Matt's scripture for the week

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

Alma 42:27





Sunday, February 26, 2012

EE 22

So hello family!

My week has gone by so so fast and its scaring me how fast.

First off, a shout out to my cousin lauren francom, my comp wants to marry you...... so be ready for a short Dominican in about 5 months! hahah.

Happy birthday to David and to Grandpa Francom!!

The 2 baptisms are still on for my birthday on the 25th!!

You asked about my P-day so far?   eh it’s okay... I cleaned the whole flipping day!

HA anyway, this week we have tried so hard to find new people , knocking on doors and calling and getting references but wow almost no luck. But some weeks, that’s the mission for you.  We do however; have a couple people that are progressing which makes me really happy.  

A lady named Alexandra and her kids Miguel and Eternly.  We have the most deep conversations with her it’s crazy.  She really, really wants to know about true repentance; so we spent forever on that, and then got around to how baptism is for the remission of sins. She took it pretty well, but when she found out that her baptism was not done by the proper authority - a little bit of an apostasy- she freaked a little. But she is okay and is coming to the activities that we are having at the church and she has plans to come to church this Sunday and I’m pumped for her to come with her family.

Another that is coming along; well, her name is Yohanna and she is a single mom of 4.  She’s smart as ever and reads and always has questions for us. One thing about her, is that she is always hooped up on coffee so we need to settle her down and talk a little bit about that.

I have found that intercambios (trade-offs with other missionaries) are my favorite things, because we get to learn and act more with other missionaries.  We did an intercambio with missionaries in our district and a brand new missionary came over to my area to be with me for the day.  He didn’t know much but he did what he was taught in the CCM (Spanish MTC) and we had a way good time. We worked way fast and surprisingly (or not) we found a new person that we are now teaching together. It’s fun stuff.  Momma, to your question - my comp is a good guy. He doesn’t follow the rules much but were working on it. ! haha He is just having a hard time because he is really close to finishing his mission (not really an excuse, right?).  But anyway it was fun to be with that new Elder and work hard all day.

So, while we were out, we found a whole bunch of puppies that were abandoned and you know me with dogs .... haha.  They are brand new pups and I want to take one home so so bad !!!  These pups are still clean but they are wild and most of the wild dogs here are hairless, flea-bitten mongrels.  But those puppies were way cool.  I’ll send a picture.

Hey Dad!!! Thanks for the email!! Yeah the transfers are every 6 weeks and I think that I will have about 6 months in this area which is a long time!! But I like it here. The only downside is that I have gotten really close to and comfortable with the members; which in a way is good, but sometimes we are there a lot. ha but I feel like I have grown a lot in this area!
Well sorry I don’t have much more to say this week.  But I love ya’ll and hope everything is going good!!!

Bye bye


ELDER GRINER





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Saturday, February 18, 2012

EE P21

Dinner?


with the Bishop's and ward mission leaders kids -
oh and a few baseballs just cause I love them!

Grill

Friday, February 17, 2012

EE 21


HELLLLLO,                                                                 15 Feb 2012

How is everyone at home in the coldness with no snow...... sounds like a nightmare to me- come on snow!

This week we did pretty well trying to get people involved and stay excited here in El Eejido - still ha!

We had the opportunity to hear from Elder Bednar on Monday.  We had to be up and out way early in the morning because the church which we had to go to was pretty far away.  We were to be in our seats by 8:30 (sitting reading our scriptures).  The dress was long sleeve white shirts (luckily no suits).  It almost looked to fake as we never wear long sleeves herein the mission.  It turned out really good though because you could definitely feel a different spirit about us, as we had a chance to relax, read the scriptures and focus a little more on personal thoughts and get ready to be taught on a spiritual level.  We were reverent.  Then after about 30 minutes of sitting there in silence in walked Elder Bednar with his wife, and of course we all stood up. The first thing I thought was, wow he looks pretty old! but then again all that traveling and reading and writing has to get to you some time... haha. He got up and talked and after every sentence he had to stop so the people could translate, which took a lot of time - but was pretty fun to hear. He talked a lot about how we in the church don’t realize enough how the spirit is the real teacher, from primary teachers to missionaries to Bishops, and how we try to direct questions for a certain answer.  But in reality when they have an answer and want to share it you know that they were influenced by something other than your teachings.

So that is what he did for us. He asked a question and waited for people to raise their hands and tell him what they think so the spirit could work in us and not him having to direct the thought process.  He also told us that he never wants us to take notes on what he says but write down what and how we feel when we listen to what he says – like we learned to do in primary and seminary. But wow it’s kind of intimidating, maybe awestruck to be in presence of one of the 12 ! But it was an awesome experience!

I learned this week that it is hard to clean a greasy and oily baking pan......... haha.  We were walking to the hoyo (hole) which is a very very poor part of our area and there were two old women cleaning pans these nasty looking pans for money. I went over and grabbed one and started cleaning it. They gave me some steel wool and a knife and some soap and said go for it.  Wow I cannot tell you how bad my hands hurt after doing that one pan!! Haha.  It’s rough and I don’t understand how they do that for money as a job!!  I’ve found that I love doing stuff like that now, because it is service and truth be told it gets us out of the regular routine, but we also gain respect from other people!

We had a lesson last night, I think it was, and this lady was on something or had just had some of their stiff coffee or something because she would not stop talking. The funny thing was that she understood, responded and wanted to know more about everything that we were talking about, and kept telling us that she wanted to visit the church because she loves people that know what they’re talking about. hahaha .

We also have a sad situation in the ward but one that makes you thankful for the atonement.  One of our investigators that moved into our ward recently seems like such a perfect fit, but too good to be true, ya know, just something off - because he knows way too much doctrine to be just investigating and he knows the whole Mormon community here, and has read every book that pertains to the church.  His Dad told us that he had been a missionary but was excommunicated. We had no idea! He, the son, has never wanted to, and still hasn’t told us his story – that’s okay none of our business. But he is in the process of getting rebaptized, so he’s working with the Bishop.  It will be a great day for him when all is taken care of. 

We are planning for two baptisms on my birthday (February 25th – just so yall remember! Haha cards, letters, packages… yes)!!

One is the son of one of the members that has just converted into the church.  Her older son is on a mission and we are working with him to get him baptized and active in the church!  The next is a girl named Nayeli who is part of a member family but she is too old to be baptized through regular channels, so we have taught her and are preparing for the 25th.  So I’m way excited!

I’m really liking the mission even though it can get repetitive (I guess just like anything you do in life). There are still moments where you realize why you’re here and why you need to be doing what you’re doing.  That makes it all better!

I love you all and wish ya the best! Until next week! .

ELDER GRINER


Saturday, February 11, 2012

EE P20.1


El Ejido
Elder Ruiz, Sam, me
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EE P20.2


El Ejido.
Look we've never been in front of a camera before!
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EE 20

Hello....                                                                                     8 Feb 2012
So how are yall doing!! I haven’t heard much from yall.  Momma I got your letter, thank you for sending that! I have a couple letters I need to send out to everyone.
This week has been a little slow.  My new comp doesn’t have the energy that Alexis had so I kind of have to pick up the slack.  But that’s okay I’ll learn from it – we are all different. However, my comp teaches like no other.  He can talk about anything he wants to and can convince people into doing anything.  haha.
We had an awesome lesson this week where we invited the Vargas family; they are converts of about 6 years to the church and are really awesome.  We invited them to come teaching with us to one of our investigators.  The investigators are a young couple named Yajaida and Richard.  While walking over to their house we explained to the Vargas family what we were going to teach and what they could do in sharing their testimonies, etc.  Welp, we thought that we had it planned out perfectly. Sometimes coaching the families we take with us helps the discussion stay on track and in a reasonable time frame.  So we started the lesson – the lesson was on the Book of Mormon - and honestly right in the middle of the lesson Sister Vargas (Dolores, the mom ) stops us and starts to explain how the Book of Mormon and the Bible are like a family, and how they both support each other, which is true … but then she went off into wonderland talking about how she has 4 kids and none of them do anything wrong and how old they are and how they grew up.... she talked for about 5 minutes, and then she finished. I thought, Oh my where did that come from? As far as our part of the lesson went it was close to a disaster – completely off of where we wanted to go with the lesson… but, when we looked over at Yajaida and asked her a follow up question, she answered our it, then went off about her family as well.  I don’t know if our lesson even mattered, but what Hermana Dolores said did!  and it’s what Yajaida needed to hear. It’s crazy because I was so nervous at the time, wondering what the heck - but then we realized that all of that needed to happen.  Sister Vargas later said that she felt prompted to talk about families - pretty cool! ha.
Also there was a baptism this weekend with the other Elders of Pueblo Nuevo.  They had it in our chapel because their building is getting air conditioning installed. They got there on Saturday at about 6:00 pm and we showed up just a little later. When it got close to seven no one was there from their ward to show support. They were so embarrassed. So I got on the phone and invited our whole world to the baptism.  They had to get their Bishop there so it would be valid- dot the I’s and cross the T’s - but wow at exactly 7:00 pm three families showed up and we had a baptism and it was perfect!  Our ward is really coming around.
We have a sad situation as well with a couple that we are teaching. The girl is 19 and the guy is almost 30 and they have a 3 year old kid together.  He wants to get married, but she wants to be a teenager still and do things – not be “locked down”.  So we are still trying to put it in her head that she needs to face the consequences and reality, ha, and become the Mom and example for her son, and how she can’t really just do whatever…. she is having the hardest time trying to figure out what she wants to do.  Having a baby that early in life kind of takes away a bunch of options and realizing that is really hard for her!!! Play now pay later- yup kind of difficult when the bill is due, no?
We finally had a full sacrament meeting for like the first time since I’ve been here. We worked so hard the last week to get the members.... no the investigators, but the members to church, and wow they came.  We had about 85 people in sacrament meeting, it was sweet! It would have been great if any of our investigators showed up.  but what do ya do -  shoulder to wheel, right!
Welp,,, happy February , best month in the world, full of love and .... Grandpa Francom’s, David’s, and my birthdays....

LOVE YALL

ELDER GRINER

Friday, February 3, 2012

EE P19.3


'Da Zone
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EE P19.2

Manuel, me, Elder Alexis
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EE P19.1


At a members house in El Ejido
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EE 19

Hey guys!                                                                                             2/1/2012

Mira. yo tuve un sueƱo....... ( I had a dream ) hahahaha
Wow it’s been a good week and I have learned and felt a lot. Elder Alexis was transferred and called to be a zone leader.  My new comp is Elder Ruiz!  He is a Dominican and a really cool guy.  He’s the new district leader, and is almost dying in the mission (his 2 years are almost up) but I’m excited to work with him – another native, that really helps me with the language and with learning about this place and its people.

During this week we had a couple experiences that have really changed my mind about being a missionary, and have helped me think of what I want to achieve as a missionary. Elder Alexis helped me realize that I need to set goals and work to achieve them.

We were in a lesson with a family; the Moms’ name is Alexandra and her son is Miguel. We talked and talked and talked about life and school and everything outside the topics of the gospel just to get an outlook on her life.   When it came time to talk about the gospel I was at a loss of words, but I still struggled through what I wanted to say. After the lesson and feeling the spirit and all of the missionary stuff, I finally stopped and asked my comp, what in the world do I need to do to be better at this whole thing.  He simply told me, it’s all about your study and the goals you have. It’s true; I realized that if I want to get better, I have to work for it. Dad that is something you have always tried to tell me; that nothing great comes easy.  We have the Griner curse/blessing – we are really good at some things and it’s the measure of the man to work hard and not be satisfied with good.  Sometimes in my life things have come easier than others. Here, right now I need to work to become better than good!  Elder Alexis helped me realize that.
 
Haha, about the dreams; this week has been a week of dreams, about every morning my comp would tell me about a dream he had just had!  One morning the first thing that I heard out of his mouth was "I placed a baptismal date last night " haha, and then that night Manuel told us about another dream that he had that I won’t even try and explain that one. haha

We are trying to get Mildred and her live-in, whom I have talked about before, married.  We are also working with him to stop smoking so they can get baptized in the next month.  We had the opportunity to do some service for them and put a door handle on their door.  After we finished she wanted to talk, but we couldn’t because there wasn’t another male in the house.  I felt terrible – rules are rules and for a good reason - but they are doing good and progressing.

I don’t know if I told yall about Veronica or not, she is the niece of one of our stronger members and we have been teaching her for a little while.  She’s 19 and was going to the institute with the single people haha, I don’t know what to call them in English (YSL institute) but ya.  She has been visiting the church a lot. We got a call from her aunt and I guess that she told her that she didn’t want us to pass by her house anymore, but that she would read and visit the church on her own.  We’re still praying for her and passing by her house to find out her concerns to stay in the battle.  It’ll be good,

For right now I will stay here in El Ejido, enjoy the people and members, and have fun and do my best as an Elder and as Elder Ruiz’s comp.  I really like my area and I’ll be sad when it’s my turn to get transferred.  I have at least another 6 weeks here – that will make 24 weeks in this piece of heaven!!

Bye bye fam!  Love to all
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ELDER GRINER