Monday, November 26, 2012

3 Thanksgiving Dinners

Hey Greene Family!

So another week has come and gone, I've said it once and I'll say it again, time doesn't make sense in the mission. Thanks for the letter mom, just to make sure I'm not missing anything, I didn't get a letter from dad. It's totally fine, I just want to make sure his letters aren't getting lost. I can't believe all those people are going on missions! I'm so excited to be a missionary at this time. We'll be receiving somewhere around a 100 missionaries these next couple months, so basically every missionary will have to train here hahah. I feel for Trevor, BYU's going to be an empty campus, hahah. Nah, he'll find someone real fast I'm sure. I'll keep Holden in my prayers, that's so hard.

So we had an awesome meeting this week, the Spanish missionary meeting basically. First one ever, but all 16 Spanish missionaries went to a meeting in Columbia, Maryland (a nice long drive, let me tell you). It was so cool! Felix, my old ward mission leader was there and he gave me a Christmas present. Elder Gill, the missionary that replaced me there in Baltimore told me that Grisel is getting baptized! (She just did yesterday I think) Grisel was a woman we found and taught while I was there but then I left! I'm so stoked for her. But anyways it was nice to be with all the other missionaries and talk about the challenges of Spanish missionaries and how to overcome them.

Thanksgiving was sweet, but I'm never eating that much food again. We ate three dinners and I was so full at the end of the day. We had 3 pies and a bit of everything for leftovers, but I must say I was missing turkey taquitos. 

So I wish I could tell you we went to the temple but Sister Arias went to the hospital last week with a UTI. She lost a bunch of blood. Keep her in your prayers, she's getting better but she's still real weak.

So we had some awesome lessons this past week! We went to Elsa's house and had a lesson about the Plan of Salvation. She saw that it made a lot more sense than everything else she's heard and she said, "Entonces, yo necesito ser bautizada." or "So, I need to be baptized." So she needs to get off work and hopefully she can come to church soon, so she can be baptized this December! Huge miracle. The other awesome miracle this week, Maria. She was a former investigator that we have been meeting with but we weren't seeing much progression so we were about to drop her. We had our last lesson and I asked her if she had read the Book of Mormon. She has 5 kids and 3 of them were yelling and going nuts (one was yelling some very bad English words) but she said yes, so I asked her if she had prayed to know if it's true. By this point I had a kid climbing on my shoulders and another yelling more bad words on the ground. She looked at me very serious and said I know that this book is true. It was the best feeling ever, even though the atmosphere was crazy. There's still a long road to baptism (she needs to get married) but we're on the right track!

Well thanks so much for all the prayers and letters. I hope Macey gets better. Love you all.

-Elder Greene

Monday, November 19, 2012

Insights on Holy Ghost

Que pasa familia?

So it's true, I'm twenty now. It's kinda a weird age and it makes me feel old but I don't know if it's hit me really yet. It hit me harder when I talked to a new Elder in our zone who graduated in 2012. Time seriously just flies. But I wanted to say thanks so much, for all the gifts and letters. I know dad thought B-days were kinda lame in the mission, but honestly the night of my birthday I was as happy as any other birthday. The frame is on my desk, and I want to read that Book of Mormon so bad, it's so cool. (We sent Zach a replica of the first Book of Mormon printed) Ties and slacks are all awesome. And the Elder Eyring talks we're amazing, they answered some questions I had. Seriously, I have the best family ever. But yeah, we went to our recent convert (Arias Family) family's house for my birthday dinner and they cooked taquitos and a cake named "impossible". It was fantastic, and more importantly, we're going to the temple to do baptisms for the dead with them this week! So pumped (last time he had to work, so this time it will happen.) 

To answer questions, I'm the district leader of Winchester Spanish (Us), Front Royal, Luray, Petersburg, and Woodstock. So 5 sets of missionaries, all English speaking except us. Yes I went straight from Junior comp to District leader, but it hasn't been a problem.... Yes we have Thanksgiving set up, or 3 hahah. As for Christmas stuff, a GPS would be perfect and I wouldn't mind a blue scarf? Other than that, I'm not sure. Have fun!

Well this week was amazing! It was a week of firsts. My first 20th birthday, first week as a district leader, first time I've dedicated a house (cool huh?), and first time we had investigators to church in this area! We're so blessed and we're hoping God will continue to bless us this week. 

I wanted to share somethings different this week, instead of a story, something I've learned. As a missionary we can be in tune with the Spirit more than any other time in our lives previously (at least for me). As long as you're obedient and looking for Heavenly Fathers help, you can have the Spirit with you. I think before my mission I thought of the Spirit as a comforter and someone that tells you the truth. Now I realize He is so much more than that. He can open your mind to new things, or give you direct guidance. He can just give you a feeling in your heart, to go a certain way. He can enable you to convey a message with a lot more grace than normal. He can give you peace and joy in hard times. I can't even list all the ways the Spirit has helped me on my mission. And it's helped me to realized what would a mission be like if we didn't have the Spirit? I personally believe it would be a lot like my birthday cake, "impossible". Finding, teaching, planning, all would be so much harder and ineffective. If there was anything that has brought me the most joy in my mission, next to seeing people change, it would be feeling the Holy Ghost work through me. I'm so grateful that I have the opportunity to serve a mission. I know that this is the restored Church of Jesus Christ and I know that only by listening to the Holy Ghost can we progress and endure to the end.

Sorry it's a little different, we had good experiences and lessons this week. But I just wanted to share that. Keep Elsa, Braudelio & Cecilia, Pedro, Ramon, and Carmen & Estela in your prayers. There's a lot more that I could name off, but that's probably all I have time for. Thanks again for everything. I'm so grateful that my family is in the right path and that we can all live to together again after this life.

Con amor,
Elder Greene

PS. Thought you might want to hear the sweet news! We can skype for a our Christmas call! We'll work out times and stuff later. 


Zach's birthday package 


Zach after opening birthday package

El Pastel se llama impossible
(translation: cake called impossible?)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Happy 20th Birthday!

Good afternoon Greene Family!

Well as you may or may not know, this week is transfers. I got the call today at around 11 that neither me nor my companion will be leaving! So that's pretty sweet, change can be hard. (Not that I know what NOT changing is like, I've never had the same companion two transfers in a row...) But ya know, God has a sense of humor and as soon as you feel you're safe, ya get something thrown at you. I got a call from President asking me to be the new district leader, hahah. (This is what happens when you live with Zone Leaders) But I'm excited to push myself and I'm sure this week will be full of even more prayers. As a Spanish Elder working with all English elders it should be interesting!

Anyways, got your Amazon package, sorry, I opened it. Thanks for the ab wheel and bands! My abs could definitely use it hahah. I think I'm weighing in in the high 170's right now. Thanks so much for the update on the friends with calls! That's so sweet. To answer your question, Mom, on how do we find Spanish people, that's a good question. There are all sorts of ways, they don't hide really. Boots outside the door, trailer parks, bikes outside the door, Dish "500" (international language tv dishes), and then just referrals. You ask any white person where all the Spanish people live and they will tell you every door usually. Now the trick isn't finding Spanish people, it's member present lessons and getting them to church!

This week we had a way cool lesson with Elsa. I'm not sure what I've said about her but she's pretty awesome. We got to her house for our appointment and the house was black inside. Of course we knock the door anyways. Nothing. We call her house phone. Nothing. Finally we call her cell and she answers! She had been sleeping cause of a migraine but she got up and came down. (She's so awesome.) Then turns out her husband wasn't home, can't go in. It is 45 degrees outside and she has a migraine and just woke up, but she still says lets open the garage and have a lesson! So we started to teach and right then her husband (who we haven't met before) came home. He turns out to be super cool. He's just a white dude from Virgina named Mark. We taught the rest of the lesson inside, but I was just stoked how cool our investigator is.

I wish I could tell you about all our investigators but it would take too long. We taught our investigator out in West Virginia this week, Reymundo (goes by Taco or Tigre). He got ran over by a car that morning (darn Satan) and ended up having a whole lot of broken ribs. He still wanted us to come over and we gave him a blessing in his super tiny room, seriously it's as big as mom's closet maybe. Also it's a little crowded cause one wall is covered with Jesus and Mary stuff and the other with pictures of tigers and other tiger memorabilia. He's hilarious.

Welp, that's about it. In other, less missionary important news, I can't believe Obama won (you can cut this out if you want). So dumb.

Anyways, love you all, thanks for everything! I can't believe I'm turning 20 this week, I don't feel that old at all. Time just keeps passing by like crazy.

-Elder Greene

Monday, November 5, 2012

Wussing Out


Thanks so much for all the letters! I am feeling pretty blessed this week and maybe it's just the November spirit of things but I am just so grateful for such an awesome family. A mission really wakes you up to how much you've had in your life. Jared your story about the dance made me laugh pretty good. My comp was looking at me funny. Mom I'm sorry about the flu, you'll be in my prayers (even more). To answer your question, yeah it snows here in Winchester from what I've heard. We kinda skipped Fall here it feels like. The cold is totally different from the cold of Utah. It seems to just go through your clothes, needless to say, I've been wussing out lately and wearing a coat. Dad don't worry I'm getting all your letters now, I told Google you were a good guy.

I just got done playing volleyball actually! It's always nice to play, although it reminds me how out of shape I'm getting, hahah. Elder Ocasio has a bad knee and can't run, but I got somewhat of a diet going so no worries. 

We had kinda a shortened week this week, because of the Hurricane... We had some trees fall over but nothin major in Winchester. We had a good week though! We went to Front Royal (the home town of my first companion (MTC). We found some really cool people! One is named Raquel Foster, she's from Chile and she's way funny. I was explaining an experience I had with the scriptures and bearing my testimony, really pouring my heart out, hahah. Then she interrupted me and asked where I learned Spanish, hahah. She's great though, she's reading in the Book of Mormon now.

We went on exchanges, which was ridiculous hahah. Our district leader is English speaking and he came with me to our area. So basically he sits there all day and I teach the lessons! It was fun though. We found a woman in wheel chair named Ginger and had a prayer holding hands (she insisted) in the street. It was a fun day though! We found 3 new investigators.

Well thanks so much for everything! You're all so amazing. How go the house designs by the way? Are we going to have a pool? Is my room in the basement?

Love ya!
-Elder Greene

Comp doesn't like the cold, ha ha!

Grounded, is this a good activity?!

Halloween outfit