Matt's scripture for the week

Therefore, … whosoever will come may come and partake of the waters of life freely;

Alma 42:27

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

EE 14.3

El Ejido
Christmas 2011
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EE P14.2

El Ejido
New Comp ElderAlexis from Haiti
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EE P14.1

El Ejido
Christmas day Baptisms 2011
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EE 14

how are yall !
 I hope that all of the Christmas things and activities went well! it was awesome to talk to yall on the phone and hear your voices and be able to know what’s going on! This week has been really long for me.  But wow we have worked harder than we ever have. Each missionary has his style ya know. My new comp is a machine at this thing called missionary work.
We were out on the 26th and had a couple lesson planned but some of them fell through and usually Jensen and I would call someone else that we could go to but nope not with Elder Alexis.  We knocked on the neighbors door and taught them! It was awesome! We went for 4 hours almost contacting and found 3 menos actives (less active) and three awesome people.
He is teaching me to not have any fear honestly and it sweet – living on faith.  He is funny, every time we get to sit down in a lesson he looks around at the people in the room, asks them their names and according to their age he says.... you’ll be a priest.. you, a deacon .. and, when are you going on a mission!! hahah It is the coolest thing because after those questions we explain what those things are and it wasn’t awkward or uncomfortable anymore with them because they knew more about us and what we expected out of them .
We had a Christmas activity in the church and it was the funniest thing in the world. Everyone came thinking there was going to be food and drinks. But, after the spiritual message that the Bishop shared, they just cranked up the music in the church and expected people to dance. Usually... most all of the time, Dominicans are just fine with dancing but, not this day ! haha It reminded me of 7th grade where all the boys were still hiding from the girls!. Everyone was just sitting in a circle starring at each other! haha I’m kind of glad that we didn’t invite our investigators!
We ate Christmas Eve dinner at the house of the Castillo family and they were awesome but a little bit to anxious to faten me up!  There was enough food to feed the whole city of Santiago! So I had one plate and while I was eating it they kept telling me and my comp to eat fast and eat more. I got done with one plate and they had another one ready for me! I have a tiny stomach and don’t like much food but it did not matter to them.  Wow, it was a funny experience.
We met a kid in the street when I first got to this area and he has always been there to just give us a high five and ride away on his bike.  I never knew his name and never really paid that much attention to him other than just trying to be friendly.  But yesterday I stopped him and asked him his name, where he lives and if his parents were home.  He told me yeah yeah they're home go over there and see them. So we went over there and told the Dad that his son sent us to his house, he laughed; like it’s happened before. But, we came to find out that he and his family had been baptized and had been inactive for about 2 years. They live in a house that we always passed by and never thought to stop.  But on this day we went because a 9 year old kid wants his Dad and family to go to church again!  
Its way cool what gets put into our way when we apply faith and listen to the Spirit.  I think that sometimes timing is everything.
Thank you for making my Christmas the best by talking to me!  It made things way fun!  I love you guys and hope you have a happy new year and make good goals and do good things and light fire works and.... don’t die. !@!1 bye
Oh, can I just tell you that Christmas baptisms are awesome!

"Faith is not only the principle of action, but of power also, in all intelligent beings, whether in heaven or on earth. . . .Faith, then, is the first great governing principle which has power, dominion, and authority over all things; by it they exist, by it they are upheld, by it they are changed, or by it they remain, agreeable to the will of God. Without it there is no power, and without power there could be no creation nor existence!"  -  Joseph Smith

Thursday, December 22, 2011

EE P13

Elder Jensen, my trainer, and me just before transfers Dec 2011
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El Ejido 13

Merry Christmas and Hello people of the states.. 

This week was fun and sad. Haha. We’ve been working really hard (like always) the last few days before the transfer to try put in our area in really great shape. We gave our best efforts with the new investigadores (investigators) and tried to get as much done on Romy’s house as we could.  We didn’t know whether Elder Jensen or I was going to get transferred or if we were going to stay together, or what? 

Well Tuesday morning we found out that Elder Jensen was being transferred to another part of Santiago, it’s really close, only like five minutes away. We packed up his things from the apartment.  Then last night we went to visit our people’s houses to give them Christmas presents and tell them goodbye.  Honestly, it was the saddest thing to see.  He had to say goodbye to people that he will probably never see again.  They are people that have affected his life like crazy in these last 4 months.

We got up this morning and cleaned up the apartment and just sat and waited for the truck to come pick him up and whisk him off to meet his new companion and new area and the same truck would drop off my new companion. I’ll miss Elder Jensen; he was a good example and trainer. He taught me a lot and did a lot for me and I’m really grateful for him. I hope I’ll be able to keep in touch. 

My new companion is Elder Alexis!! Haha.  This guy is funny as ever. He’s this big Haitian Elder that speaks Creole, Spanish and French! So I’ll just have to kick my learning and language study into a higher gear!  His English, well - He can sing every song that we listen to in English. haha. It is a lot different to have a companion that you can’t communicate with as well as you would like to, but hey that’s part of this adventure and what I’ve wanted so ... feet first, no? I know that he will help me a lot with things, and maybe I can be of help to him also.  I was also worried about being able to teach my new comp the area, but I know how to get around have a pretty confident outlook on things. So, I have a great new companion in our great area.

So get this.  We have two baptism planned for this coming Sunday!!!!  Christmas day!!!  It’s the best Christmas present ever right! haha

They are two kids from a menos (less) active family.  Their grandma takes them to church all the time. One Sunday one of the them came up to me and told me he wanted to be baptized along with his brother!  So, we have been teaching them and helping his dad get back into things.  I love that transformation that comes with repentance and desire to do better!  We are doing the baptism at 8:00 a.m. before Sacrament meeting starts – hopefully everyone will be on time! (not – but we can hope). Then he will be confirmed after! So so cool! I remember my baptismal day and I can only imagine how they are going to feel!  It’s awesome! 

We, Elder Jensen and I, taught a lesson the other day to an owner of a colmado (a corner market).  He was so cool.  His name is Carlos.  Supposedly, he has seen and heard of the missionaries and always wanted to talk to them but never had the chance.  We gave him the first pamphlet and he read the whole thing.  He wanted to know more about Joseph Smith and had us tell about him in our own words. Then, he wanted to know more about the LDM (Book of Mormon).  So we gave him a copy of it as well and we hope that he will dive in and read it.

It’s just cool to us because usually people don’t read and don’t have questions, so we usually just teach what we know and what we understand according to our background and experience.  But when they read and think about what they read, they usually have questions and it helps them understand from their perspective rather than from ours. It’s makes a lot better teaching environment and is so so so much better for all involved.

We have been teaching a girl named Yajari along with her brother for a while.  But, this girl really gets it!  She not only reads, but asks questions and internalizes what’s being discussed and most importantly she prays about it!  She can read something and 5 days later she’ll tell us (maybe better said – teach us) all of what she read. We were in a lesson with her and I asked her about her lectura (reading)?  She went off for a good 10 minutes explaining the plan of salvation to us!

When she finished, I jokingly bowed my head and said, vamos a orar entonces (well, let’s pray then – cause we always end our discussions with prayer) haha - she laughed and then we went on with the next lesson.  She honestly knew and understood the whole thing. This goes to show that we can receive our answers through reading, thinking and praying.  When we have faith and the information that we need, and put ourselves in a way that the Spirit can testify to us, all we need is a feeling from the Spirit of its truthfulness to back it up. 

OH, BUT, HEY THANK YOU FOR THE PAPER CHRISTMAS TREE!!!  It’s on my wall and I outlined it with little Christmas lights! I really appreciate all of the notes of love and encouragements that were written on the tree, haha it’s great!  I hung up all of the pictures you sent above my study area and the pictures of the fam are simply wonderful. yall are the best! 

I’m going to miss being there, a lot.  I have this empty feeling right now because it’s just not the same being away from all of you!  But I love the people that I am around. It’s different but a good different, ya know.

If you can get a calling card, that would be great. haha  I'll call you 1st first from the church and give you my number then you can call me back!  I'll call at about 5:00 pm your time.  I'm excited to talk to you all!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

EE 12.4

"White Christmas"
Willi's Baptism December 10,2011
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EE 12.3

Some of the ward at Willi's baptism
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EE 12.2

My apartment building.
It's on the 4th floor
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EE 12.1

Broom stick and bottle caps
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El Ejido 12

Hola familia Griner!!!                                                                     12/14/2011
Hola hola hola hola! Amigo y vecinos (friends and neighbors)
It’s been an awesome week full of fun stuff and good experiences! 
I had the first baptism of my life!  It was the coolest thing ever! hahh I got to baptize Willi last Saturday.  We had almost all of the youth from the young men and young women’s groups there to support him and most of the primary as well as his Mom!!!  It was a huge show of love and support! 
We went to fill up the baptismal font like 4 hours before the baptism.  We put blue dye in the water to make it look cooler (???)  But, when we came back the water was like green and had a centipede swimming it! haha (oh how I love it here).   It was, well, funny.  So anyway we got it as clean as we could and had the baptism!
We are teaching Willi’s Mom now which is a freaking miracle because before his baptism she didn’t ever want to hear from us.  The Lord puts others (Willi) in the perfect spot to help others! Anyway it was fun!
I was asked to give a talk in church the next day on Sunday by the Bishop while we were at his house.  I asked him ... well what do you want me to talk about?  He said hmmm, whatever you feel the ward needs to hear! haha funny. So I picked the purpose of Christ’s life, I talked about his birth and Christmas time, His ministry and His atonement.  I spoke in Spanish of course, and I think that it went well. 
I don’t know if I told yall this story but it’s hilarious. We were walking to one of our lesson in El Ejido and on the way we saw a car that had died.  They were trying to push it, so we stopped to help them. We started pushing it around a corner - we had to push really hard because it was a little bit of an incline -, so we push hard and are waiting for the guy that is steering the thing to turn, at the last second he finally turns – his friends are yelling at him – then we start down a little decline and he picks up a little speed but isn’t braking.  After a minute he still doesn’t brake and so we just let go and there his car goes right into the 3 foot high curb.  It messed up his bumper and front headlight. Anyway, we ran around to the driver’s side and came to find out that the guy that was steering was wasted/ drunk and didn’t have a clue of what was going on!!  Right after that we went to teach the lesson and guess what the subject was?  haha We taught the word of wisdom!! And we used that example as to why we don’t drink! Haha – just the example we needed at just the right time!  I’m glad that nothing serious happened to the guy who was drunk.
Today was the greatest pday ever.  We went to the stake center and had an activity day with the whole zone and played basketball and stick ball. Stick ball is the best!  We have a broom stick and bottle caps (like milk bottle sized caps) and play baseball with ‘em (no wonder the Dominicans are so good at baseball)!
We also had a Christmas party with President Lee.  Santa Claus came and we played games and had a lot of fun!
Christmas day we can call for an hour from the church or we can use skype at an internet center. I’ll be getting a new comp just before Christmas, on the 21st, and he is the one that will decide. So, I will let you know when I do!! hahah I really can’t wait ! It’ll be fun!    About the phone call home - whomever wants to be there can be, just as long as they want to and will talk to me! hahah
But hey, I love all of you!  Next Wednesday I will have a new comp, Hopefully a Dominican so I can learn the language a little quicker.  Elder Jensen is probably going to be transferred.  I’ll miss him.  He’s been a great trainer.  Sad day right!
Okay love you !!

Friday, December 9, 2011

El Ejido 11

I would like to spend some time talking about Dominican time, if church starts at 9 in reality are starts at 9:35 and if we have a meeting at 7 it starts at 830.  OH, and if some tells you they are 5 minutes away its more like an hour, if it rains you shouldn’t even expect anyone to come! haha  Nothing starts on time here and a lot of time is wasted on waiting! haha frustrating but ya gotta live with it.

It was kind of funny this Sunday, elder Jensen and I got to the church at 8:40 and had to set up all the chairs, prepare the sacrament, put out all the books and greet the people.  We had investigadores (investigators) there at 9:00, but the members didn’t come until  9:20 and we had to start without the Bishop because he didn’t come in until 9:30! Honestly!  My comp and I just laugh now, because every meeting that we have we ask them to be on time, we always have things prepared, but we're on Dominican time :) haha .
But this week was fun! We taught a lot and I finally feel like I can teach a little bit in Spanish.  We taught a lesson last night that was pretty cool even though we got rejected.  We were teaching Reafeal Enrique with one of our best new members Eudy and we sat down on the curb with plans to invite him to be baptized.  We started talking and found out that he has read so so much and he told us that he thought all of this is true so my comp invited him to be baptized if he found out for sure that it was true.  He waited for a little and then went on to tell us that he likes to drink but knows that it’s bad for his body, but he doesn’t want to stop drinking and that if he gets baptized he knows he'll have to stop. haha.  We tried to assure him that he has someone looking out for him and shared a scripture with him but he was so so stiff on him liking to drink.  I really hope that we get the chance to teach him more.

 We had a district meeting this Monday and I had to teach how we could reach our goals as a district.  So I prepared something pretty good and was ready to go.  We showed up to the meeting and had our interviews with our DL and when I got out of mine I saw the mission president sitting there........ haha
I thought... oh great!  So I got to share my first presentation in my mission with him there and it went pretty well ! I shared how the first principle of the doctrine of Christ "faith" applies more to missionary work than any other time in our lives and how trust in the Lord and action can help us reach our rewards or metas (D&C 59 23).

 We have a baptism on Saturday!! Finally! haha, Willi is getting baptized this Saturday and we think that Eudy will baptize him which is awesome!
We have been teaching willi a ton and his friends but we still can’t get to his mom but we hope that she will attend the baptism and be a part of it all and have that open a door for the two white kids to come in.

But happy December I hope it snows and that someone in the fam goes skiing!!!!! haha love you all

Friday, December 2, 2011

El Ejido 10

Dear Family and friends,                                                                         11/30/2011

This week has been pretty fun! we have had a lot of ups and downs some disappointments and things like that but it’s okay. 

 Our transfer is on the 21st of December so during Christmas I will finally be with a Dominican in the same area hopefully but we never know, President Lee could do whatever he’s prompted to. 

I’m sad to say that Mario didn’t get baptized.  We went over to his house 4 days before his baptism. Just to confirm that’s everything was okay.  So, after we had already planned everything, supposedly his Tia (Aunt) called and said that he couldn’t get baptized!  He lives with his grandma and uncle and doesn’t know where his parents are. So I guess the Tia has some authority over him. The Bishop is going to talk to her and try to field some of her concerns.  Wily is awesome and will be getting baptized on the tenth, which is exciting! 

We are also teaching another less active family that has two kids that aren’t baptized.  One of them is 14yers old named Jeffery and we taught him the 2nd lesson about the plan of salvation. The whole time he was asking questions and wanted to know more and more and at the end he stopped us and started telling us how bad he wanted to live in the celestial kingdom and how he is going to read his scriptures and do que dios quiere (what God wants him to) so he can live there and he said that he is going to follow the example of Christ and also tell his family about it..... Then we paused..... and he said .... I’ve never been so serious about anything in my life!  hahahahaha. The Spirit there was awesome. 

We also planned a movie night at the church outside on the cancho (lawn?) with a projector. We went and bought drinks and cookies and popcorn. A ton of people were there, many that we never thought would ever show up!  So, that went well other than me having to serve the food the whole time. Ha

Verjilio our mission leader got married in the chapel and then the next day in the temple.  We got to go to the wedding and it was tight. The Dominican dancing is the bomb.  I was so depressed because we couldn’t dance haha!  

 And on the house that we are building, we got the roof on the front part of the house which was fun to do. It’s hard work but fun. He lives on the fourth floor and so to get the roof parts up there Ii had to strap myself to the fence and have Elder Jensen hand me the slabs.  I had to throw them over the fence,... I wish i had a picture of it , it was crazy,.

So, we have to mop all the time here to keep the floor clean. One day I was cooking fritos with oil and was pouring the oil into a cup to save it and se cayo la vaso ( the glass fell over) and the oil went everywhere. So I cleaned it up with the mop and cleaned the mop . The next day I decided to mop again and when I got done we leftto do missionary work.  When we came back I sat down in my chair and it almost went out from under me because the floor was still so slippery from the oil that was left in the mop. So now we can just about ski on our floor ! haha its funny . But this next week will be awesome.

 I love ya’ll !!!

Elder Matt Griner 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

El Ejido P9.3

The house is coming along. I'm having a riot welding. Just wish I had some leathers so I wouldn't get burned.haha
Yellow light = the sun
White light = arc welding flash
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El Ejido P9.2

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El Ejido P9.1

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El Ejido 9

Hey Fam! 
What’s up! How is it going!! Are all of the decorations for Thanksgiving up? and How is the family?

I just got done playing softball this morning.  We played forever it seems.  We were in a place called Vea Vista with the whole zone and like 3 members and a couple investigators.  It was way fun and so good to get out and do something like that.  Most of the missionaries are – well .... missionaries and not really that great at sports, but some of the natives could really play, so we had a good time.

This week we have been working so hard to get lessons with members.  So yesterday we called like 4 people and left with anyone we could. We are learning to teach shorter more effective lessons so we can teach and explain the concepts and they will have time to focus on a few important principles and we can spend more time in finding and teaching more people.  When we teach full lessons it seems as though some of our investigators are on information overload. So we try to teach key principles and teach with the Spirit so they can hear as well as feel the gospel.

Once again, we didn’t have many people at church, except for the two kids that we have baptismal dates with. They are Willie and Mario.  Mario will hopefully be getting baptized this weekend on Saturday.  We have taught him everything and have planned everything but his grandma is a stiffler and might want us to wait a week but that’s alright. and Willie will be baptized on the 10th!!  It’s sweet. 

We taught a lesson in BFE (middle of nowhere) a place called Los Santos to a menos activo (less active) named Oscar. He and his ex-wife are members with 3 kids together, but they separated and are still having problems.  I guess he still beats her sometimes and he went through a disciplinary council and counseling but never finished and just left the church.  We went to talked to him and started bearing our testimonies about the LDM (Libro de Mormon – Book of Mormon) and asked him to come back to church and begin reading the scriptures again. He just started crying and crying and honestly didn’t talk for about 3 minutes.  He knows that he needs to come back because he used to be so good in the church and he knows it’s true.  Here’s the kicker, I don’t think he would’ve felt that he needed to come back or that he was needed without us talking to him! so yay.

My companion and I have started doing something way cool I think. We went to the church and typed out our testimonies of the Book of Mormon and on the back of them is the “Questions of the soul”  (kind of a FAQ) that the Book of Mormon can answer and also how we pray and receive answers. We will be putting them into each BOM that we give out so others can know how these two gringos feel about this book!  hah. 

Another cool lesson that we had this week was with Annita, she lives with the first counselor of our barrio (ward) and she is "investigating" as she told us hahah I thought to myself.... duh..... ha anyway so we get to her house with Fredrico, who is a 19 year old that needs to serve a mission but doesn’t think he will be able to…, but as we sat down the first thing that she says to us is that she is not getting baptized! hah it was funny because we had never even talked to her about it. ! 
But yeah, I hope that yall have an awesome thanksgiving without me hahah. I’ll cook tomorrow to remind myself of thanksgiving!  
I‘m thankful for you all!!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

El Ejido 8

Querido familia,                                                                  16 Nov 2011
how in the heck are you!
  This week has been pretty standard, doing the regular missionary thing, haha. The lady next to me in the centro de internet (internet cafĂ©) is hilarious.  She is Haitian and she doesn’t know how to type.  So she is pounding on the keyboard so hard with her pointer finger, I’m just waiting to see which breaks first – her finger or the keyboard! Haha, okay anyway.
   On Monday we got a call from the Mission Office and were told not to leave the house because there was a good chance that there was going to be a riot in the streets.... at first I was a little creped out and scared.   I guess the whole country decided to have a welga, which is pretty much a strike against the government.  Apparently people just go crazy!  They throw molotov cocktails (bottles with gas or alcohol lit on fire) into the streets and at buildings, and there’s a lot of shooting go on.  So, we stayed inside the whole day waiting to hear the craziness.  I kept looking out of the window to try and see some of the action ya know!! But, alas, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HAPPENED.... kind of a nervous time and kind of funny at the same time.  I’m glad that nothing happened.
  That same night at about 6:00 we were got the call that things were cool and we could leave the house and hit the pavement.  We taught one lesson to Iseal and Esel and somewhat surprisingly they invited their friend to come and listen to use too.  They always want to have others hear what we have to say. It’s sweet because we are exactly the same age as they are, so we can relate in a lot of ways.  They think the Book of Mormon is awesome and read it all of the time. The only thing they are missing is coming to church, but these guys will be baptized and do great in the church. 
  Okay, I had probably THE most awkward Sunday of my life this past Sunday.  It was stake conference right, and like always as missionaries we try to bring and get people to church so they can cumplir (fulfill) their commitments.  So we tried to contact as many people as we could on Saturday night so they would be ready for Sunday.  So the next morning we planned on picking up two 15 year old boys and another man named William.  Then we were going to pass by and pick up a couple of girls that we have been teaching, with members.  So, Sunday morning comes around and we passed by to pick up the guys and all of them wimped out on us. ugh...  So then we walk down to the girls homes and of course they want to come... So there it was… two missionaries walking to a place that is about 30 minutes away with two kind of same aged girls.  Not the best situation! Haha.  So, we were walking as far apart from these girls as we could without being unfriendly and still trying to walk with them.  Then we really didn’t talk or say anything because they didn’t want to talk – way awkward.   But then we get to the stake conference and all of the missionaries in our area are there along with our mission president and the see us walk in with 2 girls! haha it was terrible and so so awkward for us and I can’t even imagine what it was like for the two girls.  AHHH hah stuff like that, ya laugh at I guess.
   But wow , the other evening/night after we got in from our missionary work,  we went up on the roof of our apt building and were able to look out over the city toward the monument and see the lights of the city.  We got a soda and a bag of treats and just chilled.  It was the most relaxed that I’ve been in awhile and I had fun too.
Ok to answer some of your questions.
We didn’t get a new DL and our area is huge it covers the all of the main city of Santiago.
Exercise:   every morning I do 80 pushups, 3 sets of abs and we have some 25 lb dumbbells that I do shoulders and curls with before I get in the shower!
Shopping trip:  haha there is a place called Price Mart that is about the same as Costco and we can go there once a transfer.
I doubt that we will be able to go to the BYU baseball fireside if they have them on this side of the island, because our President is kind of a stiffler, but, he needs to be. ha
um Christmas decorations: I won’t let my comp buy a Christmas tree because it’s too much money and I won’t be in this area next year.  But we do have lights.  So that’s enough for me!! haha
Blake is getting a car in his area. What?  Man, I wish we could have a bike or car here, but NOPE.  We just have to walk because everything would be stolen or wrecked!!! hahah
 I got the underside of my forearm burned while I was welding!! haha  I just got done welding the railing for the house and I stupidly picked up the poles before they had cooled down and I was left with 2 parallel burns about ¼ inch wide and 6 in. long!! haha looks pretty cool I think!
I need to go i love yall !!

Friday, November 11, 2011

El Ejido P7.2

So HOT I had to try to cool off and sleep on the floor
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EL Ejido P7.1

math, yes trig at work
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El Ejido 7

hola hola Familia y amigos                                                                     09 Nov 2011
toda esta bien por aqui ahora.

This week has been really up and down. Dad you had some questions about Iseal and Esel and also Delvi.
      Iseal and his brother are doing great.  They haven’t come to church yet, but other than that they are golden investigators. They read everything and always have way better answers then I could explain. They are about the same age as my comp and I and so it is fun to teach and talk to them.
      Delvi is still on our list, he scared us the other day. We were at an activity that we put together for the young men and while we were there he called us to say that he didn’t want to hear from us anymore and that he felt like he was wasting our time. Elder Jensen was on the phone and somehow reasoned with him and answered some questions. But he was able to schedule another cita (appointment) with him. We are having a hard time thinking of what else to do with/for him because he has received a blessing and has fasted as well...ugh.

     Okay so we had the worst day ever on Saturday. WE had so many charlas (discussions) set up and we were pumped to go out and work. We got to the first and they weren’t there, then the same with the next and then the next and then the next. So we were a little down. But we kept at it - doing some street contacting, etc.  While we were out we decided to go find one of our investigators that we haven’t seen in a while. We got to his house and he wasn’t there either – we had a great streak going –haha, but we saw him a little ways down the street, So I waved at him and motioned for him to come over by us, but he acted like he didn’t see us and booked it around the corner, que sin verquenza,(jerk) Since nothing else was going on we decided to have a little fun and follow him.  When we turned the corner he honestly was nowhere to be found!  Joke was on us, I guess.  When that happened I seriously wanted to punch something! Haha, but as a rep of Jesus Christ, that’s apparently not allowed..... So that day was pretty subpar until our appointment at Iseal’s house. They are amazing and made my day better because they do everything Christ asks.  One of those trial of your faith days!

     Something really cool happened yesterday. Oh, first of all I finished my first transfer!!!!! Woot woot..  
     We got a phone call, and it showed President Lee’s (the mission President) number on the screen!  We don’t usually get a call from him so everything is going thru our minds wondering what was going on.  I was kinda freaking out because it’s my week with the phone.  So I was getting all pumped to talk to him and then when I answered it, it was the english speaking AP (assistant to the President – there’s one english speaking and 1 native Spanish speaking AP) from Lindon, (the one that Shelly Bonnett knows) anyway, but he invited my companion and me to come into the office so we could meet the new incoming Elders and take them on intercambios (trade offs, splits, exchanges … ). I said sure, ‘cause you always say sure when asked to help out! haha
     Okay so the freakout continues!   I’ve only been out 6 weeks and now I was supposed to take some greeny (brand new elder) that knows basically nothing with me, especially when I don’t know that much either!. Haha, Anyway I was excited to give it a try.  So we got to the mission home and to my surprise guess who is there with the new Elders? 
     None other than AUSTIN ROSE! It was way cool to see and talk to him for a bit, also cool to see the star struck look on the faces of the other greenies, That’s must be what I looked like just one transfer ago! haha.  It’s just been a short time but I feel like I know so much more now than when I first came into the mission home!   That thought boosted my confidence a little bit more, so I wasn’t quite so nervous about taking out a greeny on his 1st day!
     I was paired with an Elder from Peru. He is 24.  I’m glad I got a native speaker to help with my still growing Spanish skills - he and I were awesome together.  We were assigned to go back into my area, so being in a familiar area helped also.  We were able to teach a couple of lessons did some door knockin and street contacting and placed a Book of Mormon. ... ya, it was fun! Kind of made up for the other day!

I love yall ! I hope all is well THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE LETTER!!!  It made my week.


P.S.  I’ll send you a picture of our progress on the house, it’s pretty sweet. I’m finally putting my math skills that I learned in school into play. ...finally – yes kid’s math is important!  Look at the compound angles we had to calculate and cut and weld!

Mom you asked if I had to do my own wash.  Of course mother!  We have this little thing called a lavadora (washing machine) and we fill up buckets of water and dump them into it and put our clothes in with some soap and the lavadora just spins our clothes with the water.  Then next to the spinner there is another thing that spins to dry.  So you do that for one cycle and then drain the dirty water out and then pour in new water and then wash again with more soap - spin dry again and hang them out on a wire for about 3 hours to dry and hope it doesn’t rain!  It’s great fun. lol

Did I ever tell you that in the CCM there was a washer and dryer like yours at home?  It reminded me so so so much of you and home!!?

The weather – ya – It’s HOT, HOT, HOT and then for a change it’s HOT haha!  The power went out today, so we couldn’t use our fans!  I/we just about died. Elder Jensen even after being here for a year isn’t quite used to it.  It isn’t quite as hot as Arizona but this is a humid heat so it is stifling!  In the picture I sent I went into the kitchen and lay on the tile to try to get cool and my comp snapped a picture of me!! hahah 



Tuesday, November 8, 2011

El Ejido P6.4

El Ejido
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El Ejido P6.3

El Ejido
Our leeetle friend
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El Ejido P6.2

El Ejido
One of the members that always goes with us because
he doesn't have friends and loves teaching me spanish.
Also one of the cutest most devilish kids there ever was.
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El Ejido P6.1

El Ejido - Romy's soon to be house
Framing for the bath room and a bedroom
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El Ejido 6

Hey all!


This week went well and we had a lot of success finding and teaching.

But I would say that the funest thing that we did this week is - now that we have torn down the old wood shack house - we started to build up Romy’s house!  It’s awesome.  He went and bought a little buzz box arc welder and metal cutting chop saw so that we could start build the frame of his house today.  I sent some pictures so that you can have a better idea of what we are doing. The frame we are building is made out of 2.0 X 2.0 steel tubes that have to be welded and then somehow we will attach the cinder blocks after the frames are all done.  I got to weld some of the tube!  It was great.  I told him about Grandpa Griner being a welder and Dad welding to help put himself through BYU haha it must run in the blood. 

We take 2 of our mornings, after study, and go and help him. Today we spent the whole morning measuring, sawing, welding and getting baked to death in the heat, but its pouring buckets now so it’s cooling off.  haha.

We also helped Alifda, our recent convert, move and that was crazy as well. She lived on the third floor so we would have to take things down to the second floor and ten toss her things out of the window, because the stair wells were too small.  It feels like we are always doing a service project.
“When you are in the service of your fellow man…! Haha

I had my last meeting as a new missionary this week and it went well. The Mission President implemented a program to help the new missionaries prepare and progress during their first transfer.  So we go over the discussions and how to approach people and question and answers, etc. all in Spanish.  So all of the Elders that came out when I did get together weekly to learn and practice in a big group.  My companion and I had the assignment to demonstrate, in front of everyone, how to present the Book of Mormon, and we killed it!

Our mission President is a very cool guy.  He’s pretty strict.  I guess that he needs to be because apparently there have been some unmotivated (ya that’s a good way to put it)  missionaries here in the past and he is trying to curb that before it starts.  If you have no motivation it would be easy to get lazy, but like Elder Scott taught us in the MTC “if you knew what I know about this gospel, you would run to teach it!”  My companion and I are trying our best to learn and understand those feelings as we work hard. 

Iseal and Esel are two of our new investigators and they are awesome. They are 19 and 20 years old respectively. They read, they pray and they invite people to hear what we have to say!  We were sitting on the side walk teaching a lesson to some dude the other day.  They saw us teaching and came over and talked with us for a minute then invited the guy we were teaching to church!   After listening to them, he was way more receptive, because he now knows that Dominicans believe in the stuff that these  two whiteys are teachings as well haha.

Not a lot has changed here! My patience is still getting tried every day I just have to understand that things are, well different here, and I hope that is something that I will be able to get used to. 



Friday, October 28, 2011

El Ejido 5

WHATS UP FAMILY!!!                                                                                     26 Oct 2011

 Okay, It looks like some pretty fun stuff has been going on at home! haha Thanks for the pumpkin carving contest pictures!  I can’t believe that it is already Halloween.  It doesn’t seem like it; one, because here they don’t celebrate Halloween or Thanksgiving, and two, we already bought some Christmas lights and have them hung up!!  Everyone here has a Christmas tree up already.  But yall already know that if I were at that pumpkin carving party, I would slay and would be walking away with the coveted Golden Pumpkin because that’s how it’s always been!   haha.

 So we live on the 4th planta (level or floor) of this building and are trying to move for sure.  We didn’t get the pink house.  Someone on the 2nd planta has been building something and for the longest time and we didn’t know what it was going to be.  But, the other day we found out that they built a church down there! Haha.  It’s a Pentecostal sect and all day Saturday and Sunday they are pounding on drums and throwing their hands in the air screaming gracias a Dios (Thanks be to God), .... So, we thought that we would move so that other’s won’t be confused seeing 2 LDS missionaries always walking toward this other church haha.

We stopped to talk to a kid in the street the other day. His name is Milton and he speaks English and is about 15 years old.  But it’s hilarious, because he is so serious about everything all the time. We were invited to his house. so we went and taught him. He was attentive the whole time!   When we asked him if he had any questions about the lesson, he asked,... “So what is the KKK and why do they do what they do?”

I laughed so hard but, I still had to answer him because he was really troubled about it.

After that, he said something really surprising!  He told us that he had prayed and asked God to send him a white man that could answer his question about the KKK.......... WOW!!!   We were the answer to his prayer even though it was a seemingly strange question.  It just goes to show that God really does answer sincere prayers, and we can be a part of that communication. We are still talking to Milton and its fun.

DELVI , the one that I extended a fecha (baptism date) with, fried on the word of wisdom and so we had to set his fecha back almost a month.  That’s because of the counsel of our Mission President.  It was a little disheartening to see him like that, I asked him during the last lesson if he wanted all of the Gospel and its blessings in his life, and he told me that he really did but that it’s just really hard to change his lifestyle.  It’s hard to see him struggle like this. But, with our help and the help of the Lord I think that he´ll be just fine.

OH, I forgot something!!! Yesterday was crazy! We were eating lunch and heard someone yelling down on the street.  Then I heard a pistol being cocked and so I ran to the window (dumb right) to see what was going on.  I heard one gunshot and then looked and saw two guys running down the street. Then one guy ran around the corner and another man shot at him again!! It was insane! I couldn’t believe that it happened on my street.  So, then we went and asked the dueno (owner) what was going on?  And he just told us that  everything is fine and explained that one guy had just stolen something!!  Incredible!  2 shots at a guy for stealing like a juice box! My goodness,crazy haha

 Well, I love all of you and hope you have a great HALLOWEEN!!!!

Here’s An email that we received from the Mom of Matt’s companion!  It sheds a little different light on Matt’s language struggle.  ?

Hi Jolynn,

This is Lisa Jensen I am the Mom of Elder Jensen who is in the Dominican Republic with your son.  I thought it would be fun to say Hi.  I wondered how you are doing with your son gone.  I know Jeremy (Elder Jensen) is working him really hard and I hope he can handle hard work.  It is a hard mission.  Jeremy has just been out over a year now.  I hope the downhill goes a little faster than that first year.  It sounds like Elder Griner is doing great and Jeremy is so impressed at what a hard worker he is and how well he is doing with the language. 

Here’s an excerpt from his last letter - My comp has gotten a lot of compliments on his Spanish. We speak it a lot which helps him. Even President Lee took note and said something to the effect of "wow, the new missionaries are already better at Spanish than the trainers!" So cool. The generations of missionaries are better and better.

 We had our other son Cameron just get home from a mission in North Carolina about 2 months ago.  It has been super hard for me having them both gone.  I did a lot of crying but it helps now having our other Elder Jensen home.  I always looked forward to Wed. and getting that e-mail from them both.  I told Cameron the other day he needed to go up in his room and send me an e-mail because I missed it so bad.  I really think I did go through withdrawals for a few weeks. haha

We live in Rexburg Idaho right next to the Temple and BYU-I where my husband works.  I have been a stay at home mom of 7 kids.  We have 4 married children and 9 Grandkids, 2 kids at home right now and Jeremy.  Cameron is a full time student at BYU-I and we have a girl Malia who is a senior in HS.

 Well if you ever have any questions about the boys just drop me an e-mail and we will stay in touch.


Lisa Jensen