Monday, August 30, 2010

Lay hold upon every good thing

So this week was pretty sweet. We had a part member family come to church. They said they were gonna start coming every week. I am so excited because this family needs the gospel so much. I guess we all do but anyways....They are struggling a bit but they want to change. Their two girls that are excited to come are awesome. Carmen and Julisa. Julisa still hasn't been baptized so we're gonna help with that. The older girls aren't too interested right now but they will follow with the example of the others.
I got a speeding ticket. I was going 10 over in a school zone so they doubled the fine. It was crazy. They were pulling over people left and right. Everyone was going about 30-35 mph. They were pulling people over an average of about two people every five minutes in their little speed trap. They printed the tickets quick too. Its been almost two and a half years so it was a record for me.

That day it seemed like everything went wrong. The work wasn't going anywhere, appointments were falling through, etc.....At the end of the day I looked back and realized that if I would have been a little more diligent and obedient, I could have avoided almost all the bad things that happened. It really fortified my testimony of obedience. Unfortunately, I had to learn it the hard way that day. But, overall our week was fantastic. We taught more people than we have in a long time.
I am so excited to hear that everything is going so well at home with everyone's' pursuits. Keep moving onward and upward and keep the faith. Stay consistent and "lay hold upon every good thing"(Moroni 7:19). Keep conquering those XC courses and Catan ;)
Con Amor,
Elder Gray

Monday, August 23, 2010

So this week has been pretty sweet. All the District leaders, zone leaders and trainers came down to San Antonio for a four day training meeting. Elder Seymour (not my MTC companion) and Elder McCurdy stayed with us. On Tuesday and Thursday they tracted with us from 5-9. It was really great to learn from both of them. They are both great missionaries. Elder Seymour is 6' 6" and his testimony is just as big as him, if not bigger. He really has a love for the people and for missionary work. We had a lesson that was just completely guided by the spirit. The people understood clearly and wanted more. Elder Seymour, Andy, and I were all amazed after the lesson. Andy said it was the most amazing lesson that he had ever seen and both I and Elder Seymour have had very few, if any, lessons like that before. It was a really great spiritual experience. I am really grateful for that experience. Oh and by the way Andy is a member in the ward that is getting ready to go on a mission. He has a super sweet testimony. He is my age but just started coming back to church about a year ago. He overcame his trials and has come to love the gospel. He's a great example to me.
I read Moroni 7 the other day. I really got a lot out of it about personal revelation. Like a lot of people, I have the trouble of trying to discern whether its personal revelation or just my own thoughts.
-The first thing you can do is look to see whether its good or bad. Will it help you or someone else come closer to Heavenly Father?
-Then if you still are in question, just go with what you think is right.
So I knew a lot of this stuff before. It was a great reminder. But the new thing I realized is that when we are doing what we are supposed to, to come closer to God, the spirit will guide our very thoughts to what we need to do, where we need to go, etc... So all the time I'm going by what I think is best. But now I know that when I'm obedient to the Lord, my thoughts are no longer my thoughts. Its hard to tell if the spirit is guiding when I'm in the act of doing something. But I can look back at the end of the day and see how the Lord has guided me. I hope that all made sense. The way I understand it cannot be explained in words. Thats the wonderful thing about the spirit.
I'm glad everyone is doing well. School, sports, reading, all that fun stuff. Sweet pics. Justin is doing percussion, right? I'm glad dad is fine from his little dumpster incident. Its funny because I was actually reading a Dr. Suess book in Spanish before I hopped on the computer. Then that's the first thing you mention. My companion's name is Elder Alas, not wings haha. And he is from Fontana. We are still getting along great and are having a great time doing missionary work. Gonzalo just kinda disappeared. He won't return phone calls or answer the door. Its sad but he will be baptized someday. Just hopefully sooner than later.

No nececito mas camisas blancas, pero gracias. Ojala que tengan buena semana y Les Amo!
(I don't need more white shirts, but thanks.
Hopefully, all will have a good week and tell them I love them!)
Con Amor,
Elder Gray

Monday, August 16, 2010

Trust in the Lord

How is everyone? I am doing awesome here. Elder Alas and I are getting along great. That is always key in a companionship. When I haven't been the closest with a companion, it reflects in the work. Luckily, I haven't had hardly any problems with companions and none with Elder Alas. I don't remember how much I told you about him last time but here are some things about him: He loves cars and is a certified mechanic and welder, he is a real good people person, and he is fluent in both English and Spanish.
This week was a little disappointing at church. We had a bunch of people lined up to go and we had rides for the ones that couldn't drive. But, none of them came to church. Its sad when people know that they need to change and definitely feel the spirit, but then just throw that all away. But I trust that the Lord will give them more opportunities to accept. After we do all that we can, and then some more, we have to leave the rest up to the Lord.
Our mission president is a great man, definitely called of God. He is way different from President Cutler but just as great. While Pres. Cutler seemed to be more of the "spirit of the law" kind of person, President Jones is more "letter of the law" kind of person. But awesome nevertheless.
I know that Heavenly Father lives and loves us all. I have come to appreciate and love the simple aspects of the gospel in this last year and a half. Its cool and fun to learn all the random facts and doctrines, but the simple things that we can apply to our lives each day are truly the life-changers.
I love you all and am very grateful to be blessed with such a wonderful family and friends. Thanks for the love, support, testimonies and everything else.
Con Amor,
Elder Gray
P.S. Good luck in the deer hunt! Oh and with that book, Drawing on the Powers of Heaven, you don't need to send it to me. I can focus on the missionary library and BoM for now. But thanks for the offer.

Monday, August 9, 2010

New Companion

Es bien que tiene un traductor para traducir el correo. ¿Funciona bien? El foto del "Cat-scan" es chistoso. Esta semana fue bien. Mi nuevo compañero se llama Elder Alas. El es de Fontana, California. Sus padres son de El Salvador. Entonces, el sabe español muy bien. Tambien, conoció el Presidente Jones antes de la mision. Me ayuda mucho. El es muy amable a todo. El ha sido en la mision desde el 27 de enero. Vamos a hacer mucho bien juntos en esta área. Elder Haueter es el nuevo ZL en nuestro apartamento. Fuimos en el mismo distrito en el CCM (MTC). El es buen misionero. Esta mañana fuimos a la escuela secundaria para practicar el fútbol americana. Elder Haueter va a jugar después de la mision en Boise State (punter y kicker). Nuestro Presidente es muy amable y tambien es estricto. El es un buen presidente. Su esposa es muy amable tambien.
Tuvé la oportunidad a enseñar el quorum de los elderes ayer en el barrio Las Palmas. Escogí la lección acerca de la oración y por que debemos orar a nuestro padre celestial. La clase habló mucho y Gonzalo, nuestro investigador, se sintió el espiritu. Hay otra persona que encontramos hace unos dias. El fue mui triste y no le gusto a vivir. Pero, el fue muy feliz despues de le hablamos. Me gusta mucho la obra misional. Me encanta mucho cuando las personas se cambian.
Well I'm running out of time so heres some english. A typical sunday in this ward is english PEC at 7:30, english Sacrament at 8:30, Spanish PEC at 9:30, spanish sacrament at 10:30 and then church ends at 1:30. We study and eat till 3:00 and then we go out and work. We usually have dinner as a district that night at a member's house. Thats great about DeAnn graduating. Tell her congrats from me. I bet you all are excited for school, eh ;) Well I love you all and hope you have the best week. "Remember" ;)
Elder Gray
P.S. Brittney Polatis' college room-mate at BYU-I goes to the singles ward here in our building. She said hi yesterday.

Now for
Hello, It is well that it has a translator to translate the mail. It works well? The photo of ' Cat-scan' he is humorous. This week was well. My new companion is called Elder Alas. He is of Fontana, California. Their parents are of El Salvador. Then, he knows Spanish very well. Also, President Jones knew before the mission. He helps me much. He is very amiable to everything. He has been in the mission from the 27 of January. We are going to make much well together in this area. Elder Haueter is the new ZL in our apartment. We were in the same district in CCM (MTC). He is good missionary. This morning we went to the secondary school to practice the American football. Elder Haueter is going to play after the mission in Boise City State (to punter and to kicker). Our President is very amiable and also he is strict. He is a good president. His wife is very amiable also. Tuvé the opportunity to teach to the quorum of elders yesterday in the district Las Palmas. I chose the lesson about the oration and so that we must pray to our celestial father. The class spoke much and Gonzalo, our investigator, felt the spirit. There is another person that we found days ago. It was mui sad and him taste not to live. But, he was very happy after we spoke to him. I like much the missionary work. It enchants to me much when the people change.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Con Amor

Buenos días. Estoy feliz porque Erik no tiene el cancer no mas. Yo se que Dios nos contestó y todavía nos contesta. Los ayunos y oraciones ayudaron, yo sé. Nuestro presidente me dijo en el celular que llamó usted a la hogar de misión. Me alegré el nuevos de Erik. Todavía estoy orando para su salud y también de toda la familia. Recibimos una llama ayer. Llamas de las transferencias. Me voy a quedar en esta area y mi compañero va a salir. El va a ser el mayor en su compañerismo (senior companion). El es un buen misionero. Hará bien. No se nada de mi nuevo compañero. El tiempo que tuvimos juntos fue muy bien. Aprendí mucho de Elder Swainston. Espero que yo lo ayude también. Tenemos unos investigadores. Gonzalo, en el barrio español, esta progresando adelante. No tiene una fecha bautismal pero el esta orando para saber cuando debe ser bautizado. Hasta el primero día de esta mes, andábamos en bicicleta mucho. Pero tenemos millas ahora y podemos manejar en el carro y conservar las millas mejor que el Julio.
Como están todo? Justin me dijo que tal vez el va a nadar en un equipo. Todavía quiere hacerlo? Erik y Ashley están corriendo por la escuela, si? Gracias por los recetas. Esta mañana yo traté de cocinar las galletas(cake mix cookies). El horno no funciona muy bien entonces fueron sobre cocinadas. Pero me gustó todavía. Gracias por el apoyo y todo. Os Amo.
Con Amor,
Elder Gray
PS Let me know if theres anything more or less that you would like me to include in my letters

Hello, good morning. I am happy because Erik does not have the cancer. I itself that God answered us and still answers us. The fasts and prayers helped, I know. Our president told me in the cell that called you to the home of mission. I was happy the news of Erik. Still I am praying for his health and also of all the family.

We receive a flame yesterday. You call of the transfers. I am going to remain in this area and my companion is going to leave. The he is going to be the major in his friendship (senior companion). He is a good missionary. He will do well. I know nothing of my new companion. The time that had together was very well. I learned a lot of Elder Swainston. I expect that I helped also.

We have some investigators. Gonzalo, in the Spanish neighborhood, progressing ahead. Does not it have a baptismal date but he this praying to know when should be baptized. To the first day of this month, we walked and bicycle a lot. But we have miles now and we can handle in the car and to conserve the better miles than the July.

As they are all? Justin told me that perhaps the is going to swim in a team. Still it wants to do it? Erik and Ashley are running for the school? Thanks for the recipes. This morning I tried to cook the oreos (cake mix cookies). The oven does not function very well then they were over cooked. But i liked still. Thanks by the support and all.

I Love you. With Love, Elder Gray