Monday, June 15, 2009

Refiners Fire

How is everyone? Sorry I didn't send a letter with my new address on it. I figured it would get there today or tomorrow anyways. So I will just tell you in my email.

I am excited to be in south zone in San Antonio. It is one of the more coveted zones in the mission. We cover the Heritage B area which includes an English war, a Spanish ward, and then the Lackland Air Force Base Branch. It is a really fun area so far. My companion, Elder Smith, knows the members real well so that is always a plus. There are a couple member that always want to give us food and they are happy to do our laundry too.

So my new companion, Elder Smith, is from Birmingham, England. He is really smart and tall (probably 6'6"). When he lived in England he did Judo competitions all around Europe. His dad works for the church so he moved to Utah for his senior year of high school. He went to Bingham High School. Before this, I couldn't really imagine a Brit speaking Spanish, so its pretty awesome being with him. We have a nice big apartment.

On Sunday, we were at the church all day. I really liked the Spanish sacrament meeting because I could understand most of it. I have been studying a lot harder in my Spanish lately and it has paid off. The Lord has really blessed me. It was awesome to go to the Branch on the Air Force Base. This is one of the bases that they do basic training so its big. President Cutler and his wife spoke in Sacrament Meeting. That is a pretty rare thing so we were lucky to get to attend that. He talked about being put in the refiners fire. A silversmith will put his silver in the hottest part of the fire just long enough to burn the impurities away. He knows that the silver is done when he can see his reflection in it. That is what we need to remember. The Lord will put us through all that we can stand and then when he sees his countenance in us, we are good to go. Pres. Cutler likened that to what the airmen are going through during their basic training. We can all apply it to our lives too. I'm sure you've heard that story before because I have heard it a couple of times.

We also had a baptism on Sunday night. Carlos Arrocha was the man of the hour. He is 19 years old and has been investigating for a month or two. It was a good, fun baptism. When Elder Smith went to baptize Carlos, the water was only about 2 feet deep in the font. For some reason the plug wasn't in all the way. So Elder Smith tried to baptize him but his knee wouldn't go under. So we all stood around for about five minutes while the font got filled a little more. The second time was a success. Carlos will be joining the Navy in a couple weeks. He takes his physical test today.

I hope you all continue to do well. I hope I answered all your questions in your letters. I love you all.

Elder Gray

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