Monday, October 26, 2009

Awesome Potentials

So not too much to report on this week. We did a lot of finding and we
have a couple of awesome potentials. One has had the missionary
before so she has some great potential. She is in her early
and her husband is in Afghanistan right now. She went out
of town for a
week or two but we'll continue to teach her when she
is back. We are
also working with a part member family. The mom
and dad are recent
converts. They were baptized a couple months
ago. The daughter that is
fourteen is the only one that isn't baptized
yet. She really likes
going to YW classes and I know that it is just a
matter of time before
she is baptized.

It is nice having an *English called* companion. Now I can't turn to
anyone when I am speaking Spanish. It has already helped my
improve. We don't run into too many Spanish speakers
though. Maybe a
couple a day at the most.

Good job at state Ashley. That is awesome that the boys did so well
too. Tell them I said good job. Your testimony about priesthood
blessings is really awesome too. I know that they really do help if we
have faith that they will.

Sorry my letter is so short this week. I'm sure I will have more to
report on in the future. Thanks for all the updates about everyone and
everything. Oh and thanks for keeping my address and things updated
other people. Os Amo. Keep the faith!

Elder Gray

Monday, October 19, 2009

If pigs could fly

So I got transfered back up to the Austin area. I really love it up
here in Austin. The area is called Buda and it is in the Kyle zone.
This zone basically consists of the area between Austin and San Antonio.
We cover just a small sliver of south Austin and then we have a couple
of small country towns. Buda is where most of the members live. It is
a small town with a couple thousand people. The members are great.
They are very missionary minded. The members haven't been utilized as
much as they could have been in the last couple of months so it is going
to be awesome. My companion is Elder Best. He is from Bountiful and
has been out for about 16 months. I really enjoy him. Most of my
companions before liked being in control (which isn't bad most of the
time) and he isn't like that at all. It is very equal with him. He is
a great missionary. We are going to do very well together the next
couple of months. Also he is my first companion that is shorter than
me, only by a couple inches though.

Kinda a crazy name for a street. Also, our church is on a road called
Convict Hill. But don't worry. Despite the crazy road names this is
the nicest area I've been in so far. Lots of safe people. We live in a
really nice complex on the southern edge of Austin. It has a little of
great things. There are things that we can't do like the hot tubs and
pools but they have a media center (thats where I'm emailing from).
They also have two nice gyms here in the complex. I have only been to
the smaller one but it still has almost everything I need. This last
spring the church came out with a statement that said that we, as
missionaries, can't work out in public gyms. So some elders were kinda
bummed out about that. But president said that we can work out in our
complex's gyms since they are private gyms.

The work is going a little slow here right now but it will pick up very
soon. There is a lot of potential for this area. I love you all and
thanks for your support. Watch out for them swine ;)

Elder Gray

P.S. my area is mostly just english and my companion is called english
speaking. Good luck at state and good job at region! Good luck against
CV Erik. Let them know their place ;) haha jk but seriously. Oh and
also that package is nowhere to be found. If it isn't too much hassle
do you think you could send some more Reliv? I'm so sorry that last one
came up missing. I feel bad. Thanks for everything.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Wow another week gone by. Time flies. So as previously stated, I am
going to be transferred. Transfers are on Thursday. I am not sure
where I am going. But next Monday I will give you my new address. I
have really loved this area. The members are great and there have been
a lot of great missionaries here in the past so the members love us.
It’s sad to leave some of the people but it’s all good. All the
converts that were baptized while I’ve been here are still going strong.
They all have goals to go to the temple with their spouses. It’s really
awesome to watch them grow; and it’s not just the recent converts that
are growing. All their spouses are really progressing too. The Meiers
continue to be awesome and funny. They are both really smart. The
Williams are doing really well too. I believe Sister Williams is about
half way through her pregnancy. They have a fun little daughter named
Aniya. She is four. Her and their little Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix
are always teasing each other. The Noll family is also doing great.
They have grown by leaps and bounds and continue to do so. Brother Noll
gave a really great testimony in sacrament meeting last Sunday. Roger
is also doing very well. Since he lives in a different ward we don’t
talk to him much anymore but Brother Hack gives us occasional updates.
We have been going through a lot of people. There are some with some
great potential right now. As I get updates from Elder Finlayson in the
future I will update you.

One thing that I love about going to a new area and getting a new
companion is that you get to start over. You can basically be the
person that you want to be and they won’t know the difference. Fun

Elder Finlayson is receiving a brand new missionary this next transfer.
This will be his second trainee. He is a very structured missionary so
the missionaries he trains will have great habits enforced to start
their missions. I’ m excited for him. He is excited and nervous.

I’m glad that the missionary work in the ward is going strong. Keep it
up. Keep the members involved as much as possible. I’m glad that you
have been able to take part in missionary work. It truly is awesome to
help build up the Kingdom of God here on the earth. Tell Ashley good
luck at region and state and tell Erik and Justin to keep working hard
and good luck in all that they do. Tell Tim good job and to keep
working hard. Same with Dad. I am proud of you all no matter what.
Keep working hard in what you love to do and what we need to do.

So my apartment……. I’ll record a little walk through on my camera and
then you can see it the next time I send a card home. I’m not sure if
it does sound or not so let me know. Basically it is on the second
floor; it has a bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, walk in closet and living
room. We have a couple of couches and chairs and a table. Our
neighbors are all very interesting. We have a recent convert to the
church that just moved in next door a couple of weeks ago. We have a
dysfunctional family that is always yelling at each other close by (it’s
very sad). Sadly a lot of our neighbors struggle to make a living or
they don’t even try to make a living. We do ride our bikes still
Thursday through Saturday. Lately we have been biking to an area that
is about three or four miles away. The members love to feed us for
dinner. Last night we had tamales and this really good drink made out
of some flower. We usually get about half and half as far as English
and Spanish members. They always feed us so much so I usually don’t eat
a whole lot during the day. We started that exercise program last week.
Thanks for sending it. It is a lot easier to work out when I know what
I am going to do. It has been a real good workout for my legs.

Well my time is spent. I hope I answered all your questions. Love you

Con Amor,
Elder Gray

P.S. A little bit of missionary slang:
Boy or Hijo: Trainee or greenie
Pops or dad: Trainer
Grandpa: your trainer’s trainer
Transfer: the six week period between transfer meetings or the transfer
meeting itself. We as missionaries usually measure time in transfers
instead of months.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

75 degrees and slightly foggy

How is everyone doing? I really enjoyed conference this weekend. I
heard so many things I needed to hear too. Elder Bednar with expressing
love and showing it, and bearing testimony and living it. Elder
Andersen and repentance. Elder Ballard in the Priesthood session with
his talk on how to be a better son/father. Elder Uchtdorf on learning.
One thing that I really liked that he said was “Winter will give its way
to spring.” President Monson, Eyering, Cook, they were all really good.
I think picking a favorite talk would be like picking a favorite child.
Not possible ;) Oh I also loved Elder Holland’s powerhouse talk on the
Book of Mormon. He always delivers a really strong message. One thing
I think I’m gonna do in the next couple of days is make goals on how I
can live and apply the things I have learned in the last couple of days.
We watched all of the sessions at the church. The people here in Texas
can get conference at home as long as they have cable or satellite or
something more than basic, free TV.

I’m glad Chandler and the missionaries in Samoa are fine. The Lord
really is watching out for his servants. That’s cool that they will be
able to help in the rebuilding process. Once, our branch president in
the MTC told us about when he was a mission president in California.
There were some wildfires. He sent some missionaries to help clean up
and rebuild. They ended up teaching a lot more people than usual while
they were working. They helped for about a month or so.

We had an investigating family come to conference. They enjoyed it.
Their name is the Luna family. They haven’t been too solid lately but
this last week they were very solid. Keep them in your prayers.

Last night we were knocking in an apartment complex. At one of the
doors there was a really funny guy. His voice sounded like the “Rex
Kwon Doe” guy on Napoleon Dynamite except angrier and a lot older. He
also had some crazy eyes goin’ on. As he ran his fingers through his
beard he informed us that he doesn’t worship a God that doesn’t have
whiskers. That gave us a good laugh. Then to make things better we
taught a pretty good lesson to a guy we met outside his apartment. We
are gonna meet again with him tomorrow.

How is work going for dad? Lots of things being built? Relief Society
is going well I assume….. It sounds like Ashley and Erik and Justin are
still having fun with their various activities. Keep me posted. You
all sound just as busy as me. Thanks for the letters and support. I
enjoyed those couple extra stories you sent me, mom. I didn’t know
Elder Reid in the MTC but that was a really neat story about his mom.

I would just like to share my testimony about the power of prayer. I
know that it is real. I know that Heavenly Father answers each and
every one. He sure has answered mine. One big thing I have learned
more about is that prayer is a conversation with God. You talk but you
also need to listen to what he has to say. Try pausing after a question
and just listening for an answer. I know that he loves us and will come
as close as we allow. I love you all with all of my heart. Stay strong
in the faith.

Con Amor,
Elder Gray