Matt's scripture for the week

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

Alma 42:27

Sunday, July 22, 2012

D P18

With Yefry "el cangry"

Hermana Arelis and her son Franny -  teaching and baptism day

3 transfers together

Haitian Market
SKI   !!!!!!!!!!!!

D 18

Well what’s up?!                                                             18 July 2012

So you got my shoes that I bought here in Dajabon haha. I didn’t put a note in it, I was just working fast trying to get it sent. I bought shoes for Olivia that are in there and the rest of them  ya’ll can use but I want to have them when I get back and I couldn’t keep them all here.. 

This week I have had a good time. We found out yesterday that my comp and I are going to be together again in Dajabon. It will be my 4th transfer here and my 3rd with him which rarely ever happens in the mission.  So I will hit a year in the mission with 2 areas and 5 comps. Pretty weird but I’m cool with it. The only bad thing is that August is the hottest month in the Dominican and Dajabon is the hottest place in the Dominican! ha so it’ll be fun. 

We had our investigators at church this week and it made us so happy. They are a young couple with a brand new baby. We have been able to teach them a lot and they feel like they need to change and the Lord is the one to help with that, and we´re here as his hands. Her name is Ingrid and his name is José. 

Also la hermana Arelis and her son Franny got baptized this week and we got to play a little part in their baptism. During the baptism, we four missionaries sang mas cerca dios de ti (Nearer my God to Thee). It was awesome.  We sang the first two verses and had everybody finish with the third. It was a very spiritual moment that I will never forget. 

 We got to meet our new Mission President, President Douglas.  He is a very humble guy that I think is going to help us a lot in the mission. It’s a lot different because Presidente Lee was really loud and outgoing whereas President Douglas is really quite. It will all be good.

With my comp I really want to help people in our area to come to Christ.  And because he is a new missionary he wants to get a lot done and convert the world, just as I do. I know that as we are doing our best and doing what we should the Lord will provide and help us find the people that he has prepared.

Staci don’t pop to soon!  And Dad I have no idea what or who is POK ha . But thank you for the letter. I had a good time reading it and I hope that I will be able to put it into my life. It was cool to see Danny Ainge’s and Travis Hansen’s spin on serving a mission and sports and the things that a mission helps you become to make me better at whatever I choose to purse afterwards. The mission really is a training field and I am very grateful for the chance I get to be here!

I love you all and can’t wait to hear from you again. 

Elder Griner
Dominican Republic, Santiago Mission

Sunday, July 15, 2012

D17 P



D 17

Hey family how are you!                                                 11 July 2012
This week, my eyes have been opened to what I need to do in my life to return to my Heavenly Father. My companion and I are really trying hard to find people that are going to progress. But every time that Sunday comes around no one shows up to church. Well, we have one or two every week. But I know that if they will just put a little bit of their faith in the Lord he will provide for everything. I love the scripture in 1st Nephi 17, I think. Nephi says if God has such great of power and has done some many things unto the children of men how is it that he cannot show me how to build a little ship! haha and before it says if the lord commands me to do all things , I could do it . I know that as missionaries and members of the church we all talk about faith as a little thing, but everything starts with faith and that is something that I didn’t completely understand before. 
I know that ii have talked a little bit about one of our investigators named Faustino. But i would like to tell you what happens when you are in the country of the DR .  The biggest problem for him is that the wild dogs on his farm are killing his goats and chickens. Because of that he can’t come to church and for that he can’t progress. But we have been trying to help him a lot this past week. He now prays everyday for help from Heavenly Father and the other week not one of his animals died. hahaha but I think its help from the Lord!
We received a reference, but a good one and it’s that first time that I have received a good one in my entire mission. The Relief Society President told us about him and so we went and taught him . He is having problems with his stomach, so we went and gave him a blessing. After that he wanted to sit down and talk to us. So we talked and he wants to be a part of the church and learn more about Christ. He is married to the Relief Society President’s daughter. So my comp and I got talking and figured that he could get baptized and be in the temple with his wife and baby in a year! So my comp could go with him!! I really hope that he always remembers what he has felt. 
I hope that all of you know that I know this church is true, and I know that Christ died for each and every one of us. I have come to know these things through the Book of Mormon. It is a true book and can bless the lives of all who choose to read it. I know I’m not perfect but I only hope that I can be the best I can to return to live with Heavenly Father again with my family. 
Here are some answers to some of your questions: 
We meet our new Mission President this Friday!  I’m way anxious to meet him.  I’m sure he’ll be great!  It’ll be Friday the 13th …. dodododdododo
Yefery, the kid you asked about that is preparing to go on a mission to Columbia.  He’s so ready to serve a mission. It really makes me so happy for him.  And it’s one of those pay days, because I know that I had a little part in helping him understand, decide, and get ready to go. I’m sure he’ll appreciate your offer to help him if he needs it.  I will for sure tell him
Tell Jake and Zack congratulations on the little league Championship!  You don't know how much I miss that and baseball in general!!

About the exercise bar: I started to use it but then an Elder really wanted it and traded me a pull up bar like the one I had in my room for it, and I use that a ton!
No, I am not getting any taller; it’s just that the other elders in the pictures are shorter! haha I’m only getting skinnier, with all of the heat and walking!
Elder Timothy has a blog – that’s cool.  He’s awesome. We are in the same district and we´re having fun working together in Dajabon. We have intercambios (exchanges) every week now, so we have a good experience learning and associating with each other.

Thanks for your testimony Dad!  I know that you know, and that has always been a guide for me.
Thank you for being a support for me in all I do.  I really appreciate it.
Elder Griner
Mision Santiago. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

D 16

Feliz cuarto de Julio  (Happy 4th of July)

I hope that everyone is having a great day! and it sounds like the parade was fun ! Did you go to the stadium of fire and do you have a lot of fireworks!

We had a party today in our house with the other missionaries of Dajabon and it was fun. We invited them over and made Dominican hot dogs and watched the testaments. We had a good time and took advantage of our Pday. 

  This week went really slow but I had a good time. We have an investigator named Cesar that is really really cool. We had a lesson with him that I’ll never forget. We were talking about what he needs to do to be in the church and so we talked about marriage, drinking and all of that stuff.  He knows that his live-in girl friend doesn’t want to get married and he understands that he needs to get married or he can’t be baptized.  He said. I just wish my live-in could feel the things that I am feeling. It was a way cool moment because now we know that he will fight to progress ! ha

We also got a call from a number that we didn’t recognized, and so we answered but the person hung up. So we called back but nobody answered. Then we got a text that said, hi my name is Elisa and I know that you are missionaries of God so I want you to pray for me because I’m sick and I need your help! We tried to call her and call her but she wouldn’t answer. Honestly that was the weirdest, but coolest experience ever.

I planned an intercambio (exchange) with the other Elders in my district.  I went to the other side of the city with Elder Grover. We worked so hard it was way fun. We taught a returned missionary that is so depressed because when he got off of his mission his girl friend dumped him! hahah but, we shared our testimonies and some thoughts and then he came with us to visit -  so we helped him a little bit!  Service for/to someone else is always an antidote for self pity, mopping around, and depression.

We also had a baptism in the ward her name is Mota . She is the nicest lady ever and has had a long time with the missionaries.  She finally got baptized and confirmed and it was fun to see her this weekend.  I know that she will always be active in the church because she has a grounded and form testimony and she has a lot of help!

Sitting in sacrament meeting on Sunday listening to the testimonies was one of the most spiritual days that I have had in the mission.  Yefry (el cangry) is leaving on his mission on the 25th, so it was his last time to share his testimony but, when he got up he just started crying and couldn’t talk. So he sat back down. I went up and bore my testimony and after that, he built up the courage to do it .

The president of the branch also shared his testimony and he said something that I really liked. he said ¨it doesn’t matter how many times you have fallen, what matters is that you get up and never fall again¨ 

Love yall and hope the best!!!!! 

mision santiago.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

D P15

El famoso promontorio, de una belleza escenica incomparable
que conocemos como El Morro de Montecristi, constituye uno
de sus mas apreciados recursos naturales

Pday June 27th
The famous promontory, an incomparable scenic beauty known
as El Morro of Montecristi, is one of Dominican Republics
 most prized natural resources

D 15

Hey Fam!                                                                                     Jun 27, 2012
sooo....  This week was really cool.
I am starting to realize the change that the gospel makes in the life of a person, especially when it is in my own life. I have come to know throughout my mission that the gospel is true and I have received my testimony through the Book of Mormon, I can’t say that I have had a sweet praying experience where God smacked me in the face and told me it was true.  I simply know because I have felt it through reading, pondering, and acting on the principles taught in the Book of Mormon. This week I have been reading a lot,( I’m starting the BOM for the fourth time in my mission) and every night when I read, I find an answer for an investigator or for myself and to me that is where my testimony comes from!
So, they put me as district leader again (and I am still a trainer also) and I was thinking this week how I could do to help our district achieve more and have a Christ-centered desire to work. So in our meeting I talked about agency and how people here have the chance to accept the gospel or no, but that there are also people that are being prepared (Alma 13). We then made goals as a district and we are teaching 20 lessons with members per week and 10 without members, and we put a goal of 35 lessons per week.  Along with that we are working with the menos actives (less active). So, adelante con fe! (go forward with faith) We will see what we can do this week haha .
We have been working really hard to find new people and new families, so in our studies we made a plan for the first lesson we teach. Each first lesson, we can’t leave until they have a Book of Mormon and have been invited to be baptized. That way we can find the people that are going to progress. And as hard work pays off, we have found two couples and one guy named Santos that is 25 and we are now progressing with them towards baptism.
Yesterday I was so, so frustrated, because we had planned to leave with a kid named Rubin that is 19 and getting ready to go on his mission.  He didn’t show up and for some reason I was ticked ha (the best laid plans of mice and men…), so we called every other member we could think of, and either they didn’t pick up the phone or they couldn’t leave with us. So we went to work by ourselves and at about 5:30 in the afternoon I got a call, but we were in a lesson so I couldn’t answer it. After the lesson I called back and the member, don Carlin, he said "what’s up?  I got your call.  Yall need help"? ... It was honestly the smallest thing but it made a world of difference for us.  Because, now with him we were able to get to and teach the people we had planned for, and everything went well. I know the Lord had his hand in there somewhere. ha
And at the end of a hard week we had our payday (pday) and we got to have fun at the beach and hiked a mountain in Monte Cristi near El Morro in a state park! Ha  
You asked about the heat here in Dajabon - honestly, I’m burning up! haha It’s seems as hot as Scottsdale but add humidity!  But I always remember what you said to me about when I got off of the plane here in the Dominican Republic; that this is my home for the next two years, so get used to it!   And I have come to love it !!!   But still, it’s way too hot. haha
The Lord loves us, the gospel is, was, and always will be true and ... I know it.