Monday, July 22, 2013

King Benjamin

This week went by really quick. We ended up not having a baptism because of some problems that we couldnt end up (evitando?). Sorry, dont know how to say that in english. But this week we are going to keep working so that the barriers can get out of our way to the waters of baptism.

We had 4 people in church. 2 new people, the grandkids of an hermana that loves the missionaries. She invited us over for the Día del Amigo and we met the grandkids... I remembered about an activity taht they were doing for the Jóvenes in the church at 5 that afternoon and i invited them. They ended up goign to church and loving it! Hopefully we can talk to their parents a little better and start teaching the family.

Juan and Dalma didn´t end up coming this week, so they will be getting baptized next week....

Melania went to church in Córdoba capital.

Christian came to chruch again and hopefully we can find him during the week so that he can get taught!!! :D He´s super cool! Way humble.

Wow.... I can´t believe it is ending. These have been the best two years of my entire life. I have learned so many things in these last couple of weeks. There are so many things that I want to say but I cant find the words to express them. I just want to say the same thing that King Benjamin has said in te times of old when he said,
14 And even I, myself, have alabored with mine own bhands that I might serve you, and that ye should not be claden with taxes, and that there should nothing come upon you which was grievous to be borne—and of all these things which I have spoken, ye yourselves are witnesses this day.

15 Yet, my brethren, I have not done these things that I might aboast, neither do I tell these things that thereby I might accuse you; but I tell you these things that ye may know that I can answer a clear bconscience before God this day.

16 Behold, I say unto you that because I said unto you that I had spent my days in your service, I do not desire to boast, for I have only been in the service of God.

17 And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn awisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the bservice of your cfellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.

I am so greatful for hte opportunity that I have had to serve God with all of my heart for teh last two years. I know that this is not the end of my service.... To quote King Benjamin again,

21 I say unto you that if ye should aserve him who has created you from the beginning, and is bpreserving you from day to day, by lending you cbreath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own dwill, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your ewhole souls yet ye would be funprofitable servants.

22 And behold, all that he arequires of you is to bkeep his commandments; and he has cpromised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth dvary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do ekeep his fcommandments he doth bless you and prosper you.

23 And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him.

24 And secondly, he doth arequire that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bbless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?

I am eternally endebtted to him. I always will be.

I just wanted to take 2 minutes to write you my testimony for the last time in my mission. I know God lives. He loves us so much that his whole purpose is our eternal life and immortality. He is completely consumed in the work of salvation. Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. Without him, the Plan of Salvation would not take effect(affect?) in our lives and we would be eternally lost. Really I know that this time in the mission is our greatest opportunity that we have to participate in the great plan our God and help participate in the lives of others so that they too can be redeemed by Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Holy Ghost, and Persevering to the End. LOSE YOURSELF IN THE WORK! Once we get completely consumed in the will of the father, that is when we feel the sanctity and the power of having the Trinity work on our side. I know God will always win.

I love you all and I´ll be seeing you in a week!

Lots of eternal love,

Elder Gray

Monday, July 15, 2013

The good news. . . and the bad news. . .

Wow... I finally know what date ill be coming home.

The good news: My return date is the 31st of July!

The bad news: My return date is teh 31st of July! Im goign to miss this place.

Love you all and see you in 2 weeks.

Elder Gray

WOW. . . "I have less weeks on my mission then you have years".

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!! :D I love you!

This week went pretty good. We had a lot of people in church. Im just sad that I wont be able to see the last part of their progress... Becuase all of the new people end up getting baptized in 3 weeks.... but i only have 2 left... How crazy is that!?!?!?

But yeah, we had 10 people in church. It was awesome!! And the mission president came to give a talk with his family. He is super legit. He talked about using all of the different way to invite others to come unto Christ. He is a way good sweet talker :D

This week we should be baptizing 3 people... Melania, Juan, and Dalma.

Melania has gone to church for the last month and she is doing awesome!"! She went to the church dance the other day and Im pretty sure she found a boyfriend.... a recent convert in our area. hahah But we just have to get her moved out of her house this week and she can be baptized! :D

Juan and Dalma are doing way good. Juan has gone to church for the last couple of months and hes gone to church before. The only thing that makes it so he cant get baptized is that he smoke and drinks on the weekends with his friends. He came to churhc drunk this week. But we are working with him. He knows he needs to stop and we are taking him to a couple of classes with the bishop so that he can stop for forever. Dalma is his wife and she is legit! She took her kids to a couple of activities that htey had this week and so she just needs to go to church one more week.

Im pretty sure Melania will be baptized this week. . . We need to work a bit mroe with Juan and Dalma.

Im super excited to see you all.... Its so weird how fast time flies here in Argentina.. I felt like it was yesterday that I was writing you last week but hey... now i only have 14ish days left.... Maybe ill make a countdown calender.... if my comp lets me. He doesnt like thinking about going home. hahahah :D I love him so much.

Well... I dont know what else to say this week... I hop eyou are all doing fantastic!! Keep up the reading :D

Lots of Love,

Elder Gray

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Concilio,Nuevo Presidente, Return Date, Marriage

This week was pretty cool. A lot of random ZL stuff happened and a couple of cool things happeed in our area.

This week we got a random call on thursday saying tht fridy morning we had to go to cordoba to go meet the new presidnet and receive a capacitation from the assistants. It was way super cool. Ill add some photos here with this message.

President Alliaud is way cool! IHe was a lawyer in Buenos Aires and he and Elder Salas just switched callings. So PResident Alliaud just came ot the mission with a ton of excitement and a lot of "pilas" to star the mission work.

Here are a couple of things i liked about what he said.

1. He congratulated us on baptizing 190... then he said, " I have the vision of 400... and thats if we dont have faith...." WOW!!! im hoping we can see the transition.

2. He talked a lot about changes and arrepentiiento.

3. he also talked about hte veil and how it was rent when Christ died.... Super "deep doctrine". It was spiritually intense.

4. He is super funny! every two minutes he was throwing in a nice joke and hving a ton of help from his family. The kids are hilarious. He has a 1 year old nameed felipe and he is a hoot.. he ran around waving to all of the elders and the sisters and started hitting one of the elders with a broom.

But seriously it was really cool to be face to face with the president of the missiona nd see what are his focuses while he is here. I hope i can learn a lot from him in these last couple of weeks that i am here.

I also talked to him about my release date... He said he would talk tot the secretary to see what he can do because my comp, elder Edmondson, also goes home this transfer aso they would have to blank the ZL area... I shoulod be getting my answer here in this week. They robbed our phone so hopeuflly they can contact me somehow. WE bought a phone and a chip so that people can call us but every time that someone calls us they waste a ton of credit.... but im sure its worthwhile :D

We also had a cool opportunity to help marry a family. We didnt get to go to the wedding becuase we were in Cordoba with the presidnet and such but Dalma and Juan got married and they will be getting baptized the 20th... we held a party for them that night and a lot of their faimily went and so we got a lot of referrals to start visiting.

But yeah! im excite dor this week because we have a baptism! The bakery girl is getting baptised!! Melania is so cool. we jsut ahve to hlep her move out of her house and then it will all be good and clear. :D

Love you all! be safe!

Elder Gray

Monday, July 1, 2013

Bye Bye Presidente Salas, Hello Presidente Alluiad!

Yeah... We have a new president. I dont know him yet but im really excited to see who he is and what kind of focus he puts witht eh missionaries. This week was really hard for me. But it was seriously the best week of my mission.

I feel like i´ve been saying that a lot now... but hey! its the truth!! I know that all the missionaries really feel that way :D

This week we had our farewell with President salas. It is probably the last time I will ever see him before I head back to the States. Right now I know he is in Uruguay with his new calling as a 70. I think he´s organizing another stake. Im glad we all got to say our goodbyes and give him one last big hug. I sure will miss him

I also have to just say that I broke a big rule on the mission... I hugged a sister missionary..... But its ok, i had permission from president :D All of us missionaries hugged hermana Salas and said our goodbyes to her.

Man oh man, I sure am goign to miss them. Their testimonies were soooo intense!! I realy know that this work is directed by Christ himself. He is the head of this church and we will always win.... We just have to decide if we´re going to work for the winning team or not.

This week here in the zone we did a couple of intercambios. I had the chance to work with the assitants and i learned a bit from them. I also wroked with some of the elders in our area and some other areas. Im way excited to see the vision that the elders can have as they put their faith inn the Lord.

This week we also baptized!! Maria got baptized by her older brother Ivan. It was way cool because we gained a lot of trust form the bishop. He wants us to baptize the rest of the family so yeah... we´ll be working with that :D he also drove us to some friends house so now we are going to be teaching his friends.

On sunday we had 2 people in church. Noelia, the girl who is living with the Cabezas family and this girl named melania that is our neighbor baker... she always gives me free criollos :D (little bread things)

Melania should be getting baptized pretty soon but we have to help her find an apartment because she lives with her boyfriend.... but they have nothing going on and she has wanted to move out like a year ago... so we´ll be working withthe bishop on that!

This week should be pretty good. We have planned to go on divisions with a bunch of members to start teaching their friends and such. The Obra Misional is also planning to reshow the transmission of the first presidency and the apostles taht talked about the mission work and how it needs to change. not many members could see it so the bishop announced that EVERYONE has to see it next week. Im pretty pumped :D Im going to have a list that everyone can put down their friends and family members that we can visit and the times that they can take us around.

Something that I was reflecting on the other day. I rembmer when I was younger I would also see videos of house the missionaries would walk about trying to find people (the best two years)... and then other videos two years ago that showed missionaries taking members to lessons... (preach my gospel videos).... and now the big difference in the work is that the members are taking th emissionaries around.... I LOVE IT!!

Well this week should be pretty good. I hope everyone is ok. and I cant wait to see you all this coming month.

Be safe! Baptize!!

Elder Gray

Monday, June 24, 2013

A New Vision for the Work of Salvation:

Oh man... I swear I keep on saying that this is the best week I've had in the entire mission.... but really, it has been the best week in my entire mission. Dad was right when he said it is stressing to be a zone leader... There are so many new things that pass through a ZL´s head that I never even thought about. But wow... I´ve been ZL for a week now. I'm sure Ill learn quickly. But really, I have loved this week.

Thank you for the package!!! Beef jerky is awesome!! Elder Gonzalez has never tried it and he loves/hates it. He loves the flavor, and hates how spicy it is.... hahaha but he´s a wimp so its ok :D. Elder Edmondson is soooo legit. I can see why he´s been ZL for 6 months now... He is such a great leader. He is always organized with his agenda and he always tries to have an impact with the time that he has. I think we make a great team!! He is the brains... and I'm the mouth :D I don't want to say I'm a sweet talker.... but hey, We have an asado this weekend :D yeah yeah!!

Really we are trying to have a big impact with the new vision that the prophet has put out... the last year and a half in my mission I have been preaching that I was not called to "find", but I was called to "preach the gospel". So I'm glad that this stake has the same vision as the prophet. all of the members are trying to find a family that we can teach.

Us as ZL´s, our responsibility is to give this vision to all of the stake. We want each organization to find, and baptize a family.... and to help them let the elders just teach. There was an awesome talk that I loved by elder Perry in 2009 during conference.... "Viewed in this light, member missionaries—both you and I—are the shepherds, and the full-time missionaries, like the search and rescue team, are trying to do something almost impossible for them to do alone. Certainly the full-time missionaries will continue to do the best they can, but wouldn't it be better if you and I stepped up to do a job that is rightfully ours and for which we are better suited since we know personally those who are lost and need to be rescued?"

I'm glad that we have our backs backed up with the words of the prophets. I really am so excited to start his new wave of missionary work. I can promise that it is going to continue even when I get home. Man I am so pumped!!!!

This week in the zone we had one baptism.... Which is not that great. This week we should be having 7 or so.... which would give us 17 as a zone.... our goal is 20. We are going to be working a ton this week to make sure that everything goes through so that the other people we are working with can receive their beginning steps to salvation as well.

I invite all of you to visit the new website to see how you can participate in sharing the gospel.

there is the website. Watch the videos, make cards, share a book of mormon... share a FHE.... do anything!!

I just want all of you to know that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real. He is our Savior and our redeemer. There is not any other "way" through which salvation comes... only through the redeeming blood of Christ. The book of mormon is true. READ IT! LOVE IT! SHARE IT! the book of mormon combined with the spirit is the strongest weapon that we have as missionaries to share the gospel... prophets exist! Believe in their words. trust their words. have faith in everything that they say.

Acaso, no es esto la iglesia verdadera??

This week we have a baptism. We have been working a bit with a girl named Maria Diaz... she is so cool!!! it was her birthday on saturday and we took her over a cake that we made her. We also activated her brother so that he can baptize her. Hes going to be a future missionary.

This week i also got robbed.... hahah We were walking to a family that was recently baptized and we stopped in front of their door when two guys came up to us with a knife and started yelling at us to give us our bags and stuff.. I was just like dude.... I don't have anything, do you want a little jesus card??? a book of mormon?? a pamphlet?? we can pass by your house and teach your family.

So yeah. They didn't take anything.

This week we should be having a lot more members helping us in the work. we are hoping to have 30 lessons with member which would be an all time record for me. But I know God is a God of miracles and that the only way we can have miracles in our lives is through our faith.

Start sharing with everyone!!! don't be afraid to share what you know is true!!! DC 6:32-33


I hope you have a great week. Keep up the great work!!

Elder Gray

D&C 6:32-33

32 Verily, verily, I say unto you, as I said unto my disciples, where two or three are gathered together in my name, as touching one thing, behold, there will I be in the midst of them—even so am I in the midst of you.
33 Fear not to do good , my sons, for whatsoever ye sow , that shall ye also reap; therefore, if ye sow good ye shall also reap good for your reward .

Monday, June 17, 2013

Activity, Baptism, Unexpected Text Message

First of All............. HAPPY FATHERS DAY DAD!! :D

Wow... this week was super aweseom!! we had a ton of miracles happen this week in our Barrio of La Rioja. We ended up having a pretty good activity with another branch. They did a couple of skits, had a canasta, and played some music. We also watched the Joseph Smith movie. The flia Rodriguez went and they got to know a couple of people. Lets just say that they have a tond of friends now :D

The flia rodriguez gt baptized!!! and so did ivana so it was a wicked sweet week. There were a couple of other baptisms as well so we did a huge combination  of all of the baptisms. In total there were 13 people in white i think. It was defnintely one of the best baptisms i have had. There were a couple of investigtors there as well. Raquel invited her friend maribel, and then randomly the oldest sister showed up to support them as well. So yeah!! it was way good.

We also ended up having transfers this week.... Ill tell you the story,.... I got the call at about 10:40 that night from the zone leaders... they were like, "ok ok.... Elder Hill is going to his house!!!" well yeah, I knew that.. haha then said asked me, "did you get the other news??" i said, "what other news?" they answered, "you´re goign to be zone leader in The Sierras Zone!!!" ..... So yeah, here i am in a new area called Villa Allende. It is in the Sierras stake.... really close to unquillo and rio ceballos so i feel right at home.

this area is going to be great.... a huge difference between how many people go to church... in La rioja, 45.... here in Villa Allende, 160..... so yeah, im pumped to have tsome members :D

I also had a nother suprise when i got here. Elder Goates said bye to me!!

So yeah, thtss about all that happened this week.. Hpefulyy you got all of my photos!

Love you all, be safe!

Elder Gray :D