each day. With time, we have only one opportunity for choice, and then it is gone forever." ~Elder Dallin H. Oaks Focus and Priorities

Transfers are coming up next week. I have been in this area my whole mission thus far.  Chances are that I will be moved. I love the White Oak people. They are humble and eager to learn about the gospel. They acknowledge their need to rely on the Savior. That's the key to conversion. They have been my family these past several months. Whatever happens, I know I need to be ready for change...
I have many goals for next transfer...I want to be more selfless. I want to use time more effectively. I want to keep my promises I make with the Lord. I want to demonstrate more faith...
What are your goals?
Love you all.
Sister Graff
PS--Pictures next week... :)