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