Monday, April 30, 2012


Statue of San Martin in Alta Gracia

Hno. Barrosa, aka stud

Jesus Statue




Abril hiding fromt he camera

A collage we made.

Elder Marchant

Elder Bryant

Elder Holtby and Me in the background

Some graffiti by our pension

Our pension last transfer. (Elder Marchant, Me, Elder Bryant, and elder Holtby)

BOUWER, an area in my area

Letter #36

Hello Family!!

Im glad to hear that you are all warming up a bit. here it is getting a bit chilly. So chilly that I actually have to sleep with sweats on so that i dont freeze! In the morning when we wake up, we have our sweats on, we go make breakfast, then we go shower. After we are done showering, we go get our white shirts and ties on, then throw the sweats on on top of them. then we go upstairs to where we study, and we end up making a hot cave with all of our heaters. its really fun :) You open up the door to our study room and you get hit with a huge wall of hot air. It feels like you are walking into a sauna.... but its just dry. Its really fun nonetheless! :)

This week has gone by really quickly. We have had a lot of success this week with working with the members. We had a lot of member lessons this week. We are supposed to have 20 lessons a week. We usually get 4 lessons with members, and 16 without members.... but this week, we got 12 with members and 8 without!! IT was a great week for us this week :) We found Mathias again!!! He has already read all of the book of mormon! he a chosen for sure. We have an appointment set up with him this week and we will see when he will get baptized!

This week I have been studying a lot about the plan that God has for each and every one of us. Its amazing to think how much God really loves us and how much he puts in our paths. Just this last week, Elder Holtby and I really started to realize how much God really does watch out for us missionaries. I have been praying a lot lately so that i can see the work of God in my life and how I am using that work to improve the lives of others.

We had a lesson with an inactive family this week and whenever we go and visit them, there is always this lady who is there with the family who hates us missionaries. We always try to be nice with her, and be respectful, but really, I get so angry when i try to talk to her about anything. We started talking one day and we got into a discussion.... a mildly heated one.... and during the whole thing I was just quiet thinking about how I was going to turn this discussion around. Then Marta, the wife of the inactive member, started to defend our religion. It was really cool! Marta is not a member and usually doesnt like to talk about the church. But today, somehow, the spirit touched her, and she started to defend us missionaries against her friend. She testified that she knew that we were representatives of Christ and that we were always so nice to her and her family. I of course, started to tear up a bit. It was really another answer to my prayer.

I know that we should always preach the gospel, and if it is necessary, we should use words.

It was fun to see the pictures of your trips! Im excited to see how big Lily and Logan are when I am home! :) Logan is huge!

I sent you a bit of pictures. Ill try to put what they are.

I love you guys and pray that you are well.

Ill be talking to you all soon!! :)

Con amor,

Elder Gray

PS. Somehow, make sure that Steve gets to the JAZZ. We will never lose a game. :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Letter #35

Hola familia mía!

Como están?

It sounds like you are all having fiestas up the Wazoo!

I heard that there were a couple of huge tornados in OK.... Is marci ok? I havent heard from her in a while.... haha

Its fun hearing about all of Cassie´s softball games. I really miss high school and playing for the team there. What grade is Cassie in? I cant remember a things ever since Ive been here in Argentina. I feel like I have a hard time remembering the simplest of things.... Like all the music i have ever listened to. This could be a blessing in disguise though.

We just had another transfer here and i am still here with Elder Holtby!! Woohoo! We are a really good companionship and we work really good together. The elders in my pension were changed around. Elder Marchant from missouri is still in the pension, but Elder Bryant went to La Rioja, and Elder Vilchis is here now! Elder Vilchis is from Mexico, and he arrived here in argentina with me. I remember the first time i talked to him in the airport and i could not understand him at all.... and he could not understand me at all. but now we are like best friends and we can talk all we want to each other. its super fun:)  The transfer is looking good. we have a couple of people who are ready to be baptized, we basically just need to go and make sure that they understand everything. Elder Holtby and i seem to go through cycles. One week we are contacting a ton and have a ton of new people, the next week we are contacting a little and we dont ahve any new people but we are teaching a lot of people who will progress. The best way we figured out is when we find the balance of all of this and then the people will just start flowing through the process and they will be baptized.

I know that this will work. Its just like when we find balance in our lives. At times it may seem like we are always with our family. other times we are always working and dont have time for the family, or friends, or just time for ourselves. One huge thing that i have learned while i hvea been here is that we really need to order our days and make sure taht we are well balanced in all things. DC 89:119 "119 Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;"

Organize yourselves.... Prepare every NEEDful thing. I like how it says that we need to prepare every needful thing. not everything we want, but every thing that we need. We need to include all the things that God says in the scripture each day. Prayer, Fasting, Faith, Learning, Glory, and Order.

Prayer: We should pray every morning when we rise and every night before we go to bed atleast. every time that we feel down, or we need anything, pray.
Fasting: We need to have an atitude of spiritual cleaning. If we are continually cleaning ourselves spiritually, we will be the best person that we will ever be.
Faith: If we dont believe, we wont achieve.

Learning: President Hinkley couseled us to learn every day!
Glory: Like mom always says. "Remember who you are." if we really remember who we are, a son or daughter of god, then we wont have any troubles with anything.
Order: The more ordered we are, the easier the spirit will be able to come into our lives.

Will all of these things, we can become "A house of God", a Temple that will really be able to dwell with the spirit and do the things that God really wants.

I am really going to start this process. I cant wait to see the type of results that will come from it and I know that god will help us along the way.

This week we focused a lot on the 5-5-5 plan that we have as a branch. We went and visited all of the less active and inactive members and found out what the problems were. It was fun to see all of the stories taht they have with the elders and we had the opportunity to teach a lot of them the lessons again. And as a result, we had 4 inactives come to church.

God does bless us for our efforts.

I love you all and hope you are all working to better yourselves, but most importantly, to better others.

With much love,

Elder Gray

P.S. The cold winter season is coming up here and I realized i dont have any sweaters to wear over my white shirts. So if you could send me one or two, that would be great. :) And some beef jerky included.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Monday, April 16, 2012


Sorry everyone! These are the pictures he was talking about a little bit ago! Finally came through and now I have the time to put them up! =)

Letter #34

Me oh my! What a week that we have had here in Barrio Jardin!! Yo y Elder Holtby tuvimos que discursar en la iglesia ayer! Por lo menos discursamos bien. Muchas personas de la iglesia estan listos para servirnos, y ayudarnos con nuestros investigadores ahora. I talked about how we can serve our leaders in the church..... So i basically just used chapter 13 in PMG. If you all have not read preach my gospel, please go read it! It is awesome!! My comp talked about prayer and keeping the sabbath day holy. It was a really good talk! Church here is really fun. There are about 30 people in the congregation, and all of them are taking notes or something so that they pay attention. It was really fun to see the whole ward listening to see what they could improve on.
I really love church. Being here in my mission has really helped me see why we need to go to church. Its like recharging our spiritual batteries for the week. Just like with our Cell phones, if we dont charge it, we will run out of batteries and we wont be able to do all the cool usual stuff that we can do! During the week, I feel sometimes that my spiritual battery is running out, but then sunday comes, i partake of the sacrament and renew my covenants, and I am spiritually uplifted by the classses and talks that there are.

It sounds like all of you are having a fun time! Lily and Logan sound like a blast. It makes me want to play in the play dough with them. How big are they now? Im guessing they are getting pretty big!

My interview with the President went really well. My comp came out of his interview looking really worried and he told me that president wanted to see me and that he was really mad.... So i was like, oh crap, whatd i do.... I walked in and started talking to president. President, I heard from my comp that you are mad at me.... He looked at me with a confused look, then he hid a little smile, Then he said, Yes elder, I am really upset at you right now.... You didnt bring me any facturas (basically a little donut thing).... hahaha.... oh man, I was in big trouble.

So yeah, I sat down, had my interview, and he asked me a lot about my family. How is your dad? How is your mom? how are your sisters and brother? I was actually suprised at how much he knew about you guys. He asked me if there was anything wrong with any of you. So i just told him that you are all doing fine. He asked me about how I think that I am progressing as a missionary. I told him that I am loving the mission and that every day is a new and exciting day where i have an opportunity to learn something new. At the end of the interview he told me that he was proud of me and that he was expecting me to grow into a great leader here in the mission. Then he stopped for about a minute.... and thought. Then he told me that at the end of every interview he stops and listens for the spirit to say anything to him. He told me that the spirit was very pleased with me and that God was very pleased with my work here in the mission so far. He also told me, to tell mom and dad that I am one of the best missionaries that he has out here right now. That definitely made me feel good, and of course I started getting emotional and of course i started to cry. I totally felt the Love that the Savior and our heavenly Father have for me. I was thinking a lot during that week if my mission meant anything to our father in Heaven, and I was asking him in my prayers if my work here was good enough for him. This interview was definitely a huge answer to my prayers. I am really excited for the next year and 5 months to expand and to find out what type of man i turn into. I cant wait to see where my mission takes me!

This week we taught a lot!! We had a lot of lessons with members and with less active members and a LOT with investigators with the members in the lessons. We also had the opportunity to teach Belen, the mom of Abril (cute little girl who just got baptized), and Belen is amazing!! She is definitely going to get baptized the 28! Hopefully i will still be here in Jardin to see it....

Yes! Transfers are this week! I really hope i get to stay here in Jardin one more transfer so that I can see the people I have been working with progress to their baptism. If not, then I know that im supposed to be where I am going to be.

I was reading in 1 peter 2:11-til the end of the chapter. It is a really good section of scripture! I encourage you all that you can read it prayerfully and with a heart open to receive and act upon what the Spirit Directs.

It also rained A TON this week! We got wet multiple times and im pretty sure that one of my shoes  got destroyed.... :P pucha!

I love you all and I hope you have a great week!

Congrats for Aly White and Jeremy Holland!


Elder Gray

ps. I dont suck at punctuation, this computer just doesnt have all the buttons..... :P


Monday, April 9, 2012

Letter #33

Family!! Happy Easter!!

I heard that Wyatt dominated the egg hunting game! Way to go Wy! Congratulations Marci on the new boy Collin Jeffrey Catron :) (CJ has a nice ring to it right?)

Dad, watch your back. There are many melquisedec priesthood holders who live around us that would love to come help you. if not, call Brent Castagnetto. (ps, tell him to write me).

but yes, happy easter. It was an amazing week for us. For Catholics here it was the Santa Semana (Holy Week), and they arent allowed to eat meat for the weekend to santify the holy day. so a lot of people were willing to receive us. We found one man named Carlos who is the dad of one of our recent converts. He is probably about 60 (about as old as dad right? ;) ) he is awesome. He was testifying to us about the apostasy and how he knew that the church of the catholics wasnt true. and so we taught him about the restoration  and we will be visiting him once again :)

We baptized!!!!! Wooohoooo!!! 10 weeks here in Jardin and all the prayers, tears, work, sweat, steps, doors knocked, members called, fasts, etc. have payed off. Abril, the cute 8 year old got baptized and her mom, Belen, has now committed to baptism for two weeks from now. Abril is such an example to her family :)

Jose can also get baptized pretty soon! we will have to check with president today about that! (we have interviews today) (and so yes, i am sitting in a little cubby with all of my suit coat and slacks and such on. man we look good)

But the bad news of the week was that I was sick for half of it... again.... I got a really bad fever and I was in my bed for about 2 and a half straight days just reading the Bible and BOM. It was a fun reading experience. Genesis chapter 17 is actually really cool!! To all the Bishops, Stake Presidents, and Auxillary leaders, USE YOUR COUNSELORS! They are defnintely there for a reason. Sometimes they can be the biggest help to you and to the people whom you are called to serve.

I hope you got all of the PIctures!! Love you all and be safe! Remember that God is just two knees away.

Love Elder Gray
Sorry everyone the Pictures haven't/didn't come through yet so hopefully we'll get them soon! =)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Letter #32

Conference!!!! Oh my goodness it was amazing. Us elders started cheering when president Monson walked in to the first session of General Conference. Ive never felt the spirit stronger from cheering because of something happening on tv. We watched conference in the Barrio Maipu church. The members also came to watch it with us. The elders who speak english, had the opportunity to watch conference in English in a different room, and of course i took the opportunity. I love President Monsons voice in english better than spanish. but for the Sunday morning session, I did watch the first part in spanish because we had one of our investigators in there watching it. Good ol Jose got up early, washed his pants, ironed his shirt, and waited for us at his door to come pick him up. It was an amazing sight to see the 76+ year old man, recently recovering from getting hit by a car, wobble to the Taxi door. (of course we helped him) Such a testimony builder to me. He is a investigador who cant get baptized for a little while because of a couple of little things. And we also had Abril come too! She is the cutest 8 year old in the whole wide world! She is so smart too. It was such a spiritual moment for me to see her is her sunday dress, sitting with her grandma, waiting for conference to start.
So yeah, Us elders watched conference in English. We cheered when the prophet walked in. And, we also cheered when one of the seventy dropped major cain on writing letters. He finished talking about how the people need to write more hand written letters to us missionaries, when all of the elders started cheering. I wish i wouldve had the moment on camera. :) I loved all of the talks that we could listen to. But there was some of the talks that we didnt get to hear beucase there was a solar storm and so the satelites were down for a half hour or so each conference.... :( bummer. but i cant wait to receive the liahona when we can read the modern day scripture that we received. I know that we have a living day prophet who leads and guides this church with all of the restored keys of the priesthood. I know that God loves us. He wants that our families are back with him.

I also loved Elder Bednars talk about the priesthood. if you get a chance, please go read it. I know there is a difference between the power of the priesthood and the authority of the priesthood. we all need to better ourselves so that we really do have the power of the priesthood.

Me and my companion were talking about our grandmas and how they both live in that little subdivison that i think is called tithing hill place. so we were wondering if they knew each other. and apparently they do :)

I love you all and i hope you have a great week! Keep watchiong the conferences over and over and keep the messages in your heart!

Congrats to Jessie Willes for getting engaged!! Make sure to send her a present from me :)

Love you all, know that I am always praying for your success.

Elder Gray