Monday, June 24, 2013

Win Hearts=Eat Food

Hey Greene Family,
Sorry this letter is coming a little later than usual, we helped our Ward Mission Leader move. It was 99 degrees and really humid so I got a good workout, but now there's a storm beating down. Welcome to Maryland. So yeah the PDM came. It was dumb, it just said, meter error 4, and wouldn't test my blood. So I called them up and told them my new address and they sent it to you. Then when I got the package from you I put in the batteries and turns out the Omnipod place sent me dead batteries. Poor service. But all is well, I got to develop the Christlike attribute of patience.
How sweet was that broadcast?? The vision of the broadcast is essentially what are mission has changed to in the past few months. Now we just need to get our branch to attend the broadcast... hahah. I really liked what was said by Elder Packer and I also loved the stories that were shared with Elder Andersen. It was funny because all the members were guessing what would be announced. Things like: new preach my gospel, shorten mission times for Elders, lengthen mission times for Sisters, etc. But yeah I guess the Internet will be adapted soon into missionary life. Not sure when it will happen for us though.
In other news, me and Elder Foell are moving to a new apartment because they no longer want 4 man apartments. So we picked a nicer one we're excited about. I'll take some pictures (although it probably won't be that special to you all, I think the square footage is 1/10 of the house you all are building, hahah).
This week we had an a traveling assistant, Elder Holmes, come out with us for a couple days. It was fun, he doesn't speak Spanish so it wasn't easy to involve him, but we made sure he got fed well. Then on Friday, Elder Holmes left and an hour or two later we exchanged with the assistants (they are in Savage Mill)  and I went with Elder Snow to speak English. It was pretty cool because they met an investigator at the temple so we got to teach him there. The Spirit is so strong at the temple and it really helps with teaching. That night we had an awesome miracle. There is a family there named the S.'s, they are from Baghdad, Iraq. The wife just got baptized and the husband has concerns, but the Elders didn't know what they were. Well we had another dinner with them (win hearts=eat food) and then a great lesson, Brother S. opened up and now he's progressing towards baptism! Pretty cool exchange!
We had a miracle in our own area earlier this week with the L.'s, a part member family. We always either teach the mom or a kid. Never the family. But after a lot of earning trust and eating food (same thing), we had a sweet Noche de Hogar (family home evening) with the whole family! It was a huge blessing. We talked about Amalickiah and Lehonti and how he poisoned him by degrees. They all loved it!
Well I should probably go so I can eat some dinner before we go out preach the word. But all is well here in Frederick! Have a great week, I appreciate your letters more than you know! I love you!
Elder Greene

Monday, June 17, 2013

Happy Father's Day and Birthday!

Welp it's a beautiful day in Frederick. Last week we had two storm warnings but both times it ended up not being much, at least for us in Frederick. Kinda boring. But hey, better safe than living without electricity or something! So I got my A1C test, I wasn't expecting good things. But it was a 8.9, 0.3 less than last time. Progression! Hahah. So yeah, I'll keep on keeping on. To answer your question, next week is the broadcast, all missionaries are required to watch! Pretty exciting, it's like conference. I bet you they talk about REAL GROWTH.
So pretty cool thing were doing here in Frederick, youth conference. The youth conference here is on missionary work! So I've been able to work with stake leaders the past couple weeks to coordinate an activity they're doing on the 28th. Basically, 10 companionships will teach youth how to teach the First Vision and the Book of Mormon. Should be way fun! But I got some pressure to make sure our missionaries are in tip top teaching shape, hahah.
This week we had some awesome miracles. So going back two weeks, me and Elder Knudsen brought a birthday gift (pepsi, Together Forever, cookies, and tupperware) to a man who almost got baptized in February. He loved it and told us he wanted to take us to dinner one day. Well Elder Knudsen left and so I called him up this week and Elder Foell and I went to dinner at a sweet Mexican Restaurant. We didn't bring up the Gospel at all, just talked. Then he started talking about church and we started asking questions. He opened up and even got emotional. He wants to come back to Church! Then, just as we were talking about that, the missionary who was teaching him in February texted him (Elder Pitt, he's home). Boom! Spiritual assualt! We hope to work with him more this week.
Other miracle, we're sitting at the dinner table with an awesome family named the B's. We're about to eat when a man I somewhat recognize walks in. A week prior, a recent convert had moved out of the B's home, so an extra room was available. Also a week prior, this man (who just walked in)'s house burnt down... Yep he lived in the house that we watched burn! And now he moved from the burnt house of a less active to the nice house of super active members! (This is why we really do nothing as missionaries, we're just instruments) Anyways, he sat down and we had a wonderful conversation about God, Prophets, how he's married and has a kid, and how he doesn't drink or smoke... Yeah he doesn't stand a chance.
Well I'll finish this letter with some thoughts for Macey and Dad.
Dad: Happy Father's Day! I am so grateful I've been raised by a worthy priesthood holder who does as much as you do. I knew that before my mission but I appreciate it a hundred times more now. Thanks for everything you've taught me. Many times I've thought of your testimony on that fast Sunday before I left, as well as the many testimonies you shared in the Bishops Office during those years I was a priest. I love you Dad.
Macey: Happy Birthday! You're still 12 right? Just kidding, I can't believe you're 15. I felt like you grew a lot (meaning in maturity) during the time I was at college. Now you're growing even faster! But I just want you to know how you've always been an example to me, even when you were younger. You seem to have been given a lot more Christlike Attributes than most 15 year old girls. I am so grateful to have a sister like you and I hope you know how much I love you!
Have a great week Greene Family! Don't get sunburnt!
-Elder Greene

Me and Elder Foell setting up leadership training by ourselves! We have so many leaders now!

District from last transfer

I teach everyone I meet!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Mountain Dew and Tender Mercies

Buenos Dias!
How's everyone doing? Hopefully mom is feeling better, strep throat is no good. I'm glad Jared is getting to work, I will finish my letter with helpful tips and tricks of staining gates, hahah. To answer your question about the ties, I have inherited many. I have about 50 now. Most of it is from other missionaries but I also buy a couple from Goodwill here and there. Well on a side note, I'm going to get my A1C this week (of my own free will). So wish me luck.
So our Zone is crazy! We have 20 missionaries, 14 of which are trainers with their new missionaries! One of these new missionaries is Elder Payne who lives in our apartment with Elder Vargas training him. Elder Payne is waiting his visa to go to Buenos Aires South. Not sure if that's Alex's mission or not... Anyways, me and Elder Foell get along great, he's from Sacramento California (just cause I know you'll ask).
I ate fried cow stomach this week, its not that bad.
So now for the main story. These past couple weeks we've been working to help an inactive Spanish woman named M. get electricity back in her house. Apparently there was a problem with the box outside. So it's been a whole lot of translating phone calls. (I learned electrical companies are frustrating, how's that for a life lesson?) Anyways, this past Friday we went over there before dinner and just made sure the electrician is coming and it was all going to work out. It was. So we left and ate. At 8:30 we came back to teach her neighbor across the street who is also less active, O. We sat down, he offered us Mountain Dew and I tried to get out of it because my blood sugar was already high. He called me mentiroso (liar). Just as I opened the can, sirens went off in the street, there were police cars flooding in and fire trucks. M.'s home was pouring smoke out the door! We ran outside (I didn't have to drink Mountain Dew, nice little tender mercy) and started yelling in Spanish to make sure people weren't in the house. (I could only carry 3 people out at a time. That last part isn't true, we didn't go in.)  M., like many hispanics, lives in a house full of people, thankfully all 9 got out! We got to translate for the police as they talked to different residents. Turns out one of the guys was cooking while drunk. And due to no electricity, he was using an open flame (Moral of the story: alcohol is bad). We got thanked by a couple people from the fire squad and the police which was cool. All in all, God blesses us with gifts (like speaking Spanish) so that we can help others!
Well I was going to write a bit more but I got to get some good staining advice going. Hahah I love you all! Have a great week!
Elder Greene

Monday, June 3, 2013


Greene Family!
Man you all were trying to get me teary eyed in the library! Hahah, I loved all your letters and I hope you know how much I love each of you. Hopefully I'll get to see that cool plaque, and game ball someday! I know how you feel with the AZ heat coming in, Maryland heat is just hitting too. It doesn't really bother me too much though, I just sweat a good amount. Also I bought some mesh garment tops so those help.
So this week is transfers. Elder Knudsen is leaving and going to where I was, the Baltimore YSA. He is scared to speak English but he'll do fine. I am staying and Elder Foell is coming to be a Zone Leader here! Elder Foell was a missionary in my first district and he is hilarious. (That's the nice thing about being a Zone Leader, your companion is usually pretty cool). But I will be teaching him how to be a Zone Leader. Also, they are splitting our zone because of the vast number of missionaries coming in. As far as I can tell, our Zone will be pretty young. I'll let ya know! But I'm excited for this transfer and I know it will be a real good challenge!
So this week we had a spaghetti dinner activity with multiple wards. We weren't planning on really having anyone there but we did our best to invite people. I was stoked when we got there on Saturday and Hermano A. was at the activity!! We had invited him but he hasn't been to any church function in years. He met a ton of members which was great. Sadly he didn't come to church because of a call-in from work. But I know we're on the right track with him. But that wasn't the end of the surprises. The night before the dinner we had a lesson with a less active named J. She has fallen off track in the past couple months. We had a super spiritual lesson with her and committed her to start reading her scriptures again. Out of nowhere, she showed up to the activity as well! It's a great feeling to see people who are struggling come back to being active.
We had another lesson with the C's as well. We asked C. (the father) about the Book of Mormon and the Spirit. Not only did he understand perfectly what those two things were, he already has recieved an answer that the Book of Mormon is true. They are such a great family. Sadly, a server crashed in the local hospital so C. had to fix it instead of coming to church. Bummer.
Well the mission is exploding! We will recieve 31 this week, 35 next transfer and 27 the transfer after that. It's a ton of fun and a lot of work. I love being a missionary in this time in history! Thanks for all you do and I hope you all have a great week!
-Elder Verdecito