Matt's scripture for the week

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

Alma 42:27

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