Monday, August 26, 2013

Power of Prayer


Well every week is an adventure with the Greene family! It sounds like a lot is going on! Taggert way to go on being libero buddy! You'll pass like a libero when you are a 6' 4'' middle! Hahah. Jared, way to go on earning the Pippin Jersey, that's always a prestigious honor. (Now you just got to send me the deets). Sounds like it will be a fun year for them in BYU. Phyl sent me a letter, his story is pretty amazing. He will be an awesome missionary at home. So yeah my pods haven't come yet so hopefully today yeah? 

So I wanted to start my letter this week with something different, my testimony. I want you all to know that I know that this is God's work. It's not member work, it's not missionary work, it's God's work. We really don't do anything, we just get the blessing of watching the miracles happen. I know that if we turn to our Heavenly Father that he will guide us and help us. Like your scripture said mom, I know that we belong to the Church of Jesus Christ, and that we preach his Gospel, in its fullness. I know that my Savior lives and that he gave his life for each and every one of us.

We had a lot of miracles this week (I'm sure I say that every week) but here are two stories. Elder Green went on an exchange, but he accidentaly took our phone. Now back in the old days, phones weren't a part of missionary work. But now, if you don't have a phone you are crippled big time. So we borrowed the Hermanas' phone and set a meeting place. Well, when we got to the meeting place we didn't see the other Elders. We didn't have a phone to call them either. So we waited for 15 minutes or so. By this time we were wondering if we were even in the right place, so we went to a different spot. They weren't there either. So Elder Dutson asked, Elder Greene can we say a prayer? So we did and as soon as we finished and opened our eyes the other Elders came rolling up! It was a pretty humbling experience!

Several days later we came home to the apartment after a good day of working. We stuck the key in to unlock the door and it wouldn't unlock! We tried for 15 minutes but nothing. (We once had a similar experience but we were on the other side of the door so I just took apart the whole lock...). So we were making calls and trying to figure out what to do (we ruled out climbing and breaking down the door). We didn't want to sleep in the car and more importantly my pod happened to expire that night so I would be insulinless. So this time I asked if we could say a prayer. We did and then we tried again. After another 3 minutes or so it unlocked! I was really grateful, the power of prayer is amazing.

So on top of those miracles we had an amazing week at church too! 13 less actives came to church this Sunday, including two families we have been working with! One of these families, the "E's", came for the second time in a row this week. They hadn't been coming to church for years until Hermano "E" got laid off and their family had/has some difficult trials. I feel for them and we are doing our best to help them, but I also know that this family was given a trial so that they could come unto God. It's truly amazing how we as missionaries can visit a family every week and that family can make zero progress until Heavenly Father decides it is time.

Our investigator Hermano "C" is praying about a baptismal date! I would appreciate it if you kept him in your prayers. His daughters just got reactivated and his wife is getting really close to being reactivated. They are an amazing family!

Well I love you all! I hope you all have fun with your various activities (BYU, high school, volleyball, callings, etc.) Have a great week!

-Elder Greene

P.S. Just send the 2 Gels with the pants. And by the way it's the Louis Raphael Tailored pants I believe. Also you  promised some photos too, feel free to send them in e-mail too.

Family night at the Green(e)'s (we watched Together Forever before bed

If I wasn't good at eating spicy food before my mission, I am now.  This is me after eating a Habanero last night.  I also ate the other half of Elder Dutson's because he was dying!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Guided in our Efforts

Well hello there,

Sounds like the Greene family is doing good! A lot of news today! I think the two things that surprised me the most are Collin going on a mission so soon and Coach Vee retiring (Zach and Jared's volleyball coach). She affected a lot of missionaries lives when I really think about it. Anyways, no I didn't buy slacks, we went to Costco and they were $50 dollars so I said nah I'm good, I did end up buying a cool sweat shirt though. If you want to send me slacks you can. I probably need a pair of black ones, I like the blue Louis Raphael ones I've had, so if they have them in black that would be cool. Tempting to get khaki ones but then I need brown shoes so I'm good, hahah. Also it would be good to send me some more gel. So not sure if you all knew, but Elder Brough (Dalton's little brother) is in my mission, he's visa waiting to go to the Vanuwatu islands. I saw him twice this past week, I know his trainer and he said he's awesome, he wants to shred his visa. 

Anyways the Orioles game was way fun, even though the Rockies beat us. It was pretty amazing for me to see how different our mission is now. I don't know anyone except all the other Zone Leaders and the assistants, there are so many new missionaries. With at least 40 more on the way, this mission has become quite a young crowd! But we had a great time, I saw the Baltimore Spanish Branch which was great and then I saw Elder Knudsen with the Baltimore YSA branch. Davonte was there so that was awesome to see him. We ended up getting back at like 12:30!

Well this week was great! For the past while our Branch hasn't had a Ward Mission Leader, and they finally called him yesterday. Honestly he's one of my favorite guys in the branch. Little coincidence here; he has a son on a mission in Long Beach who left this past May. He also has a 17 year old son named Jared that comes out with us. He bore his testimony on Sunday to us 5 missionaries about how much he loves missionary work. He then told us, as a couple tears went down his cheeks (this guys a homicide detective), that if there was ever anything that we needed that he would get it done. Because he would want the same for his son out in Long Beach. (Sound familiar?) Heavenly Father's looking out for ya Dad.

So last Sunday we met a man named "D". He is a recent convert who got baptized in Chicago in January and now he is here (really long story made short). He is an amazing guy but hasn't been taught much since his baptism. So we taught him twice this week. The first time we talked about blessing the sacrament and the second we talked about doing baptisms for the dead. He had no idea what baptisms for the dead were, haha. Come Sunday, "D" walked in and I kicked one of the priests out of his spot at the sacrament table (with love). "D" did awesome and blessed the sacrament for the first time! Now this Saturday we should be going to the Temple with him to do baptisms for the dead! I just thought it was so amazing that we got to help him progress in just a short week. I believe that each Ward and Branch has people like "D". They do all the right things but they just need some help to take that next step in their lives. We just have to find them!

Last I wanted to share a miracle we saw this week. So we had a Trainer/Trainee meeting last week. Part of the focus was planning with the Spirit, and it was awesome. They talked about how oftentimes we simply say,"please bless us that we may have thy Spirit to be with us" (or something like that, I don't know, I wouldn't do it in English). But really, if we truly want a member of the Godhead to help us in our planning efforts (or in any phase of our life), we should show God how much we value it in our prayers. So after that training we set about trying to ask for the Spirit with more desire and faith. For two days every member or investigator we tried was home! I felt so blessed by how much more guided we were in our efforts. I know that we can apply this principle with any calling or even if we just need some direction.

Well I love you and I am grateful for your letters and prayers! Have a great week! Oh and let me know how you are doing with your family mission plan! I want to hear some missionary experiences!

-Elder Greene

P.S. Stoked for the pods, I have actually been having some trouble here and there with these ones. Last night it just shut off in the middle of dinner with a family. By the time we got done with dinner (I wasn't going to pass it up, it was steak, chicken and jumbo shrimp) I was high and feeling nashty. But hey, it was an adventure. Also I've been putting them on my arms more often because they seem to get infected sometimes when I put them on my legs? We'll see how the new ones go.

P.P.S. Random question, what is Trevor's major? And I assume Jared and Collin are just doing generals?

Really, really, extremely good looking

Favorite picture of the week, even more funny when you look at the former picture

Borrowed the tie (Orioles game)


All sorts of photo bombs going on ...

Waiting for the light rail ... at night

Monday, August 12, 2013

Foo-foo and Surprises

La Familia Verdecito,

How are you all doing? It sounds like everyone is doing good except for Taggert smashing his face. Hope you're alright Tagman! Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! I think you all being married for 23 years makes me feel old too. I'm so grateful that I've had such awesome parents and a great family. Serving a mission really awakens you to the fact that Heavenly Father has blessed us a ton!

So we did team-ups this week with the Ellicott City Sisters. Since we can't do exchanges with sisters we do team ups, all 5 of us, hahah. Our first appointment we went to an African woman's home. Besides Spanish people, Africans are probably my favorite people. We talked about temples with her because she just got activated. Afterwards she said, would you like to eat? I made food for you all! (this is pretty common in both Spanish and African culture) So we sat and ate one of the wildest meals I've had on my mission. We ate something called Foo-foo, it's like a yam based paste (kinda like less flavorful mashed potatoes) and Abona. Abona is a soup with goat and dry Catfish, and quite frankly it's not very good. But here's the best part, to eat it, you take the Foo-foo on your fingers and then dip your fingers into the soup and scoop it into your mouth! No spoon. We just had to laugh and all eat it! Hahah

We had a cool miracle this week! So we went to a somewhat active family's house to share a message and possibly help them do missionary work, we didn't really know them yet. When we got there we met "D" and his parents (or so we thought?). He's 18 and he's pretty cool. I put Elder Dutson on the spot (trainer responsibility) and said he was going to share a scripture. He shared one about receiving revelation at church. We left and the next day we went to PEC. We talked about "D", because we thought he was less active. But it turns out he's not a member and he lives there with his mom who is a member (not the parents we talked to, oh the complications of Spanish living). They then said missionaries have tried for 6 years to get him baptized but he has only come to church one time in those 6 years. As we sat down in sacrament meeting, in walks "D" in a tie, white shirt and slacks. I looked at the Bishopric with a big grin on my face and President Flores' jaw dropped a little, hahah. We will be meeting with "D" on Thursday! Best part of it was that we didn't even know he wasn't a member when we first taught them!

This week we had a Zone Conference focused on asking for referrals, from everyone. It was awesome and our Zone did great at applying it. We had an awesome experience where we were walking and we saw a black family moving there stuff out of their house. We asked them if they needed help and they said know. So we asked them if any of their neighbors were hispanic. He pointed to his next door neighbor's house! We had some extra time before our next appointment so we knocked it. A small boy, maybe like 4 years old, answered the door and we asked him if his dad was home (in english). He said,"He speaks Spanish." "Could we talk to him?" Haha he didn't seem to understand, so he reiterated,"But he speaks Spanish." I said,"Hablamos Espanol", he just turned around and brought his dad, "T". "T" invited us right in without us even saying anything more than "Buenas!" We had an awesome lesson and we're teaching his whole family on Tuesday! Miracles!

Well I can't believe how fast the weeks go, have another great one! I love you all and I'm so grateful for your prayers.

Elder Greene

P.S. So I got a call from Sister Pascoe, she's funny but she's old, so she basically told me,"Don't open the first package but open the second." I was super confused but I just laughed and said alright thanks so much Sister Pascoe. So your email clears it up. I'm pumped about new pods!!! I haven't gotten them yet though. So what do I do with the old ones? and the old meter? Let me know in your next email. I did get the insulin and it was cold so were good.

P.P.S So my slacks are getting a little worn, I've sewn two of them. I may buy some today? I'm still the same size of pants I was when I left so if I don't find anything I'll let you know.

P.P.P.S I'm going to the Orioles game this week on Friday! Ahh yeah! Crazy it's been a year since then yeah?

Had to buy a new wallet


Found a dead frog on our windshield... So Elder Dutson got a classy pic with it!

My sad face when my legs don't fit in the back of the Chevy Cruze!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Huffy Walmart Bike

Como estais vosotros? Hahah

Thanks for the letters! I am so grateful for such an awesome and supporting family. I loved the story of Dad and Jared giving their testimonies. It's hard to believe that Jared goes off to college so soon, then again, I feel like I went off to BYU a couple months ago, not two years ago. I'm jealous Jared gets to hang out with the missionaries! I really wish I would have gone out with the missionaries before my mission! Anyways, Dad, I listened to a talk I haven't listened to in a long time and I think you would like it. It's called "the missionary next door", her voice is annoying but it really is a good talk. Let me know if you can't find it and I can send it to you.

Well this week was awesome for the Three Amigos! (it's become a nickname in our branch). On Tuesday we drove thirty miles to go to the northern part of our zone, Hampstead. I brought my bike because the Elders told me they didn't have many miles... So my $75 Huffy Walmart bike got it's first ride since I bought it. And boy that was the hardest exercise I've gotten in months. During the process of one day we had to fix my handlebars, brakes (they work now, but still sound like a pterodactyl when you use them), pedals, seat, and tire. Thankfully I only use this thing once a year! Hahah

So remember Hno "C"? Well I left my Book of Mormon in his car on accident. On Sunday he came to church and at testimony meeting told us about how he had a car accident that totaled his car and should have killed him (he was fine, actually was protected everywhere his garments were!) Besides my concern for him, I was pretty nervous that my Libro de Mormon that I've used my whole mission was in a crumpled car somewhere. But he told me that when he went back to get his phone and things out of the car he saw them (they're in a case) and although he didn't know what they were he felt like he should take them! I was extremely grateful!

So my old companion, Elder Foell, is a traveling assistant. On Thursday he texted us saying he's coming with us from Thursday night to Sunday night! I was pumped! So we split up with his car and our car the first night, he went with other Elder Green. The next day he came with me and we had a good time. We talked about the mission and it's crazy how much growth we have going on. More than half the missionaries in our mission have been out since February or sooner. We will receive 35 more at the end of this month, not counting visa waiters. Me and Elder Foell agreed that the only way this operation works is because an omniscient God is directing it! Sadly he had to leave after about 24 hours in our area because of a medical emergency with another missionary, but it was a good time.

So about two months ago a part member family moved to our branch, the "C" family. The Sisters were teaching him (the husband isn't a member) but they don't speak a ton of Spanish. So we were sent over there by their fellowshipper and we hit it off with him and his wife. They have cooked us two meals in the past week! On Sunday, Hna "C" volunteered to share a miracle in Relief Society. She shared about us coming to her house and just being a friend to her husband and helping him. (We got some brownie points in Relief Society! hahah) It was a sweet miracle and he has actually been taught and knows a lot already. We hope he will be able to be baptized soon!

All in all it was a fun week! I was asked by the Sunday School President to be the Gospel Principles teacher from now on (without being technically called to do it). My class went pretty well, Hno "C" came and the four other missionaries haha.

Have a good week! Have fun at school Macey and Taggert!

Elder Greene