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".

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

If you have any questions -- ask me in 8 days.(May 25, 2015)

Well, it has been a pretty good week.  We don't have any progressing investigators to report on but we lined up a number of return appointments for this week.  Other than that, if you have any questions -- ask me in 8 days.

Love you, BYE!!!
Elder Connor Marshall Garriss

We hit up Downtown Seattle's Waterfront today before emailing!

Industrial Seattle


Model Shot

Cool Green Water Thing

Pike's Place

Gum Wall...Vile



It was the final interview with President Choi (May 19, 2015)

It was a good week here.  We had interviews with President on Friday.  It was the final interview with President Choi since he goes home in July and next interviews won't be until the transfer after. 
Sadly, I don't have much to report on.  We have been putting in a lot of time finding because we basically don't have a teaching pool.  We have yet to find anyone that shows much promise but we will continue to work in faith.

We got to go to the temple today!  It was a way different experience because one of the missionaries is deaf so we had a session in ASL.  It was the same but different.  It was unique -- that's the word!
I had the opportunity to speak in Sacrament this last Sunday.  While preparing, I really learned a lot myself.  I was asked to speak on receiving revelation and sharing the Gospel.  The overall impression I had felt was that it does not matter what words we use when we speak with our friends and neighbors.  I was reminded of Enoch from the book of Moses.  He described himself as "slow of speech" and hated by the people (Moses 6:31).  The Lord responds, "Go forth and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pierce thee. Open thy mouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good. Behold my Spirit is upon you, wherefore all thy words will I justify; and the mountains shall flee before you, and the rivers shall turn from their course; and thou shalt abide in me, and I in you; therefore walk with me." (Moses 6:32,34) I have found that when we try to speak the words of the Spirit, the Spirit is present irregardless of how awkward or choppy our words may be.  We will not be penalized for being mortal and weak trying to convey a perfect and godly message.
I love you!
Elder Connor M. Garriss

 Gasworks Park
 The Teeples!
 Temple Trip

 Gasworks Park

Saturday, May 9, 2015

One of the insights I received from studies recently (May 11, 2015)

At the beginning of the week, we had a relatively busy week planned for us but it seemed that as we got to each day of the week, the plans for that day would cancel on us.  We had a lot of appointments fall through, and our only on date investigator is now off date.  Results wise, it would seem we had a lot of failure.  Sadly, we didn't find any new investigators this week despite our efforts.

That being said, we had an uplifting experience as we were asked to give a blessing this week to a young woman who was in the hospital.  She had a hear transplant a number of years ago but just recently, her body had started to reject it.  The doctors were able to catch it early and have her being watched carefully and she is now on the long and slow road to recovery.  It was at this time that her less active boyfriend remembered priesthood blessings and he felt that "some divine help is needed" and he requested a blessing.  We had the opportunity to talk with this young couple before giving her a blessing.  They don't live in our area so we won't see them again but we counselled them to seek out the missionaries at their home.

One of the insights I received from studies recently comes from Doctrine and Covenants 42:61 "If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things—that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal" and it stood out to me that the Lord makes a chain of logic.  He says that we can receive revelation which is equal to knowledge which is equal to mysteries and peaceable things which brings (or is equal to) joy and eternal life.  Revelation = Knowledge = Mysetries of God = Joy and by the mathematical law if A = B and B = C, A = C it means that if we receive revelation, we will receive joy and eternal life.

Love you!

Elder Connor M. Garriss

Discovery Park
Elder Beals is sneakin' up on me!
Elder Beals, Elder Hyde & Me

Elder Griffiths and me


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Might have been more police than marchers (May 4, 2015)

It was a pretty good week.  I'm looking forward to Mother's Day! Should be fun!  Anyway, it was a rough start in the beginning of the week.  We didn't really see any success and we did a lot of walking.  

On Friday we went on an exchange with the zone leaders and I went over to the Elliott Bay Ward which covers downtown Seattle.  They had a march going on that night which was pretty crazy ha.  They called it "May Day" (lame name but whatever) and they were marching down the middle of Seattle essentially (which happens to be the middle of the area too).  No one really knows what they were marching for so it seemed pretty silly to me but they were all wearing masks and there was a ton of police. Might have been more police than marchers.  Helicopters were flying around too and sirens were going so while we were driving it felt like Gotham City was under attack from Bane or something.  The next day, everything was back to normal.  That was the excitement of the exchange ha.

During the exchange, Elder Griffiths had found a new investigator who accepted a baptismal date named Victoria! So please keep her in your prayers.  Hopefully we can baptize her on the 30th.

We had stake conference here in the Seattle North Stake.  it was awesome!  We had Elder Sitati come and speak and President Choi attended.  If that first name sounds familiar, it is because he spoke in general conference this last month.  So it was pretty sweet to have 2 members of the 70 speaking in the same location.  Much revelation was received.  We talked much on the importance of counseling together as a family in councils, as well as developing (especially for us young single adults -- the stake I am serving in has 3 YSA wards because of the college campus) our own persona; "board of directors" or a personal council whom we can talk with when making decisions.  That really stood out to me as Elder Sitati encouraged making our personal Heros and Heroines a part of this board/council.  As he encouraged and spoke on this topic, I was inspired and Proverbs 24:6 was recalled to my mind specifically "in [a] multitude of counsellors there is safety".  Oh how true that is, for when we make decisions without consulting others, they become hasty, and rash.  The church has set an example of this allowing for never 1 person to rule solely but by Presidencies.

As for Mother's Day, we will be having dinner with Bishop Every and making our skype call sometime between 5 and 8pm Seattle time.  Probably closer to 6-8 because dinner starts at 5 but we haven't ironed all out of the details.  Dad and I should be friends on Skype already but if not, I have written down his Skype name.

I love you!

Elder Connor M. Garriss

Elder Sitati
Another area mural

(4/27/15) we had a great lesson with Stacy!

It was a good past week...

We almost doubled the amount of tracting each day because we are still in need of investigators. We have been tracting most afternoons plus sacred finding time from 5-7pm.  
That being said, we had a great lesson with Stacy!  She read what we assigned in the Book of Mormon and commit to continue reading and to start praying about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith.  She wouldn't commit to church yet.  She is really progressing though so far.  
Sadly, our investigator Michael dropped up this week when we showed up with a member to pick him up for a church tour on Saturday... Lame!  
We had a good talk with the Roy Family who are recent converts in the ward but the Sister Roy never got baptized.  We talked with Brother Roy about teaching her the lessons and he is working with members of our ward now to get the arranged for next Sunday.  And that was pretty much our week.
Any questions?
I love you!
Elder Connor Marshall Garriss

Note from Mom:
Dear Connor,
Thanks so Much for the Birthday cardParty popper
It made my day!!  I am so grateful for you!   It really is the simple things that make life good!  I am so glad you are learning that early in life!

Today was a spiritual day for me...during the sacrament I opened your Book of Mormon to the scripture Mosiah had it marked.

"And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than his strength"

I felt that this was an answer to prayer.  I loved this reminder that we all have a different journey & we have to build our spiritual muscles daily.  Just like going to the don't start out lifting 200 lbs, you build gradually, if you work out frequently you will eventually get there...but not overnight!

I am really glad I found your Book of Mormon Smiling face with smiling eyes

(4/21/15) Transfer #17

To start, I did not get transferred.  Elder Griffiths and I will be together til the end!  Wahoo! We're looking forward to continue working with each other.

This last week was pretty fun.  We found a new investigator named Michael who accepted a baptismal date! Please keep him in your prayers. He seems pretty solid and we have met with him twice now.  We did a good amount of teaching this week.  One of the highlights was getting to go to the Ensign Symphony with a less active couple of the ward.  The husband has begun to come back to church and he came to church on Sunday.

One of the fun experiences we had was with our ward mission leader.  He came out with us Sunday night.  After visiting a few potentials with no real success he was like "Why not go contacting?"  So we did.  He was awesome!  He was just walking up to people and started telling them who we were.  I have never had a member actually street contact with us and it was way fun.  He enjoyed it too.  It was a great end to the week.

One thing that really stood out to me this last week comes from a talk given by President Eyring in 1982 entitled "A Law of Increasing Returns".  At one moment, he speaks of humor and its ability to help us keep working and waiting for reward.  He explained something about humor that I had not thought of.  He says "the best humor springs from seeing the incongruity in your own predicament".  When I look at it that way, just about everything is funny! 

I love you!  Hopefully you've had a great week!

Elder Connor Marshall Garriss

Pics:  All those years of Scout Camp/High Adventure paid off as I remembered how to make cheap dessert -- Fried Tortillas and Cinnamon Sugar, a poor mans churro!

(April 13, 2015) "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."

We had a pretty good week this week.  We found the most solid new investigator, Brian.  He watched all of conference, reads the ensign every month, reads the book of Mormon daily, and prays every day.  He wants to be baptized too.  It was awesome! But we had to refer him to Seattle YSA 1st because he will do the best there rather than our ward.  It seems that we have referred off all of the solid investigators we find recently.  

We had a church tour with a middle school class this week that had been set up through President Wood.  That was a unique experience and it went really well!  We were able to share many points of our beliefs and give literature to the class.  They had many questions and most of them were relevant.  (And only one completely off the wall one: "What would happen if Jesus was reincarnated as a lesbian black woman that was raped?" "We don't believe in reincarnation" "Oh, okay!") Overall, it was great!

We have really been working with the members of the ward to get excitement building.  We are teaching a returning active member weekly now.  Her name is Jesse.  She's awesome! She has such a great desire to come back.  She has attended church 2 weeks in a row and watched conference.  Her husband is not a member but allowed her to have her 1 year old blessed at church as well as watched some of conference with her.  We hope to work with him sometime, but for now our focus is on her.  We have other part member families we are really focusing on because we have felt that part member families are where we will find our new investigators that will become strong pillars of this ward.

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".

Elder Connor M. Garriss


I have really gained a great appreciation for other religions while serving my mission (April 6, 2015)

This week was awesome!! For one, because it was conference weekend but two we found quite a few miracles!

The week started off a little slow but built to a fantastic ending.  We went on exchanges this week and I headed over to Red Square again (UW) with Elder Halliday.  It was a fun time and we got to teach a group of Muslim girls that he had been regularly teaching.  It was awesome! They had read the chapters in the Book Of Mormon that he had assigned and they brought questions.  They love learning about what we believe although they don't always agree.  I have really gained a great appreciation for other religions while serving my mission.

We had a really successful evening with our Bishop this week after our exchange.  He comes out with us once a week to visit people and we found 2 part member families that are open to us coming back and having home teachers assigned! That is huge! We hope to work with them closely in the coming weeks and bring them to church.

On Friday, we had the big miracle.  Backstory --  The previous Sunday we had texted 50 contacts in our phone whom we didn't know inviting them to church.  We had all of like 2 responses saying thanking us for the invitation but they were "busy".  No one attended.  We thought it was worth a shot but kinda forgot about it.  Friday rolls around and we get a text back from a good brother named Brian.  He said "Thanks for the invitation but I wasn't able to come.  I want to be baptized."  We about jumped out of our ties at that!  He expressed that he has some personal trials he is struggling with but we have an appointment with him this Tuesday.  Please keep him in your prayers!

Saturday was Conference and I will cover conference below but we had another miracle on Saturday.  Saturday night, as we were coming in, we got a call from President Wood (2nd Counselor in the Mission Presidency) and he told us that there was a teacher at a local middle school who wants to bring her students on a tour of our church and to learn a little about the church.  He gave us her phone number and we ironed out the details this morning.  We have a 1 hour tour scheduled for Wednesday with the teacher and 7 of her students!  Please pray that this tour goes well because not only will this be a great finding opportunity but if it goes well, this may be something the teacher does with future students and it would build more awareness of our beliefs in the community.  Plus President Wood is working closely with us and we get to follow up with him so we really can't mess up haha.

As for conference, I loved it!  I preferred the Saturday sessions to the Sunday sessions myself.  My favorite talks were both by President Eyring but the 70s in the Saturday Afternoon session really did a wonderful job as well.  As always, I was highly impressed by every talk.  Not only that but did you notice the new cameras they were using and the new shots the took while speaking?  It was a clearer picture and brought some new variety to the speeches.  Maybe I was the only one haha but welcome to film classes, I notice that sort of thing.

Anyway, it was truly a fantastic week!!  I hope you've had a great week as well! I noticed you asked about my p-day activities -- I will attach last p-day's activities which consisted of taking pictures and sight seeing.  Not much else to do ha.

I love you!!

Elder Connor Marshall Garriss

PS.  No april fools on us, but we played one on a member in our district.  We were on exchanges and I changed the contact ID fo us to be one of the Assistants to the president and Elder Griffiths called and told Elder Halliday he was being Emergency transferred.  He was soooo mad.  Then we told him.  It was super funny.

PSS.   I was actually at one of the few older members homes (for Easter)  We had tomato soup with popcorn and cheese sticks and apples.  Sounds weird but it was awesome!  ALSO!!!! They were from North Carolina and knew a guy with the last name Garris!! So I am having her look into it to see if we are related through Aunt Norma Gwen.  Its crazY!!

Note from Mom:
So what was your favorite conference talk?   I think mine was from Saturday afternoon.  It was by Wilford W. Anderson...I don't think I have
ever heard him talk before.  It was the talk that referenced music & dance as an analogy.  My favorite quote from that talk..
"I can teach you to dance but can you hear the music?"   The gospel is like can know a lot about it but you must feel it too.  I used to think I should "know" everything about our church but I have had many moments where I can feel the spirit and that helps me to go with
faith.  Conference always helps me to "hear the music".
Pics of Seattle -- Don't worry, more to come!

Elder Griffiths & I

University Of Washington "W"
Mystery Machine!

Artistic shot of us doing a photo shoot -- didn't know it was being taken so ignore my face ha

Elder Beals & I