Monday, December 28, 2009

Miracles truly do happen

It was so nice to talk to all of you on Christmas. All of you sound
like you are growing up, especially Justin. That’s awesome that he is
doing Violin now. Did he just barely start playing? And I haven’t seen
the new Ensign yet. We will get those at transfer meeting (if we’re
there) on January 7. Is Erik excited to turn 16 and be able to drive?
I know I was. Also I would like to thank everyone that sent me
something this Christmas season. I loved everything. Oh and also just
FYI, I did receive my birthday package and the card from Brooke
and Tim.
Thanks for the E-card. It was funny.

This last week was a good week. We got lots of food and a couple gifts
from the members of the ward. Our fridge is stuffed with leftovers. It
was a fun Christmas. The best part of Christmas day was talking to all
of you and then the baptismal interview we had with DesireƩ. She
passed, of course. She is an awesome person. He son is excited to be
baptized in November when he is eight. We have only been teaching her
for a few weeks. But her friend, Sister Anderson, has been working on
her for years. Then the Lord helped her learn so much more in just a
few weeks. Miracles truly do happen.

On Tuesday we had Christmas Conference with the whole mission. We
started off at the temple and talked for a bit with all our mission
buddies. Then once they opened the temple gates we went inside
and took
a mission picture in front of the temple. After that we went
to the
nearest chapel and had an hour or so of spiritual and business type
things. President talked about how transfers work. He prays about
everything that goes on with transfers. He puts a lot of thought and
prayer into it. Then the week before transfers the zone leaders talk
with all the district leaders and ask them about their districts,
changes needed/wanted, and then the zone leaders talk to President about
their zones. Then president and the AP's figure out where everyone is
going. After that we had some testimonies from five or six
missionaries, Sister Cutler, and then one of President's counselors.
Then we ate. It was fajitas and it was really good. Then we had the
talent show. It was all musical talents. Some were funny and some were
more on the serious side. Two sisters, Sister Kleisler and Johnson,
sung "President Cutler is coming to town." It was pretty funny. Then
San Antonio West zone sang Feliz Navidad and used spoons as their
instruments. It was all good. Lots of talent. After the talent show
we watched Elf. It was really funny since none of us have seen a funny
movie since we were home. After that we picked up our mail and
presents. We got a TSAM paper weight that looks like its carved out of
a rock. Then we went back home.

Well I hope you all have a happy new year! Stay close to the Lord and
keep working hard. Remember the Alamo ;)

Con Amor,
Elder Gray

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Desiree and Logan

I forgot that you guys were in California for the holidays. That is so
fun. That is also fun that you got to meet little Kingsley. If you
can, send me a pic of her. If not, no big. It sounds pretty nice down
there. Its nice here too, most days. It has gotten below freezing a
couple times during the night but its usually between 50 and 70 during
the days.

This week was really productive. We have one lady named Desiree that is
scheduled to be baptized on Sunday. We are so excited. She has been
coming to church off and on for the last five years. It has been really
sporadic until now though. She has come almost every week for the last
couple of months. She is a lot of fun. She has a little seven year old
boy and she is expecting twins in June or July. Her little boy, Logan,
is really smart. He always tells her what he learned in primary and it
helps her a lot. That is one awesome thing that is going on. Then
yesterday we got called into the bishop's office after church. He was
sitting there with a guy named Julien. Julien is the boyfriend of a
young lady in the ward. He had approached the bishop and told him that
he wanted to be baptized. So now we are going to start teaching him
too. He has been coming to church for a long time and knows a lot about
it. The only problem is that he is 17, so he needs permission from his
parents to be baptized. We found a couple other good potentials this
week. A lot of people are leaving for the holidays so we have our work
cut out for us when January rolls around.

Tomorrow we have Mission Conference. I am excited to see a bunch of
faces that I haven't seen for a while. I hear we do a lot of fun stuff
at Christmas conference.

I am in Ether 12 in the Book of Mormon. That is a really awesome
chapter. The whole thing is about faith. My favorite verse is 27
because I really have seen the Lord strengthen my weaknesses all through
out my life. One of the members we talked to this week said something
that I really agree with. He basically said that you can be the best at
anything if you do two things: Have a love for whatever you are pursuing
and then work as hard as you can and give everything to achieve it.
That is so true. I know that I have touched on this subject a lot but I
truly believe it with all of my heart.

I look forward to calling you all on Christmas. Have the best holiday
season and remember our Lord and savior during this time.

Elder Gray

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

We taught a really neat family the other day

How is everyone? Excited for Christmas? I know I am. This last week
went well. We had exchanges with our district leader, a ward Christmas
party, and all the other fun stuff that we usually do. We also did
tri-zone dodge ball last p-day. Its always fun to see all the
missionaries in the area (all the Austin zones) and talk. Elder
Finlayson, my last companion, is now a zone leader up in Roundrock. He
is a really good missionary. One of the hardest workers that I have
seen out here.

On Tuesday we had exchanges. Elder Maka came with me and Elder Best
went with his companion in Bastrop. It seemed like all my weaknesses
were exposed that day. We had a lot of fun though. But in the end it
was better for me. Elder Maka is a really straight-forward person. He
told me the things that I need to work on and the things I did well. I
am really grateful for him. He really helps us out.

For the Christmas party Elder Best and I got to talk for a couple
minutes about Christmas. It went well. I talked about charity and the
story about the Christmas orange. There was a good number of people
there. There were a couple of less active members and a couple of part
member families there.

We taught a really neat family the other day. Their names are Alex and
Lindsey. The husband is from Columbia and the wife is from here in
Texas. He has not been to church since he was fifteen and living down
in Columbia. She is not a member yet but they both have really awesome
morals. Their big focus is always helping people. They are both really
smart too. They are reading from the Book of Mormon and we are going to
talk to them again tonight. I am really excited. There is a lot of
potential in those two.

Tell Grandma and Grandpa that I did receive their dvd. I am not sure if
we will be able to watch it but I will ask. I really like those
Christmas cd's, especially the Spanish one. I also love the caramels.
Thanks! I'm excited to open all the rest. Have the best week and
remember the true meaning of Christmas. Go out of your way to help
somebody and make their day better. Even something small can make a big
difference. I love you all.

Elder Gray

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Keep the Faith

This last week has gone pretty good. We met someone at church that
isn't a member and somehow slipped under the radar. Anyways we are
trying to get in contact with her friend so we can teach her and see if
she wants to get baptized. We are excited for her.

The weather here has been cold. Last week one day it got down to 32
degrees while we were out and then into the mid 20's during the night.
It snowed for just a couple minutes earlier that day but nothing stuck
because it was just a little to warm. Now the weather is back up to the
50's so its nice again.

We also helped a family move this week. The husband is not a member but
the wife is. He will be baptized some day. He said some of his best
friends have been missionaries. There were some really awesome
missionaries a year or two back that just really showed their love for
him. I think just pride is what is getting in the way right now. He
wants to stay Catholic. The move wasn't organized very well so it took
forever. Nevertheless they were really grateful for our help since
everyone else there was older and not able to work as hard as us.

This area has been a little hard for me and my companion. It has been a
little harder to get people to listen to the message here. But we keep
trying the best we can and the Lord has shown his tender mercies at the
times when we really needed them. Our district leader is really
awesome. His name is Elder Maka and he is from Meridian, Idaho. He is
a big Polynesian guy with an even bigger heart. He told me just to keep
trying as hard as I can. The Lord doesn't expect me to be perfect, he
expects the best that I can do.

That's so crazy that Ton ton is back from his mission already. It
reminds me of how long I've already been out. Crazy! Mom,
your talk sounded great and I really enjoyed it. I'm glad to hear
that Erik is doing well. Great attitude. Personally I think attitude
plays a huge role in our health. Thanks for letting me know whats
going on. I will make sure and keep him and all yall in my prayers.
I love you all more than words can express. I know that the work
we are doing out here is truly the most important work.
Keep the Faith.

Elder Gray

Thanks for the reliv. I got it on Saturday. Oh and one little clear-up
on missionary lingo haha. My trainer is just the missionary that is
with me my first and second transfer. So all Elder Best is is just my
senior companion. lol He said he is more like my guardian just a second
ago. haha Anyways, I look forward to receiving the package from all of
you. Oh and one random question. What ward is our cousin in that lives
in San Antonio? love you