Matt's scripture for the week

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

Alma 42:27

Saturday, December 29, 2012

AH 17

Hello family!!!                                                                 26 December 2012 

Yesterday was really fun and I’m glad that I got the chance to talk to all of you guys!!! 

Like I told you yesterday Victor,  got baptized on Friday!!!   To be honest, it was a really stressful getting the baptism organized.  Ha! 

Last Friday my comp left for the mission home to have his final meeting with the mission President.  So I was with two other elders as companions.  They are part of the Office Staff and weren’t familiar with my area and how to get things ready for the baptism, so I got to get everything organized and planned for the baptism without my comps assistance.   

Elder Feliz got the chance to come back after his exit interview and be at the baptism. It was really special for us because it was his last day and we had worked together for this occasion.  It was a very spiritual baptism.  Elder Feliz, a member, and I sang Silent Night as a special number.  It turned out really nice!!!   Victor’s story is really awesome.  We met him exactly three weeks ago today. He was a person that was prepared by the Lord and I’m very thankful that we got the chance to be part of his conversion.

Saturday our Ward went to the temple down in Sato Domingo.  We had two families in the Ward get sealed for time and all eternity!!!  One was our mission leader’s family and the other was the Young Men’s President’s family.   It’s awesome for us because we helped the mission leader to come back to church when I first got here and to get his calling (he is the one to my left in the picture).  
For now I am comps with Elder Castillo.   But we will only serve together until Saturday and then I will get my new companion!  

 Just to let all of you know; I’m very grateful for you and I’m really glad that yall helped me to come on my mission even though I was the best person before.  I know that my experiences that I have been through here will be memories that I will never forget and I owe that all to you!!   

I hope that you have a happy new year!!!! 


Elder Griner
P.S. this is the link to the news article about the flash mob e did a the mall here in Santiago.  Sorry it's in Spanish ...

Baptism day for Victor

Yours truly, James Maxi, Elder Feliz
Nice Christmas TIE!

Friday, December 21, 2012

AH 16

Close to, Merry Christmas Family!                                                           19 Dec 2012 

ANSWERS:.... yes we have officially changed transfer days which means that I will be coming home  on July 18th. comp goes home on Saturday and we are having the baptisms on Friday ...... I don’t know who my comp will be; I have been staying with the office elders for a couple weeks now so I’ll probably just be in a threesome with them!  

This week we had our Christmas devotional!!!  It was amazing.   President and Sister Douglas treat us almost too well.  We got to the mission office and there was a thanksgiving style dinner prepared that included turkey, gravy, and stuffing!  So we ate and ate!  After dinner we had the devotional and all the missionaries that wanted to got the chance to share the testimonies, and then after we spent for ever practicing for the flash mob singing and dancing at the mall. 

Saturday night we all went to the mall to sing (flash mob style).  We got there at 5:30 and at 6:00 we had arranged to have all of the music turned off in the mall and we started to sing.  We sang from all 3 levels of the building.  There were Elders and Sisters that were going up and down the stairs singing. We sang three Christmas songs and then at the end we sang Feliz Navidad and coordinated it with a dance which was way fun. By the end, all of the people in the mall sang along with us and were amazed to see Mormons doing something fun like that! I don’t have pictures but they are making a video, so when I get it, I will send it to you! 

On Saturday, we had two baptisms, IshaMaria and Moises Saul. Sauls brother Damar was cool enough to baptize them for us!!!  It’s pretty cool because WE honestly met Isha about 3 weeks ago, She was a reference from her aunt . We got to teach her everything and it came very easy and natural for her because she was willing to accept the gospel and willing to be a part of the church. She goes to seminary every morning at 5:00 and was going way before she got baptized. Saul was just ready to get baptized because he always went to church with his brother and has helped his Mom to go as well!  

This Friday we will be having two more baptisms one guys name is Victor and one day I’ll tell you his story and the other is Rafael!  So we’ll see how that goes!!!  I’m excited for them all! 

On Monday I GOT TO GO BACK TO DAJABON AND MONTECRISTI!!!!! Haha.   My comp got permission to go to the market in Dajabon (because he finishes his mission service this Saturday).  So on Monday morning we took the office elder’s truck and headed out!  I got to drive all the way and it was amazing!!

I HOPE YALL HAVE THE BEST CHRISTMAS EVERRRRRRRRRRRR.  To know that God sent his son Jesus Christ to teach us, be an example for us and to ultimately die for us is one of the best gifts that anyone has ever giving me. I really really hope that this year our family will be able to focus on Him and what He did for each and every one of us.  


love you!

misión santiago RD

The picture of the beach is in Montecristi! I’m the one on the right! The Elder to my left is like 6’5”!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

AH 15

Hey family! How are yall doing?                                                12/12/12       
Sorry I wont be writing much about anything this week I know its a stupid excuse, but I’m just beat and don’t want to write a lot haha.
I found out that Lindsay had her baby. MAXI JAMES told me when we went to teach at his house. He saw Dad’s post and message on Facebook, that’s awesome!!!! congrats sis!!! I love you.  haha I'm an Uncle again!
Friday will be our Christmas party in the mission and on Saturday we are going to do a "flash mob" in the mall. We are all going to sing Christmas songs to everyone. It should be fun !!! haha I have a Santa hat and I’ll wear it for effect.

Actually, we should have a really cool December. This Saturday we are going to have 2 baptisms. Saul, and Isha. Saul’s brother, Moises, is a member and so we have had the chance to work with him for a little while. His brother is going to baptize him this Saturday. Isha is the niece of a member and they gave us the reference. She was prepared and has a sweet testimony; so we were able to work really fast and easy with her. Her uncle will baptize her this Saturday as well!
Then on the 21st we have two others preparing for baptism, Rafael and Victor. Both of them are about 48 to 50 years old and they are just people that have been prepared for us to teach. They understood and accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ with a lot of faith and hope. We are going to do the baptisms on Friday the 21st because my comp is going home on the 22nd! What a cool way for him to end the mission, right! haha
Love you all!
Elder Griner

Saturday, December 8, 2012

AH 14

Hello,                                                                                    6 December 2012

So this week was amazing we had a lot of sweet experiences.   

   Experience #1. We had a surprisingly awesome lesson with a family that we are teaching.  His name is Manuel and her name is Gissel, they have a kid that is about two (we went last week with the president). Well we only get to share with them on Mondays.  This Monday we finally invited them to be baptized and they, like every other Dominican said that they have already been baptized in the catholic church but as we explained the restoration and the fact that they could ask God what was the truth they sat in silence. Gissel was amazed at the fact that God himself could answer prayers; her religion was a little sketchy on that subject.  When we asked them to get on their knees and ask God with us they did it.  Honestly, it was the coolest experience that I have ever been through. It might have been a little uncomfortable for them but I know that they felt the spirit and now they also know, and they know what it is to feel an answer from God through the Holy Spirit. 

      Experience #2.  A lady from our ward, that I HAD NEVER SEEN BEFORE, came up to us and told us that she had a reference for us. So we went by her house and she took us to her neighbor’s house. 
There we met the most humble guy in the world. He literally has nothing going for him right now. He is about 50 and his mom decided to take his kids away to New York, and he just lost his wife and just about a month ago. We got to talk to him about the gospel ha and gave him a Book of Mormon and invited him to be baptized!  He accepted, so we asked him when we could go by again and he said.... come by tomorrow at the time. We went back and he had read what we marked in the Book of Mormon - four times, and asked us what he needed to do to follow Christ!
          We put a baptismal date with him for the 22 of December and invited him to church, he said that he would go and that he was going to invite his friend as well!!!!!!! Holy Moly, I’m so excited for him. 

      Experience #3. We were contacting right... and we got into the house of a really really Christian bible basher dude that honestly just needed to hear about our message, but he didn’t want anything to do with it. We tried to explain to him and help him feel and he just didn’t want to hear it.  We knew that the BOM would help him a ton if he would just read it.  So we asked him if we could give him one. But like all of the other things... he didn’t want it.  So he wanted to pray for us.  As he was praying I opened my eyes to see if his were closed and since they were closed, I put a Book of Mormon behind the pillow of his couch. We left and after we walked out the door aways, my companion said to me .... I had to leave a Book of Mormon there for him.... haha my comp had done the same thing that I had. Now I know that this guy might have a hard time finding those two copies of the Book of Mormon, but we were both inspired to do the same thing!  Perhaps something will come of it! Anyway, at least it’s in his house! ha  

   Experience #4.   We are teaching a Haitian and his name is Wolimsky and as most Haitians, he really wants to know more about God and his plan. So on Saturday we taught the plan of salvation to him and up until this point in our relationship with him baptism has always been a really grey area for him.  As we finished teaching about the spirit world, he stop us from talking and said in his broken Spanish... me voy a bautizar... or I’m going to get baptized... it was so legit. So we put a date in January and we'll see how it goes with him!
   Okay I’m done with the experiences but this last week we had two baptisms of some sweet kids that we were teaching, Abel and Christopher. The bishops son baptized them and his little sister. They are kids of members, so it’s good because we are trying to complete families in the ward ! Oh and Rafael is doing well. He just barely left to work in the capital for a week but when he gets back, He’s working toward his baptism date. It’s all good! Ahhh the mission is tight!!
  um about Charlie’s mom! Wow that surprised me.  Even though I don’t look at death like I used to and I don’t know how it feels to lose a parent.  I would say that life is amazing and we all know we can’t be here forever, remember the good, and honor her name and that it must be her time to move on. Just give him a hug for me.
   Elder Sweeny ended his mission just a little bit ago and is now at BYU.
OHHHH yesterday I didn’t write because we were doing service – we helped at the party of a children development center called accion callejera (I have mentioned the place before). It was huge and they shipped in thousands of kids.  We got to organize everything and give out gifts.  As for p-day to relax we went golfing again! haha

I love you all !!!!

misión santiago RD


Sunday, December 2, 2012

AH 13

Hello Family!!!!                                                                               28 November 2012
Well, I’ve experienced again that when the time is right the time is right; and when God decides that he wants something to happen, it happens – we are here to serve!

This week we found out that one of our investigators, Rafael, has had to work for the past two weeks so we haven’t been able to get a hold of him or anything, we thought that he had dropped off of the face of the earth. Then out of nowhere he showed up to church and invited us over to his house.  He told us that he had to be in the capital for a week for his work he couldn’t be baptized on the day that we had planned.  But then he said don’t worry though.... I talked to the bishop and I am helping with the kids in seminary and I will be helping plan for the ward Christmas party. so don’t worry.  We'll just do the baptism another week nearer to Christmas! ha The reason I say that when God wants something he does it, is because Rafael has been around the church for a long time and has always seen his friends going to church and just had never felt that he needed for it in his life.  But for some reason, the Lord chose now to be his time, so my comp and I are just kind of along for the ride  haha.

On Sunday a member that had recently given us a referral of his neighbor asked us if we could invite the President of the mission to come and teach with us and have a Family Home Evening with them. So I nervously contacted President Douglas and he was more than glad to come and accompany us. So we got the chance to go and teach with him; and to be honest, the couple that we went and taught has never been the “golden” investigator.  While we were there they paid attention and wanted to know more. After we all got the chance to testify of how the teachings in the Book of Mormon have changed our lives, he made a promise to us that he was going to read it all the way through. ha I don’t know if it’s just the spirit the president has or what ha. I’m just really glad that we were able to help him understand the importance of our message! 

Just so all of you know, and I know I’ve probably said this before but I’m so glad to be part of a family that is together. Because I’m in a place where that is almost unheard of!

It blows my mind how much our family dynamic has changed while I’ve been serving my mission!  Both grandparents on Dad’s side have passed away.  Now, my parents are grandparents, my sisters are moms and aunts and Dave and I are uncles ... and he'll soon be a dad! ha It’s just a little bit crazy but it’s all in the God’s plan for us.  So it’s all good!!!!



mision santiago RD

Fun with photography -
Elder Feliz holding the sun

Future missionary
My lil buddy


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

AH 12

21 November 2012 

Buenas mis queridos ?como estan todos?  (Greetings, loved ones.  How is everyone) 

 feliz dia de gracias!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   (Happy Thanksgiving)

deseo yo estar con ustedes hoy pero no se preocupen voy a disfrutar el dia equal acá en la dominicana.

(I would love to be with you all today, but no worries, I’m going to enjoy the day here in the Dominican Republic)

pues si,  (Welp)

This week went really well. It rained a ton and we had a couple of cool experiences!   After losing one of the families that we were teaching we were able to find other wonderful people that are willing to listen to us. It’s funny how we met them.  We had just finished with a lesson and we were walking out of a little community and I asked my comp if he had gone down a certain street that is there?  It seemed a little dark and just not a place where missionaries would go ha .  He told me that he hadn’t and that he didn’t want to either!   I figured that if we've never been we should go ... so we went began contacting. Honestly we passed like 20 little apartments before we got to the first door that we knocked on.  When we knocked a woman answered the door and didn’t seem to be interested but we put a day to go by her house visit with her whole family.   We went on and did a couple other contacts, then left the area.  When we went back we found out that this woman had read the pamphlet that we left with her and had also invited her family to come and listen to us!

On Thursday we just had a weird morning with meetings and things that weren’t planned.  So when we went out to teach I just felt weird. I didn’t want to be where we were because there wasn’t a set appointment in the area, so I asked my comp if he wanted to go to the other side our area to see if we could find something or... somebody ha . So we did.  When we got there it started raining a little so we kept walking then it started pouring and my comp said to me.  Watch how the Lord works.  We'll get into the next house we knock at. That’s exactly what happened!  We got the chance to talk to an awesome guy that is named Rafael.   He’s married and has two little girls. The thing is that we didn’t get to leave his house.  A storm hit right as we went in and it rained so hard that it formed rivers in the streets,  (see the photo below) covered bridges, entered into houses and killed three people! Kind of crazy, but the Lord knows where to put his missionaries and  he protects them and I have always been able to feel his protection!

Today was transfer day and I am going to stay here in Arroyo Hondo with Elder Feliz.  He will be the first missionary that I kill! ( missionary lingo for being the last companion before he goes home). 

I hope that all of you have a great Thanksgiving and that  you realize the things that you are grateful for in your life, hopefully the gospels in there! 

and someone please play a TURKEYBOWL for me !!!!

 mucho love

Domincan Turkeys getting ready for Thanksgiving

Yes, this is rain Dominican style! I'm soaked and standing
in a street that was turned into a river of rain!

AH 11

Hello dear family and friends,                                                               14 November 2012 

When it all comes down to it, and after thinking about all of what’s gone on and what is to come, MY mission is awesome!   Even when we have a sad week or a slow week, the Lord is always there to help us, he NEVER forgets about us. 

On Sunday we had a guy show up to church that I didn’t know. We came to find out that a member had invited him to come to church.  So with that member we went to his house for a visit. We got to meet him and learned a few fun things about him.  His name is Rafael, and he is a shoemaker.  He was born with a problem in his arms (they’re just a little short).  He is awesome.  We got to share a message with him and I asked him why he came to the church and what he had heard about it. He told me that he was invited but that he went because he knows that’s where he needs to be.  That he is finally ready to be baptized into Christ’s church and that he had wasted too much time looking for what he didn’t need.  He knew where he needed to be all of the time. He came to church again on Sunday with a suit on! He wanted to put his name on the list to leave with us that we pass around in elders quorum, he also brought his copy o f the Book of Mormon with him (also his jehovas witness bible :S we'll fix that) and an excitement to learn that was tangible.  We went back to his house last night and put a baptismal date for him in December, and as I asked him he said of course... I’m ready!   

 I’m pretty sure that the Lord was and is blessing us and our ward.   Throughout my whole mission I have never really understood the power of prayer until this last week.  I have always prayed for me and my family, what I want and need and maybe I would put a little bit about the investigators and other things in there, but I have absolutely stopped asking for me and I have changed my outlook to focus on giving thanks to the Lord for what he has done through me for other people. 

I know that he could do this work by himself, but He puts teenagers here for Him so they can learn and through them he can send His Spirit to inspire and help others!  As I have focused on really trying to help others I know God has considered my prayers!  Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers.   

All of the missionaries in Santiago gathered to clean a children’s center that’s called Accion callejera , it just basically gets kids off of the street when their parents have left them out to dry.  The organization helps them get into school and onto a better life.  So imagine 80 missionaries with machetes, mops and brooms cleaning a three story building!  ha it was fun but way way dirty! 

 But nada, this mission is tight and like I’ve always said... I’m glad I’m here! :) Everyone should do this! 

Love yall, say your prayers read your scriptures and trust in the lord because HE MADE YOU!  


Elder Griner
P.S. oh for christmas i dont need need much just a pair of nikes that i have in the house, a couple bags of m&ms and like 5 good baseballs. oh and a family picture!~
please and thank you santa ha
The sticker reads " look to Christ not at your circumstances"

Arroyo Hondo Zone - baseball p-day

Thursday, November 8, 2012

AH 10

Hello family and friends!                                                         2012.11.07

The Santiago mission is absolutely changing and its way cool.

This week we had our zone leaders counsel meeting with Elder Cornish of the area Seventy. He’s a former mission President of this mission from back around 2003-06 or something and I guess he lives here now.  He shared that the mission will expand greatly in the next 3 to 4 months. 100 more missionaries will be coming to our mission, and that almost all of the missionaries that are in the mission will be training.

Training will be a lot different now, because the new missionaries that are coming in will only spend 6 weeks in the MTC instead of 9 :S ha . I am really excited for it because I have really been wanting to train again! 

We went through a bit of a disappointment this week and I know that I’m not supposed to write about bad things or anything like it but I got to ha. One of the families that I have been writing about is no longer meeting with us.  Sorry to say it but it sucks so bad. We have been teaching them so much and they where understanding and had FELT that what we were sharing was true.  Last  Thursday we went by their house around 8 o’clock and knocked on the door.  La dueña
(the lady of the house)  came out, and it was weird because she was dressed really immodestly when usually she doesn’t, but before we got to say hi she said, we can’t keep having charlas (discussions) with you guys....  and my heart dropped!! My comp went on to ask her why not and then testified to her that she had felt that our message was true and that we did all we could and that we would always be around if she ever wanted us to come by again.

My comp and I went through that whole day wondering what went wrong, and we couldn’t come to a conclusion. Then that night I reread something in Preach My Gospel (PMG) that helped me a ton.  The first chapter talks about teaching with the Spirit;  it says that we will teach with the Spirit and they will feel by the Spirit.  Everyone has their agency.  The best we can do is help them to feel and hope that they act.  Reading that, and understanding agency gave me a better perspective.  I know that we did what we were supposed to and maybe in the future they will figure things out!

My comp and I were thinking about what we could do with the zone to help them have a better time in their missions.  We decided to put a goal to read PMG in 30 days, because as the missionaries read and learn what they should be doing they will be able to know and act how they should. Everyone does better when the know the whole playbook, not just parts of it!  Even though I might not be the best missionary, I definitely know how to handle situations and overcome trials because of what I have learned in the past and what I’ve been taught. There are a lot of missionaries that haven’t been through the same things that I have, but I know that preach my gospel and the scriptures have got me to this point as a missionary and I only want that for other missionaries too!!

Welp, I love every single one of you! I still think its crazy that everyone is having babies and moving out into their own houses, it just doesn’t seem right hah. I can still remember, and I think a lot about when we were young playing baseball and softball.....good times lived, hahah.

I learned this week from a general authority that we have been given the name Elder for two years and that means that I am called to testify of Christ in all that I do.  I really hope that ya'll share the gospel that we have with everyone ya meet, because it’s really important! But you know that ha!   Thanks for your example.

love ya

mision santiago RD

Sunday, November 4, 2012

AH 9

Dear Family!                                                                           31 Oct 2012
This week was awesome!!! hah 

We moved houses finally!!! We found out that the mission is going to get 40 new missionaries within the next few months! So, they’ll be putting 4 missionaries in a lot of apartments.  That’s why we moved to a new and bigger one!  

On Thursday we were visiting a couple of people and one of our appointments fired so we decided to go visit a member/less active that lived close. It was my first time visiting them and honestly I hadn’t ever seen them before!  We got to talking and I asked her when was the last she came to church was, she told me...last Sunday! Ha.  I felt terrible. We also talked to her daughter, she had served as a mini missionary and found out that she has a son and daughter-in-law who are members of the church but her other son and her husband aren’t in the church. She told us that her last name was Gomez and somehow it came up that they were in Arizona watching baseball a couple years ago. Then I asked who they went to see. She said .. my son. Her son is CARLOS - "Go Go" -GOMEZ !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He has played for the Mets, Twins and now is playing with the Brewers!!!!! His whole family is in my ward! haha

We are teaching a man named German. He is way cool. He lives alone but seems like he has everything because he is so happy. We have a little bit of time teaching him but he finally came to understand why we are sharing the Gospel with him and he even put his own baptismal date this past week. We invited him and he said.  Welp I don’t feel ready right now, but in a month I will be haha . So we're going to pray so that he'll be able to achieve his goal!.

We had a family home evening with a family from the ward and they are amazing. She always asks us to come and help them with their family home evenings. We went and did a scripture chase with them (something that would’ve been hard for me before ha ) but it was way fun and they all participated.

MAXI JAMES , who was baptized the other week went to the temple to do baptisms ....... while there he went to the distribution store and purchased some shirts.... well the weren't just shirts! . They didn’t even ask him for a recommend! ha so the Bishop had to go and buy them back from him. Maxi received the Aaronic priesthood, on Sunday and he also brought his cousin to church.

So we got to see and feel a little bit of the happiness that comes from the mission. :) And that’s what makes it all worth it ! 
Oh and a missionary Lisandro, left from our ward today and that is him in the picture!

Elder Griner

Mision Santiago RD
La familia Nunez

more of the familia Nunez

Elder Feliz, Lisandro, me

Sunday, October 28, 2012

AH 8

Welp hello,                                                                                            24 Oct 2012 

If you want to google map me this is my address; Juana Saltitopa 14 , Santiago, Domincan Republic.  We are on the first level.  Just a reminder – this is NOT my mailing address. For Mail, still use the Miami address on the blog. 

Ha!  How in the world did you see that my hand was messed up in that picture with the baby chick!! Yeah, last week when I was getting into a ruta - it’s like a taxi, my comp slammed my hand in the door and I couldn’t do anything, I didn’t know what to say and I didn’t think to speak Spanish so I quietly yelled and he opened the door. hah it’s okay - pain is inevitable but suffering is optional . Yeah, there goes my fingernail! ha  

So IT’S CHRISTMAS here ALREADY haha!  Every Dominican has already put up their Christmas lights, it’s kind of frustrating me because there are still 2 holidays before Christmas comes ha! But it’s good to see the people here excited about something. Because it doesn’t happen much, it’s sad to see everyday how depressed people can be and how there can be so many problems. I know that things can be so so so much better if people would just set their minds on doing something different and look for a better life. It is such a difference to walk into the house of a member of the church than into the house of somebody that doesn’t have the gospel in their lives. Even if they are the poorest people, kids respect their parents, the house is clean, somehow there is always food ha, and really no worries. I didn’t get to see that before I left to Scottsdale and on the mission. But I’m really glad that I am getting to see that now!  

As I told y’all last week we found a family. Well a couple of them, but one is awesome. It is the parents and three little girls, and we got the chance to talk to the parents one day and he always tells us that he hopes that he can have an experience like Joseph Smith so he can also know that all the things about the gospel are true. But, they are reading in the Book of Mormon and we invited them to be baptized this last week.  The Dad said, of course, if God answers my prayers. Then we asked the mom and she said, I’ll do what he does, hahah.  So in that moment we were thinking WOW!  God really does prepare his children for the missionaries. Then when we invited them to church, satan got in the way and we found out that she can’t come because she has school on sunday ! ha

But no worries it’ll all be good with them. It’s great because we'll get to do a fast for them and pray for them always!  

This week was full of exchanges. I did exchanges with the two new missionaries that are in the Zone, one that is a Dominican and the other that is from Utah. On Monday went to a placed called la Yaguita and it is filled with hills! ah I thought I was going to die walking up and down them.  We passed by a catholic church and monument and I took a picture of the huge cross with a bunch of kids. The exchanges were good.  It was good because I got to see how Elder Fabian is progressing in the mission. Then yesterday I did an exchange with Elder Brumm.  He’s a kid that I look up to; he has had so much happen to him in 3 months in the mission but he’s so happy. He had a lot of questions that he wanted cleared up about the mission because he can’t understand his Peruvian companion very much, so he came to my area and we had a really good time, together, worked hard and talked missions in general – problems, successes, etc.. I really want to train again in the mission!

I don’t want to jinx myself, but I have been so blessed in my time here. I have not had any problems with health, I’ve met really good people that helped me learn Spanish really fast and I have been able to get along with almost everyone.  

I see my life really differently now and it’s only thanks to the mission and the Lord. I am so grateful to know why I’m here and to understand where I could possibly end up. My life has changed, that’s for sure:) 

Sorry I suck at writing letters, it’s been so long. But no worries I’ll get to it!! Haha




AH 7

HELLLO Family and friends                                                 17 October, 2012                       

Sorry that I’m writing really late but today we had to move out of our house and into another and it took way way to long. But we are going to be in a new apartment! So that’ll be good for all of the missionaries that come in after me!

It’s funny to think how well the lord knows each and every one of us. He knows what is going on in our lives and helps us when we need it. I know that for a fact now. Um this week, I’ll be honest I was feeling really down, for what.. I don’t really know, but I just wasn’t myself.

I got to talk to a missionary that is just starting his mission, he’s from Sandy, Utah and he is going through a rough time with his comp and his trainer, he’s struggling with Spanish and doesn’t really know what to do. So, he came and talked to me and started to explain to me his feelings.  When I realized that he trusted me enough to talk to me, I felt a little bit of weight lifted off of my shoulders - to know that not all are going through problems and that there is always help. In the mission I see so so many people that I know can’t be happy[y and that I know are going through things that I could never imagine; divorced parents, no parents, deaths in the family, no job, no money, etc., there are a ton of things that I will never, probably, go through and it helps me to know that no matter who you are, God knows you and has a purpose for what is going on in your life. I’ve been able to realize how much I have been given, because IT’S SO SO MUCH. I’ve been blessed and so has my family. and I hope every single day that we can give everything back to the Lord, all of us.

Um, we taught a man on Monday and we got to teach him about the restoration and after we got done explaining it he told us that 14 years ago he asked a bunch of questions to a pastor.  He got answers but they were not satisfying to him.  He asked us the same questions and with our answers the Spirit bore testimony to him of their truthfulness, and in that moment almost all were answered. He just so happen to be in his house because of an injury, he couldn’t work and because of that he has been able to find the truth that he had waited so long for and have his questions answered, He has a wife and 3 kids !!! a family finally ! ha . President Douglas and his wife are really focusing the mission on the family, which is the way it should be. Before, the focus was on teaching and we were just teaching a lot, without reason and to anyone. President Douglas figured that out and changed everything really quick. Now we don’t teach as much but we look for members that can help each of our investigators and we teach lesson that are worth something and that will help the family come together. He put an "almost rule" where we have to have all of the family in the lesson with us and if they’re not there we can’t teach ha! To be honest, it really works.

On Sunday a member called us and told us to go to his house, so as obedient missionaries we did. haha When we got there he pulled me outside to talk to me while my comp was inside to tell me that my comps aunt had died and that he had to find the words to tell him. So we walked back in the house and talked a little and then the member told him.  Elder Feliz just broke down. He didn’t know what to do or say. I kind of know how he feels,  but I didn’t react like he did when I found out that both of my grandparents passed away last summer.  It helped him knowing that I have also had family members that have passed on while I was serving the mission.  I know now why I am with Elder Feliz. ... wow GOD KNOWS EVERYTHING ha Thank goodness for tender mercies!.

Look I love all of you and I hope that all are going to church, reading their scriptures and saying their prayers to help build your faith !!:) .... We teach that a lot in the mission! But, its true so do it!!! Please.

MUCH love and hope for things to come

truly yours :S


mision santiago RD


Sunday, October 14, 2012

AH 6

Hello All!                                                                      10/10/12
Haha that Picture of Livi is tight!
But wow this week went very well, Except for a few things ha
  AS this transfer ended we spent a lot of time trying to find more people to teach, being that the purpose of missionary work ha.  We have been knocking doors and finding out if the people we have are interested or not. While teaching a less active member one day as we finished with the lesson we asked him if he knew anyone that we could teach or that was going through a problem and maybe needed help. He referred us to his friend.  So we went to the house of his friend but he wasn’t there, however his sister was there and we got the chance to teach her. She is a person that has looked for a church for all of her life, but she finally got sick of looking and stopped going all together. We have been teaching her for a little now and we got to meet her family. She has three kids and a husband.  We talked to all of them and her husband asked her if she was going to convert into Mormonism.  She said "yeah!  If I feel I should!"  And that meant the world to me and my comp.  So after that we got to talk about how we can receive an answer and she’s going to pray to find out ! It was legit! ha
While contacting we ran into a person that had been to church before and had a lot of questions for us.  It turns out that the questions weren’t really questions.  He had looked into the church and found every little thing that he didn’t like and everything that he didn’t agree with!   For some reason he felt like explaining all of this to us on the street corner at 5 o’clock. What my comp and I decided to do was explain to him that all of the gospel is true or simply it’s not and that all of us have the chance to find out. He told us without hesitation "it’s not true, there’s no way it could be." Honestly that made me a little bit sad, and that’s the first time it’s happened to me in mission.   I guess the old saying is true, you can leave the church, but you just can’t leave it alone! 
I started thinking about all of the confusion that there is in the world.  When in Utah you can’t see any of it or at least I wasn’t so aware of it.. Here we pass by jehovas witnesses (which I didn’t know existed) adventistas, evangelicas, catolicos and a lot more and they are all doing the same thing we are. I know that I am in the true church but I got to thinking that, that’s what everybody else thinks as well. I am grateful for the announcement of the prophet that missionaries can leave at an earlier age, because the world needs them.
In first Nephi 14 it talks a lot about the church of Christ and how small it is and how big the church of the devil is! ....go on a mission. :)
Welp, I didn’t get transferred I’m still here in Arroyo Hondo with Elder Feliz and it makes me happy.  I like the area and my comp and I get along just fine!
Today I GOT TO DRIVE! haha the Assistants needed help with the transfers so they gave me a truck and my comp and I took all of the missionaries coming into our zone to their houses!  Driving without rules is awesome! ha.
James, our baptism is doing great!  He went to conference and is preparing to go to the temple on the 20th of this month. He will get the priesthood on Sunday, so it’s pretty cool!
The mission is.... just what I needed....
mision santiago RD
Lunch at "The Monument" in Santiago between October Conference sessions

Yours truly with Elder Brumm from Sandy, Utah

My zone in Santiago Sur

Sunday, October 7, 2012

AH 5

Hey guys!                                                                                             October 3, 2012


Just to you all know, I am so grateful to have all of you in my life! ha  

This week has been so rewarding and really helpful as well! Being a missionary is a really fun thing ha-ha. 

This week we had a baptism!!! wooooo ha, Maxi James got baptized on Saturday.  A member named Samuel Moises, who has only been a member of the church for about a year, baptized him for us because they are friends.  

But again it has been so cool to see someone change their live so much just because two kids knocked on their door! James is Haitian and is studying medicine here in Santiago.  He travels a lot and has family in all parts of the world. He has had about 4 sets of missionaries pass by his house and we were lucky enough to see him progress! He is hilarious.  He speaks a little Spanish to us and English to me and he reads in French, but his native language is Creole. He decided to change for the better. He stopped drinking and smoking and isn’t afraid to tell his friends and family wherever he travels that he’s not like that anymore. He is getting signed into institute at the college to take classes to help him better understand and learn more.  He’s doing awesome so far!  It really makes me happy to know that I got a chance to be a part of this experience in his life!

On Monday we had another exchange with some other missionaries and we got the chance to do a family home evening. One of the sisters from the ward asked us to come to her house and do one because her family is going through a hard time. So, I had the chance to think and pray about what we could share with them to help their family out. And I came across President Uchtdorf’s talk as well Dad ha.  I read it over and I picked out the exact same part to share with them as you put in your last email to me!  

The key to a happy family is based on the gospel and forgiveness. Turns out they needed that message. The husband had done some things and it was hard for wife and family to forgive him.  After the Mom of the family shed a couple of tears she expressed her feelings to her family and they all agreed to forgive him.

I realized then, that in the past our family really hasn’t really expressed our feelings like we could have! I know that if we put our trust in the Lord and know that He has sent people to help us in this world.  Those people are our family! So I am also grateful to be able to be a part of this family and have the chance to help others with this message!

Besides everything spiritual that happened this week, I have officially worn out all of my pants and shoes that I started with! But no worries I sent to get pants made and had some others made in Dajabon when I was there. I also bought some shoes at the Haitian market for cheap while in Dajabon.  But, it’s funny to think that things like that only last for a year if you use it every day! ha

I have lost twelve pounds and it makes me cry every time I think about it. For p-day today we got up this morning and went to the golf course!  It’s the only one in Santiago and we hit a couple buckets of balls!  Wow it gave me good memories, and helped me remember that I was very privileged before the mission! ha

Take care of my nieces please and have fun! Love ya


mision santiago RD

Elder Feliz, Maxi james, Samuel Moises, me

me, Elder Feliz

Golf, driving range style
Las Aromas Golf Club - Santiago, Dominican Republic