Monday, November 28, 2011

Letter #14


¿Que Hacen negrasonoóoonones?  That literally translates to "Whats up, negros.".... jaja

I am kinda jealous of you guys in Hawaii, but then again... I am in Argentina, and I do have a sweet watch/ring/neckline tanline already :)

So really, if you wanted to buy me those shirts.... I´d be ok with it. haha who all went to Hawaii anyways? whats the food like? how much is the milk? We definitely need to go back when I can go as well :) please dad? haha

This week has been crazy!!! We had 24 investigators at church yesterday! it was so awesome. Our plan of using the investigators only is really starting to work. We have 7 baptism dates in december. A lot of the time, elder thomson and i have just been walking around trying to find the houses that we have received addresses.  one time we got lost and found ourselves in the Cordoba jungle.... (one of the pictures included) and we also have had a lot of success with people keeping their committments. The gonzalez family have been awesome this week. Mauro, one of the investigators, always is inviting me to play "basquet" with him on Tuesday´s and thursdays. so this week i think im going to go show him and his Argentine friends how to play some american basketball. after the four of us (yo, elder thomson, elder larson, elder ferreira) are going to try to have one big lesson with everyone that comes.

oh yeah, last p-day, i had the chance to go into the Belgrano stadium :) boo-yeah. i seriously am contemplating buying a jersey. Its weird, ive been here for 3 weeks and i have yet to play a single game of futból. its all about playing volli here.

I eat in member´s homes and in our pension. The other elders were playing a trick on me when i first got there. We actually really do have a kitchen and a bathroom.  The only thing we dont have that i really miss is a microwave. :( oh how us americans are spoiled. 

so this week was thanksgiving!!

Ten things i am greatful for:
1. My amazing mother. She is the best! Without her, i literally would not be here right now. haha thank your for giving birth to me.
2. My amazing dad. if you know my dad, you already know how awesome of a father/person he is.
3. My amazing family. without them, i would not be here right now. and plus, time to time, they offer me comic relief :)
4. My friends. They are what made me the person i am right now. They are the best friends i could ever ask for.
5. The chance I have to go to College. I am sincerely greatful for my opportunity to obtain knowledge so that i can better my future for me and my future spouse and kids.
6. Air conditioning. I continuosly sweat while i am in people´s houses. its kinda awesome. its definite knowledge that i wont gain weight while im here.
7. carpet. I found some carpet the other day and layed down on it. Ive never been so confortable in my entire life.
8. The knowledge of the plan of salvation. I know where I was before this life, why I am here, and where I am going. A lot of people don´t know this, so they dont have anything to live for.
9. The knowledge of the restauration. I know that the same authority that was on the earth durign the time of christ has been restored. The same miracles that happened at the time of christ can happen again.
10. I will forever be greatful for the atoning sacrifice of my Savior Jesus Christ. Without this sacrifice, there is no way I could return into the loving arms of a loving father in heaven. I deeply realized how much we need him this week.

we were teaching a couple, the brother of Mauro, Claudio and his GF Annahi. They are mad at god for the bad things that have happened to him in their life. for example: Claudio´s father died. Annahi´s aunt and cousin died from diabetes. they both suffered for many years too.  During this  lesson, i was having a hard time understanding what was going on. but all i know is that i had this overpowering love for them. A love that was the most powerful love i have ever felt. It wasn´t that i loved them this much, it was that God was showing me how much he loved them. During this whole lesson, Annahi and I started to cry. I knew right then i should bear my testimony of what i had just felt. So i did.

I know that we are all sons and daughters of a loving heavenly father. he loves us so much that he sent his Beloved Son, to come to the earth and show us how to return to him.  Life is not fair, nor never will it be. Life wasn´t meant to be fair. How can we expect it to be easy for us, as sinners, when it was most difficult for a perfect person, a son, begotten of God himself. Jesus Christ had the hardest life ever in the earth and it will be the hardest life ever to be forever. once again, life wasn´t meant to be easy, because salvation was NEVER easy.

I know that when I am rejected of people here, when I am spit upon, when I am cursed at, when I an denied and betrayed, I am only becoming one step closer to being shoulder to shoulder with a perfect son of God. I love Christ, I am forever eternally greatful for what he has done for me. The more time I spend here, the more I realize how much he suffered for us and how much we owe him.

Man i wish i could do that in spanish.... one day i will be able to. haha

I love you all and hope you have a fun time in Hawaii and whatever else you are doing. :)

Elder Gray

Monday, November 21, 2011


We think this is the Buenos Aires temple under renovation, not positive though.

Mission President & wife, Collin, and guessing companion again.

Mission President & Wife and Collin

His living quarters.

Letter #13

Hola! Como Andan? Todo bien?
Este semana fue loco!!
There are a lot of things that I need to get used to here....
1. There is no such thing as carpet. In homes its either dirt, concrete, or tile. So when I actually see carpet... I start freaking out... haha
2. The bidee thing is killing me... haha
3. Everyone is offering me food. Food here: carne, carne grande, carne, arroz, carne, dulces, leche, carne, some tang stuff that is good
4. Everyone trying to add me on facebook. "Let me add you on facebook so I can talk to your family about you!" haha its funny
5. How fat the alfajors are going to make me. they are so delicious!
6. The fact that my suit is going to be ruined. a. because its seems to always rain when im walking in it. b. because im doing to be so fat
7. The matéish tea here is delicious. a. all i know is that if my comp drinks it, i can :)
8. The bus drivers are CRAZY! In the states, theres a ton of rules about you having to be seated while the bus is going. Here, they barely wait for you to get on the bus before they start going again. its kinda fun to try and keep your balance.
9.  Getting called a devil.
10. People looking at my name tag before looking at my face.
I love it here!!! God knew I was supposed to be here. The one thing that I dont like about it here is how I can not yet speak spanish totally. I can understand a lot of it, unless they are speaking in Cordabéis (a weird accent) but I can´t speak as well as i wan´t. It´s a lot different thant he MTC spanish too. the MTC spanish is all about the gospel and the words we use for that. but here its all about the world, and the world´s words for everything.
We have been teaching everyone!! Elder Larson came up with a way that we can get atleast 8 referalls from every member in our ward. and it works. we have about 30 people we still need to contact on our list. and the good thing about it is that 25% of the people we contact this way actually want to learn more.
This last saturday was a disappoint... :( We were supposed to have one of our investigators get baptized. her name is Melani.  She is amazing!!! She´s one of the people I can really talk to and understand. She´s 17 and she loves the gospel. She is really feasting upon the words of Christ. She had her date for this last saturday and she passed her interview. She even gave me permission to be the one to baptize her. but when we went to have her mom sign the record so that she could get baptized, her mom refused....
So.... she went to ask her dad to sign it (he´s in carcel), and he said that if anyone in her family signed it, he would never speak to their family again. So.... Satan knows that she is a perfect baptismal candidate, so he is doing everything he can to stop her from progressing. Freakin Satan, I hate him. But one thing I do know is that somehow, someway, God will prepare the way for her to be baptized. Elder Larson said that it happens a lot out here. They have people ready to be baptized, but Satan does something to stop it. then he said, "Satan wins battles, but God will win the war."..... BOOM!!! I know he will win this war with Melani.
We have been teaching a lot of families. A lady named Lorena is a member but her entire family is not. Her brothers are, Mauro, Pablo, Adrian, and Claudio. So we are teaching them, and their families. It´s awesome. They are an amazing, BIG, family and they will be a blessing to the ward here.
Elder Thomson is amazing. He´s so fluent its crazy. Ill hear someone that i think is talking so fast that he´s doing it on purpose and then elder Thomson turns to me and says, " he wants to know your name. " haha, its fun. He´s from Sacramento..... wow, thats basically all i can remember, thats horrible. haha I need to talk about him more. he´s never had a snowy christmas, he´s goingt o byu after his mission i think. he gets home the 21st of December. haha ill have more about him next week.
Well thats about the jist of my week. I hope you are all doing "de diez!"
Elder Gray
Im goign to try and send pictures.... but I dont know how with this piece of junk computer.
And possibly some funny videos of my first real day... haha

Monday, November 14, 2011

Letter #12

During my travels here in Cordoba, all I have to say is three letters.... W. O. W.
This is crazy!! They don´t teach me how to use a bideé in the MTC. haha that was a fun experience.  Como estan ustedes? La Español aqui es muy differente que la Español en el CCM. Todos hablan con el Castagano accent. La primer vec yo caminé en mi hogar, pensí que, "voy a morir".... pero está bien ahora!!
When I first got to BUenos Aires, I thought I was going to die, then I got to Cordoba and to the Mission Presidents house and I felt like this is the best place for me to be.  I arrived in my house and it was no bigger than dad´s shop for all four of us.  there was no bathroom, shower, etc. all that we had were four beds and one night stand.  I will send you a video and some pictures once I can, but i forgot to bring my connector thingy... :P
Mi compañero es Elder Thompson de Sacramento, California. He has 5 weeks left!! Its nice not to have a local because now i can actually understand what people are asking me.  Its weird, they said at the MTC that I´ll be able to understand more than I can speak once I got out here.... NO WAY. I can understand a couple of sentences here or there, and I can speak pretty good. There are a lot of different phrases that they like to say here that they don´t say anywhere else. So Elder Larson has been helping me with those.  Yesterday (Sunday), we woke up to a storm.  They said its the biggest one that they have been in. The streets were flooded and so we just walked in water the whole day.
The ward here is so nice! Except there were only about 40 people there due to the storm.  We teach the Gospel Principles class and we helped out in primary.
Then Elder Thompson had to do a Entrevista de Bautismal (Can´t remember the words in english), and so he didn´t want me spending my first day sitting outside of the Entrevista. I went on a split with Elder Larson and we went and taught several different people.
During the lessons I just sit there and try to pick out different words. then during, my comp translates what just happened and I try to teach... jaja
Except I dont know their names :P. I can´t understand them jaja.
But, I do know that we taught the Law of Chastity because we barely found out that one of them was not married and their bautismo was on saturday. so now they have a plan to get married la dos de Deciembre and get married the tres. their names are pablo and idk.
We taught Prima (nickname) about why God lets bad stuff happen. after the lesson, given by elder larson, haha, She said she will read, pray, and come to church with us next week.
Then there is Daniella. She is sixteen, and she is amazing! I already love her. she didn´t know if she wanted to get bauptized because she wasn´t perfect. after the lesson again given by elder larson.... jaja she said she wanted to get bauptized that next week.
She is amazing, just like everyone else. Its been 36 hours and i already love the people. I just wish I could communicate witht hem better.  Elder Larson and Elder Thompson say that my spanish was their spanish after a month here, so hopefully i can learn it quick.
Elder Larson´s companion is elder Ferreira. He only speaks spanish....FAST.... and its fun trying to communicate with him.
Elder Thompson is an amazing missionary. I can tell that he has had a lot of success due to his guidance by the spirit and by his lessons.  These are amazing missionaries, and im glad that President Salas let me be in the best place ever.
Oh ya, my area is called La Madrid and viente de Junio.
I walk everywhere, eat a ton at lunch, and sleep at 10:30.
un par de veces yo anoto como amigable todas las personas son. Todas las personas y muy humilde.  They have no floor sometimes.  No one has a washing machine or dryer. no one owns a microwave. There are dogs EVERYWHERE.
Oh and the people drive crazy.
The first bus I rode in on my way to the smaller airport got into a crash becasue the people behind us were not paying attentiona nd tried to pass us.... locos.
There are a lot of phrases I need to learn:
Me parece-it looks like to me
o sea- in other words
darse cuenta-to realize
me cuesta- its hard for me
quedarse- to stay
fijarse- to check out
tiene sentido- makes sense
nada que ver- its nothing like that
un par de veces- a couple of times
recien- recently
subirse- to get up
anotar- to note, to notice
pareja- a couple
tiene razón- you´re right
hay que- you should
debe- you must
claro-i understand (Most used word ever!)
No me sale- i can´t do it
mira voz- look at you
rato- a small amount of time
estamos viendo- we´ll see ya
dejar- to put
de vec en cuando- once in a while
chorizo- sausage
puede ser- its possible
choripan- sanwich with a sausage
saca turno- set an appointment
yeah... thats the jist of it.... so far.
We are going to ask for 25 references today from the ward. so it should be interesting how many we get. but if we do get some, that means we´ll have a lot more lessons to teach :)
The bautismal rate here is 2ish a month..... so yeah. this will be fun.
I hope everyone is doing well! Ill see you in 21 ish months... i think.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

He's Arrived!

Dear Missionary Parents,
I am very pleased to inform you that your missionaries have arrived
today! They landed here in Córdoba at about 7 PM, and were personally
received by President Salas, the mission president. Tonight they met
their new companions and left for their areas. Preparation day is on
Monday, so you will be hearing from them then.
Please feel free to email or telephone us if you have any questions or
concerns, etc.
Elder Schlachter
Secretary to the President
Argentina Córdoba Mission
(03543) 420-699

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Just to let you all know.  Collin got his visa and will be flying to Argentina Friday 11-11-11. 
We are excited for him! He will arrive on Saturday morning and get to work!!

The mission home address is:

Elder Collin Robert Gray
Argentina Cordoba Mission
Gay Lussac 5270,Villa Belgrano
Apartado Postal No 49-X5009 ZAA
C.C. 17 Suc 9, Cordoba

If you want to use the pouch mail you have to follow these instructions:

Letter folding instructions.  Lay the letter blank side down.  Fold the bottom of the letter
about one third of the way up the page and crease.  Fold the top of the letter to the
bottom of the first fold and crease.  Secure the long side with two pieces of tape about one
inch in from each end, but do not seal the ends.  In the top left corner write your name
and complete return address.  Affix first class postage in the top right corner. In the middle
write the missionary address as follows.

Elder Collin Robert Gray
Argentina Cordoba Mission
POB 30150
Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0150

Thanks so much for all your love and support.

Mosiah 2:41
And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and ahappy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are bblessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out cfaithful to the end they are received into dheaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.

Letter #11

Hola mi familia! como andan?
Mi vida aqui en el CCM es igual de todas otras semanas. :P Yo no puedo esparar salir!
The travel office told us that we could be leaving tomorrow (friday), if they get our visas today at lunch or during dinner.... So ill have about 3ish hours to pack my life up to move to argentina for 2 years!
So family, i could be calling you friday.... idk when though, just be prepared.
How is everyone doing?
I heard dad got 3 new suits, and a nice new red  tie :) boo yeah.
How's the ward? is there anything i can do for you all?
This week has been the same, the only thing that really changes is the stuff that i study. Right now im studying the miracles of Jesus Christ.  Its amazing that he could heal leprosy, give the blind sight, heal the lame, etc. But i am even more amazed at how he could change so many hardened hearts to him.  I think that is the greatest miracle of all. All our bodies will become perfect during the resurrection. That is a promise and a gift given from the Father through Jesus Christ. But even though Christ suffered through EVERYTHING, and descended below all that even if we got to our lowest he could still raise us up, we still have the CHOICE to change our hearts and repent. I know that us missionaries help cause miracles every day throught he Atonement of Jesus Christ. I love seeing the light ignite in my investigators eyes when they realize that the spirit is testifying the truth of what we're teaching. Even though there are many languages throughout the world, the spirit still can speak them all and testify in them all. My MTC spanish is horrible and I am not ever going to be fluent in spanish, but I know that the Spirit will testify of the words that I am speaking.
We learned a lot about the spirit in one of our workshops this week. It was about how the spirit testifies. there was a part of the workshop where they showed a video of a lot of different people testifying in their native tongue. I was amazed at how the spirit testified to me when a lady was testifying in cambodian. I do not know anything that she said, but i do know that what she said was true.
Then later in the workshop we talked about how the restoration is the most important thing that we can teach.  IT IS WHAT SETS US APART FROM OTHER CHURCHES. just think, other churches have hymns, believe in christ, believe in god, teach about families, have good morals, have good youth programs, give aid to places in the world that are in need, teach children how to be good people, etc. Some have almost everything that we do. The thing that we have that sets us apart is the knowledge that christ's church, that was set up when he was on the earth, has been RESTORED. we have the same power now, that there we in his time. We can be cleansed through baptism because the priesthood authority has been RESTORED, THROUGH joseph smith.
Antoher thing that impressed me this week is how important the commandments are. THEY ARE COMMANDMENTS. read the scriptures, pray, be obedient, go to church, pay tithing, fast, the law of chastity, word of wisdom etc. I can't stress how important keeping these commandments are. Mosiah 2:41 is a promise FROM GOD that we have when we keep the commandments.
I also received some amazing letters this week!! Us missionaries love receiving letters! so even if you feel the slightest prompting to write one of the missionaries, DO IT!

I love you all and I hope that everything is going well for you, I hope you can get a copy of the Ensign and read throught the conference talks again.
Los Amo,
Elder Gray

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Letter #10

How are you all doing? It was nice to call home this week and talk to my mom about the news I received.
If you didn't hear, I not going to Argentina this week because we didn't receive our Visas.... :P I was super mad when I found out because I am so excited to get out of here!!! I can not wait to teach real peopel the gospel.
It was nice to talk it over with my mom. And im glad she answered the phone, even though she didn't know the number calling. haha. Im sorry family at home, but i could not wait any longer to call home.  The Good news (Gospel) that came from the bad news: I was super mad that I wasn't leaving today. (I am supposed to be on a plane right now). but when i was reading in one of my personal studies right after the call I read in DC 11:16-22. (please read that now) I am super excited to see the stuff that God still has to teach me here. I know everything happens for a reason, and when somethign happens in your life that is unexspected, please look at it as a blessing, look at it as a way God can teach you something.
I also learned this week how cool my ancestors are. I found out that my grandma has written an article in the Ensign. That my 4Great Grandpa was one of the first Jewish converts and that he taught pres. Smith German and Hebrew, and that I am related to David, and lots of other cool people. I hope you all will take the time to go to the familysearch website that the church has set up and search and learn about your ancestors.
I AM SO EXCITED to go to Argentina. I can't wait to give the Argentines what they have been waiting for their entire life.
In one of my classes we were talking about how to contact people. some of the elders were having a hard time doing it without it turning awkward. But I on the otherhand was doing really well, and they asked me how I did it.
I honestly dont know how I did it.  But i look at it as though I have the greatest message in the world that can save families, can help us all to return to god, it can help us recover from any hole that we have dug, no matter how deep, it is the happiest message in the world that we can give. And that is true, the message I have to share is amazing. It can change anyones heart, and I know it can because it has changed mine while I have grown up and its made an even bigger impact on my life here!
I love you all and can't wait to hear from you!!
Keep up the letters :)
Elder Gray

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


My mom received a phone call today from Collin, he said that he hasn't received his visa yet and won't be able to leave on Thursday. Sad day. . Hopefully his visa will come through soon so he can leave for Argentina. He is very happy still and is really enjoying life as a missionary.