Monday, April 29, 2013

"Where's Waldo?"

Que tal Familia Verde?
Well it's true, I'm back in Spanish Work!! I'm super excited and even though it took a couple days to get used to speaking Spanish I'm almost back to normal. Before I forget, my address is 136 Willowdale Dr. #31 Frederick, MD 21702. Me and Elder Knudsen have hit it right off, like I knew we would. We're like the same person sometimes. He's from Utah to answer your question. We live in an apartment with two other Spanish missionaries, but me and Elder Knudsen only see them at night really, we're pretty busy. I sleep on a bunk bed (top bunk, just like old times). We have a brand new car also, a 2013 Subaru Legacy that we use bluetooth with our phone, it's so sweet. This area we play soccer almost every week too. Oh and I'm going to get fat here, the members love us and give us enough food to feed a family! Thanks for the letters, I really enjoyed reading about your weeks and I'm glad we beat Gilbert.
I really liked those quotes Dad. It made me realize how Volleyball can be a lot like the mission (not in all aspects but some). One thing I've learned is that if you get discouraged, mad, upset, sad, or depressed about the work, how many lessons you taught, or who didn't come to church, it never ends up good. Attitude is so key. It's good to want to improve and to work harder. But if we are always down on ourselves for the "losses" we usually don't enjoy the "wins" or even recognize them.
Alright well I'll start with a funny story. Sacrament meeting starts and there are a couple kids making noises. I look to my left and there is a 2 year old kid in a stroller. He had a "Where's Waldo?" book. As the Sacrament started he started to turn the pages and say Butt... Face... Butt... Face.... Turning the page every time. (Spanish kids usually know English, so ya know) I was trying real hard to focus but it was so loud. As he got to the end he yelled,"Where's Waldo?!" Then his mom took him out... Hahah
We had some super sweet miracles this week! So we're working with this woman named M.P. She is a mother of four and is interested in the church. She just hasn't come to church yet! So we decided to do a tour with her last second right before her Zumba class. We met up with her and her member friend at the church. We got there before them and we realized that we didn't have a key to the church! We were kicking ourselves when a member walks up with a key! Just walking around the church with a church key... Miracle! Then M. got there with her friend. As we start to walk in we realize that we need a male to come with us to do a church tour with two women... We were kicking ourselves again. (in our behalf we set this up a half hour before we did it) But then out of nowhere the 1st counselor comes up in his car! So awesome! We guided M. through the church and she really felt the spirit in the chapel. Also her son H. saw the gym and was so excited. He came to soccer on Friday with some of his other non member friends. Miracles!
So on a sad note, M. used her agency incorrectly and didn't come to church. So we were looking around and we didnt have anyone at church. Me and Elder Knudsen were then approached by Hna C., whose son had brought to non-members to church!! Their names are C. and I. They are brothers and both around 13-14. They want to be baptized!! Such a cool blessing. Me and Elder Knudsen are so excited for this transfer.
Well it's been a crazy week but it's been a ton of fun. I will be sure to take some pictures and send them soon. I hope you all have a good week, I'll keep you in my prayers.
Con amor,
Elder Greene

Monday, April 22, 2013

Miracle Fast

Hi ho Greene Family!

Well another week come and gone. Another transfer come and gone actually. Time is ridiculous! This week was awesome though and we had so many tender mercies! So to answer some questions, yeah I got a hold of Dr. Fisher, finally. It was kinda crazy, like always, hahah. I loved Dad's letter. It was real cool to read all his favorite quotes because I don't really get to re read the talks until I have an Ensign. The articles about the volleyball team are so sweet! We're taking State this year. Also the house is awesome! and ginormous! So I have to ask, which bedroom belongs to which child? Hahah.

So before I start my letter of adventures and miracles I guess I'll just break the news on transfers. The Lord is sending me, once more, to be a Spanish missionary! I will now be a Zone Leader in Fredrick, Maryland with one of my favorite missionaries, Elder Knudsen (Kanoodsin)! I am quite a nomad (Matthew 8:20) of a missionary but I'm stoked to be speaking Spanish again. I will miss the YSA, I've learned a lot in this area. This is Elder Fast's last transfer coming up but he will be ok without me, hahah. 

So I'll start with a cool story. This week me and my companion were driving down the harbor to see some people and we looked to our left and there were tons of crazy metal structures. We were interested so we drove a little closer and we saw it was Ninja Warrior! All these people were watching these guys try to go through all the obstacles. This may not be exciting to some of you but I know at least Jared and Collin will appreciate it.

So the P's baptism ended up being on Saturday, which I wasn't able to go to just because of appointments we had, sadly. But I still got to go to G's baptism on Sunday! (I'll send the pics) It was so sweet, afterward he just expressed how grateful he was for the missionaries finding him and teaching him. I also saw R there and at first he just shook my hand like I was some Ward member but then he recognized that it was me and he said,"Brother Greene! What's up!" Hahah, such a great day.

So I wanted to share a couple miracles we had this week. The first was a referral from D. He was baptized two months ago and is one of my favorite people I've met on my mission. He shared a pamphlet with his cousin and he was super interested! So we went to his cousin, D. (D... for all you who don't speak hood), this past Friday. We didn't even have to say anything about baptism and he asked us if he could be baptized! He was so excited to go to church and meet with us some more. I'm pretty bummed I won't be able to work with him this transfer but I'm sure it will all work out!

Another came on Saturday. We were really pushing for a goal we had set this week and we knew we needed to teach another lesson that Saturday. As we looked at our plans I had a real strong impression to go to see G., a really cool recent convert from Nigeria. G. recently got a job at Walmart so he almost never home. But we went. I prayed in my heart the whole drive there that we could teach someone there and I felt strongly that it would happen. We knocked the door and one of G's brothers answered the door, who I haven't met. Him and his sister invited us right in! We talked to them even though G wasn't home and they were some of the nicest people. The brother, K, had just arrived from Nigeria this month. I found out he was Ibu, which another member I taught was from that tribe and so I said "que doo?" (not sure on spelling but it's how you say,"How are you?" in Ibu) K got real excited hahah. We hope to work with them better with G, they are both YSA age!

So my last miracle was a little different. This past Sunday was Fast Sunday and the Senior couple in the ward wanted to fast with us for N. and me and my companion wanted to fast for D. Obviously my version of fasting is eat the minimal amount possible without going low. I woke up on Sunday and my blood sugar was fine. I decided to just not eat breakfast and see how long I could go. I have no doubt in my mind that Heavenly Father protected me and blessed me yesterday because I was able to fast until 4:30. And my blood sugar was 146. It was a very amazing experience and I was just really grateful for how much Heavenly Father loves me.

Well this letter is a little longer but I love you all and I hope your week is great! A week from now I'll be in Spanish mode again so this may be the best worded letter you receive on my mission hahah.

-Elder Greene

G.'s Baptism

New PDM, Old PDM, ha ha!

Me & Elder Fast

Monday, April 15, 2013

Are You For Reals?

Greene Family,

I am so pumped that we won the Brophy tournament. Volleyball is just great. This week I was reminiscing the last Corona match from my senior year, don't worry it wasn't in a distracted way, just happy memories. Thanks for your thoughts on Elder Holland's talk mom, I really liked that talk as well. If you could send me the Ensign with all the talks whenever it becomes available that would be awesome. By the way I haven't been able to get in touch with the mission doctor to send the prescription yet, his office and him aren't calling me back. Kinda frustrating. I'll keep trying. Oh and you should totally send me pics of the floorplans!

So some sweet miracles this week! The P.'s and also R.'s older brother G. are getting baptized next Sunday! I should be able to go so I'll take some pics.

The start of this week was pretty hot. Like it got up into the 90's. Which in Baltimore in the Spring with the humidity is unusual and really hot. Anyways our air conditioning decided to die out on the two days where it was like this and we were left to cook in our apartment, hahah. It was uncomfortable but it makes for some funny memories! We eventually got the AC fixed but our President decided he wants us to move out and find a new apartment more in the city! So me and Elder Fast are going apartment searching this week, hahah. We are going to try and find one with a gym...

Another funny little story: We were teaching a recent convert at the park by her house and as I was baring my testimony of the Book of Mormon a bird pooped on my right knee. I just looked down and said,"Are you for reals?" So I moved spots and we kept talking after my companion was done laughing at me. But then not 5 minutes later another bird poops on my other knee. I kinda just had to laugh. Needless to say I just dropped my suit off at the dry cleaners...

On a more spiritual note, I had the wonderful opportunity to go on exchanges with the Towson Spanish Elders this week. We had a great day with a lot of tender mercies, but my favorite part of the exchange was visiting Hermana S. I knew Hermana S. from my first area because she is in the branch that I served in, but I didn't really know her that well. So we went to visit and we got talking. She mentioned she had type 2 diabetes (very common among Spanish people) and so I told her how I had type 1. We connected really well as we talked about some of her challenges with it and I shared 2 Timothy 1:7 with her as well. She was touched and I think it really helped her out with some of the things going on in her life.

So this week we had a lot of hard things happen at the beginning. We had several of our investigators drop us and G. told us he wants to "take a break" for a week. We were disappointed but we knew that if we kept working hard we would see miracles. The miracles came on Saturday. In the morning we taught a Hindu guy our age. He has been to the Salt Lake temple and applied to BYU! We taught him very simply about the Godhead and he even prayed at the end! Another miracle came a couple hours later when we taught a guy named J. We met J. when we went to 7/11 to use the bathroom, hahah. The crazy part is that we didn't have his address at first and it wasn't until a week later that we felt like we needed to go back to 7/11 and get his address. We got his address and taught him this past Saturday. He left his church because he didn't agree with the pastor making a ton of money. We had an awesome Spirit filled Restoration lesson and he wants to come to Church next week. Miracle! 

Well I can't believe it's April, I hope you all are doing well and enjoying the warmer weather! I appreciate all of your letters, tell Grandpa I really liked his letter he sent me.

Love you guys!

-Elder Greene

Monday, April 8, 2013

Someone Here We Need To Teach

Hey Family!
Hopefully you are all found in good health and darker skin. It's just starting to become Spring out here on the east coast and it is fantastic. Me and Elder Fast played some "Reflections of Christ" out our car with the windows down as we drove through Baltimore this morning. It's definitely better than whatever they are playing on the radio that other people blast in their cars. This week was full of adventure, and miracles. My new PDM came on Saturday and when I tested I was 163 (Oh ye of little faith mom...) (Mom's note: Zach had to call us because his meter that controls his pump wasn't testing his blood sugar for about 4 days!!! Our prescription mail order service had changed and he needed to get the new info... And yes Mom was worried!) . Conference this weekend was sweet! We watched it in the church building on a projector. I wrote some questions and had all of them answered. My favorite talks were probably President Uchtdorf's, President Eyring's, and Elder Holland's.
So this week we were struggling to teach and so come Friday me and Elder Fast were ready to just have an amazing day. First thing we went to try by a less active. We knocked his door. Nothing. I turned to head to the car to drive to the next person we were going to try. But Elder Fast said, "There is someone here we need to teach." I looked around and saw a door at the end of the street. We went and knocked it. Out came a slightly familiar man who invited us right in, despite being in a night gown. After sitting I realized that we had found G! Over a month ago me and Elder Gundersen found a man named G. in this exact neighborhood who said he was a less-active member. However, he was running to his car at the time and didn't tell us his address... And now we had re-found him! We taught him even though he isn't young, or single. It was a cool miracle and now Elder Gundersen can work with my old Ward to help him out.
We also had another really cool miracle this week. We received a referral from the Inner City Elders named D. We called him and set an appointment. We sat down and started to find out more about his situation. He had been a fighter his whole life basically in downtown Baltimore. This past week he went to court and almost went to jail but was let off. He expressed his desire to change and fix his life. As we taught the Restoration of the Gospel, D. felt the peace of the Spirit. The Spirit was so strong, definitely one of the stronger feelings I've had in a lesson on my mission. As we invited D. to be baptized he said yes without hesitation. We are so excited to work with him in the future.
We had more miracles but I wanted to share a thought I had during conference. President Monson said something along the lines of, missionary work is a family affair. I was really struck by that. I think of all the sacrifices that you all have made while I have been on my mission and I am so grateful for all the support I have received. Thank you so much for your prayers, your letters, the financial support, and all the other sacrifices that you have all given in my behalf. I love you and appreciate each of you.
Well I'm sure you all will be getting back into the swing of things this week. Hope you feel spiritually re-energized!
Elder Greene

Monday, April 1, 2013

Key to Happiness

Feliz Dia de la resurrecion! So just before everything, the mission department changed the rule! We can e-mail friends now! So if you would be so kind, please put my e-mail address on my Facebook so people can send me e-mails, no hassle! But anyways, thanks so much for the letters! I got the package and that amount of candy is perfect, not too much. I actually started waking up at 6 to work out and eating healthier, because we don't get fed in the singles ward. I lost three pounds last week and averaged a blood sugar of 119! So I may have found the key to happiness, hahah. I'm a little jealous you all are going to Hawaii but it's all good, it's warming up here and you all don't get to talk to crazy funny black people all day. Oh and Felix went to Utah to escape Baltimore, go to school and to work.
So this week we had some awesome miracles. Me and Elder Fast decided it was warm enough to ditch the car for Saturday and to just try and find people. We went out with a lot of faith and we both wrote things at the top of our planners for that day that had to do with expecting miracles. So we set off. To give you an idea of how blessed we were, we found: A Nepalese guy that applied to BYU, a girl whose brother just got baptized a month ago in our Church, a man whose girlfriend is a member, and a guy whose best friend back home is Mormon. And that was like half of them! We are super excited to start teaching them all this week. By the end of the day though we had 4 or 5 people committed to come to church!
Come yesterday, no one came to church. Kind of a bummer. But D., our recent convert, strolls in second hour with his good friend, E. E. seemed kinda reserved at first but by the end of church and a half hour nap in sacrament meeting, he loved church! He said he wants to prepare for baptism and so we set a date with him for April 28th. Miracles! Me and Elder Fast were so pumped! D. has come such a long way since I first met him in February, longer than I initially thought. Right now he is trying to decide if he wants to serve a mission.  The Atonement is amazing.
I guess just to update you: G. is doing good, we're working on him getting a new job so he can come to church. We have another investigator named G. who is reading the Book of Mormon, he is from Nigeria. Last we have N., she has been investigating for a long time. We went to see her this week and we had to go into Towson University campus. It was so weird. I gave a guy a card after we left and then we got a text from N. saying that her Ex-Boyfriend just told her that he got a card from a guy named "Elder Greene". Hahah, I only gave one card on campus that day, crazy.
Well I hope you all have fun in Hawaii. May your tans be darkened and your bellies be filled with sweet Matsumotos shaved ice. Hahah, love you all!
-Elder Greene