Monday, August 27, 2012

Letter #53 D&C 18:10-16

Wow... This week was just beyond words. It was truly a week of miracles and a lot of work.

First of all, let me tell you all the greatest joys that I have ever felt in my entire life. It was when I saw all of my investigators step in the waters of baptism and make a covenant with our heavenly father and promise to him that they will always remember him and keep his commandments. Really, every single one of the baptismal services that i have been at, it is hard to stop from tearing up. I know that bringing souls to our Heavenly Father brings us the greatest joy that I have ever felt.

Joaquin was baptised!!!! :D woohoo. Just look at the attached photo to see how happy he was about it.

Denise could not get baptized this week but she did promise us that she will get baptized before the month ends! She is really awesome. :D And she introduced us to the rest of her family who are not members yet and they love us! So hopefully and prayerfully we can help the 8 of them prepare for their baptisms as well. :D

We also talked with the Familia Medina and they told us that they will start prepping to come to church every week this month. So now we just need to start talking abou tthe baptismal covenant :D

I also wanted to apologize to mom for how late this mail was... We did service today and we literaly built a house today...... We started at 9 this morning and we just ended an hour ago (6).... it was a fun opportunity and my hands are ripped up, but I loved the experience :D

I also wanted to congratulate Marci and Jeff on the new baby boy. Welcome to the team Thomas!

We also had transfers this week and me and elder Goates are still companions and we are really excited to start this transfer!  Elder Goates and I have a goal of having 8 baptisms together! So we are working really hard to accomplish what the Lord is willing to give us.

I am also really excited to take a dip into the pool when I get back..... haha


And I also heard that my boy Steve Nash is in the starting lineup for the Lakers.... How it should be :D No one can stop us!!

If anyone is thinking about sending me a one year anniversary present.... I really need some new ties... :D

Im going to take a lot of pictures this week so I hope you will all be able to see the lives that the gospel is touching.

I lov eyou all and I hope you have a great week!

Con muchísimo amor,
Elder Gray

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Letter #52 Ether 12:12

This week was a week of Miracles!!! And as the scripture says, that God can´t do a miracles among us unless we show our faith. Really, this week was one of the best ones of my mission. We received so many blessings from a lot of different people and we always get to see how we become a blessing in the lives of others.
This Saturday we will have a baptism!! We also could possibly have 4 baptisms..... and ill explain to you why.

1. Joaquin is for sure getting baptized this week. We talked to the mom and she said that she has been seeing the miracles and the changes in her son and in the house. She also gave us permission to baptize him this saturday and so Elder Goates and I will have completed our goal to baptize in August! We went to Joaquin´s house last night with Brother Paolantonio, who was the bishop of the mom a while back, and he helped us gain confidence with the mom and with the grandpa. Now they love us!

2. We could be baptizing Denise this Saturday. It all depends if we have permission from President Salas.  The reason why we need permission is because she has only gone to church 2 times and there is a rule here in South America, among all the missions, that you have to have 3 assistances to be able to be baptized. And Denise also had to stop smoking... So we were working with her throughout the week to try to stop smoking and so we put a couple of goals with her. She first started out smoking ten on monday.... Then we told her she has to smoke 8 on Tuesday, then 6 on Wednesday, and 4 on Thursday, etc... we went to her house on thursday to see how she was doing and she said that she smoked 6 again.... :/. so we helped her out with some scriptures on faith and told her that her faith would help her to be healed. So on saturday, we sent her a bunch of text messages to help her remind herself that she can´t smoke more than 4 but we never received a text message back. So of course, us elders were a bit worried that she was falling off the deep end. that night at 11:30ish, we received a text from her that said that she didn´t have any signal all day and that she didn´t smoke at all that day!  What a miracle. She also said that she´d see us in church on sunday. So yeah, we got up on Sunday, went to church and she was already waiting for us in the class of the Relief Society. She told us that she hadn´t smoked in two days! Afterwards, we asked the bishop for permission to baptize her and he gave us the permission. Now we have to ask president to see if he will give us permission.

3. Jeremias (8), is going to be baptized in the ward.

4. Ruth (sister of Jeremias) has been going to church for about 3 months now and hasn´t wanted to be baptized because of some stuff that she has been doing. So one day when we were having a family home evening with her family, she came up to me and asked me to write my testimony in her book of mormon. So of course I accepted. I started writing what I felt about her in her book of mormon, and then I had a strong impression to start writing about the grace of Christ and the atonement that he made for us, and overall, the Love of God. So I started writing about that, quoting some scriptures along the way, and then gave her the book when I finished. She started reading the tesimony, reading the scriptures i left her with, and then sat there thinking for like 30 minutes without saying anything. Meanwhile, I am just talking with the family and enjoying my time. At the end of the FHE, i said bye to the family and said that we´ll see them in church.  At church, I said hi to Ruth to see how she was doing. She told me that she had been thinking a lot about what I wrote to her and that she wants to be baptized! We will be baptizing her SOON! 

Really I know and testify that there is power in testimony. Testimony is something that we have lived and that we know of a surety. I know that really if we pray to our Heavenly Father to gain a testimony of something, he will give it to us. And the most special and important part about a testimony from our Father in Heaven is that only He can take it away from us.

I know that God lives. He loves us.

(DC 76:22)

Really, there were a lot of miracles taht happened this week and I know it is because of the Faith that we have shown to Him.

The Family Medina also came to church this week and had a great time.

Our hard work really does pay off.

I love you all and hope and pray that you are safe and well kept.

Con Amor,

Elder Gray

PS. When the pool gets done, do a cannonball for me. :D

Monday, August 13, 2012

Letter #51

Dear Family,

Each week it is awesome to hear from each and every one of you. But you need to give me more details in your emails! Because I dont understand a thing! Where is the pool at in the yard? They cut the gas and lights? We have a new fence with an electric opener+ Haha, this all makes no sense to me. Cassie, you need to send me pictures of all of the work that they are doing. I want to see this baby in progress. And its awesome to hear from all of you. Know that I love you and pray for each of you every day and every night.

This week here in the mission was awesome. We had a LOT of lessons and a lot of people in church again. We had a total of 5 investigators in the church this week and they were all new people that haven´t gone before. Our father in heaven really does love each and every one of us and I know that he wants us to be successful.

I also had the opportunity to give a talk in church this week. The bishop let me know Saturday at 10:30 at night but atleast it wasn´t the morning of the talk :D. I talked out our baptismal covenant and what we promise each week when we partake of the sacrament. I also read about Peter and the discussion that he had with Christ in John 21. I think it was a good talk but hopefully everyone understood me.

So yeah, we had 5 people in church this week.

1. Ruth, she really basically is a member, but she just does not want to be baptized for some reason.....

2. Denis. She woke up early, threw away her cigarettes and she came to church. The real miracle of it all is that she has not smoked since yesterday. She is really excited for her baptism the 25th and she is really trying hard to stop smoking.

3. Natividad. Denis also is doing some missionary work. She brought her little sister along to accompany her at church and Denis bore her testimony to Natividad. It was really cool. So now we will be teaching them both tonight.

4. Sol. David Gudiño, a member, brought his cousin to church and she said she wants to be baptized..... So of course we said that we´ll help her prepare herself.

5.Joaquin. He is a little brother of a member, Mauro, who came to church this week. He also told us that he wants to be baptized. So we went to his house yesterday to talk to his parents to see if we could and she said that she would love for him to be in the church and to be baptized. And afterwards, the grandpa told us that he wants us to teach his wife. So we´ll be visiting them all this week to teach the son, the grandma, and to help the family come back to church.

This week we also had a holiday here in Argentina. El día del niño. All of the kids received presents from their parents and there was a lot more people at church this week. I think we had 120 people there.

Today as a pension, we are all going to go play basketball with a couple of the young men and women in the ward. and they said that they would all bring a friend that isn´t a member. I think this will be a good activity for the young people in our ward to help their friends start coming to the activities.

We also went and taught Familia Medina again. They have read a lot of the book of mormon as a family and are really excited to start having family home evenings with the members of the ward. But the only problem they have is that they still haven´t come to church. So we´ll start seeing the possibilities of this next week.

So to finish up i want to bear my testimony. I know that God loves us. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and our Redeemer. They both have sacrificed for us and they want us to be happy. Every small thing that we do here in this life, will add up in the end and we will receive the benefits of what we have done. For small and simple things, are great things brought to pass. I testify that families can be together forever. We are here on this earth with a purpose, and this purpose is to return to live with our Heavenly Father. I know these things and I testify them to you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.

I love you all.

Be safe and have a great week.

Elder Gray

Monday, August 6, 2012

Letter #50 "And it came to pass. . ."

And it came to pass that the elders of Rio Ceballos did receive many blessings because of their faithfulness in keeping the commandments of the mission Argentina Cordoba.

Wow! this week was an awesome week here in Rio Ceballos. We had 6 people in church yesterday! We worked a ton this week so that we could have someone new show up and God blessed us with 6! I really do know that when we keep the commandments, show our faith through our works, and pray to have our works show their fruits, God really does bless us.

Well yeah, there was a lot of stuff that happened this week and so here are some of the major points.

1. We put a fecha with Lihue! We had Lihue come and meet with us at the church before one of the youth activities. So it was us, him, and Jared (kid of the Bishop). We started talking about the church and how he liked it. Then he started asking a lot of questions that we answered with scriptures and testimonies. At the end of the lesson, the whole young mens quorum started testifying of the Book of Mormon and we put a baptismal date with him for the 18th of August. ..... But he didn´t come to church this week so we´ll move it to the 25th.

2.Gaston came to church. We talked with Gaston this week as well and we were going to put a baptismal date with him as well but then we found out that his parents don't really like us that much. So now we need to go and talk with the parents to find out if they would permit us to baptize Gaston. I really hope that they will! Gaston is the man!

3.Micaela came to church! We´ve been working with Micaela a lot lately trying to help her solve her problems with her family and trying to help her understand the world that comes after this life. And she ended up showing up to church this week! it was way cool. And also she gave me a pair of underwear as a present for my birthday... hahahaha she´s way funny.

4. Marcelo, Ruth, Laila, and Saul also came to church. They are a bunch of other people that we have been working with this week to see if they could come to church with us. And they all showed up! It was also testimony meeting and so it was super powerful with all the testimonies given.

5. I had two cakes for my birthday! They were delicious. Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes!

6. I finished Helaman! To sum up all my reading thus far, I just have to say that I hate the Gadianton Robbers.

7. Argentina won a medal I think! woohoo! all the Argentines update us on the US and how they are rooting for China to beat us in the medal races.

8. I'm old. :P I now am 20 years old. haha

Yeah, that about sums up the best of this week! I hope you are all doing good!

Con mucho cariño,

Elder Gray