Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"It's not who you aren't, It's who you are"

?Como es mi familia? Yo tengo felice. Mi companero es bien tambien. Mi testimonio sobre Jesucristo y su expiacion es progreso a diariamente. Mi testimonio sobre todas los cosas en la Inglesia es progreso a mucho. Se que you hice un bueno decisione voy a en un mision.
It's really gonna help me in life, I'm sure. This week has been good. M. Russell Ballard came on Tuesday. It was really good. He talked about a lot of things but the main thing I got out of it was to stay positive.
On Saturday, we taught our first lesson in Spanish. Even though we couldn't say everything we wanted, we felt the spirit and it just felt really good the whole time. :)
I did like the valentines package. Thanks! That's awesome that we beat Canyon View. Your comment about "bathroom material" made me laugh, mom. And thanks for the quotes dad. Everyone you give me, I can apply to my life. I really enjoy reading what's going on around town, but especially the family. So keep it up. :) How did fishing go? I'm gonna miss fishing but maybe I can go occasionally on P-days.
I am excited to go to Texas. The time here is passing super fast. I think I get flight plans next week so I'll let you all know what's up when I get them.
In our fireside last night (with Stephen Allen, Mission Dept. Director), we watched a bunch of the church commercials along with his talk. There was a lot of good one-liners. So just remember; "it's not who your aren't, it's who you are". Stay close to the Lord. I love you all.
Elder Gray

A quick email on Monday, 2/22/09

Dear family,
Hey tell Erik I love him too. And everyone else in the family

I'm sorry to hear about Larry Miller. He was a good guy. I hope the
new owner will do just as good or even better. Who is the new owner
anyways? Thats funny about Justin and his friends. They are crazy. Do
you think you could tell Brooke and Tim thanks for the letter. I would
write them back but I just don't have the time. I think I will go back
to "writing" my letters to you all. I feel too rushed when I email it.
Oh, and by the way, M. Russell Ballard spoke at our devotional last
Tuesday. It was really good. It was my first apostle I got to listen
to live here at the MTC. He had a really good message but one of the
main things I got out of it was to stay positive.
Have fun and stay out of trouble :)

Elder Gray

p.s. my weekly letter is getting sent out in the mail today, just fyi

Monday, February 16, 2009

Keep writing me all you want.

February 16, 2009 
Dear Family,

Hey I figured I would start doing my letters on email just because its a
little easier to send.
This last week went by super fast. We taught our last lesson in english
and we are now gonna do espanol the rest of the lessons now. Also, our
our classroom instruction will all be in espanol till we leave. I am
working really hard and its paying off. I just have to remember not to
get frustrated. Everyone learns differently.
Our district decided to start doing the MTC choir this week. I still
cant sing any better than before but its still really fun. You can
really feel the spirit when your singing in a choir that big.
My companion and I are the Zone Leaders now. The last ZL's are leaving
tomorrow. I am a little nervous but I think it will be a lot of fun.
The firesides and devotionals and everything here are so great. I learn
so much from every speaker.
Thanks for all the letters and packages! It is nice to have candy and
that other stuff you sent me. Keep writing me all you want. I have
plenty of time to read letters. The hard part is finding time to write
Thanks for raising me right. As I live with a bunch of elders I come to
realize that some of them are lacking in some basic areas (por ejemplo:
hygiene) But the elders in my room are pretty good.
You all sound like you are having a bunch of fun. Keep me up-to-date
with all the happenings at home.
Remember: You can't love anyone you don't like
Stay Close to the Lord.

Elder Gray

P.S. Tell Justin that Chris Heimerdinger's son is staying on the same
floor as me in our residence hall. He is going to Ukraine.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Nothing in life comes without hard work

February 9, 2009
Hey Everyone,
How is everything down there in Cedar? Thanks for all the letters and that candy pizza. It was really good. I saw Preston Saturday during gym. He seems to be enjoying himself so far. Things are going real good for me. It's hard to believe I've been in here for almost 4 weeks. Time goes by really fast.
On Saturday, we taught the 2nd lesson in English to a practice investigator. It was awesome because we taught by the spirit and we didn't even follow our original lesson plan. The spirit was so strong. Once a week we get to go to the call center and take calls for church commercials. Most of the time its for either a Bible or Book of Mormon. We get to do outbound calls too. It's really fun because we get to bear our testimonies and talk to a lot of people about the gospel. We can also send missionaries to their house if the caller wants that.
That's awesome that you got that fire station. I'm glad you guys are being blessed. I really liked that P.U.S.H story too. I can really apply it well to my life now.
Justin, your car looks awesome! I'm glad you did well. (pinewood derby) Sunday School is always fun. We take turns teaching it so my turn should come up real soon. Thanks for the weather updates. :)
Erik, that's real neat that your gonna do javelin. I was never skilled enough to do that. Just remember to work hard in whatever you do. You'll do awesome!
Thanks for everything Mom and Dad. That's good that your R.S. stuff is doing good and all is working out. One of my teachers said that the Lord micro-manages missionary work so I'm sure its' the same with stuff like Relief Society. My cookies and brownies and everything were all in one piece. It would be nice to get another towel and another pair of gym shorts just next time you send a package. No rush.
Try and remember that nothing in life comes without hard work. Stay close to the Lord and I love you all.
Elder Gray

P.S. I forgot to add some stuff to my letter. LOL. I was gonna tell you all a little about my district and zone. Two Elders, Stirland and Keys, were supposed to leave for the Dominican Republic MTC last week. Elder Stirland left, but Elder Keys' visa got delayed. So we had a trio for a couple days. It was fun having 2 companions. But Elder Keys will be leaving tomorrow. We have a lot of different kinds of people in our zone. It's fun. We have a big Polynesian Elder. I love the Polynesian people. They are so loving. You can see it in all of them.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Focus and Dedication

February 2, 2009
Dear Family,
This week went by super fast. It seems like I just wrote my last letter yesterday. I am doing excellent! The food here is awesome but after 3 weeks it is getting a little redundant eating the same things each week. I still eat a lot though. I've gained about five or six pounds since I got here. That's cool that you all switched things up a bit with your rooms. I'm excited for Preston (Olsen) to come. He might have gym at the same time as me because there's a lot of Tagolag speakers in my gym time now. But I guess I'll see when he gets here.
Spanish is going well. It's coming to me better each day. This week I focused a lot on grammar because I was struggling in that area. They have a personal tutor that comes once a week and she really helped out a lot.
So I don't know if I told you or my journal about our branch president for our zone. So sorry if this is a repeat. Our branch president is awesome. He has a sense of humor a lot like Brother Holder. He was a mission president, stake president twice, adviser to 3 U.S. presidents...Ford, Reagan and the 1st Bush...and he was on the board that helped put out Preach My Gospel. His wife is really nice, too. Our zone is lucky to have him and his counselors.
For your talk dad, anything out of PMG (Preach my Gospel) is golden. It is a great book. I really like the Missionaries' Purpose part because really it is every one's purpose, not just missionaries.
Thanks for the goodies! Everyone thinks they are way good! And speaking of family history, yesterday in our mission conference I learned something cool, the retention rate on one of the missions for new converts was about 25%. But when the converts were introduced to family history work right off then the retention rate was about 70%. What a difference. One really good thing I learned this week is dedication and focus. I am learning so much but I can learn even more if I focus just a little more... I have been better the last couple days.
How is everyone at home doing? How are the dogs? I miss you all and love you all. Thanks for being such a good family. Remember, Dios ama todos sus hijos. Jesucristo es nuestro Redentor y nuestro Salvador. Familias es un parte central del plan de Dios.

Elder Gray

P.S. Tell Grandpa and Grandma thanks for the card and their support.