Thursday, July 14, 2016

Last Letter!!!

July 11, 2016

Wow this week has been insane! We have been jam packed with stuff to do, people to visit, activities to plan and do, preparing for a baptism. I have not even been able to think about home until today! Yesterday and today are my last real days to be a missionary. Tomorrow I will pack and say goodbye to all the amazing people that make my area so great. We have been fed every night this whole entire week! Its been so great.
This whole week we have been psyching everyone up for an activity we planned for Thursday which was Game Night. I stoked all the guys up for basketball. I told them all I was going to come to run their show and show them how to play ;) And I totally did, haha! They all just looked at me first like anyone looks at a skinny white boy. But their expressions changed once I made the first 6 points! Haha! The opposite team was like "cover the gringo! He knows how to play!" We worked it and it was way fun! Afterwards everyone was like "dang, the white boy can play!" haha. I'm way sad I'm leaving them all behind :/ They are all my brothers. I love and care for them all so much! I'm way happy they all came and we were able to have a way fun time. We have found so many people through activities like these so it really helps us with the work too!
Last Saturday we went to the mutual (Young Mens/Womens) weekly activity night and it was super lame. We took an investigator and were really disappointed. The leaders only did like a 15 minute mutual that consisted of a song, a prayer, spiritual message, and a closing song and prayer...No wonder no one shows up! So we were like, ahhh next week come and invite everyone and psych them all up because we are gonna show you guys how to do a Mutual and we are gonna have fun! So on Saturday at 5, we were in charge of the mutual and more people came and we had a solid spiritual thought, spiritual message, and we played some fun games outside afterwards. Everyone loved it so we are hoping the Mutual nights start to become like the ones I grew up with that were always spiritual, uplifting and fun. 
After that, we had my last baptism!! I baptized Elfri Mora, a 15-year-old stud who is seriously such a great kid and example to his family. He will be the key to this family. His mom was so happy for him. She has a HUGE testimony and wants so badly to be baptized as well, but for some complicated things, she won't be able to for a little while. But I have no doubt that she will one day soon! At the baptism she was crying with happiness. It was such a great feeling in there!
After the baptism she asked to talk with us. We went in a room, her, Elfri and us. She started crying a bit more and said how proud of Elfri she was and happy for him. Then she told us about some super serious things going on with her family that we had no idea about. So we got the bishop in with us right away and we were able to figure some things out. I don't want to say what are the things going on, but Elfri said something to his mom that impressed me so much and made me so proud of him. He was just like "Mom, it doesn't matter. What matters is you, and us, and the family. All the other material things are just material things that we can get again later if they have been robbed from us." And he went on and just said such awesome things, I was so proud. He is a straight stud.
Yesterday a family from my first area surprised me and came to Navarrete with a bunch of super good homemade Dominican food!! It was so awesome of them to do! They drove all the way out here just to see me one last time and say goodbye and bring me food! That's when you know you have family and not just friends.
Today for my last P-Day, I invited all the young men to come to the church at 10am and play games and sports with us cause it'll be the last time. I love these young men so much and am so happy to have been given the opportunity to get to know them, teach them, serve them, and become such great friends. We have a true brotherhood here in Navarrete. That is what will be the hardest to leave behind. So we all played for a couple hours and just had a blast together. One of them told me that when I get home I will be the President of the Young Men, hahaha. But that's not gonna be able to happen for some years. But I definitely look forward to that day if it comes!! Then an investigator made us spaghetti for lunch. 

Well, the end has come. What has felt like 2 months has actually been 2 insane and amazing years filled with so many unforgettable memories, miracles, and experiences. I have lived it up. I have had a blast. I wish I had more time to keep this great work going. There is absolutely nothing in the world like being a true servant of the Lord Jesus Christ and being able to represent him. I am going to miss these people and this country so much. To all those who are thinking about a mission: GO. Just do it. Your life will be changed and your eyes will be opened. I will save the rest for my homecoming talk on Sunday. As for now, I love you all so much and thank you all for all the love and support. I'm way sad to leave this amazing life as a missionary, but I am so stoked to see all your beautiful faces again! Its gonna be a party! 

See y'all on Thursday! (or Sunday at my homecoming!!)

Elder Greer

  A super fun (and messy) Family Home Evening we did. It ended up turning into a flour fight haha.


The baptism of Elfri!!


My shoes are a little worn out... 

The family who came to visit me here from my first area and made us food! Family Salcedo!

Family Fernandez!

Us with Rafi who left today for his mission in Honduras!


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Happy Fourth of July!

July 4, 2016

Wow I didn't even know it was the 4th of July today... Haha I guess you could say I have not been in the states for about 2 years...
This week has been SO amazing and crazy busy! We had a baptism of the son of a recent convert in our area. He turned 8 years old and was excited for his baptism and excited to be Elder Rauda's first baptism!! We will have another baptism this Saturday! His name is Elfrey and he is super awesome! He is 15 years old and remember everything we teach him and has been diligently reading the Book of Mormon! He is stoked for baptism. His brothers were going to get baptized with him, but for some reason they  don't want to anymore :/ But that's okay because it's better that they take time to understand the gospel and really decide for themselves if they want to be baptized later on and especially find for themselves if these things are true. But as for Elfrey, he is totally ready! And he wants to be my last baptism! So it's gonna be great!
I am already so incredibly busy as my time in the mission comes to an end, but I just keep putting more and more on my plate because I have so many things I still want to do with my area and the people in my area and my ward and everything! But it's good because it keeps me working hard to the absolute end and focused!! I am literally not gonna sleep these next like 9 days I have or whatever! But I'll sleep when I get home! As of right now, I have 9 more solid days to serve the Lord like I'll never be able to ever again. I love this work so much and next week is going to come way too quickly! 
I wish I could write more, but I'll just save it for my homecoming and stuff :)
Next week will be my last time writing! Insane! It has been one heck of a ride!
Until next week!

Elder Greer

The baptism of Yodanis Alvarez

Me visiting my first area, Los Cocos!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Almost home!

 June 27, 2016

This week has been great! We have been doing a bunch of Family Home Evenings and they are helping the people so much! I love doing Family Home Evenings and it always brings everyone together and we all are able to have a good time talking, sharing, feeling the spirit, talking about wholesome things, strengthening our testimonies, and having fun.
Yesterday we had a ward conference and a couple weeks ago all the organizations of the church put goals of how many people we could get in the church for the conference. All of us invited everyone we could and everyone did extra visits so that we could reach our goals. My companion and I put a goal of having at least 20 less active members and investigators combined. We ended up getting 17 so we didn't quite reach the goal, but came super close and are way happy with it. We did all we could. In this conference, they changed the bishop who has been bishop for like 10 years! So its gonna be way weird! But I am sure Bishop is going to be able to relax finally, haha.
We had a Talent Show this week and everyone basically did airbands. It was really fun. We and the sister missionaries in my ward did a little skit to start off the night. It was fun.
The sisters had a baptism this week! His name is Andy and he is super prepared and has a way strong testimony! I met him the first time before he started coming to church. Me and my last companion were walking in the road and he said something in English to us, so I started talking to him and figured out that he lives in the sisters area. He was an old investigator of the sisters but didn't progress that much. But started to progress a ton with the sisters that are here now. I interviewed him for baptism to see if he was ready and he seriously was/is so ready! He has a great testimony and we are all way excited for him! I told him that he has to go on a mission! He is 19 and would be a great missionary!
So on to Nidio Luna... He has been progressing so much and been coming to all the activities and everything. But on Saturday after the baptism, we got to his house with a return missionary, married member and Nidio was just full of doubts. Every possible doubt he could have, he has. We explained everything, but I think that with him, he is never going to be able to accept the restored gospel without an undeniable answer. And we are trying so hard for him to receive an answer, but I think as of right now he is too doubtful and looking for the faults rather than opening his heart and really preparing himself to receive an answer. Answers don't simply just come, Heavenly Father wants us to express and show lots of faith and do our part. We have to pray with real intent, study the scriptures, go to church and try our best to obey the commandments. If we do those things we WILL get answers to all our questions. It is His promise. But we have to be willing to do our part and search and listen and be patient and know that sometimes it doesn't come right away. Faith comes after the trial. Ether 12:6
Well, we will be having another baptism this weekend for our investigator Yodainis! Super stoked! I want Elder Rauda to baptize him so he can have his first ever baptism! He is a son of a recent convert and only is 8 years old, but he is super excited and ready for his big day.
We should have 3 more baptisms next week if they are ready! Pray that they will be so I can be here for them!! Our prayers are being answered and we are seeing success!!
It is insane that I am almost outta time here! I am super thankful for how busy we are so I don't even have time to think about the fact that I only have a couple weeks left! But I am super excited and happy that all is going well.
Love you guys!!

Elder Greer

These pics are of people I visited today in my last area, Pueblo Nuevo. It was so good to see them all again!

 Andy's baptism!

The pic of the boys and us: They are all brothers and we have a baptism date for them all on the 9th of July! When we took this picture, their mom was crying with happiness. She said that the 9th is the most important day and is very excited for them! They all want to serve missions! At church yesterday, the ward leaders gave them all ties to wear and to have.

A little fun bridge we have to cross sometimes.