“Oh the weather outside if frightful, but the fire is so delightful”

​Happy 2016!!!

I can’t believe its already 2016!!! I can’t type that well on the keyboard, since the six is right in the middle of the keyboard and my fingers don’t stretch that far….
I am so excited to devote this whole year to serving the Lord and others. I am so excited!!! It will be a fast year, as I can’t believe its already been 6 months coming next week. Transfers are coming next week, most likely will be leaving Belleville. Elder Roundy is completing his training this week, and a follow up training will come in and make sure I did a good job, ha!

The Flooding has been not bad here in Belleville, expect in other areas closer to the Mississippi. Belleville sits up on higher ground compared to the lower regions. The Rain this last week was crazy, but we didn’t think anything of it, until a few days later some members were telling us how bad it was. Worst then the flooding in ’93 here, I guess. But much improvements have been made to lessen the damage since then. Other Missionaries have
been spending time helping others unflood their basements and putting sandbags down.

We have had a harder week here, but non-the-less, it was still great!

We had lessons with James this week. We talked about the scripture’s and committed him to finish reading the Book of Mormon – 2 chapters a day.  He is moving this week, him and his brother whom he is living with are getting evicted from their apartment. James doesn’t have a job, only disability
paycheck, and will try to move into a motel until he can get a place…. Things are sort of on hold till this happens. It will be great for him to get a fresh start, especially away from his brother who isn’t a great influence on him, and start things over.

Jermaine, Mimi, and Shakira were at their real grandmother’s house this week. We just learned last week that Sister Wilson isn’t their “real” grandmother… Wow, what a heart she has to take care of kids who aren’t really related to her. We haven’t seen them this week, and they even missed
church yesterday; 9am church stinks at the beginning of the year for investigators- none came yesterday.

We’ve been meeting with Joyce and Wayne, and started the lessons with Wayne again. They are the boyfriend/girlfriend who dressed up as Santa and Elf for Christmas, and we sat down this week and started to read the Book of Mormon with Wayne. Joyce is a less-active member, Wayne is an investigator.
They love the missionaries, and take good care of us. We just need to help them make the Jump to get married. Joyce has a SSI check that covers her
medical bills, and would loose that if they got married. Just trust the Lord, everything will work out!! And it will!!

We saw Lileishia this week too! We haven’t seen her for 4 weeks now. Its been really sad to see some of the places people live and go through. We gave her a blessing and re-committed her to start reading the Book of Mormon. I know the Gospel can change *any *heart, but if they are willing. And Lileishia isn’t fully willing to let Christ in her life… yet. We are all are on our own paths in this life.

Thinking about the new year, what a wonderful time is it to think, ponder, and pray about spiritual goals for this year. (“What Lack I yet”?) I don’t
want to spend time talking about goals, but more on the fact because of the Atonement – we can change. The Atonement is the way back. We can find
happiness as we are willing to humble ourselves before our Savior, and try to become more like him. As we do so, and as we stand in front of the Savior, we will know who he is, because we have become like him. We will recognize his voice, and know his face, because we have become like him.
Let this new year to be a time to “Look not behind thee” (Genesis 19:17), but to “press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect
brightness of *hope*, and a *love *of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, *feasting *upon the word of Christ, and endure to the
end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life” (2 Nephi 31:20). What can we do this year? Is it to recommit to reading the scriptures? Having more diligent and intent prayers with our Heavenly Father? Spending more time with our families? Sharing the Gospel with a friend who is lonely or had a death in the family?

Robert D. Hales: “The secret is to choose wisely those activities that will help us achieve our divinely inspired goals and then have the strength of character and conviction to disregard what would distract or detain us from our eternal destination.”

See this video “New Year’s: Look Not behind thee”

Happy 2016! May the Lord continue to bless your lives as you come closer to him this year. Have a wonderful week!

Thank you for all the letters and packages you’ve sent this month. It means the world to me to feel that Love from all of you.
Elder Zachary Griffin
St Louis Missouri Mission
1503 4th Ave
Belleville, IL 62220
United States
*​If you ever have any questions about the LDS church, please visit:
www.mormon.org ​*

​-Our District
-We went to the “Lady of the Snow” Shrine Christmas light display. They
have a nativity scene. Its was cool!