Monday, May 28, 2012

Letter #40

Hi everyone!!

First of all.... good news.... We had 5 people in church this week!! It was a record for our barrio since last June! so we are very pumped. haha

Charli is doing amazing. He went to a baptism that was in a different Area. We were talking to him afterwards just about his family, then he stopped and told us that he felt something that he has never felt before when he saw the lady go under the water. Then he pictured himself going under the water and he felt something even more powerful that he has never felt before. He took it as his answer :). He is going to get baptized the 9th of June. Transfers are this weekend so hopefully i will be able to see the baptism. But if not, its ok. ill get pictures :)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD. you old man.... how old are you nowadays? like 55? something like that, theres just so many years that i have lost track. ;)

But really dad, you are the man. I hope this year will be the best year of your life yet. I think it will be since i wont be in the whole year to bug you. haha

I just want everyone to know that my dad is the best dad in the whole world. I have learned so much from him over the years. So many lessons that i could never buy. I'm extremely grateful for everything that he has done for me. I think my brothers and sisters would agree that our dad is the most loving, caring man you would ever meet. After 10 minutes of talking with him, you would think that you two have been best friends for the last 50 years.

I love you dad, and i hope you have a great year.

We are having a lot of success here in Barrio Jardín. we recently just made a list of all the people the other elders have already contacted. And now we have been contacting all of those people. So now, we have been finding a TON of people. we have like 15 new people that we are teaching. I'm excited to see what this week holds out for us.

I love you all and I hope you are all doing good! Write me if you need anything from Argentina!

Elder Gray

Monday, May 21, 2012

Letter #39

Wow. It really does seem like Cassie should be in the ESPN top 10 plays of the week by the way that everyone told me about it. I´m pretty sure I have a perfect view of what it was. Cassie told me about it from her view. Tiff and Mom had a pretty good view as well. And really though, the way that I see it in my mind, Cassie definitely deserves to be in the top 10 with Steve Nash :)
A LOT of things happened this week it sounds like. Dad has got the slaves working out in the yard again.. nice. Dad did a hack job on the trees.... But i bet they look just fine. Mom is mowing the lawn (not as good as me... but whatever). Derek is leaving to go to Guatemala.... WAY COOL! what mission is it again? I think it was Quetzaltenango? Does Matt have his call yet? I´m still guessing he´s coming here. Gabby is getting married! Way cool as well. To who? Tiff has a lot of Sunday meetings it sounds like. Marci is waiting for a visit from Cassie and Tiff this week. That should be pretty fun right?

Other news: WE HAD PEOPLE IN CHURCH!! :) I know the church is true.

1. Charli. This last week we met Charli! Definitely the most chosen guy I have yet to meet here in Argentina. 
      Story time: So.... about three weeks ago we were contacting houses and I saw a house and was like, "we should knock on that one." So we did. A young mom (Mariela) came out with her baby and we started talking to her. She wasn´t interested in the message we were going to give so we said we´d pass by another day. Then the brother (Fernando) of her came from behind us and entered into the door and started talking to us. He was WAAYAYYYYYY high on shrooms or something. He talked about how he had once talked to missionaries ad thought it was cool what we did. He told us to come back another day.
     Then about a week and a half ago we went to go visit José. We started talking to him about his baptism that is supposed to be for the 26 and how we´re going to have to bump it back a week or two because he´s going to be out of town. Then this girl (Valeria) walked in and we started talking to her. She invited us to come to her house so that we can take pictures with her or something and talk to her more. We got her direction and I was like, "hey, do you live in the house thats on the corner?" ...."yeah. why"..... "Because we passed by there a couple of days ago and we met Fernando and Mariela.".... "Yeah! they´re my siblings!".... "oh way cool!".... Then we forgot to go by.... :P
     Then about a week ago, we were walking down a street and we were just talking and this guy was a distance away in front of us. I looked at him and felt that we should contact him. But.... i didn´t.... :( Then he passed, and I told Elder Holtby that he looked like a preacher from a catholic church.
    Then last week, Elder Vilchis and I went to that one house that Elder Holtby and I forgot. We knocked on the door and met the preacher man!!! WAy cooll! We started talking to him, he wasnt to interested, but still let us in. We started talking about his entire life and then we shared with him a couple of scriptures from the book of mormon. HE LOVED IT! Yes, the preacher man is named Charli, He´s 52, has 6 kids, and he is testifying to his friends about the power that the book of mormon has. HE IS LEGIT. He came to church yesterday, loved it, and he is reading the Book of Mormon daily, preparing for his baptism the 2nd of June. I testify that the Book of Mormon is true. It really can change a man´s heart in an instant with the words that it has.

2. Valeria. She is the daughter of Charli. We are working with her a lot too. She´s just a little bit scared to come to church still becuase we shared with her the message o the Restoration, and before the lesson she was so sure that her church (evangelists) was true... but during the lesson, she was studying the pamphlet like a fiend, and by the end of the lesson... I asked her how she felt because she hadn´t said anything during  the whole lesson. She said, "Im confused....".... "Im sorry, we kinda rushed through this really fast. do you have any questions?".... "No, im not confused about that. I understood everything you told me. Im just confused...." after a while we dug it out of her and we found out that really she didn´t know if her church was true..... YES!!! :) I testify that we are the only church that has the proper priesthood authority from god to do the saving ordanances here upon the earth.

3. GF of David. We got an inactive kid to come to church and start prepping for a mission. and he brought his girlfriend to church with him. WOOHOO!

4. Familia Gonzalez. We stopped by their house on the way to church to wake them up to get going. The dad said he was too tired. The daughter came and told us that the dad was sleeping and we just said, "ok, and you? are you coming?".... "hmmm.... yeah... wait a minute" we waited and her, her brother, and her sister came out and came to church with us! :) I testify that working with the inactive members really does work.

5. Rama plan. President Arnold of the 70 told our branch president that instead of teaching classes before sacrament meeting, we are going to go and search for the inactive members in our ward to get them reactivated so that we can become a ward before december.

6. Temple. I testify that heaven is not as far as everyone thinks. I know that the temple is where the heavens and the earth meet. It is simply a small drive away to be in the cleanest and most pure place on the face of the earth. I know that in the temples we perform saving ordenances for ourselves and our fellow brethren who have allready passed on.

7. Dedication. the buenos aires temple is being rededicated the 9th of september. And I might get to see it! They are going to broadcast all of the dedication to the churches here in córdoba. so the churches will just be little extensions of the temple. I am super excited to see a dedication in real life!

8. Temple in Córdoba. The temple in Córdoba is progressing really well! They are continually working on it, and in 2 years or so it should be done. Get your bags packed family! :)

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

Lots of Love,

Elder Gray

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mother's Day (Letter #38)

Hello Family!

Long time no talk.... not really, we talked last night.

How is everyone doing since yesterday? Anything wild and crazy happen?

This letter is going to be pretty short since I told you all what happened yesterday. But this week, we should be having a baptism! José, at long last, is going to be baptized. He is probably my most favorite person in Argentina right now. He is such a sweet person. He has been through the hardest life, with the most guilt for the most amount of time, and this week, at long last, he is going to be baptized so that he can have his guilt swept away.

Congrats to Joe! I was super excited to hear that Joe got baptized :) He has been a long friend of mine and im glad of the decision he took. And I know that God is really glad as well. (Matthew 3:17)

Yeah. Nothing really new has happened this week. We just have been having a hard time getting people to come to church so we are working in that so that people can progress to their baptism!
I love you all and I hope you all had a great mother´s day!

Elder Gray

Monday, May 7, 2012

Letter #37

Hello familia!

How is everyone doing? This week went by realllllllly fast and really good as well. We had a lot of lessons, which is always good, and we gave a lottttt of blessings. It was a cool experience to give all of those blessings in Spanish. I actually felt like I could talk perfectly when I was giving them.

Well, here are some things that happened this week!

1. I received letters! We received the bolsa! and I got some letters from unexpected people! 1 from Hna. Andrade (My MTC teacher), 1 from the primary class of Michelle Francom, and 1 from a girl that I met at BYU. Thank you some much for all the letters! I am grateful that i received them. they definitely made my day a lot better! I hope that my return letters find you all soon!

2. Hno. Castillo was released. Our Ward mission leader got released this last week.... and now he is the stake´s first counselor for the young mens.... little disappointed becuase he was an awesome ward mission leader! He would always go and visit all of the investigators that we had and he would always be ready to help us in all that we did. We had a lot more success because of him. But the stake really does need a leader like that for the youth.

We also have to teach on Sundays now.... :P haha

3. We put a fecha to bless a baby. We went and visited an inactive family and they want to bless their baby! The husband (Claudio) is not a member so hopefully this will help bring him to church and will bring the whole family back to church as well!  they family also started praying together! :) its really cool to see them praying together because he is a Catholic. but now he is really startiung to open up to the church! I can´t wait to see how he progresses!

4. We made a homework thing. I dont remember if i told you or not, but we made a cool little homework thing for all the people that we find that cant meet with us often. We made it and its a three week process of reading the scriptures to find out really if we are the true church. So basically, when they do this, they can see their progress for baptism, and when we pass by, nhothing will be new for them. we will just go over all the questions that they have and such.

5. We played soccer on a really good nice field. We rented out a nice field for p day and we played as a zone. it was really fun. I played with an Elder named Carson Peyton. He played for timpview and so we talked about the good ol high school days. His story is awesome. Jason Kreis (coach for Real) said that he would be playing for Real the next season..... HOW AWESOME IS THAT! but then he decided to serve a mission. that is a huge sacrifice. definitely an inspiration for me. He has played with Beckerman, Olave, WILLIAMS, Morales, and all of my hero from RSL. Man i idol him. haha

6. We cleaned our pensión. Hna Salas called us and dropped cain on us that our pension is dirty.... so we spent the WHOLE DAY cleaning up the pension. it looks really good right now :) haha

7. Learned something cool. I was reading in Alma 11 the other day and i learned something way cool. THis is when Amulek is talking to Zeezrom. Zeezrom asks him a question is verse 34. " shall he save the people in their sins? " and Amulek answers " No "

At first I was like.... WHAT!? Christ wont save us from our sins? so i read it again.... Shall he save the people IN their sins?   No.....

So what is the difference of Christ saving us FROM our sins, and him saving us IN our sins?

I think the difference is that when he saves us FROM our sins is that we accept his Atonement and repent of our sins.

So yeah, i thought that was cool!

I hope you are all ok! And I can´t wait to SEE you all this week :)

With much love,

Elder Gray