Monday, December 31, 2012

Letter #71 Feliz Ano Nuevo! D&C 4:2,5

Hola Familia,

How is everyone doing? I am doing just amazing here in Alta Gracia. This week we had a very special event that I have been waiting for for about a month now.... We had another baptism! :D Sofía ended up being baptized. It was a really cool baptism. I ended up playing the piano for the prelude music and postlude music. Its been a long time since I have played piano in a big crowd before. The other elders in Crucero had a baptism as well so it was cool to see how many members came out to support them. We also had 2 investigators there which was really cool.

I wish I had my photos so that i could send you some... :P

I also got a random call from the bishop this Sunday morning at 8:30.... "Elder?".... "YEah?".... "How are you doing?".... "Very good bishop, how bout you?".... "excellent thanks, hey, can you give a talk at church today?"........................

So yeah, I gave a talk in church yesterday about how we are all "Hijos de Dios" and how we need to put the things we learn into practice.

This year has been an awesome year. I have learned so much and I hope that i can be able to put the things I have learned into practice. I am also trying to put DC4;2,5 into practice. I want to stop doing some of the little things that impede me from serving God with ALL of my heart soul mind and strength. Because if not, I will be found with "culpa" in the last day.

I hope that each and every single one of us can make a couple of goals for the next year. A goal that will challenge us. And make it a spiritual goal. One goal that I have is to invite atleast 6 people to listen to our special message every day. I know that will help us especially as a companionship to find, teach, and baptize. For every 1000 people we talk to, 1 will get baptized. Sot he more I talk, the more baptisms I will se in my mission.

I also plan on being more loving. I al ready just amazing at loving everyone ( :-) ), but I want to be better. I want to show the love I have for other people.

So let this year be a year of change. A year of bettering. A year of love. A year of God in every moment.

I love you all and hope you start the new year with the determination to be the best person that God wants you to be.

Elder Gray

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Letter #70 Merry Christmas! :D Feliz navidad!

Hello family,

This is going to be pretty short because im going to be calling you later today. So yeah, this is basically what happened this week.

1. president visited us.

The president´s family lives here in Argentina so we had a nice visit from the president and he decided to come a a lesson with us. we ended up going to Sofía to visit her and her family. IT WAS AMAZING! President really knows how to teach.... it really suprised me how much knowledge he has about HOW to teach. All of the knowledge he told the family i already knew, but he explained it in such a simple way that everyone there learned something new. President dropped a lot of cain on the mom of Sofía because she doesnt support her daughter much in this important decision.... but hey.. she ended up coming to church this week.

2. Sofía´s dad loves me

I went personally to go visit the dad of sofia to see who he really is. HES WAY COOL! we first started out talking about sofia and how he didn´t want her to meet with us or anything.... so then i just talked about his life... his relationship with the mom.... with the grandma... and just talked with him aout his life... just was a friend. Then at the end of the conversation he said that its a good thing that she is meeting with us and that he only didn´t want her to get baptized... so yeah... I sucked up a ton!! :D

3. Sofía made her decision.

Sofía is SOOOO getting baptized this week... Sí o Sí. She told us at chruch that she wants to be baptized way bad. and so we told ther that she has to talk to her dad to see if she can have permission.

4. Sofía´s dad made his decision.

So... that day. they went to the river to spend time with her dad. She told me that she asked him about the baptizm and such... So I called her to ask her about how it went adn what the dad ended up saying.... He said yes!!!! So during the time that i was talking to her on the phone, I was doing a little victory dance as well. :D

We have a baptism... we´ll have a white christmas :D

5. Navidad en Argentina.

SO that everyone knows... christmas in argentina is basically a mix between te 4th of july and world war 3.... THERE ARE SO MANY FIREWORKS! its pretty intense. It seemed like to me that the peopel here really didn´t want SAnta to land due to the amount of fireworks they were lighting off.... but there were a lot of cool ones that i had never seen.

I really can´t wait to talkt o you all!! be safe! have fun! share the gospel with everyone!

Elder Gray

Monday, December 17, 2012

Letter #69 Felices Fiestas

Hola familia y amigos. Como están?

Esta semana fue una semana muy buena. Sofía asistió otra vez a la iglesia. Ella tiene mucho ánimo para bautizarse ahora, y ahora tiene mucho apoyo de la abuela y la mamá. No hemos recibido mucha oposición del padre tampoco la otra abuela. Entonces, vamos por el 29!!! :D woohoo.

What up? It looks like you all had a great time in the snow without me. I really do miss the white christmas... here in Argentina it gets hotter every day and we wake up earlier every day due to the heat in the pensión. but its ok.

One thing that didn´t go so good for us this week was taht Elder Conidaris broke our fan.... haha He was busy putting up these stars on the ceiling that he got from his family and he ended up putting his hand through the fan and it broke the fan.... nothing happened to his hand though so its ok.

Sofía is doing really good. She told us in one of the lessons that she is ready to be baptized and that she isn´t going to take no for an answer from her dad. soooo.... she´s legit. haha

This week we have planned to talk more about baptism and help her put a date for the 29th to be baptized. Keep her in all your prayers!

I hope you all have a great week for the holidays. it should be a great season this year with all of the opportunities i am hearing that you are having. It also sounds like Wyatt and Graycie are loving the snow!

So i figured something out this week. I figured out who my companion reminds me of.... he reminds me of three people.... Dad.... TJ.... and Michael Scott. haha

He reminds me of dad because he ends up talking to everysingle person about the most random stuff as if he has known them for their entire life.... He reminds me of tj because of the way he is. He loves math, way smart. I think tj was the Finance dude of his mission for a little bit. My companion was the Financiero here in Córdoba for 7 months. And last but not least he reminds me of Michael Scott for the way he looks :D... yes, I have fulfilled my dreams of meeting Michael Scott.

I have sent you all some pictures of the stuff i get to see every day. A couple of pictures of the pension. a couple of pictures of the peopel i am with everyday... I have yet to take a picture with my companion... so I should probably do that...

But yeah, everything is going good here! I love you all. thank you so much for your support and your love. be safe and have a merry christmas.

Mom... I will be calling this year instead of using skype.


Elder Gray

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Letter #68 Conferencia de la Navidad

Hola chavones!

This week was wonderful. We ended up having a lot of really good lessons with investigators and with less active members. Sofía ended up saying that she wanted to go to church and she came!!!.... with our help. haha

We had a great lesson with her where we talked about the spirit that she felt when she saw the testaments. When she started talking about that feeling she got, I felt the spirit way strong and I told her that she would feel the same way at church. She was like, "ok!". so we put a goal that she would go to sleep early this saturdaya nd that she wouldwake up early to go to churhc. I called her that Saturday to confirm and she said she was just about to head to bed.... this was at 9:30ish. The next morning, whe show up to church and we waited for her during the first class. After that class we ended up going to her class and her grandma went to get her out of bed. She came into the room with her pajamas on and was like.... "hey guys, today I cant go... my dad came looking for me last night and i got back at 5 and ended up going to bed at 8..." I was a little bummed but then I just told her that she can take a really big nap after church.... She then said, ".... Can I wear jeans?" of course she can.... as long as her body is in the church building. haha She went and got dressed and ended up afterwards telling me that she really did feel good in the church and tat she wants to go again this next week....

So the next step... talking to her about baptism!! woohoo!

I hope I can start taking more pictures,.... but my camera has been acting weird and keeps eating all of the batteries. :P

We also had Christmas conference yesterday where santa came and visited us. he ended up giving me a package all the way from the US from the family. haha It was really Presidente Salas dressed up as santa with all the packages that the family sent to me. Mom, dont get mad but i opened the present.... I couldn´t wait!! but just to let you know, I´ll re wrap it and put it under our christmas tree that we got and ill reopen it for christmas. :D

I really learned a lot in the conference.... One thing in particular that I learned was how perfect the church really is.... but really. it is perfect. Starting from adam and eve, all the way to today... the church, and especially God has always worked in the same way. I really hope that we as missionaries can help our investigators understand the perfectness of the gospel.

It is really really hot right now..... I am sweating while typing on the computer... :P that is pathetic. I hope you all can go do a big snow angel for me. make sure to take pictures! I sure do miss them.

If you are thinking about sending me late christmas gifts, just send me a box..... of photos!! :D or a nice little christmas card will do. everyone keeps asking me why i dont ahve a family photo and why all my friends look like they are 12.... i think it is because those are the only photos i have. haha :D

so please please please send me more photos! :D

I really hope you all have a great week. God works miracles everyday.. keep your eye out for them!

Alex, get your papers in asap!!

With lots of love,

Elder Gray

Monday, December 3, 2012

Letter #67 LOVE

Buen día amigos.

Espero que éstos tiempos podemos recordar la importancia del amor. Todo este mundo está construido por amor. Y todo lo que pasa acá en este mundo que va para atrás, es porque no tenemos amor unos a otros.

Espero que siempre tengamos amor.

This week was pretty good. We had a lot more lessons and we had the zone leaders come visit us. This week I made a decision to start using a different type of approach to people.. The usual approach that I do is I always talk about Christ and start talking about how the church was organized in old times and how it was lost....So basically I always talked about the Restoration... This week, I was reading in pmg and I read about the importance of families... So this week, I just talked about families... Their  families, my family, their dog´s family, etc.

And it worked!! People here in Alta Gracia are really open to talking about the US and about my family. And once I start sharing about my family, they open up abou theirs.

I also talked to a guy in sign language... Soooo greatful I took a year of it. I didn´t know any gospel words so i ended up just giving hima folleto.

But yeah, this week we should be having a lot more lessons in the houses of members and in the investigators house. I have yet.... to enter into a house of an investigator, sit down, and teach them. All of our lessons are outside, or in the door step.

But we did find this realy cool family, the familia Quinteros. They are very likely that they´ll be coming to church this week.!!

I hope you are all well! :D

Be good, and serve!

elder Gray

Monday, November 26, 2012

Letter #66 John 6:28

Hello family and friends.

Another week has flown by here in Argentina. I´ve been here a week in Alta Gracia and it feels like I´ve been here for 2 days.... I still have noooo idea where I am at. haha

Its way fun having a new area. I like it. You get to meet a lot of people and you dont have any prejudgements about the people.... So that means,,,  A lot of contacts!! haha I think I talked to about 100 people this week randomly at their houses or in the streets. But we didn´t have that much success as I would´ve hoped.

I am hoping that we can have a lot more success this week and Ill be sure to send a bigger letter next week with a lot more updates.

The coolest thing that happened this week was we found an inactive family that has 3 kids that aren´t baptized. So we are working a lot with them. Mostly we have to find out how to work with the dad.... who isn´t a member. He is kinda against us coming over and teaching them and talking to them at all but hey,.... ill get to his heart eventually :D

I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving because we didn´t celebrate it at all here!! I forgot it even happened! haha :D

Que estén muy bien!

Elder Gray

Monday, November 19, 2012


This week was awesome!!



What more can I ask for?

Letter #65 Alma 37:33-35 Goodbye Rio Ceballos! Hello Alta Gracia!!!

Wow.... This week was the best week in my entire mission. We had a lot of miracles happen. And I feel like I received a lot of blessings that I definitely did not deserve. I really know that God loves us and wants us to be happy and successful. And at times, I feel like he blesses us just because of that. Just out of his love.

This week we had a baptism! Natividad was baptized!..... Finally haha. but really, her story is a miracle. These last 4 and a half months I have been working with her so that she can get baptized.... but the only problem was that her mom didn´t ever let her do it. So we decided this week with the bishop that she needs to be baptized asap. So.... we went to work. Elder Goates and Elder Cogo went to the grandma to see if we could baptize her. The grandma wanted her to be baptized and so we told her that we already had all of the baptism prepared and that it would be at 6 on saturday.... She agreed and said she´d plan everything so that they would be there. We ended up changing the time of the baptism to 3 on saturday because at 5 we had an activity for the obra misional. So while we are at lunch we end up getting a call from the bishop saying that the mom went to the house of the grandma, and locked Natividad inside so that she couldn´t get baptized...... So bummer... we didn´t baptize on Saturday.... But hey! We did baptize her on Sunday :D So yeah, she was baptized and confirmed right after so that there wasn´t any problems.

This week we received transfers and we found out that Elder Goates and I are leaving.... I am now here in Alta Gracia (where the parents of the President of the mission live) and Elder Goates went to a place called Leones. We were eating an asado with the bishop when we received the calls.... So the bishop was pretty sad. But on Sunday they let us share our testimonies and how the mission has changed our lives.....

I know that the mission is the best decision I have ever made in my life. I have loved every good and bad experience that has happened to me here. I have grown a TON since i´ve been here. I have learned Spanish. I now have a beard. I learned how to play soccer better.... but most importantly, I have learned more about my Savior and what he has done for me.

At lunch on Sunday, the Hermana Perez asked us if we could go to the choir practice one last time to say goodbye. So at 6 we showed up at the church and after a half hour of waiting and writing each other.... We went to find out what happened with the choir practice. We ended up finding out that half of the ward had prepared us a farewell luncheon dinner thing. It was AWESOME! They had us sit in these chairs in front of everyone and every single one of them ended up sharing their testimony of how their family was changed through us. ALL of the young men have now decided to serve missions.... When I heard that I couldn´t stop crying. I really felt in that moment I had completed the whole mission. If I can help one person to go on a mission, my two years here has been well spent. I encourage EVERYONE, that means for the men 18-25 and the women from 19, and the older couples to please.... consider serving a mission. there are no greater blessings received than here on the mission. I hope that all of you will think about the blessings received from serving and that you will consider receiving them.

The ward ended up giving us a lot of recuerdos.... (i dont know how to say that in english, but its stuff they give you to remind you of Río ceballos). There was a lot of ties, shirts, and a pillow case that has all of the wards signatures on it.

All of the families told me that I have to return and that my family has to come visit them.... So Mom and Dad.... Are you coming to pick me up from the mission? :D The bishop here in Río Ceballos is waiting for the answer. haha

He also wants me to come live with him for the summer.

Man... I love Río Ceballos.

Now I am here in Alta Gracia and I have high expectations for this place. My new companion is Elder Gardner. He has 21 months in the mission and is from minnesota. He is an awesome elder and I am way excited to be here with him.

I hope all of you can share the love of the Savior with someone else. Please do it.

Elder Gray

Monday, November 12, 2012

Letter #64 Matthew 9:10-13

 10 ¶And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.
 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, aWhy eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?
 12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
 13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, aI bwill have cmercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to dcall the erighteous, but sinners to frepentance.

Man.... I received some horrible news this week....

Steve Nash has a broken fibula!!!??? It can´t be? Well, it looks like the lakers are going to start losing here for the next couple of games. Im sure they have no idea what to do now that their star player in hurt. I sure hope they play atleast decent without Steve. But I do have to say that I LOVE the shirts that you sent me. "TIME TO GET NASHTY!!" haha

This week was a pretty good week. We taught A LOT OF LESSONS! I just have to say that we taught around 30 lessons this week. And that is pretty good seeing that we worked about 3 full days in this area. We are super excited because of the cool people we have found. One day, we received a reference and so we went looking for the house in the morning. We had the address Aldanato Alvarez "2"..... And i was like.... im pretty sure there isn´t a house number "2"... but hey, we went looking anyways. We got to the street and we found some apartments numbered 1,2,3,and 4.... so im guessing apartment number "2" would be the address we are looking for. we knocked there..... but no one answered. And just how it says in preach my gospel, we knocked on their neighbors houses. All of the doors opened up, and all of them invited us back to share more about the plan of salvation with them.

Then during that night, we went to another reference. She wasn´t there, but her mom was. We talked with her for about 15 minutes and then I invited her to be baptized. she said ok! haha man, I think it is really cool that we can be standing talking to someone at their gate, barely seeing their face, and then after 15 minutes of talking to them about Christ, the Spirit testifies to them that the things we tell them are true, and then they want to get baptized.....

Im actually thinking right now, and i think it is amazing that I can speak in Spanish.... That is a cooolll amazing blessing that I will never be able to return to my heavenly father.

So yeah. we met a lot of cool people this week.

We also had 2 investigators go to the conference and it was awesoem! Sergio and Natividad went. Sergio is the dad from a member family here and he is the only person that is not baptized. His mom is SUPER evangelist and so he has a little fear of being a mormon because he knows taht his mom wont like it at all..... But we are working with that.

We also had our stake conference this week and Elder Spannaus and Elder Ceballos talked during it.

Elder Ceballos told a cool story that I want to share with you all.
Once upon a time there were some small duckling friends. One day they all decided that they would take the whole day to learn how to fly. So they went to the park. In the first 10 minutes, some of them could get off the ground a couple of feet. after 30 minutes most of them were fluttering around. and after an hour, they all were flying brilliantly, doing loops, flips, and showing off their new aquired skill.... at the end of the day..... they all WALKED home....

What is the moral of the story? We as people go to church. we go to a devotional. we go to EFY. we listen to a talk online. we listen to MoTab. We get spiritually uplifted for a couple 10 minutes. After 30 minutes a couple of ideas come to our mind of how we can change and be better. After an hour, we all are feeling like there is nothing bad in the whole wide world and that we can conquer it all. We know that God loves us, and that he wants the best for us. We know that Christ suffered for us and died so that we could live.....

But, after the conference ends, after the video is over, after the music stops, after church, we go back to being our normal duckling selves who dont know how to fly.

I know, with all my heart that God lives and that he loves us. I know that Christ came and suffered so that we wont have to suffer. I know that WE CAN CHANGE. WE CAN PERSEVERE. So be like the duckling who learned how to fly and flew home. not like the duckling who walked.

I love you all and I hope you are all well.

Con muchísimo amor y caridad,
Elder Gray

Monday, November 5, 2012

Letter #63 John 8:32 Feliz Cumpleanos Elder Cruz!

Hola Familia y Amigos,

Esta semana fue una buena semana. Tuvimos mucho éxito y recibimos muchas bendiciones del Señor. Quiero que sepan que realmente podemos ser salvos por medio del sacrificio expiatorio de Jesucristo. Recibiremos la exaltación si hacemos caso a los mandamientos. Están ahí para ayudarnos recibir felicidad!

This week was a pretty good week. We found a lot of families that are really willing to be visited by us and receive us in their houses. I know that we will always receive the fruit of our labors. I know that faith is an important principle of the gospel that we all have. The important thing that we all need to do, is help it grow. Everyday we can do something little to help our faith grow a lot. I want to testify to you all that Christ lives. He loves us, he wants us to return to live with our Father in Heaven. He suffered for all things that we might not suffer, if we would repent.

A lot of the families that we visited received us as soon as they saw us and other families said that they didn´t want anything to do with us, but in the end, received us to share a message with them. Really every person that we talked with said that they have faith. Our purpose in the mission is to "invite others to come unto Christ", which means that we invite them to have even MORE faith, repent and make the changes in their lives, be baptized by the holy priesthood of God, receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, and to finally hold true to the covenants that they make here in this life.

We want to help each family receive these saving ordinances so that they can receive everlasting life.

We met one family in particular that was pretty awesome. They are called the Zamora Family. There are 9 people in their family. Marcelo and Rosa. Then the kids are Christian, Fernando, Yanina, Florencia, Antonella, Rodrigo, and Camila. This family was exceptionally awesome because they believed in every word that came out of our mouths. We invited them to strengthen their faith by reading every day, praying as a family, and by going to church. They accepted the first two invitations by said they wanted to learn more before they went to church.

This week in church we had 2 people come. We had Ruth, and Natividad. The bishop was really excited to see Natividad this week and he asked her if she was a member yet. She replied and said that she wasn´t. The bishop was really confused because he thought that she already was a member. So this week she should be getting baptized because the bishop is going to tlak to the grandma to see what we can do with her.

This week was also the birthday of Elder Cruz. He´s pretty old.... He´s 21. haha We celebrated his birhtday by having a lot of cake and I gave him some stuff so that he can mark his scriptures better. He´s an awesome companion and an awesome missionary.

Other than the Zamora family we didn´t have anyone else mentionable. A lot of people are excited to start receiving us and a lot of people are starting to read. We´ll have to see what happens this week!!

I hope you all are well!

Elder Gray

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Letter #62 Romans 8:24

Hello family and friends. This week was pretty fun. We had a lot of different activities and a lot of success in them. This week with the Ward missionaries was really fun because they are the young men in the ward. So this week was spent with the young men. haha

The young men also won a tournament in soccer this week. They had a stake tournament and they brought home a huge trophey. The young women also won in volleyball... so we have some really legit young people in the ward here.

We ended up having 7 people in church this week. They were: Hno. Riquelme, Martina, Uriel, Pricilla, Josefina, Andres, and Natividad.

Hno. Riquelme is the grandpa of some members here and he decided to come and watch the primary program this week. HE is way cool. Im hoping to be able to go visit him this week because he invited us over to eat some food with him. So hopefully we can share something impactful with him.

Martina is a 10 year old girl that loves to go to church. We found her visiting an elderly lady in our ward and she had a lot of visitors with her. Hna. Aguilera was preaching the gospel to all of the little kids as they were all sitting in their chairs. Then the hermana asked if they all wanted to go to church with her. Martina and Uriel said that they would go and so yeah, they showed up and participated in the primary program.

Pricilla is the sister of Maria Pia and Florencia (girls taht we baptized a couple of weeks ago). she came to see the primary program and she said that she loved church.

Josefina and Andrés are two friends that came to church randomly. Josefina is the sister of Mario (an eternal investigator who never comes to church). she decided that she´d come one day because we always went to visit him. She and Andrés loved the primary programa nd they invited us to a dinner this week as well.

Natividad.... always comes but she just needs permission fromt he mom to be baptized.

Nothing truly exciting happened this week. I am buying batteries today so that i can take a lot more pictures. I hope I receive some pictures in return.

Sorry that this week i didn´t write to much. I dont have much time!

Love you all. I know the church is true. Be safe.
Elder Gray