Sunday, December 14, 2014


Ok, so I had originally written a long, descriptive email, but it got erased and I tried to get it back, but ya know... these Dominican computers... haha. I tried to copy what I wanted to say this week. So I leave you with a little less, but maybe a little more...

This week has definitely been the most challenging of my mission thus far. But I have learned incredibly much.
When your trainer leaves or you receive a new companion as a missionary, it is kind of like when you first leave home. Your mommy (or in my case, my "mission dad") isn't there for you to ask what to do or where to go, what to teach or what to say. You kind of just have to figure things out for yourself. With my new companion, Elder De Bernardi, the first couple of days were super challenging. A lot of our plans fell through, some things went wrong with our investigators, Etc...
On top of that, my new comp doesn't speak English so it has been a challenge trying to explain every thing I need to and saying it clearly and exactly how I want. When my trainer, Elder Rodriguez left, I literally had the responsibility of Los Cocos in my hands. It is up to me to take care of this area, the members, and the investigators. Also, make sure my new comp gets up to date with everything that is going on here. Not gonna lie, it has been stressful and hard. But as difficult as this past week was, I absolutely loved it because I have learned so much and really grown. I realized how much I really do know. My Spanish is really coming along, and I am able to understand so much better.
We all have challenges, trials, and difficulties in life. Some big, some small (like in my case). Whatever the case, whatever the challenge, there is always a positive. A time to learn. A time to mature. A time to grow. A time to become humble. A time to overcome. A time to gain a new perspective. A time to become stronger. A time to change. And so on. But it is up to us. It is so easy to look at the negatives and ask why. But God puts challenges in our lives, not to punish us, but to give us a chance to learn, grow and become stronger.
It is funny because this whole time, I have been getting humbled by the poverty and living conditions of this country. But this week I learned that there are many ways to be humbled. As I humbled myself and my attitude that was starting to take a turn downward, and humbly turned to the Lord in faith, I received the answers and blessings I needed.
Mosiah 7:33 But if ye will turn to thLord with full purpose of heart, andput your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage.

I testify that if we all humble ourselves and turn to the Lord in faith, he will take care of us.
I am thankful for the challenges in life that make me grow and change for the better.
I love you all and hope we can all see the good in life rather than the... Well, sucky.

Mucho Amor,
Elder Greer


Saludos Familia y amigos!
A LOT has happened this past week! So much to say in such little time that I have.
I'll start with Thanksgiving. It was just another day in the mission, nothing super exciting or anything related to the holiday because they don’t celebrate it here. But I got to have dinner at my, newly convert, Ruth's house. Definitely wasn't a Thanksgiving dinner, but we had some dang good fried eggs with onions and avocados and platinos! Haha. It is tradition to say what you are thankful for on Thanksgiving, so I took my tradition to them and told them what I was thankful for.
Friday was a crazy, crazy day! In the morning me and Elder Rodriguez finished up our planning and everything for the baptisms on Saturday. Then we got ready for the wedding of our investigators Orlando and Maritza! Orlando was in the mountains with his family getting stuff really for the reception/party after so he was missing all morning and there is no signal up there so we couldn't get a hold of him. He ended up being like 2 hours late and we got to the place were they were getting married at 4 and we were supposed to be there at 1! The place was just a government building where all you do to get married is sign a couple papers, but they dressed up any way and looked supa fresh. After, we had to go pick up the wedding cake and bring it all the way up the mountains in the back of a pickup truck! We literally had to put the cake on the floor of the pickup truck and then as we went up the mountain that is unpaved and has a ton of rocks and boulders and bumps all over the place, two of the ladies in the back with us decided to pick it up and carry it in their arms/hands! I thought for sure it would be a disaster and would fall all over them. As we made our way up the mountains, bump after bump, with the cake barely holding together, our faith was tested. The whole time we were just all praying that the cake would make it in one piece, and especially that the truck we were in would make it as well, with the 12 of us in it! Black smoke started coming out of the engine and exhaust pipes, but somehow we managed to make the 1 hour, 30 minute journey and the cake stayed in one piece. (Didn't look too great by the end of it, but I mean it was edible so...) The party was great. (Don't worry, we just talked with their family members like they really wanted us to.) And we got their friends and family members super interested! We now have a couple more great potentials! Luckily it didn't rain like it looked like it would, because if it rained, the truck wouldn't be able to take us down because the breaks and stuff.
Saturday was yet another crazy, but great day! In the morning we went around to all our investigators and tried to get them to come to the baptisms. We didn't have as many there as we would have liked, but esta bien. The baptism was a great turn out and there was a ton of people there! Except one problem, Orlando and Maritza were both missing! The baptism was supposed to be at 4, but it was 4:05 and we were still not able to get a hold of either of them... As I felt zits forming on my head because of stress, they finally walked in at 4:25. We took pictures and the baptism finally started at 5pm. Which is actually normal Latino time. So an hour late to me is right on time to everyone here. The baptisms were great and it was an awesome first baptism (in the mission) and it was just a great day.
Sunday. Saturday night after the baptisms, the ward decided it would be a great idea to have us (the missionaries of our ward) sing in church and inform us 1 day earlier!... I am not one to sing, especially church hymns in front of the church. But I didn't really have a choice. All of us 6 missionaries have terrible voices and only practiced once because we had no time to. So it went about as well as I thought it would... Terrible. But hey, our ward is all pretty bad at singing too so they probably thought it was great! haha. Hopefully we did bad enough for them to never ask us to sing again haha.
Now onto some disappointing news. Transfer meetings were yesterday and no one in our zone thought we were leaving except the sister who is finished with her mission. So we all went to transfers thinking nothing was going to change, especially because Christmas is soon. Yeah, no... Not at all what happened? All but 3 companionship's in our whole zone got changed! It saddens me to say that my dad (in the mission) Elder Rodriguez got transferred. He got transferred to Nagua, a dreamland of beaches! Literally the exact place I want to go! He will be a District Leader there. I received a new companion from Santo Domingo. His name is Elder De Bernardi, is half Dominican, half Italian, and speaks about as much English as I spoke Spanish when I first left on my mission... Which is close to none. But I'm excited about that because it should really help me with Dominican Spanish! He is great and seems like a really hard worker, so I think we will be a great companionship. I'm excited I am still in Los Cocos and look forward to keep on doing great missionary work here. I am a bit nervous about taking this place into my hands, but I have a lot of support with the members and I have faith I can keep up the great work! Elder Rodriguez has been the best trainer I could have ever asked for and someone I now call a brother. He is probably one of the closest people and friends in my life (kind of have to be when you live with one other person) so I'm sad he's gone, but he is needed elsewhere. I know he will do great in Nagua and I'll do great here with my new compa!
Love you all and keep the great people of Los Cocos in your prayers!

Elder Greer


Happy Thanksgiving!

This week is going to be crazy busy and stressful! We have tons going on. We have a wedding for two of our investigators on Friday who are getting baptized Saturday. After their wedding we have to go up to the mountains with them because they are having a party with their family and want us to meet them. After that Elder Rodriguez and I have to take a bunch of our investigators to a young adult fireside where we will be giving talks. After is a dance for the youth. Then on Saturday we have our baptisms finally!! I'm super stoked! I am baptizing a young adult named Ruth who is super awesome and really has a great understanding and faith for the gospel. It is always a blast teaching her. Elder Rodriguez is baptizing Maritza, the lady getting married on Friday, and a friend of her husband will be baptizing her husband, Orlando. After the baptisms there is going to be a ward party at the church for Orlando and Maritza's wedding. Then after that we are all going to the stake center for a stake activity! So there is a lot to look forward to, a lot going on. I'm going to be exhausted. But I'm super excited and can't wait for my first baptisms! I am super blessed to have so much going on. I would much rather be exhausted and stressed than rested and having plenty of time because nothing is going on.
This past week we also set 4 more baptism dates! We have a few other investigators who are well on their way to baptism as well! We unfortunately have to stop teaching one of our super good, progressing investigators because her pastor told her she can't meet or talk with us anymore. Which I think is totally dumb and hypocritical. What is wrong about learning about other religions? Like, that helps you have a better understanding of other beliefs and your beliefs. It helps you realize how your church is different and why you believe one way or another. I guess the pastor is just scared of two 19 year olds ;)
On Friday we took one of our less active young women to an activity for the young women at the church. It was a theme of a beauty pageant so they all wore dresses and had crowns. (You could say it wasn't the funniest thing to sit through as a guy...) One by one they all got up and gave small talks about a subject in the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet. Betania, our less active, was going last, so Elder Rodriguez and I and two other Elders planned to cheer for her super loud when she got up to give her talk. Usually it is just silent and no one cheers because you're not supposed to. So we were all super excited and wanted her to feel way special and cool so we were all getting ready. As we sat waiting in excitement, jittery and ready to cheer super loud, the moment finally came. Right when she stood up was when we were supposed to cheer. The announcer called her name, "Betania." she stood up and, "Yeah Betania!!" I yelled. With a bright smile on my face and clapping, I realized I was the ONLY one that cheered! All eyes in the room looked back and stared at the crazy white American boy in the back, aka me. I slowly stopped clapping and felt my face turn tomato red. Some people laughed, others just turned back around probably thinking, "Crazy white boy." Fortunately Dominicans do stuff like that all the time and it wasn't out of the norm really so they didn't think much of it. I turned to the other elders and punched them all in the arm and asked why the heck they just made me look like a fool! They said they all chickened out last second. Awesome. Haha. I just laughed and thanked myself for being crazy like that anyway so I wasn't that embarrassed. So that was a funny little experience haha.
I had a dream that I saw Trent Reilly holding an Argentinian flag and there were a bunch of people congratulating him, so I am taking that as revelation! I'm calling Argentina for him! So Trent, get ready and learn Spanish because that's where you're going! :D
Super Excited for this upcoming, crazy week! I'm super excited for this work and the success I have been having! Thanks for all the love and prayers. And Happy Thanksgiving! As I probably eat rice and salami you will all be getting fat on turkey, mashed potatoes, and everything else that is making my mouth water as I write this! So be thankful for that and stuff yourselves a little more for me!
This Thanksgiving I am thankful for how blessed I have been throughout my life and that I have been blessed to have had such a strong testimony for so long. I am thankful for the opportunity every day to share this amazing gospel with others. I am thankful I have working arms and legs so that I can help others and serve others rather than needing others to help and serve me. There is simply not enough time for me to write all that I am thankful for. But I leave you all with this challenge, every night before you go to bed, write or at least think of 5 thinks that you are thankful for that day. It really helps you realize the blessings and the good of that day, even if it was a terrible day.
Happy Thanksgiving! Be happy and stay thankful, because it could always be worse!

Elder Greer

English class still going strong!

Got my package from my parents! I'm obsessing over the granola bars they sent me!