Thursday, January 29, 2015


Last week my theme and most of my blog was about service. We ended up having a total of 9 hours of service! Four of the nine hours we spent building a house for the brother of one of our investigators. We had a lesson with her in the morning and saw that her brother was building a house next to hers, so after the lesson we hurried home, changed into grubby clothes, and returned ready to get dirty and build a house! It is times like those I am thankful for the things my dad taught me, being a son of a man who constructs houses and pretty much knows how to make anything he wants. I surprised myself that I knew as much as I did. My companion knew even more, especially because we were building a "Dominican" house haha... It was hard work in the sun, but I got to serve and get a better farmers tan! So it was a great experience and hopefully we have a new investigator! I mean, he better be willing to let us teach him now! :)

So as missionaries, we have days like that, filled with great experiences, great lessons, and everything is awesome. Then we have days like Monday that kind of, well, suck. Monday started off like this... We were walking down the main street of Los Cocos, when we saw our best investigator who also has a baptism date for next month, with a cup of beer in her hands. She saw us and we all 3 half smiled and half waved as we kept walking to our next appointment. When we turned the corner, I said, "Elder... Our flipping investigator with a baptism date for next month is drinking..."  "I know. What should we do!?" My comp replied. We were devastated. We have been trying to have a lesson with her or at least talk with her ever since, but she hasn't been there. The worst part is that she has done so much to change her life for the better and live the gospel to the fullest and even rejected her boyfriend from living with her again when he came back because she didn't want to break the law of chastity. So please keep her in your prayers!
That's not even half of the bad news from that day. Our next lesson was with another one of our investigators who wants to get baptized and loves church, however has a boyfriend that she lives with. When we asked her why she didn't come to church this past Sunday, she told us it was because she saw someone going to church with us who she doesn't like, so she didn't come. That someone just so happens to be her cousin... So that's another problem we have to deal with. Then, we got a call from the investigator of the sisters in our ward who has a baptism date for this Saturday. He is really close with me so he wanted to talk. He said he is depressed and doesn't know if he should get baptized this Saturday anymore. (I am baptizing him this Saturday) So that too was a big bummer. Then we had a lesson with a less active who I have been working with since I got here. I asked her why she got baptized and her answer was, "I don't know." We asked her if she got an answer to her prayers if the church was true. Her answer was, "No." We then asked her if she ever prayed to know if this was the true church. Her answer was again, "No." So when we left that lesson, you could say we were super interested in seeing who the heck baptized her! That really ticked me off. People aren't numbers! This is Salvation missionaries, not a dang game!
Some other things happened to but the bad news isn't important. What is important is we have to work even harder and pray a little more. So please keep my investigators, especially my investigator who has a date for next month. I would also greatly appreciate it if you all fasted for them this Sunday for fast Sunday!

To bring back the good mood into this email, the elders and the sisters both have investigators who are getting baptized this Saturday and their investigators both have asked me to baptize them! So I am super stoked and honored!

Love you all!

Elder Greer
 Me and my comp doing the dishes after a meal with Ruth, the girl I baptized.


Service, Service, Service

This week we had some great experiences serving others. We always ask everyone we teach if there is anything we can do for them, like service, or clean their house, or clean the backyard, or fix something, or anything at all. Everyone always says no and a lot of people say preaching the "Word of God" id enough. But we genuinely want to help and serve people. So because it is nearly impossible to find someone who will let us do a service of some sort for them, we have just been looking for and praying for opportunities to serve. Instead of asking to help, we just do it. And when the people tell us, "Oh, no! It's OK, sit down, don't get your clothes dirty!" we ignore them and continue to do whatever the task is at had with a smile on our face. Yesterday, when we got to one of our investigators houses, we saw her son and grandchildren tearing down a house because the son was moving. The house was made out of all wood and hammered together by only nails. We immediately put down our things and started helping lift and hammer and taking out nails. They all insisted we sit down, but we refused and kept helping. As we were on the ground taking out nails from the wood, there were 5 little kids from the ages of 5-7 years old literally on top of the house that was barley still standing, just hammering away carelessly. The house was wibbling and wabbling back and forth. `It was pretty much like this; give 5 little kids hammers and tell them to take down a wooden house. It was obviously a disaster waiting to happen. Eventually the whole house was only a couple wooden sticks holding up a quarter of the roof that was still there. They all just pushed the house over and it fell on the ground with a large "Bang!" and then we started the lesson because by that time it was dark and there wasn't much light. I could tell they really appreciated our help and it showed them that we aren't just there to teach and preach, but we are here to render service in anyway we can.
That morning we also had a huge service project with all the missionaries in the area/boundary of Santiago (not including the missionaries outside the city of Santiago) We went to one city in Santiago and cleaned the roads. We swept and picked up trash for about 2 hours. The roads were all super gross and no one ever cleans the roads or picks up trash here, so it looked a lot better after we were done. It also rained that morning so the roads were muddy and extra nasty. We found some interresting things... Normal to Dominicans and me now, but anyone else would be thoroughly disgusted and shocked haha. We also had the opportunity to help the trash men with their jobs and make their day a little easier. It was tiring and nasty, but a super great feeling knowing we were serving and being examples. It had a great effect on the people who saw us. Some people thanked us, others offered us free food. It was pretty cool to see how when we serve, others can see the good we are doing and maybe be inspired to render more service in their lives as well. Or at least try and be a little more clean.
Another cool experience I had took place last week in the morning during my morning exercise/run. I was running up the mountain in my area when I passed a Haitian man wearing rain boots and carrying his baby daughter in one hand, and a gallon and a half of water in the other. I said hello, and kept on my run. As I kept running, my diligent and determined thoughts and words I usually have in my head when I am trying to distract myself from the pain and tiredness, were interrupted by sympathy for this Haitian man. I remember thinking, "Wow, this man probably works far up the mountain laboring and doing hard work in the hot sun all day and he has to carry his daughter and that water up with him. That must be way tough to do every day. On top of that, after he diligently labors and sweats in this humidity just to provide for his family and put food in their mouths, he probably doesn't get paid very much." Then I stopped. I turned around, ran back down to where he was, and offered to carry the jug of water for him. He gave me the jug and we walked together up the mountain and talked as he carried his daughter now in both hands. When we got to where he needed to be, he happily thanked me and we went our separate ways. We got back to our house obviously a little later than we were supposed to (because we have a very strict schedule and need to be doing studies by 8:00am) but that didn't matter at all because I was doing exactly what a missionary should do. It was a small, yet treasured experience.
There are opportunities and people to serve all around us, everyday. We just need to open our eyes a little more, look for those opportunities, and be a little more willing. It's easy to say, "Oh, that must be tough, sorry for him." Or, "That's someone else's job." But those are thoughts of the natural man. How do we expect others to help us or render their service or do favors for us if we aren't willing to do the same for them? Christ is the perfect example of serving. Not just when it was convenient, or when He felt like it, but every day, 24/7  giving every ounce of energy He had. We need to look at Christ's example and do as He did. Let's be a little more willing. Let's work a little harder. Let's look a little more for opportunities and people to serve. And when the job is done, let's find something more. Because there is always something more we can do. I am so thankful for the Savior's example to us all and know that He blesses us when we serve others. I know He puts specific people in our paths and in our lives for us personally to serve. I am thankful for these great experiences I have everyday as I render my service to others in every way I can. So my challenge to you all is to be as Christ is, and serve someone every day.

In other news, I have at least 3 more months in my first area where I still am, Los Cocos. My companion ends his mission this transfer, so I will stay at least one more transfer after that and train the area. It will be a total of 5 transfers and 7 months (at least) which is a pretty long time in one area, but I love it and the people. There is a lot of work to do! However, this mission has a total of 250 missionaries, but we are only allowed to have 200 now. I guess it is a new rule or something. I don't know if that is for every mission, or just in the Caribbean. So that means that 25 areas here will have to be closed! So our areas will be bigger and more though to cover. I am really hoping they don't close my area, but it is a big possibility. But I am going to do whatever I can to make sure that doesn't happen!
We also got a new mission leader in our ward. He has only been a member for 5 months... But he is well qualified and honestly the best member in our ward. So it should be great for us, and him.

Love you all! Thanks for the love and support! Keep my people in your prayers :)

My companion is literally counting down the days till he leaves as he ripps on off everyday until #1 the last day! Can you say trunky??...

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


So lately it has been colder than normal. At least for the people here... It will be like 70 degrees and people literally will be wearing beanies and jackets and sweats. Last week, I saw a guy wearing a full on ski jacket that you wear when you are in the mountains skiing where it is like 20 or less degrees! But I have to admit, I think I am used to the humidity and weather because I have definitely worn a sweatshirt more than once in my house haha. Usually in the early mornings or late at night. But it's probably not even cold at all, I don't know.

Sunday mornings are always an insane rush. Our church is 30 minutes away in car and our church starts at 8:00am so every Sunday morning me and my companion are literally running around town, gathering our investigators. Luckily we always have a member who takes us all in his car. This week was great and we got 5 investigators to church! They all really liked it and 2 of them have baptism dates. Two of the others want to get baptized but can't because they live with their boyfriends. And the other is progressing really well and I have a lot of faith in her and can tell she sees the blessings of the gospel.

Here is a super cool video that took place in Puerto Plata, an area in my mission where I was actually at not too long ago. It's super funny and shows a small glimpse of a small part of my huge mission. Here is the link:
I want to share a part of an email I got from one of my best friends who is a retern missionary. This really pumped me up and I feel I should share it:

"This week has been a crazy one.. I feel like I've been stuck in this crappy mentality of poor perspective. I have felt like my mission was such a spiritual high, like that was my peak, and like I'd never be that good again. I've spent the whole time I've been home trying to feel like I felt on my mission. I've heard every excuse in the world about why it isn't possible and how you'll never feel that way again. That's bull. This Gospel is eternal. The truths God taught me, the experiences He blessed me with, those are eternal. If He wasn't going to allow me to progress when I came home, He wouldn't let us come home.
I guess I'm telling you all of this because that's in turn how all of us feel, to some extent at least. Think about it. We're all His children. We were all with Him, and we were perfect. In that sense, coming to this world and living this life is like coming home from a mission. In the pre-existence we were at a spiritual high. That's how a mission is. Now we're here, in the world, and Satan makes us think we'll never be good enough to make it back. Go teach people that's a lie. Go show them that God lives, and that His son has enabled them to be far more and far greater than anything they were before this life. Go give them hope, because they need it."
Sometimes in life we feel like we are on top of the world and everything is great. Other times, it takes a turn downward and Satan will do everything in his power to take advantage of that and prevent us from being able to go back to feeling on top of the world. We all just need to turn our hearts to the Lord and humble ourselves and let him strengthen us. Don't ever let Satan make you think you are not good enough or that you can't be better. Because we can.

Love you all and wish the best.

Elder Greer

Also, quick shout out to my aunt Jodi and Mimi & Papa for the Christmas package and cards! Love ya'll!

Sunday, January 11, 2015


This week was great! We definitely saw some miracles happen. I want to first off thank my family and anyone else who fasted and prayed for my investigators. Definitely payed off! Empenitriz, one of my investigators, was pregnant but had a miscarriage and was way sad so we taught her the plan of salvation and she loved it! It was a great, spiritual lesson and it was so awesome to testify to her that there is a place for us all after this life and that she will see her family and kids again and can live with them for eternity. She was so receptive and loved it. She also told us on Sunday that her boyfriend moved out! So we set a date for baptism on the 21st of next month! We also just started teaching her 11 year old daughter who is really smart and wants to get baptized too so we will have 2 baptisms for sure next month! It's so awesome to see how the gospelm applies to peoples lives and how it brings such happiness. We are also teaching her sister Yokida who is just as amazing of an investiagor. She has such excitement for the church and for learning more every visit. She and her sister are both amazing and have so many questions and really understand. They are so ready and definitely have been prepared for this gospel. However, Yokida lives with her boyfriend so she can't get baptized even though she wants to so bad. She said she will come to church every Sunday and loved church both times she came. This past Sunday I bore my testimony and she told me she loved it and loved that we have an opportunity every month to share our testimonies. She told us yesterday that she talked to her boyfriend about church and he said he might come with her this Sunday! I was fasting and praying for that! I have really come to see how important it is to fast and pray with real intent. It really is a blessing and brings so many blessings into our lives, and the lives of others.
Not that I want to deliver bad news, but one of our other best progressing investigators told us she doesn't want to continue with us. The first time she came to church she loved it and said she wanted to come back every week and keep learning. Our lessons with her were always so great and exciting. But Recently I could see that she was loosing her excitement and not following commitments like she used to. When we passed by her house on Sunday to see if she was coming to church, she told us she didn't want us to keep teaching her. I was devastated and confused why. So we said we wold come back when we had time and talk things out. When we came back on Monday, she didn't really have a reason, she just said she didn't want to continue. So I bore my testimony and it was incredibly strong. The spirit was so strong and I know she could see it in my teary eyes. But I don't think she was willing to hear or listen to the spirit. We told her we wouldn't pass by anymore but if she needed anything, we are always here to help. I walked away heart broken because she literally had salvation in her hands and knew the truthfulness of this gospel and church, yet chose to drop it. As a missionary, I now see how important and special this gospel is. So the fact that she came so close to partaking of the blessings and now is missing out on all the blessings she could/would have had is super upsetting. Just goes to show how much more Satan works on you when you try to do the right things or come close to accepting the gospel. But I wont give up. I will continue to fast and pray for her. I know I did all I can and that it is up to her to accept. So I will do everything I can to make sure that doesn't happen with Empenitriz or her sister.
I want to leave you all with a quote from an email I got this week from Bri Jackson;
"Matthew 25:40 "Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." President Monson had a really good talk called "The Real Joy of Christmas" And it talks about celebrating the Savior by celebrating his life. He said that rather than receiving we should give ourselves through service. Serving others and living the way he did, we can find true happiness and joy. Even though Christmas is over, this is still a good principle to live by all year round. We should always want to strive to be like him and serve others always so we can have true happiness all the time rather than just around the holiday season."
I loved what she said. It's so true, we should always, always, always be on the look out to serve and help others. Not just in seasons of holidays where that's the norm, or when we are having a good day and feel like doing something cool for someone, but always. Everyday. Christ did not serve sometimes, or help people when it was convenient, but 24/7.
Love you all, thanks for the prayers, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!! 2014 was a great year full of unforgettable memories for me, and I can't wait to see how this next year plays out! Hopefully with much success!
Also, if you scroll down far enough, one of my stories is on this blog. It is the blog of my mission president's wife. It is a super fun and cool and informational blog with awesome stories and experiences of this crazy mission! My story is dated October 16th, 2014. If you scroll down to this date, you will find my story and picture and it is called "Led By the Spirit of God" Also, one of Elder Rodriguez's stories/experiences is on there that is also super cool dated December 7th, 2014. Here is the blog website:

Elder Greer

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year

Our family had so much fun talking to Bannon on Skype at Christmas! He is really doing so well and even bore his testimony in Spanish. (Miguel told him to keep working on it haha but we are so proud of him!) We were skyping with him on my Mom's computer while we were holding up the IPad with my grandparents and aunt and uncle and cousins on it since they were in California and we were in Idaho. We are so blessed to live in a time where we can see and hear from our missionary in a different part of the world! It was so great to hear his experiences and how much he loves the people of the Dominican Republic. Please continue to pray for Bannon and the people of the DR! Thank you all for your love and support of him, he would not be such a great guy if it weren't for the wonderful people he surrounds himself with. Happy New Year!

Christmas was awesome!!
On the 24th (which is Christmas in this country) we had 4 dinner appointments! Dominicans make you eat so much, especially on holidays. So by the end of the night, you could say I didn't need food for a good week and a half! In the morning, I opened my Christmas package from my family and got some sweet things! Especially a ton of Utah State clothes which I am stoked about! Thank you family for all the gifts! Elder Rodriguez, my last companion, got to be in a trio with me and Elder De Bernardi for Christmas so that was awesome! Especially because he had some gifts from my parents in my package. Later we went to a members house to visit with him because I asked him earlier that week what his plans were and he said he didn't have any. So I thought it would be super cool for him if we went and visited with him. We sang a Christmas song and talked and gave him chocolates. It was really cool. He doesn't have any family here, but we are his family. I wish we could have done more, but it was great. Finally we got to the church to Skype our families! It was so good to see my family and talk with all them. Sounds like everyone is doing great and it was a good Christmas. The next morning, I attempted to make fritters like we always eat on Christmas morning, and to my surprise, they tasted exactly like the ones my mom makes! Then we took Elder Rodriguez back to meet up with his new companion and we taught some great lessons the rest of the day. These past two weeks have been killing us because everyone is so busy with the holidays. It has been a challenge to find our investigators and have good lessons without blasting music down the street, but I'm hoping it gets better next week when everyone finally calms down! We have two new investigators who are so awesome and really understand and accept the gospel. They are sisters and always have great questions and are hungry for more. They are ready for baptism and want to get baptized, buuuuuut, they both live with their boyfriends... Gosh why aren't people married in this country!? So it is going to take a miracle to get them married with their boyfriends because both of their boyfriends don't have any interest. Also, one of our best progressing investigators just told us she doesn't want us to keep teaching her. I was devastated when she told us this. I had so much hope and faith in her and she was progressing so much. I honestly have no idea what the heck happened, but we are going to go back this week and talk with her and get it all figured out. So I am asking this of you friends and family: Fast and pray for the people of Los Cocos! If we fast, and you guys fats and pray for my investigators and the people of Los Cocos, I really think we will start to see miracles. Just please fast that we can get our two investigators married to their boyfriends, for our progressing investigator who doesn't want us to come back, and just for us in general to be able to find and teach the people of Los Cocos who are ready for this gospel and have strong interest and desire to partake of these great blessings. That would be so awesome of all of you. Thanks!
So today my whole district and a few others, wanted to go to the waterfalls in my area that are 2 hours away by foot. I have been there 2 times already, and I did a super intense calf workout on Monday, so I could hardly walk yesterday or today. So I had no desire to go, but I didn't really have a way out of going so I just went. We went with two members of our church who know of hidden waterfalls as well. When we got there, I followed one of them up this huge mountain on this zig zag path through the jungle. He got us lost up there... So we tried to find another way down. But it was about the worst and most dangerous decision we could have made haha. We were literally slipping and sliding down cliffs and big rocks were falling down from above, so we had to dodge them. Then the trees that we were holding onto for support kept falling down and were not strong. At one point I was literally hanging on to two vines over a 20 foot drop. It was awesome! Literally felt like I was in a crazy movie or something. I eventually rock climbed my way down using the vines and swung like Tarzan. Felt so cool. Haha. Me and 3 other missionaries went back a little early and a few others stayed and tried to find other hidden waterfalls. They ended up getting lost and were gone for another 4 hours! We left at 7 this morning, I got back at 2:00 and they got back at 5:00! crazy. But overall, it was a great, fun, adventurous day! Lived life on the edge... Literally. :D
Well, Happy New Years! Make this year better than the last!!

Elder Greer
The waterfalls!

Christmas Dinner (one of them)

Thanks family for the package

Today we also watched this pig get its guts ripped/cut out. So cool!

Feliz Navidad!

Feliz Navidad!
On Friday we had a ward dinner party at our church. The other missionaries in my district and I did a little dance thing that we first performed two weeks ago with our whole zone for a huge Christmas devotional for all the missionaries in Santiago. All the zones had to do an act, so we dressed up as midgets and put big black bags over our upper part of our bodies so we looked like midgets and no one could see who was who. We also did it for our ward dinner party and everyone loved it and thought it was super funny.
On Saturday, we showed the people in our English class the video about Christ and Christmas. It was great and super cool that we could share it with them and not only English. They all really liked it. We asked them after what they learned and what is the purpose of Christmas, and of the 20+ people that were there, not one of them mentioned Christ... It saddened me and really made me realize how our of touch society is with Christ and religion and especially the significance and importance of Christmas. So we bore our testimonies about Christ and what the real meaning of Christmas is. I hope it stuck in their heads! Christmas is not just a time to be with family and get/give gifts and eat a lot, but especially to remember and celebrate our savior JESUS CHRIST! Not just during the Christmas season, but always in our lives!
On Monday we had an activity in Los Cocos with our ward. They all came and we sang Christmas songs and had refreshments. It was great and super fun! Really brought the Christmas spirit to a much needed, out of touch with Christmas spirit town.
Tomorrow is Christmas in the states, but for some reason they celebrate Christmas on the 24th here. So today is Christmas and we have 4 dinner appointments! Wish me luck and that I don't throw up!
Super stoked to see my family on skype tomorrow!! That will be way exciting!
Well, Merry Christmas!! Love you all! And remember, Christmas is about Christ!

Elder Greer

Our midget costumes

Vamos a la Playa!

This week was great! We have been fasting and praying long and hard for our investigators and have definitely seen the blessings! Although it is always challenging, I realize the blessings more and more. We are teaching a lady who really wants to get baptized, but her and the man she has 4 kids with and living with are not married. So we taught them about marriage and commandments and the Law of Chastity. I just layed it down hard and made it super clear to them how important it is. Honestly, I had little faith that they would every get married or that the man would want to get married. But, when you ask, you receive! Our next lesson with them they told us they wanted to get married! So I am stoked about that! It will still be a huge challenge and super difficult to find all the papers and what not, and actually make it happen, but the desire is there and that is all that matters! My faith was definitely increased and I felt bad that I didn't have more faith in the first place. We had a bunch of other super awesome lessons and have some new investigators who came to church two days after we met them! And they really enjoyed it.
I figured out that if I don't get transferred this next transfer, I will be staying in Los Cocos for another 3 transfers at least because my current companion will be finishing his mission in two transfers. So if I don't leave this next transfer, I will need to stay there until he finished, and then at least one transfer more. So at least 7 and a half months... Which is a really long time in an area. But if I am to stay in any area, I would not mind to stay here. This area is special to me and I have had a lot of success here. I can smell the readiness in the air!
Ok, so now on to my P-Day today...
Today was by far the best and most fun P-Day yet! Last transfer, our zone broke our goals for that transfer so President lets us have a big zone party or do something really fun or cool. We decided we wanted to go visit Puerta Plata. So we got permission to go to Puerta Plata, a beachy tourist city in the northern most part of the Dominican Republic and in my mission. It was an hour drive and we left early in the morning. There are about 10 missionaries in Puerta Plata and is an area everyone wants to serve because it is super chillaxed and beachy and tropical. And they have a stake up there! So a pretty good amount of members.

(I am now going to send pictures of today and add paragraphs or captions about them. Add them in order after this part of my blog. Get ready... there are a lot!)
When we first got there in the morning, we headed up to the Peak of Puerta Plata in a Gondola where you can see the whole coast and city.

Now to the beach!
A statue of Poseidon on one of the tiny islands.

I think it's safe to say I picked up a few things from my sister Maddie and her photography skills ;)

I don't know why, but I was obsessed with getting sick picks with my plaque.

 And yes, we did get permission to be here and no, we are not disobeying rules :)

Tryin' to be artsy like Sydney Smith

And finally, the group of us Elders of the Santiago North zone taking on Puerta Plata!
Sorry for the cheezy poses, but I had to be a tourist for a sec

At the top, there is a big Jesus statue like the one in Brazil, but way smaller.   
Annnnd my shoes are now forever stained. So that's a bummer... And no, that is not what you think it is... Just mud

Gondola that took us up

More cool views....

My Zone Leader, comp (in the brown) and a few others in my zone