Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Letter #18 Feliz Navidad

How is everyone!?.... since yesterday. haha Yesterday was so much fun!! It was ncie to hear from everyone!! And supposedly you can have an hour to talk to your family on the phone and then a half hour to skype them.... so sorry about that. haha I fell asleep during all the skyp-age...... then i woke up in a different room on a different bed. so either im sleep wlaking, or the little chicos know how to lift a 76 kg person a pretty far distance without the person they are moving knowing.... ill go with the sleep walking.
lately ive been falling asleeep everywhere!! i think i have3 a disease. if i am sitting still, not moving, i instantly fall asleep.... this disease/curse happens a lot!! during lunch, while eating, studying, praying, waiting for my turn to play volleyball....etc. so yeah, basically i am known for the elder who sleeps everywhere, and the elder who talks to the kids first before anyone.

I swear, I can only understand kids now-a-days... which is weird considering they only speak in vos... but yeah..... i speak pretty good chico spanish. now i jsut need to work on the adult, mature, castagano.... hopefully that goes well.

we had a good turnout at our caroling project this week. we had about 25 people singing and we went to probably 25ish houses which all had about 4-7 people in them. i think we made the record for most contacts in a day ;). but it was cool, the family that we went caroling with said taht all the people that night said that us elders looked like angels and that we were glowing..... I know i look good.... but glowing? seriously ;)

Oh and chirstmas eve we went to the urquiza´s family house and partied.  we had a pretty funny experience there. we went inside to watch the christmas devotional.... which was amazing!!! even if i only understood some of it.... then after we went back inside and watched the top 20 music videos of the year.... which had some with rihanna where she is almost butt naked.... so it went from listening to the prophet, and then watching/listening to the devil. haha luckily us elders had an escape route where we went up on the stairs and just talked...

Then that night at midnight, the firework show started! and lasted for about 45 minutes. and one of the fireworks taht one of the members tried ot light off fell over and it shot into the house and blew up. it was legit. i felt like i was in Call of Duty for real haha. and then the member threw up a huge firecracker to where us elders were and so we would´ve lost that call of duty round... haha it was a fun christmas eve thats for sure!

today we went to walmart!! nothing to exciting.... because i didn´t find any eggnog.... :P 

so yeah... one of the people we carolled to, we ended up putting a baptismal date with him the next day for the 21 of january!

all is good here! i hope everyone is safe and healthy! dont do anything i wouldn´t do :)

Love, Elder Do-Do Gray

Monday, December 19, 2011

Letter #17

Feliz Navidad!!

How is everyone!? Is it a white christmas?, because here it is! (white baptismal clothes)

We jsut had three baptisms. Lautero, Mauro, y Amanda! they are legit. i love them.  I had the opportunity to baptize Lautero (lauti) and it was awesome!! I didn´t even mess up the prayer!

It was kinda cool too... i felt like i actually contributed to their conversion because Mauro and Lauti chose me to do the baptism. But I guess that there is an unwritten rule that i can´t baptise mroe than one person or something. ahah but it was still a good feeling to get chosen.

Its amazing how fast Christmas is coming. Its only been like 3 months sicne i´ve left!! weird. Ill be calling you guys in a week! Maybe i´ll be skyping, who knows. 

Recently, we had transfers so now I have a new companion!! his name is elder richter from Lousiana. He´s been out for 14 months and he has the language down really good. elder larson is stayin in my pension and he´s going to be a trainer!! so we´ll be having a newby in our pension.... probably a latino.... who will speak better than me.... :P but whatev. Im staying in the same area, La Madrid/20 de Junio. Me and my companion work in 20 de Junio but our pension is in la madrid witht he other elders.

For christmas here its kinda like a fourth of july. they light off fireworks at midnight and then they dish out the presents that night. its pretty intense.  we´ll be chilling at the Urquiza´s house for that night then we´ll be chilling at the church the whole christmas day playing ping pong and stuff. so we´ll see what happens!!

What are your plans for christmas? anything out of the ordindary?

I heard that the ward party/caroling went pretty good. I love that day. definitely one of my favorite days of the year.

When are the Castagnetto´s going to move? same with the Holmsteads?. haha

stuff this week:
1. baptisms!!!! legit!!!
2. transfers! legit!!

we were focusing a lot on our baptisms this week so i dont have any cool stories :P this week hopefully i will!

What do you all want for christmas?

I hope we can all remember that Christmas is all about gifts. Gifts we can give to others. But most importantly the Gift that our Heavenly Father gave us, Jesus Christ. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and I can´t wait to talk with you all!!

Hasta Luego!

elder Gray

Monday, December 12, 2011

Letter #16

6. We have three people being baptized this week!
7. The christmas devotional happened, and i didn´t get to see it yet :P
8. I had an intercambio with Elder Monzon
9. I told an investigator that i thought the girls here in Argentina are pretty without realizing it....
10. I found out why god put me in Argentina

6. I lied, i thought we had three but that is this week!!! Mauro, Amanda, and Lautero.
7. Yeah, that part sucked :P
8. I went to the area called Parque Capital (my teacher in the MTC went here too), and i got to spend the whole day with a latin who doesn´t speak english at all. such an amazing experience. we met a couple of people who were amazing. this one lady said she was a catholic and she believed in the bible and god, but then she said that she doesn´t believe that God could´ve created the earth..... I was like, " Lady, you do realize that the creation is the first book in the Bible, its called Genesis..." people these days. haha i love it.
9. yeah, that was just embarrasing, i thought she asked if i thought argentina was pretty and so i said yeah... then elder thomson told me i said the girls here are pretty.
10. God is amazing. He really knows where im supposed to be. I love the argentina people. they are obsessed with Messi, Barcelona, Boca, Belgrano, Good bread, sleeping in till 12, going to bed past midnight, eating sweets, playing soccer, making jokes, and lots of other stuff. I know that I am supposed to be here. the people are just like me.

this week:

So a lot of miracles happened this week. We had a baptism!!!!! Her name is Ninet. She is the daughter of our ward mission leader. she is from bolivia and we have been teaching her for about a month now. she said that one day she wants to be baptised and we put a fecha with her for the 24 of december. then we found out that she was leaving the 16. so we were like, crap... she needs to come to church another time before she can get baptized. so we lost all hope of baptizing her before she left. so we put her out of our minds.  we went throughout the week kinda bummed that we weren´t going to get to baptize her. but then, this last saturday she called us at 10:00 pm and was like, elders, i need you to come over so i can tell you something. so elder ferreira and elder larson went over. they came back and said that she said that god told her that she needed to be baptized before she left to bolivia....... HECK YEAH!!!!...... so yeah, the next morning, (with permission from the zone leaders), she had her interview at 7:00, and her baptism was at 8:30 (an hour before church started).

God is amazing.... This last month of november we didn´t have any baptisms. and it is soly (dont know how to spell that) due to our pride. The month before the elders had 6 baptisms and so they were way stoked, and so was i. but then my first week here, if you remember, we had a huge rainstorm and no one came to church. this set us off our plans for our next couple of baptisms. later we found out that we were the only place in Córdoba that had a rainstorm that day, and every other district had a lot of people show up to church that day.

So we repented. and God accepted our repentance with a baptism. "Oh how lovely was the morning, when Elder Gray had his first Baptism!". And hopefully this week all of our investigators this week will be baptized as well. :)

We visited Luis, the man who´s wife died, and he´s awesome!!! He really loves the hyms and so he went and pulled out his old organ that he has, and i played and sang him hyms for about a half an hour. Then after we shared about how god has a plan for us. I feel like i have known Luis for forever!! now every time we go over there, we play a couple of hymns, share a spiritual thought, then he gives us his "besos", the argentine kiss thing, then we leave.

Mom, i can testify, that playing the organ is a lot harder than playing the piano. but its awesome. We´ll have to continue playing/learning when i get back. Good luck with it!

This week we had our mission conference! it was super fun. President salas dressed up as santa clause and gave us all our packages. I got one!! legit!! thanks fam. i can´t wait to open it!

At the conference, Pres talked about how we need to do better. He dropped some "Cain" on us! he sounded like a little Elder Holland. He said that we had a goal of improving 33% from last year and right now, if we are to make it, we need to baptise about 100 mor people as a mission. And he said that if we dont do it, he´s not going to go to the area president with his "blood stained hands"..... it was legit. i actually understood him a lot.

I went on another intercambio with Elder Jones, the zone leader,.... dun dun dun.... but it was really good. he is a contacting machine!!!! we had a funny experience with this one lady we tried to contact. she opened her window and asked us what we wanted, then i was like, we have a message for you. Then she said that they were Catholic. elder Jones said, "oh, so you believe in God and Jesus Christ?" she said yes. Then he said, " well good, we´d like to share a message about Christ and how through his Gospel..." then the lady cut him off and said, "im Catholic, and we have a different belief than you." so he said, "oh , so you don´t believe in God and Jesus Christ." .... she paused.... and then she let us in... it was legit. haha  Edler jones is legit. when we´d contact one door, then we´d get rejected, heéd be at the next door before i could turn around. I learned a lot about contacting that day. He said, "we´re either bringing salvation or damnation to their souls." hahahahahahaha so we just need to contact everyone!

So yeah, this week we have three baptisms planned. Mauro and Amanda. they´re married, have two kids, and they are amazing! every tuesday, we play basquet with Mauro and his friends, and we´ve received a couple of references from him. Then we have Lautaro, who is their nephew, the Son of Pablo and Alejandra, (who can´t get baptized yet because they have to wait for their marriage papers) and he is a freaking capo!! he´s so strong in the gospela nd he´s only 11. i love that kid. so hopefully after this week i´ll have 4 baptisms total!

I hope everyone is doing good! Dad, you need to see the doctor, its better that you get better right now than suffering for forever! Have fun in Florida! Have a fun Christmas! its weird that i´ll get to talk to you guys in 13 days!! :)

Love you all, have a great week!

2 Nephi 31:20

Elder Gray

 20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a asteadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of bhope, and a clove of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and dendure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eeternal life.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Letter #15

Did you guys get my pictures that I attached to the last letter? hopefully. haha

How are you all! I can´t believe that i have already been out here three months!! im already done with 1/8 of my mission.... how crazy is that? but something even crazier to think is that Elder Thomson only has 2 weeks left in his entire mission. He says it feels like yesterday he was arriving. It really is true. We dont have enough time to be here. its all moving by so quickly.

This week´s highlights:
1. i bought a huge piece of bread, (bigger than my head) for only 4 pesos!! thats a dollar... haha
2. I met my first blind person (i think)
3. I met a random lady on the road that said she has a picture of me and elder thomson on her fridge.... so we´re starting to teach her this wednesday. haha
4. Someone was stabbed to death on the other side of a block of one of our member/investigator´s house an hour after we passed by there.
5. I earned a kilo of ice cream for eating something "really picante" (but what they dont realize is that i have grown up eating hot stuff my entire life)
6. We have three people being baptized this week!
7. The christmas devotional happened, and i didn´t get to see it yet :P
8. I had an intercambio with Elder Monzon
9. I told an investigator that i thought the girls here in Argentina are pretty without realizing it....
10. I found out why god put me in Argentina

1. Yes, i found a huge piece of bread, bigger than mine or elder thomson´s head, that was only 4 pesos. this was my lunch and dinner for a day. It was right before i went to play soccer for the first time here in Argentina, which felt amazing by the way. 8 elders running around sweating profusely, while it felt like it was raining, but it wasn´t. (its so HUMID!)

2. So this week we decided that we´d try to find more people to teach. and so we did that. and the stake gave us an assignment to search out the less active memebers and find out why they were not coming. so we did that too. we found this man named Luis (i think). He answered the door like any other person and started talking to us. then after about 2 minutes he opened the door some more and i saw his walking cane. just then i figured our that he was blind. I had no idea!! it was cool
2b. We met another man at church and visited him at his house this sunday. he said his wife died this last week and so he wanted to come to church. we are teaching his this week.

3. On the way to Luis´s house, i saw a lady coming down the street and so i stepped out of the way of her. then she stepped into the way of me, so i stepped out of the way of her again. then she stepped into my way again and then we almost ran into each other. she started talking really fast but from what i understood is that she has seen us before..... picture..... on fridge..... so im guessing that means that she has a picture of us on her fridge. Elder thomson said he wasn´t sure what she said either, so we decided to go visit her this wednesday.

4. So we were at the House of one of our investigators, Pablo. We were chilling talking to him about his family and how his son Lauti ( a freaking stud byt he way) wanted to be like us elders and be a good example and such.
4b. This last friday we had a little get together at the church for all of our recent converts and progressing investigators. so Pablo and Alejandra came with their kids: Lauti, Brenda, Milagros, Santiago, Catalina. Then they put me and elder larson in charge of taking care of the kids (bad idea), so we were playing soccer outside and Lauti threw the ball at my face. it really hurt. then he said he was sorry and we went inside. then we went intot hte primary rooma nd started playing again. Elder Larson went into another room with Lauti and he taught him about being a good example and such with his family. it was cool.
4c. in the meentime, elder thomson was having a bomb lesson with Alejandra and pablo about temple work and then we found out that they had a daughter that died at the age of 2. so alejandra was crying. it was cool.

5. the sauce was weak... that sums it up. haha

the rest will wait till next week!

I hope all is good.

Elder Gray