Something that stood out to me this week in my studies was Isaiah 41:10. It was the inspiration for one of the verses of How Firm a Foundation. I really love the powerful words of "Fear thou not; for I am with thee... for I am thy God". It makes me think of "Be still and know that I am God." All things are in his control and I need not worry about every little thing. In the words of President Gordon B Hinckley, "It will all work out".

Monday, March 30, 2015

Family Picture from Dorothy's Wedding-March 28, 2015

Family Picture from Dorothy's Wedding-March 28, 2015

Eddy's Baptism!‏ (March 30, 2015)

March 30, 2015
This week was great because Eddy got baptized!!! Wahoo! He was confirmed yesterday and also given the Aaronic Priesthood and ordained to the office of a Priest.  After General Conference, the plan is to have him baptize his son who just turned 8 years old.  Working with Eddy has been such an amazing experience.  Eddy's wife and kids are members but he wasn't.  He finally made the commitment and he is now on track to baptize his son and attend the temple to be sealed next year.  Words cannot express the joy I felt as he was baptized nor the happiness he showed as he came out of the water.  It had been a bit of a scary commitment for him but I know he will never regret it.  President and Sister Choi as well as President and Sister Wood attended the baptism.  Elder Griffiths baptized him and I gave a talk on the Holy Ghost.

Outside of that, we didn't have anything to exciting to share.  We just had a lot of busy work to get done and we had a Zone Conference on Wednesday that took up pretty much the whole day.

If you haven't seen the new Easter Video "Because He Lives" I would highly encourage visiting and watching it.  It is an amazing video that can prepare us as we enter this Easter Season.  You can also rewatch "Because of Him" from last year because its such an amazing video!  Anyway, I love you!  I hope you are having a fantastic week, cause I did last week and will this week!

Elder Connor Marshall Garriss

 Our church building and stake center -- it looks way cool!
 Eddy and his family (After his baptism)
Eddy and us and his son Steve (After his baptism)


Ravenna Park and the University of Washington‏

March 23, 2015

This week was a pretty good week for us. It was quite a bit of fun. 

We had a chance to go over the Baptismal Interview Questions with our investigator Eddy.  He is planned to be baptized this Saturday, although we have to make sure he passes his interview tomorrow.  He really wants to be baptized, not only for himself but as an example to his children of how faith can change a person.  He is the only non member in the family so this is a big step for him.  Please keep him in your prayers!

We also did an exchange with the Seattle YSA 3rd Elders.  These are the Elders that serve on the UW campus.  That was a very unique experience for me to proselyte on Red Square.  I really enjoyed it!  It was such a blast!!  For about 6 hours straight all we did was stand on the big university square and talk with the college students as they milled about.  I don't know about doing it every day, but for an overnight exchange, it was seriously the best.

Sadly, we did not find any new investigators this week.  We are in need of new investigators and so that will be our focus for this week.  Although we did have a miracle this week that stood as a testimony that the Lord is guiding our work.  On Saturday we were invited by our Zone Leaders (Elder Kearley! and Elder Robinson) to attend their baptism and help them with a musical number even though we did not have an investigator coming.  We attended it to help them out, and about 30 seconds before the baptism ordinance, we were asked to talk about the restoration while the candidate was getting changed out of her wet clothes.  20 seconds later, President Choi walked in.  No pressure.  Anyway that has nothing to do with the miracle but looking back it was just a funny situation that I thought I'd share.  Back to the miracle!  After the baptism, we were walking home in our suits and planned to go change then go back out to proselyte but as we came to the intersection that we needed to take to get home, the Spirit told us to just stay out until dinner in our suits.  So we did and took a path not toward our home but toward the plans we had made.  As we crossed the street, we talked to Ashley.  Ashley was coming home from her first day at a new job, just got an apartment a few weeks ago (no longer homeless) and just moved here from Kentucky a few months ago.  Her life was coming into order and on Friday she had prayed that she could meet someone who would introduce her to a church.  She knew she needed God back in her life, especially to thank him for the blessings bestowed upon her recently.  As we introduced ourselves and told her what we do, she told us she had prayed in that exact spot to meet the day previous.  She said "If this isn't a sign, I don't know what is!".  She did not live in our area, but through a chain of events, we were able to get her the information of the church in her area (different Mission) and the Bishop of their ward called her as well as sent the Sister Missionaries to her house that night.  She attended church the next day and I know taht she will be baptized.  It was a confirmation to me that although we may not have the largest teaching pool at the moment, it isn't all about us.  The entire work of salvation is the Lord's vineyard and he is directing the whole thing.  We will find those who need the gospel, whether they live in our area or not.  What a great blessing that experience was for me.

Something that stood out to me this week came from my morning studies this morning as I prepared for zone conference.  I read in Preach My Gospel chapter 4 about receiving revelation.  I really feel like I need to be receiving revelation almost every minute.  It is how we will  be lead to the elect, how we will teach them true doctrine, how we will resolve concerns and how they will make covenants with God.  Receiving revelation is so important! Elder Griffiths and I talked about it a lot this week and we determined that receiving revelation is more than praying.  We need to be receiving revelation every day, missionary or not.  It is how the Lord guides our paths and helps us fulfill our potential.

I love you!

Elder Connor Marshall Garriss

A sweet mural in our area.

A famous view from Red Square.  You can see Mount Rainier from there but you need a super nice camera to get it in a picture.  Its in the dead center where all the white is.  That is also my new suit :)

Red Square! I took this early morning before going back to my area, so not many people.
 Close up of the library on Red Square -- an absolutely beautiful building!

Statue of George Washington that is pretty sweet just before the Square.

New Suit Close-ups.  One with Jacket open, one with the Jacket closed.  It has a pattern on it too but you can't see it very well in the pictures.


Welcome to Ravenna Park‏

March 16, 2015
Oh man, I love this place!! So to start, the ward is pretty much composed to married students who attend the University of Washington (UW).  They are like all around 26-mid 30s.  Its crazy! Anyway, there are tons of people to talk to.  Its like being in Seatac minus the ghetto.  The people aren't rich (because its a college town) but they are educated and there are TONS of them!

Anyway, I got to know the area a bit this week and some of the members/investigators.  We put a couple of people on date for baptism! The one I am most excited for and seems to have the most promise is the father named Eddy in a part member family of the ward. He is on date for March 28th. We need to get him a baptismal interview and go over some lessons again, but the goal is to have him and his 8 year old son get baptized together on that day. It seems very promising. I have had to get accustomed to talking with people on the street again. I did so occasionally in Pine Lake but with the lack of people walking around, it wasn't a common experience. Here, there are so many people! I get the great opportunity to come out of my comfort zone and really try and interact with more of the people.

The Bishop is super on board for missionary work here too! We visited him the first night I was here and requested Priesthood Blessings from him because the Bishop is who truly holds the keys to missionary work in the area that he presides over, which is the Ravenna Park ward.  The Mission President holds the keys to the work in the mission and to baptisms and stuff but the Bishop also holds missionary work keys for the ward and we are assigned to his ward.  Bishop was very moved by that and shared that experience in Ward Council this week and then in every meeting on Sunday told the members to invite us over to share a message with them and to start doing missionary work with us.  It was a very cool experience!!

Overall, I am just super excited to be working here in this ward! I hope I can share more stories next week, I am just running out of time this week to write.

I love you!!

Elder Connor Marshall Garriss

 My Companion, Elder Griffiths
 Some sweet pillars in the area that looks like they could be out of "The Great Gatsby"
I spilled juice, so we got creative ;P

Welcome to Ravenna Park‏

March 10. 2015

Transfers were today and I have  been transferred to Ravenna Park in the Seattle North Stake.  My new companion is Elder Griffiths! I am so excited to be here although I was very sad to leave Pine Lake.  Seattle North is the Stake that covers downtown Seattle (all the famous parts) and so I am serving in a part of downtown Seattle.  Its pretty sweet so far.  Sooooo many people! I am way excited to work with Elder Griffiths too because he was one of my previous District Leader's companions so I know him pretty well already.  Oh man, this is going to be fun!!

Anyway, my last week in Pine Lake was pretty fun.  We worked pretty hard.  We had some splits set up but nothing too exciting to report.  Plus, I had such an exciting day that I can't remember much of my last week... Although I spoke in church on Sunday.  That was fun.  I tried a new method of speaking which included not writing my talk but instead just bullet points.  Not a fan.  It wasn't a very good talk in my opinion but the ward thought it went well.  Enough with these boring details, I'll start uploading pictures :)

Elder Connor Marshall Garriss

Lysander and me


"Where is Sister So and So's old house?" - Me‏

March 2, 2015

Do you know where family #2 live?" - Elder Pulini
"Yea" - Me
"Yeah, its no where near there." - Elder Pulini

This week was a good week although a bit slow. The members of the ward are starting to act on their promptings to do missionary work! We had 3 members call us this week to tell us they had invited friends to listen to the missionaries! We taught one of them this week, although we already knew her so we didn't count it as a referral.

We were able to attend the Ensign Symphony (The Seattle Area has a big Symphony put on by members of the church who are professionals and the perform at Benaroya Hall -- the mission gets tickets to every one for us to bring people too but we can only go if we bring someone.  This was my first) too with Christian! We have been working with him for a long time and this last Sunday he came to church (although not to Sacrament meeting) and met with the Bishop about going back to BYU! That is a huge step for him and the Bishop encouraged him to start attending sacrament. Not only would that be huge for him but then I'd get to hang with him all the time!! Wahoo!! I love the whole Caldwell family, and Christian and I have become pretty good friends.

We also had the opportunity to do service this week.  Its been awhile! But its been sunny so we got out and did yard work.  Have you ever seen someone cut down a tree with a machete? Not only have I now seen that, but I got to do it too haha. #tongans It was pretty fun.  Elder Pulini has got some real skill with a machete.  I will get a video and some pictures of it next week.  I didn't bring my camera to the service.  I wasn't expecting machete skills.

Other than that, not too many major stories.  Just walking and stuff. Its been good.

I love you!

Elder Connor M. Garriss

Elder Pulini chopping down a tree with a Machete
Action Shot! Chopping a fallen tree with a machete -- I chopped down a full tree but no pics of it and only a video of it falling :(
I tied a shirt around my head like how Elder Pulini does to work and keep the sweat off his face.  I looked kinda weird...
  Elder Pulini

Christian And Me

I tied a shirt around my head like how Elder Pulini does to work and keep the sweat off his face.  I looked kinda weird...
We are all studying Sister Caldwell's homework, except Sister Caldwell! (Its a joke because she works so hard and the rest of us always play around)
The Caldwell's minus Christian because he was at work.
Brother and Sister Howey on the Left, and Sister Thueson on the right.  Brother Thueson wasn't around for the picture sadly.
The Howey's and Thueson's Kids! From Left Jackson, Kay, Tucker, Austin.  Serious two of my favorite families and their kids are great!

The Beatty family!