Monday, September 27, 2010

Sweet Referral

This week was really awesome. We had a zone council on Thursday with the assistants to the president. It was really awesome. The biggest thing I learned was how to really study and get the most out of it. It made a night and day difference in my studies right away. I applied this quote: "Knowledge carefully recorded is knowledge available at time of need." I had not been keeping a very good study journal. I learned so much more as I wrote down the really cool things I learned. I was amazed how much better my study went. I thought I was learning a lot when I just kept the things in my head and didn't write them down.
Also this week we received a sweet referral from a former TSAMer. There was a lady that he had taught. She text-ed him and told him that she wanted to be baptized. So he gave us a call and let us know. We came over to her house and taught her. She accepted to be baptized on October 10th. She has given up a bunch of things and is really willing to give up all she needs to for the Lord. She is in hair-dressing school and was planning to take a trip up to Austin for a conference yesterday. But, she decided not to go so that she could be baptized on the 10th. Sacrifice does really bring forth blessings. She had a great time at church.
I am excited for conference. I have learned so much each time. I wish I would have realized how big a blessing it is before my mission.
Jalapenos..... Awesome! I have definitely been eating a bunch of hot stuff here. I remember before my mission I didn't even like the fire sauce at Taco Bell. Now, it isn't even good because its so weak sauce (ha no pun intended). There's some really good hot sauce called Valentinas here. Do they have that back in Utah? When I first got to the mission I ate at a Spanish lady's house. I was on exchanges with a Mexican elder and he told me that the food wasn't spicy. I took a couple bites of the meat and my eyes started watering and my nose started running. It was super hot. And then I looked at everyone else and they weren't even fazed. Man, it was torture. But now I'm a little more accustomed.
Your garden looks awesome. I have really grown to love healthy food out here so I'm excited to have some vegetables next summer. That tithing story is funny. In my last area there was a lady that told us when she first joined the church and paid the first time, she paid $90ish in change for tithing. She didn't realize someone had to sit there and count it. Oh by the way, kind of off topic, this lady's husband tied the 60m sprint world record back in the day. I think he got like 6.1 seconds. And he's white! Ha so anyways for my responsibilities..... I give a nightly call to make sure the Elders are home safe and also talk about how their day went. I give trainings once a week unless we have zone conference or something else. And I just try to set the best example that I can.
Thanks for everything. I really appreciate all your help, love, support, advice....... I love you all and hope and pray for the best. Thanks for the package. The cookies are gone already and I really appreciated the quotes, bookmarks, Toy story candies and the other things.
Elder Gray

Monday, September 20, 2010

The atonement

Greetings from Texas. I am doing very well. This last week went pretty well. I went to a training meeting on Wednesday. The big thing I got from it was being an example and being 100% obedient. Now with some leadership responsibility, its a lot easier to do the right thing; because I know that if I don't, then someone else might not do the right thing. It truly is a blessing to have this opportunity.
We have a new missionary in our apartment. The zone leaders are training him. His name is Elder Kelepi and he is from Florida. He is also Tongan. He is a fun missionary. He always has something funny to say and keeps us laughing.
The work here is great. We are working with this one family and the husband finally told us some stuff that is bothering him and holding him back. We could tell there was something that he was holding back for a while. He is a member and sometimes feels down because of his weaknesses. But I know through the atonement that he can change. That's the wonderful thing that we have. Never take it for granted, because most of the world doesn't know about the awesome power of the atonement.
I love you all and am glad that you all are still thriving. I'm glad that Dad has been able to receive sufficient work in these challenging times. I see so many people out here that have been hit hard by the economy or they weren't raised in a good environment or a number of other things. Count your blessings.
Con Amor,
Elder Gray

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Member Trust

So this week was a great week. I am staying in this area and so is my companion. I'm gonna be a district leader. A lot of our investigators have fallen through but that Samoan Family is still going strong. They are such a great family. You can feel their love for everyone. They always feed us when we come over. Its great :) Our English class is doing great. We have only done it once but we had a great turnout. We had about 8 people there. It should just skyrocket from there. They were all members but soon enough they will bring their non-member friends and hopefully we can teach them.

We also went to the flea market last week. I bought a full sized Texas flag (it was only $5), some Mexican sunglasses, some rope, and a Texas license plate. It was awesome because everything was cheap and you could talk em down a bit too.

Member trust in the area is going up. That is one of our big objectives right now. A couple years ago there was a lot of missionaries just trying to get baptisms. You can see it in this ward because there are a lot of in-actives. I really enjoy helping people out and bringing them back. When we work we generally try to visit less actives and then knock around them looking for new investigators. The ward members are semi-helpful. We are doing our best to strengthen the wards from the very core. The bishops are very willing to work with us. Especially Bishop Alonzo from Las Palmas ward. He is a great man. We know exactly what we need to do to help the people. So remember, sacrifice builds the Lord's kingdom. Lift where you stand y haga tu parte.

Thanks for all that yall have helped me with as far as school and stuff. I do have a couple questions about SUU. I will sign up for the classes cuz I can just do that on some pday.

We didn't do too much out of the ordinary last pday for the holiday. We played volleyball with a bunch of ward members and chilled. As far as I know, transfers are still working the same way. Every six weeks. I guess every once in a while they do an emergency transfer if a problem arises. But thats pretty rare.

Oh by the way, I lost my scriptures a week or two ago. I cannot find them anywhere. So tomorrow when we are at some training meetings up north I might go and buy some. Just fyi. Well, I love you all and I hope this scrambled letter makes sense. Keep the faith and love everyone.
Elder Gray

Monday, September 13, 2010

Someone Great

September 6th, 2010

Dear Family,
We had another sweet week. We had exchanges with the Zone Leaders and then our District Leader, Elder Kellog, again. I got to go with Elder Loertcher. He is a greeny. But, he is a really good missionary already. His Spanish is really good and he is very obedient and diligent. Then on Saturday I went with Elder Bennett to his area. He is a real good missionary also. He is very good at keeping to the basics in Preach my Gospel. I learned a bunch from him.

It's crazy how time flies when you are having fun and staying busy. I really love being out here. I would have gone anywhere else and been as blessed as I have been here. I know that the Lord's hand is in it all.

I love you all and am proud of every one of you. Thanks for the support and love. Remember, if you want to become someone great, study the great ones that have come before us or are among us, and emulate them. Especially our Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that His atonement is infinite and His example perfect.

Elder Gray

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Holiday

Sorry we don't have too much time today. We are using the computer in the clerk's office at the church. I just wanted you all to know that I love you and that you are in my prayers. There will be my regular letter in the mail soon.
Elder Gray