Thursday, November 20, 2014


I have decided that Los Cocos is the Valley Center of the Dominican Republic. It is a small "Campo" (countryside) and has mountains pretty close, the city is about 45 minutes away, it's a pleasant little town with not much to do and nothing exciting really ever happens except when people fight their chickens (which we don't actually do in Valley Center, but everyone who doesn't live there thinks we do) or get into motor accidents. There are parts of the town that always have that smell... You know, like when you pass the Armstrong's chicken ranches in Valley Center. Like Valley Center, we don't have any real markets, so going shopping is a pain cause you have to travel to Los Rayes the nearest real town which is like Esconghetto... I mean Escondido ;). Also, everyone knows everyone and there are no secrets, everyone knows the newest gossip within a matter of a day or two, and everyone seems to be related somehow. Its pretty funny. We will be teaching someone and then in will walk one of our other investigators who will happen to be related to the person we are teaching. It actually helps a lot though because that way we can teach them together or invite them to activities and they can come together and stuff. So yeah, I thought I was finally escaping Valley Center like all the kids of VC dream of doing their whole lives, but turns out I am still in VC, just the Dominican version ;). I love it though. I will definitely miss it when I eventually leave. Being here has made me appreciate Valley Center a lot and there is no other place I would have rather grown up.
This week was great with our investigators and yet again more success! We had a lesson with a 17- year-old named Willy who is super cool and way into every lesson and actually reads and does what he says he will do and is always excited to see us. He turned out to not be there that day so we taught his brother who we have taught once. All of the sudden a couple family members showed up right before we were going to start the lesson so they sat down to listen too. Then one by one more family and friends randomly happened to all show up and there were no chairs left. So Elder Rodriguez looked at me with a huge smile and said, "Sweet! We can offer our chairs and stand up and preach like the first missionaries in the days of old!" Haha. So that's what we did! The lesson was great, we received more investigators, and now more people know us. It was cool how we originally planned on just one young man, but it turned out to first be his brother, and then a ton of other people! I am thoroughly convinced it is because, like the scriptures say, "Ask and it will be given to you..." (Matt 7:7) When we asked in faith to find more people, we were given them. Heavenly Father wants to help us, we just need to ask! And of course do the things we need to be doing and living righteously to receive blessings.
Another awesome thing happened this week with finding more people. Elder Rodriguez and I were at a lesson with a lady and it was our first time teaching her. She wasn't very interested, but in walked her friend Loly who is a lady that is ready for this gospel! She immediately sat down and started asking us really good questions about life after death and what happens to us and etc... So we whipped out our pamphlet of The Plan of Salvation. We answered all her questions and she really understood and it made a lot of sense to her. She kept saying, "Yeah, that is totally right! That makes so much sense!" After the lesson, she gave us her number and we set up an appointment for our next lesson. Two days later was Sunday and we thought we should call her. So we did and she said she was in her church at the moment but to call her again in 15 minutes. Fifteen minutes later, she agreed to come and even brought her daughter and cousin! During sacrament, she was singing and smiling and paying attention the whole time. She pulled out some money during the passing of the bread and water because she thought we pay when we partake of the sacrament like her church but we explained to her that is not what we do and explained the sacrament. After sacrament this is literally what she said, "I loved it! I am for sure coming back next week!" and then stayed the next 2 hours of church. She is the coolest person and so excited about the gospel. I have no doubt she will keep learning and progressing and eventually get baptized and be an amazing missionary for her friends and family.
That is not all! Elder Rodriguez and I were walking to an appointment when out of nowhere, this lady yells something at us like "Come here!" and at first we were a little hesitant cause we thought at first she might be just another crazy lady wanting to flirt or something. But she said she wanted us to teach her and that she had a feeling that she needs something more in her life and that she had a dream that she was the only one who could bring her family out of "Darkness" as she explained. She knew we were missionaries and had a strong desire to make a change in her life and start going to church and learning about the gospel and God. She too came to church on Sunday and stayed all three hours! Wow. Not everyday does a lady come up to us and ask to be taught and learn about our beliefs. That right there is a missionary's dream! Blessings, blessings blessings.
We do have a Black Friday here oddly enough and it is next week, so I am guessing Thanksgiving is next week (I know, super un-American of me to not know that holiday, sorry) So Happy Thanksgiving! Don't worry, ya'll can have my meal. So get extra fat in spirit of me ;)
I want to leave you with this quote from an email I got last week from my brotha Clint Fresh Feinauer: " I learned something so powerful on my mission: In this world if you look for sin you will find it. On the other hand, I testify just as boldly that if you look for righteousness you will find it. There are people there who will see your light and immediately be drawn to it. Always be worthy of that light and always keep the right things in sight. No matter what your path, you will go where you look." I loved this and I think we can all agree that if you look for bad, you will find it. If you look for good, you will find it. The choice is yours.
Love you all and know I am not serving just these people, but you all too. Thanks for the love. Thanks for the support. Now go out and SERVE!

Elder Greer

This is when we were at our investigators house when it was flooding

After, we made paper boats and watched them go down what looks like a mini river but is actually a gutter/draining system.

Go Utah State! :)

Ok, so I found out yesterday like three weeks late that my Aggies beat BYU!! Haha! And that they broke the QB's leg?! I love it! Just one more reason to be stoked that I'm going to Utah State rather than pathetic BYU ;) Literally Utah State is on its rise! I can count on one hand the amount of missionaries here going to BYU. I would need more hands then I have change in my piggy bank to count the amount of missionaries going to Utah State! Haha, sorry all you Coug fans ;)
So the first couple of weeks my comp was doing really well getting out of bed early and running with me and actually running... Every day he becomes more of a bum and now I have to literally drag him out of the house to come run with me haha. Although he is relentless at first, he always ends up coming, even if he just jogs a little, walks a little. Sometimes it just takes a little water in the face or a wrestling match to motivate. I guess not everyone is crazy like me and actually finds joy in running up mountains. Weird ;)
We were at one of our investigators houses this week while it was raining and they were taking the water from the roof and using that for their shower/drinking water. They literally took a cup, put it under the drain where the water was coming off from the roof, and drinking it. They offered me a cup and I mean I am willing to try a lot of things, but water from the roof isn't one of them haha. It was yet another humbling experience for sure. I am happy they are not a family that actually needs water that desperately bad, it is just a culture thing they do that isn't weird to them at all. But I am getting pretty comfortable living the Dominican lifestyle though so who knows, maybe I'll end up slurping up the roof water. Don't be surprised if i come back and drink water from the drain! :)
Speaking of water, we ran out this week and didn't have any water to fill up on. So I had to wear old clothes that were... Not the best smelling, but I mean gotta work with what you have right? I wasn't able to shower for a day either. So I just prayed a lot of Axe on myself and called it good :) Our water ended up turning on yesterday for a couple hours though so it's all good now. Not gonna lie, if we didn't get water, I probably would have just used the roof water like my investigator taught me.
The river here is pretty full from the rain. Looks kinda like the Provo river, but more muddy and rocky.
Two of our investigators who are getting married and baptized this month got hit by a bus on their way to church on there motorcycle! But they're ok and actually not hurt very bad at all. We told them things would get harder as the baptism date comes sooner. Satan will do everything he can to prevent good from happening! However, Satan is probably throwing a fit right now cause they are even more excited for their wedding and baptism!
Elder Rodriguez hit his year mark in the mission this week! It is tradition to burn a shirt at your year mark so we went on the roof and did that.
Quote of the week: "Tú Christiano?" "Sí, y tú?" "Soy Dominicano!"
For all you greengos: "You Christian?" "Yes, and you?" "I'm Dominican!"
Haha. Dominicans only know where the US and a few countries around them are. They also think that New York is the US and that Utah is a separate country haha. If you say you are from the US, they automatically think you are from New York. It's pretty funny.
Well, I am excited for our baptisms this month and think we are on the road to a lot of success!
Love you all.

Elder Greer

One year mark tradition; burning a white shirt

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


This week has been a busy one!
We are leading our zone in most lessons with a member present because we have a new convert in our ward who is amazing and so excited about the work. His name is Marcello and has only been a member for 3 months but is honestly the best member in the ward!
On Saturday we had a stake service project at a school in Los Cocos from 8am to 1pm! It was great and we did a lot for the school and helped them a bunch! One of the things we did was paint pictures on the walls for the little kids. The pictures turned out amazing and I can't believe how good they looked! We literally had to draw everything on our own with only a picture to look at with drawings on it. I helped with a couple them and then decided to draw my version of Los Cocos! Not the best drawling of them all, but it turned out great surprisingly! Anyone who knows my artistic ability will question it, but I have pictures to prove it!
Our whole ward are converts and are so great, however, Elder Rodriguez and I have been noticing some things that need correcting and such. We have had some times when things have fallen through because of members or problems that should have never occurred. One of the many duties as an Elder is to correct things that need correcting and to make sure the church is orderly. So Elder Rodriguez and I decided to put together and plan an activity/fireside for our ward to help them get better and let them know how we can make changes for the better as a ward and as individuals. We got the other elders and sisters in our ward involved and they helped us. We did it Sunday night and it went really well! Not everyone that needed to be there was there, but we got a good amount of our members there and they all seemed to like it a lot. We taught them for a while and mixed in some activities where they could learn how to be better missionaries and get excited about sharing the gospel. One of the activities was speed dating, except instead of flirting, we had them share the gospel with one another. It was really fun and cool and they were all way excited about it and wanted to do something like that again, so they want to have us do this often and make it a regular thing. So we are going to do it every other week on Sunday night. Sometimes you just have to get creative and get people excited about the work. There is always something more to do. Even when you think you have done it all. There is always something.
Last week we also got invited to go to one of our investigators houses to listen to his brother, a preacher, preach and share their beliefs to whoever he preaches to. We were a bit nervous about it at first cause we didn't want it to turn into a bible bash or any bad feelings towards us. But we prayed for it to go well and to get something good from it. When we arrived, they welcomed us in and the brother/preacher was preaching from a manual. I didn't quite understand everything, but it seemed to be going well and he was talking about Jesus and His sacrifices. The lesson was about to end, but I was not about to leave there without at least saying my testimony. So I asked to say something and he let me. I stood us and bore my testimony about the Savior and the Atonement. The spirit was definitely there and strong. I could feel the words in Spanish roll out of my mouth with ease as I passionately spoke. As I finished, I felt confident that they all felt the spirit too and could feel my love for the Lord and His Atoning sacrifice. My companion then bore his testimony and shared a scripture from the Book of Mormon. They all really liked the scripture which was cool because it was from the Book of Mormon. He also shared a scripture from the Bible which was great so they could see that we believe in both and they work hand in hand and support each other. We then set up dates to teach everyone there! Even the preacher! They were all really nice to us and interested to learn more. We gave them pamphlets to read until we teach them. The preacher was super cool and talked with us after. He liked what we said and told us he doesn't care who is giving the word of God. It is the same God and he is open to any sort of gospel talk. Way cool night. I am thankful for those of other faiths who are willing to listen and learn about other faiths, not just theirs. It would have been easy for us to not go, but how are we supposed to expect others to be willing to talk with us if we aren't willing to talk to them about their beliefs? I love learning about other religions, not just mine. I respect everyone and their beliefs and I think it is great when people talk about the gospel and share rather than just keep it to themselves. We may not all have the same views or beliefs, but we can and should all respect one another’s.
It has been raining here nonstop for two days. Not just raining either, full on pouring and lightning storms. Yesterday we were at an investigators house and ended us getting trapped in because there were crazy flash floods and we couldn't get out of the house! Luckily we were there though, because their house began to flood and we helped them get rid of the water and move things to stop the water from going into their house. Eventually the rain calmed for a little so we were able to leave. We were soaked to the bone and it was a struggle to continue as the water flooded the streets and we had no other option then to walk in the water that was up to our ankles. But that’s life in the D.R. for ya! In a crazy way, I loved it! haha. Always an adventure!
Quick shout out to the White family in Washington for the package! Thanks so much! Packages are like cake to a fat boy when you're a missionary!
That's all for this week. Love you all and stay happy, Cause it could always be worse!

Elder Greer

I would like t take full credit for the Los Cocos painting! With the help of my comp of course!

I also did part of the train

Still in shock that she is in my mission! But here is, now, sister Vera aka my old investigator from the MTC

Merry Christmas already! Our neighbors are decked out!
Package from the White's!