I thought that since it is your Birthday, I would write you a hand written letter to express my gratitude to you … and also say … HAPPY BIRTH-got-a-letter-DAY!!!
I hope that you are having a marvelous week and that you are getting to accomplish all the things that you set out to do this week. So I’m not going to lie. I’m not very good at writing letters of grandeur or of great inspirational thoughts. So I thought that maybe I would just say some things that I have learned from you over the years.
#1. The importance of showing my work, and no I don't mean just in math, but keeping some sort of record of what I've been doing is so important. It allows me to evaluate myself and even help others in their time of need.
#2. The importance of being proactive. All those years of “watching you work,” which actually meant helping, has taught me to get involved with the work that is going on around me. Since I have been here I have learned to always do something, even if it’s wrong, it’s better than doing nothing. It was a hard lesson to learn, but I know that if you had not prepared me, it would probably have been impossible.
#3. How to ride a bike. (That’s just more of a title for “Teaching me how to function.”) I have always wondered how you taught us to ride a bike, and also why at the same time. I mean, other than exercise and for fun. Who uses a bike? Answer, missionaries do. Real people do, for all sorts of things! I said that this one was about being able being able to function as a person so I’ll get to how it ties in, don't worry, but if I had to learn how to ride a bike, and I don’t mean how to balance and stuff, I mean how to shift and turn and avoid sliding off the narrow bike path. If I had to learn those things here, I probably would have died. So my point is that when you ride a bike, you have about 24 different options for gears, some are easy and less efficient, while others are powerful, but take a lot of strength. Thank you for teaching me how to maneuver and adjust the gears of life. It has been hard living in a different country, but having some basic skills, such as cooking, learning, and bike riding have made my time a lot easier. By showing and teaching me how to do all of these things, you taught me something else to, and honestly it’s so simple -> you can adjust your attitude to whatever you’re doing to make it doable. Anything! Whether it is the long easy downhill, or the seemingly insurmountable mountain ahead, just switch gears, so you can keep your cadence and still continue onward. (Side note: Seriously, thank you for teaching me how to really ride a bike though; I would have died if I didn't know how to shift).
#4. Thank you for teaching me how to work. Whether its digging up the back yard or spending hours trying to figure out what happened to our computers. You taught me how to preserver and to just get down and go to work. You could say that Japanese is pretty hard, throw that on top of missionary work and it gets even harder; but here I am enduring to the end, striving to accomplish what I, you, and the Lord knows I should be doing. And I know it’s going to take work, a whole lot. So, thank you once again.
#5. Thanks for teaching me respect, both to people and rules. I learned from you that if someone, who is a good person, asks me to do something, I don’t need to know exactly why they asked me, and I simply have enough respect to do it without complaint. Also, to follow the rules, I learned that they must have a purpose or they would not be there at all, so I should respect them.
#6. Thank you for teaching me about the sacredness of this Beautiful Gospel. It has blessed my life so much, and it hurts my heart when people treat it lightly. Thank you for living the gospel for all it is; even when it is hard to do; thank you for having faith to follow, so that we could in turn, follow you. For example, I know that without a job, paying tithing must be hard sometimes; or even when you have a job, being dedicated to church callings can be difficult or even nigh unto impossible, but you always had faith. I cannot think of a time where you wavered where you strayed from the path. THANK YOU FOR THAT!!! Thank you for making sure we had enough faith before we left home. At school there were several weekends where I went to church, alone, and it was hard, but I always knew I would go. There was never a question, and it is because of the way you and mom raised me and all of your children. Thanks so much for your example in the gospel!! Really truly from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU FOR THAT!!
I don’t know where I would be if it were not for the church and the dedication that I grew up seeing to it! I am so blessed to have such a wonderful family, but even more blessed to have such a wonderful Father!
You have truly stood at the crossroad there, To direct and point when I could only stare. You led the way, and then said, “Hey,” Maybe you could walk alone At first I was frightened, But your countenance Brightened I sure that you doubted a bit, But I’m so glad you hid it. Your faith let me carry on.
When times are dark and dreary, It’s easy to feel weary, To say, I shouldn't try, to pray that time will fly, But that is not what I was taught. When your teachings I apply, To grow I really try! And then the miracle comes, And I see what we have done. Your faith gave me my own.
Sorry for the really bad poetry, but I figured what the heck.
There is not enough room or time for me to tell you how much I appreciate you and all you do. You truly are amazing! I’m so glad that I got to come to earth in your family.
I hope that someday I can become as good a father as you have been to me. It’s a tall order, but I think I just might be able to come close … Plus I’m sure my kids will love going to grandpa’s house all the time!! YOU ROCK DAD! LOVE YOU TONS!
Love you Dad, Hope You Have a Great Birthday -> Elder Griffiths
PS. Thank you for all the stuff you have told me and for taking care of me while I've been here. It really helped a lot. Also, suits have been dry cleaned … but I didn't do any ties this time, next time!! Thanks again for all you do, hope this is letter is enough to fill my absence. Maybe eating some carrot cake will help to.
PSS. There really is so much I feel, but can’t express in words. Thank you so much Dad. Love you tons!!