Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Hi Hi

Transferes rolled around and Elder Gray was moved out of
Akpakpa and into his new area Gbegamey. ( Beg-a-may ) He's working
with the fantastically awesome Elder Bulunga. Forgive the informality
of this next little bit, but Elder Bulunga is a total boss. I don't
really have much else to say. He is an awesome missionary that teaches
with all the power and authority that us other missionaries hope to
one day obtain.

      This week has been the most efficient, most intense, and most
awesome seven days of my life. We hit up lessons like shooting rubber
duckies in a bathtub. Our week was FULL with lessons to teach, people
to serve, and activites to bring people to a better knowledge of the
gospel. Heavenly Father blessed us with the miracle of having nearly
every single one of our appointments go through, and for those that
didn't work out the back up plan did. We didn't have more than 15
minutes go by this entire week without knowing where we were going or
what we were teaching. It was fantastic.

      I hope you all have an awesome week! Love you lots!

                  -Elder Gray


Elder Bulunga, Elder Gray and Elder Maxwell

A Couple of Pictures from Elder Grays new area.

Elder Gray and Borris
 
 
A Very Big Big BIG Bug! ! !


Ramblings from Elder Semkens

13 December 2013

To all of you,
     The Christmas season is very different from the season of years past for these missionaries.   There are few Christmas songs, the stories of Christmas that they heard before their missions are only in their memories, there are no pageants, I have yet to hear anything about the birth of the Savior from the pulpits, nor Sunday School classes, and none in Relief Society nor Priesthood.  Likewise, I have not heard a seasons greeting.  Last Sunday I visited with a Branch President and told him what Christmas was like at home.  He said that they don't know the hymns nor songs of Christmas.  He hadn't thought about the Christmas story as a possible subject for talks.  I think that somehow these marvelous people will get something from Christmas the next two Sundays.  
    The current make up of the mission is; 20 sisters,half of the Elders are from the states & Europe half of the elders are from Africa.  Your sons are very diligent in their work and they are glad the Christmas season is here.   They are teaching by word, deed, and example the reason for the great Christmas message to the world.  ...For unto us a child is born....
They remember the sweet times of home.  They remember their families and friends.  They are happy.
     Their work has changed their lives and you will be so surprised when they return.   They are surprised at themselves!  One of our soon to be released missionaries made the following comments:  Said he; As I reflect upon my mission I contemplate some scriptures and quoted from Mosiah 2: 20-24, I am so blessed because of the change that has been wrought in my life.  I want to just bawl. He expressed in such a humble manner that he hopes that he can continue to do what is asked of him and expressed a willingness to do so.  He expressed gratefulness to the message he was privileged to deliver and thankfulness to his family, friends, leaders and others who helped him along the way."  I know his sentiments mirror what your sons say and think.
    Not that this work is easy.  I look at their shoes, dirty and worn out from walking long distances on dusty roads.  I look at their yellow colored collars.  The creases in their trousers are almost non-existent, they are stained.  Their meals are scanty but sufficient.  The heat takes a lot out of them.  On P-day their wash tubs turn to mud as they put their shirts, socks, underclothing into the water to clean with their hands and rub the dirt out until the the skin on their knuckles are nearly worn off.  They sleep with a fan on hoping to be comfortable.  Can you imagine this?  And they then say, most of the time,  "today is the best day of my life".   I reverence their love and devotion.
     They love to teach, they love the people.  They wish that everyone would come a partake of the fruit of the tree of life.  But, they have the disappointments of people not being able to come to the table and feast at the Lord's table.  But, they know that the message delivered will resonate into the lives of those who are just not quite ready.  They rejoice with those who come into the waters of baptism and begin a new life.  
     The language and customs can be very challenging as well, both of the people here and their companions who they grow to love as they mature in the nature of their missionary call.  
      We are grateful to all of you for your love and concern for your valient sons, the Lord knows them, and he takes care of them.  Just as he took care of our forefathers.   Through the trials of living we are prepared to receive great blessings.  Blessings that we can't even begin to imagine.
      Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season,
           Elder & Sister Semken

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

BEST P-DAY EVER! ! !


Elder Gray finally got to go to the Python Temple and this was the result! OH be still my trembling mommy heart!!!!!

Hey Mommy :D


Hey You!

I hope you know that everything here is going just fine, okay?

The package you sent was perfect. It made Thanksgiving bearable. Elder Baker and I went out and bought a whole chicken! It was lots of fun. We thought about buying a live one and cooking it ourselves…….but then we realized that probably wouldn't work out as well. Maybe next year.

Anyway. Everything is going great. I'll be able to talk to y'all soon.

Have an awesome week!

-Elder Gray

There's proof he got the package, it was for Christmas but who's counting, Looks like the Oreos and peanut butter were a big hit.

Two Elders One Camera


Elder Christensen and Elder Gray
       Shriners in Training?
















Elder Gray is going to miss Elder Christenesen




Francisca, Mougchi, Aminat, Kadgchi, Elder Gray,  Mary, and Ahmed




Heheee


Mougchi, Francisca, and Elder Gray

HAPPY THANKSGIVING


Dear Sister Gray,  These missionaries were in the bureau today renewing their Visas.  I thought it would be fun to send a picture of these wonderful missionaries to their Moms.  Missionaries:  I think you can recognize Elder Gray!!, Then Elders: Allred, Montross, Hawkins, Mary, Sister Semken, Kimzey, Ravelojoana, Ouonnebo,and in the back Elder Ta.  If we did not have a calendar Thanksgiving would have slipped by us.  We are all grateful to be serving a wonderful mission in Benin.  Today Elder Gray was talking to Elder Hawkins, and I thought hey I know both their Moms.  Then Elder Gray said that you know Sister Hawkins from emails.  I hope your family has a very Happy Thanksgiving!!
Love,
Soeur Semken

 

 
We didn't get a letter from Elder Gray this week so this made our Thanksgiving EXTRA Thankful. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Hi Hi Family !


Blue team checking in with another week flown by. It’s really crazy to think that our group has been out here for nine months already. Time is flying.

My companion and I have spent the last couple of days visiting and trying to serve the members in our area. It’s always super fun to see the looks on people’s faces when they see a big white guy sweeping the parcel, grinding veggies, or drawing water from the well. We were able to help the Primary President draw up the theme for the month too.

Other than service we’ve made it a goal to read at least one chapter of the Book of Mormon with whoever we visit. Be them inactive, active, investigator, or whatever else. It’s been a super cool experience and is always awesome when we find ourselves reading two or three because one isn’t enough.

I’ve really come to love the Book of Mormon. It’s a good book. Read it.


Anyway, I hope y’all have a fantastic week!

-Elder Gray

 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Just another week


Hey Everybody,

     I don't have a whole lot of time today so this is going to be a really short letter. This week was super busy. Our apartment ended up winning the cleanest apartment contest so we got to go out to eat with the Senior Couple Semkens. It was lots of fun and it was REALLY yummy. Two chawaramas can make a man very very happy.   Friday we had our Zone Conference. I picked up quite a bit about the importance of humility and companionship study. Hopefully our companionship will be able to apply everything we learned.

    Sunday was really interesting. We finally had the opportunity to watch general conference... unfortunately the discs weren't super compatible with the DVD player that we had and we were only able to get through a couple of talks.
     

Conference summary: Everybody needs their own testimony, stop messing around and get married and raise your family in righteousness, no two people will ever have the same experiences, and the scriptures are written for us.  After conference we watched a solar eclipse.  (Be VERY jealous Sister Schiess :P) It was super awesome.

     Anyway. That's about it for the week.

     Loves!

-Elder Gray

Elders eating after Zone Conference
 
 

A few more pictures

Queen, Unice, Nancy, Yannick and Elder Gray
 
 

Nancy, Queen and Elder Ta
 
 

Ninja Warriors!

Elder Ta, Elder Maxwell, Elder Gray and Elder Ratodisomalal

Pictures from 11/04/2013

 
Elder Gray, Queen and Yannick
 
Elder Ta, Sister Aminate, Elder Oudonki and Elder Diallo in a Market
 
"We found Doxy in the Market"
 
 

Pictures from 11/04/2013

Elder Gray and Elder Christensen "Go Darts!"
 
Elder Gray and Fransica
 
Elder Gray and Unice blowing bubbles
 
Elder Gray and Yannick
 
 

And the Winner Is. . . . . . . . .


Oct 29 at 2:53 PM
Hello Deena Gray,  Elder Semken and I ate lunch with Elder Gray and his companions today.  Their Akpakpa apartment won the cleanest apartment.  Jericho apartment also won this month.  We have a hard time picking the cleanest apartment.  We had a very fun time going to Festival de Chawarmas.  We also took our Office Elder, Elder Chirstensen who your son knows from High School, they had fun talking.  We took them back to their apartment and then we gave them a ride to their area for a lesson they were giving.  So, the reason I am writing, what a great missionary!!!  He has the best personality and is always so positive.  The Akpakpa  area is much harder and they have to walk at least a mile to get to their secteur.  We were glad we could give them a ride.  We saw them on Sunday and they were so excited that they had 2 investigators come to Church.  Well, I just thought I would email you and let you know what a good missionary Elder Gray is.  Elder Gray said that you were doing well. 
Love,
Sister Semken
 
 
Sister Semken and Elder Gray
 
 

The Legendary Chawarama
 
Elder Christensen

Monday, October 28, 2013

Lessons Learned


"Except in the case of his only begotten son, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with. That must be terribly frustrating for him, but he deals with it. So should we. So be patient and kind and forgiving." -Jeffrey R. Holland

As I'm sure most of you know, whoever is preparing a talk or a lesson ends up learning a whole lot more than what he hopes to be able to teach. Yesterday I was asked to share a brief message during sacrament meeting. Frantically scrambling through the random bits of notes that I jot down on my planner I stumbled across this quote that I had found weeks earlier during personal study.

I was able to throw something together for sacrament meeting, but I hope that if anybody will be able to apply these words it's me.

These last couple of weeks have been really really challenging. We made the heartbreaking decision of dropping all but one of our investigators. We have been severally struggling to find new investigators and people to teach. We find ourselves spending a lot of time with recent converts and members. We haven't been having much progress.

It's been really frustrating giving everything I've got and watching people reject, ignore, or take for granted the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I've come to love my scriptures and the examples and lessons that they share. The beginning pages of Preach my Gospel is another relief for a depressing day.

Things here are a bit rough for the moment, but they'll come around. I end up reading the words "If you want to see the rainbow, be prepared to endure the storm" which was a quote from an incredible missionary who I hope to be like one day.

I hope y'all have an awesome week.

Loves and laughs,

-Elder Gray

Elder Gray and the hat! ! !

This could quit possibly be make the Gray Family Christmas Letter !!

Elder Gray and Elder Ta


Funny Faces

hmmmm. . . . . . . .
 
Elder Gray and Unice

More Pictures 10/28/2013

 

 
Elder Gray drinking Beesap and Yannick

 
LeMangez-Vous
 
 

Pictures from 10/28/2013

Elder Gray must be is a great Cyber 2nd week in a row we have gotten great pictures. 
 
 
Victor, Elder Maxwell, Elder Ratodisomalala, Destiny, Brunnel playing
 “Don’t east Pete” for family night.
Elder Gray's turn, he is apparently taking this game pretty serious!
 
 
Raimato, Janienne and Sabou



Arrive, Sabou, and Aisha

Monday, October 21, 2013

Look Mom a different tie!!!!

 
Elder Gray has been out 8 months this month.  

Picture sent 10/21/2013

Elder Gray didn't send an official email today to post on his blog, he did however send several pictures.  Like they say a picture is worth a thousand words. 
Here is Elder Gray's thousands of words. 

 
"A bunch of Elders at a Conference" 
 

Elder Gray and Auriol
 

Elder Gray and Mama Tossa
 

 
Sister Florimond, Elder Gray and Sister Opportune
 
 
Elder Gray and Unice



Elder Gray and Elder Ta
 

 
Elder Gray and Sister Aminat
 
 
 
Pounding out peppers
 

Sister Mary and Elder Ta
(I think they are in some sort of hair salon)
 
 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Another Week Bites the Dust

Another Week Bites the Dust


It's insane to think that another week has gone by already. Time is
really really flying here. It doesn't even feel like a day has gone by
and I'm already sitting here trying to come up with things to say.
Unfortunately I don't really have a whole lot to write about because
we haven't been making huge progress. Our small amount of
investigators are still fighting their on-going battle to come to
church. When we aren't teaching investigators, we're strengthening
recent-converts. The small amount of time that we don't have planned
out to teach people is spent trying to find them.

This past Thursday all the missionaries in our zone gathered in an
area that was struggling to find investigators and did a
door-to-door/contacting marathon. It was a lot of fun and we actually
had quite a bit of success. I'll hopefully have an update on that next
week.

On a more interesting note.... Sacrament meeting this week was ALL
sorts of messed up when Elder Gray found himself sitting in front of
the piano whacking away at the keys. It was kind of fun. (No; I still
don't regret NOT taking piano lessons)
 (Mom is feeling all sorts of "I told you so right now)

It turns out that Elder Gray will be the branch pianist until we
receive a more qualified meistro. (by qualified I mean ANY experience
what-so-ever)


Anyway.

Hopefully things will be a bit more interesting this next coming week.

I love y'all lots!

-Elder Gray

Monday, September 30, 2013

23/09/2013

Hey Everybody!....

      This is Elder Gray checking in for the first time in who knows
how long. I know you've all probably put me on the list of "worst
letter writers" ever... and that's only partly true. I've discovered
it's REALLY hard to send emails home over the internet when the
computer you're using doesn't have any internet connection. Trust me.
It's not all that much fun for me either.

      It's been too long to be able to give a super detailed list of
everything that has happened and to be completely honest I can't
really remember the last thing that I talked about. I guess I'll just
give a quick summary of things. I worked with three companions in
Cococodji. Elders Milambo (Congolesse) Dagrou (Ivorian) Lalaharninana
(French). We had insane success and helped establish a brand new
branch.

      I was transferred to the Akpakpa area the 13th of August and
worked with Elder Ragodonsondrasana (Malagash) for a month. I'm
currently working with Elder Ta (Ivorian) and living with Elders
Ratosomilala (Malagash) and Maxwell (American).

      Moving from the village to the city has been quite the adventure
and Elder Maxwell and I have had an awesome time trying to keep the
endless swarm of cockroaches at bay. One day we came home from a late
meeting, walked into the kitchen, flipped on the lights and saw dozens
of the little buggers scurrying around. Elder Gray promptly screamed
like a four year old girl and ran into the very well lit living room.

      After somehow convincing me to conquer my riduculously rational
fear of bugs bigger than my fingers; Elder Maxwell said the
inspirational words that I want sewn into a pillow one day. Armed with
shoes on feet, flip-flops in one had, and brooms in the other; "Gird
up thy loins Gray, We're goin' in!" we went for it. Yea, I say unto my
bretheren, so great and terrible was the battle fought that night. So
great and terrible as to have ever been known amongst the people of
Akpakpa. And it came to pass that their numbers were so many they
could not be numbered; and their bodies were heaped up and cast into
the darkness of the garbage. (Gray 2:4)

      All joking aside. I seriously wish I could send y'all pictures
of the heap upon heaps on cockroach corpses that we've assembled since
starting the war to cover all wars. (I'll send the SD card home in
January)

      Other adventures include buying a makeshift grill and charcoal
for good old Boy Scout style hot-dogs; burning all sorts of
broken/useless/too worn out to use items to celebrate my 7 month mark
and Elder Maxwells 18 month mark; trying to bake cookies in a rise
cooker because we have no oven; frying cookiedough because baking
cookies in the rice cooker went TERRIBLY wrong; and many other wild
adventures that go on the list of things to tell your family AFTER
being released. (I'm totally joking)

      When it comes to "missionary work". That's just about it. Work.
Being a missionary isn't easy. If it was they wouldn't have the term
"missionary work". If you think about it that term just kind of makes
sense.

      Our sector has three investigators that are progressing nicely.
Of course, like normal, nothing is easy and we're going to have to
fight through some problems with all three of them, but it's nothing
that we can't handle.

      The first is Aisha. She's the daughter of the Relief Society
present and has been running from the missionaries for years. She had
an accident and broke her left leg just before I got transferred her.
She hasn't been able to walk in months, but on the bright side.....
she can't run from the missionaries anymore! She's taken all the
lessons and has a super strong testimony. The only thing stopping her
from getting baptised is walking to the font.

      Papa Juste and his wife are the other two investigators. They're
a super nice couple that we've been teaching for the last couple of
weeks. It's been interesting teaching them, because most of our
lessons are specifically focused on marriage and getting along as a
couple. It's kind of funny when you think about two really young guys
who have no marriage experience what-so-ever couseling a very aged
couple on how to get along and how the gospel can change their lives.
The minute these two get married is the day they'll be baptised.

      Anyway. That's just about it. I don't really have a whole lot
else to say. I hope you've all been having a super fantastic couple of
weeks. Every day is a living testimony that this church is true,
because the missionaries haven't screwed it up yet. Love you all!

-Elder Gray

Conversation with Cheston

Heard from Elder Gray was more like an email conversation, here is the jest of that conversation.  We are just glad to know that he is alive and well. 

From: Cheston Gray
Subject: Re: blue team checking in.... anybody home?

hihi??

On 9/16/13, Gray, Byron wrote:
You are alive!!!  What gives on not sending emails out weekly??
          Dad

On Sep 16, 2013, Cheston Gray wrote:
no connection and no power
it hasn't really been a picnic here either....

On Sep 16, 2013, Cheston Gray wrote:

I'm still here... did you get my email about the cockroaches? 

On 9/16/13, Gray, Byron wrote:
No!  Resend please
Have not seen anything from you about your new sector
 On Sep 16, 2013, Cheston Gray wrote:
#sigh#

I'll try to find it.... hang on

On 9/16/13, Gray, Byron wrote:

Sorry Son -

You do what you need to do...

Are you getting our emails to you?

 On Sep 16, 2013, Cheston Gray wrote:

I'm getting them. I'm just afraid that mine aren't making it to you.

The sector isn't the village but it's still Africa. It's pretty much a
village but with buildings and cars.

I did inherit an apartment with a kill count of 10-15 cockroaches
every night. The record is more than 300, but that was when we
actually went looking for them.

We still have investigators, but not as many.

On Sep 16, 2013, Cheston Gray wrote:
He's awesome. I really have had a blast with him, but there are things I just have to give in to. I don't know if you've heard stories about him or not. Elder Ta is famous for his rage and is the most transferred Elder in the mission.

On 9/16/13, Gray, Byron wrote:

Lucky you - best he not try and mess with you- he may be sorry....
On Sep 16, 2013, Cheston Gray wrote:
I'm not afraid of him. I feel sorry for the poor guy. He's got no friends here. Hopefully I can change that. So far I've loved every minute with him.
On 9/16/13, Gray, Byron wrote:
You are the man - Did you resend the cockroach email?
On Sep 16, 2013, Cheston Gray wrote:

I tried but I guess it didn't work again. Basically it says that my new apartment is disgusting.
Every day we achieve the death count of around 10-12 cockroaches
The record was over 200, (No. I'm NOT kidding) but that was when we actually went looking for them.
On 9/16/13, Gray, Byron wrote:
Sorry Son - make lemon aid out of the lemons....perhaps a cockroach necklace to present to Semkens during next inspection will win you some brownie points
On Sep 16, 2013, Cheston Gray wrote:
It's been a great bonding for all of us in Akpakpa. It's kind of funny
hearing screams of terror and naughty words from French, English,
Malagash, and Whatever it's called from the Ivory Coast.
On Sep 16, 2013, Cheston Gray wrote:

I figure it's about time to brighten the lives and destroy the ears of
my lovely companions by singing along to disney music.... in French!
The only problem is that I don't have any French disney music. That's
where y'all come in (Cooper).

I would REALLY love it if you could send.....

Everything from Tangled - Tangled
I can go the distance - Hercules
I won't say I'm in love - Hercules
I'll make a man out of you - Mulan
A girl worth fighting for - Mulan
I want to know - Tarzan
Brother Bear Songs - Brother Bear
How does she know - Enchanted
A whole new world - Alladin
Under the Sea - Little Mermaid
Kiss the Girl - Little Mermaid
Everything from the Lion King - Lion King
That song I can't remember from a Goofy Movie - A Goofy Movie
I'm stil here - Treasure Planet (English is fine if you can't find it in French)

Anything else that you could think of would be awesome. Have the girls
help you out.

On Sep 16, 2013, Cheston Gray wrote:

There is a huge rumor running through the missionary ranks that some
crazy big director is making a book of mormon movie and in order to be
a part of it the actors have to read the book or mormon and people are
being converted and it's a big deal and yadayada. Is any of this true or is it just a rumor?
We are probably heading out soon. I hope. We're already going to be
super late for our appointment tonight. Oh well.

If this is the last e-mail that makes it out tell everybody I love
them and that next week I hopefully will be able to get a big letter
out. This week was spent reading up on what was happening.

Love you!
-Elder Gray

Notes from Mom

On September 3rd worried sick I finally broke down and wrote Elder Semkens, heres my email and his response:

Dear Elder Semken,

I have tried really hard not to be "that mom" but I need to bother you for a favor. It has been since the 19th of August (and even that letter was only a 3 liner) since we have heard from our dear sweet Elder Gray, and I am slightly (ha ha) concerned. I know that there are several different reasons why he would be unable to send a letter home, and I have tried really hard not to over react.

If you get a chance could you please check on him for me? If it is indeed power or cyber related I will apologize in advance and will try harder next time to be more patient. If it is because he is sick or some other reason I will try to have more faith; if it is because he is just trying to make me crazy and push my buttons, you have my permission to beat him :)

I know you are always very busy doing the Lord's work and I hate to bother you, so again I am super sorry, but very grateful that you and your sweet wife are there to take care of our son.

Have a good day, and again thank you from the bottom of my heart. Just knowing I can ask someone to check on him is a great comfort.

Love

Deena Gray

4 Sept 2013
Sister Gray,
He is doing very well. I saw him on Tuesday and he will be in the office on Thursday. He and Elder Maxwell are still running regularly. Unlike most missionaries he hasn't lost any muscle nor weight. I will ask him a question or two which should prompt him to write next Monday. Even though they have been busy on P-Day the past two weeks he should take a minute or two to write your family a note. As you know, to him, "every day is the greatest day of his mission". That is a good thought to have.
Frequently the missionaries think that they are saying the same thing over and over again, but miss the point that just because they are engaged and are doing just fine people back home want a hello at least.
The President does get a letter from every missionary every week and he DOES read every letter very carefully. The mission president does have very special keys and has the mantle of his calling upon him.
I am certain that he is grateful for your thoughts and prayers.
Elder Semken

Bless Elder Semken.  I was sure we would here from him on Monday, BUT nope, nothing, zip.  Another long week and then we finially heard from our dear sweet Elder Gray.

August 19, 2013

The last letter we received from Elder Gray was August 12th, on August 19th he wrote this:


Sorry this week was kind of lame. Everything I wanted to send out got
deleted. Hopefully next week will be better. My hopes of finding a
better cyber were destroyed. I love you muchly. I miss you too.

I'll tell you about the cockroach massacre that we had last week. We
killed boatloads of the little buggers.

Loves you all!

-Elder Gray

Monday, August 12, 2013

Long Time No Talk to. . . . .Sorry


Hi Everybody...

      It's been a really really long time since writing out a legitimate letter to everybody. All I can do is say I'm sorry and nicely ask for patience and understanding. Two weeks ago we didn't have connection to Myldsmail and last week we didn't have power. I really am sorry that I haven't been able to send anything out, but trust me, it's no fun staring at a blank screen for who knows how long hoping for a chance to talk to your family.
      Anyway. First of all I'm just gonna say that all goes well here. I'm still alive. I'm still breathing. I'm still healthy, happy, and loving just about every minute of being a missionary. I've been told that other interweb hangouts like this aren't nearly as awful as they are here; but I'm really hoping things are better in Akpakpa. Elder Gray is getting shipped out to his second area tomorrow! Yay!
      It's going to be super duper hard leaving behind all of my investigators and recent converts here in Cococodji. I've learned to love my little branch so so so very much. Especially the ones that I had the honor of teaching. My heart dropped when they told me I was transferred, but at the same time I am pumped and totally excited for a change. The last few weeks that I've spent with Elder Lala has been a blast. He' a walking joke and always has me laughing. It's been great being with him. In the short time that we've spent together our recent converts and investigators have grown so so so much. It's been so cool to see the change that the restored gospel does to people's lives. In the next two month Cococodji will have a good baker's dozen newly baptized members of the Church. My little branch of Cococodji is growing bigger and stronger every single day. It's been so much fun being a part of it. The last couple of weeks I had the opportunity to serve as the Young Men's President. It was a totally awesome experience learning and growing with all the young future missionaries.
      Other than standard missionary work we've been busy too. Tell Cooper I saw a monkey!  (No Cooper, I didn't eat the monkey. Yet. ) This morning the missionaries in our zone went the Porto-Novo, the capital of Benin. I'm not exactly sure how to spell it. I'm not entirely sure why it's the capital either. It's not all that big and there isn't all that much there. The zoo was lots of fun... but wasn't all that big. We saw lions, monkeys, crocodiles, huge zillard things, hyenas, and a native wolf. That's just about it.  Anyway. I'm gonna work on sending out pictures now. Hopefully they'll work and hopefully things will be easier to work with in my new area. I love you all!

          -Elder Gray


 Florimonde, Elder Gray, Elder Lala, Papa Tossa

 
 Celestin, Amos, Elder Gray, Auriol, Espore (totally awesome dog), Lorenda

Chèr(e)s Missionnaires,
De prime abord, Nous avons l’honneur  en ce jour, de vous transmettre comme l’indique l’objet ci-haut vos photos prises lors de nos différentes conférences de Zones, pour ce, nous vous  en souhaitons une bonne admiration «qu’ils sont beaux sur les montagnes, les pieds de celui ou celle qui apporte de bonne nouvelles, qui publie la paix ! De celui qui apporte de bonnes nouvelles, qui publie le salut !De celui qui dit à Sion :Ton Dieu Règne ! » En second lieu, nous savons bien que la Sœur Weed a eut à insister lors de nos conférences au sujet de ommandes, nous insistons encore au sujet de garments, seul ceux qui seront commandés suivi de leur
numéros(taille/size) qui seront pris en compte. À bon entendeurs salut dis-t-on !!!!!!!
Bonne compréhension,

Fraternellement,
Votre humble frère
Elder Tshizanga

 Dear (s) Missionaries
At first glance, we honor this day, to transmit as indicated by the object above your photos taken during our different conference areas for this, we wish you a great admiration "how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of one who brings good news, who publishes peace! Of him who brings good news, who publishes salvation! From that saith unto Zion, Thy God's kingdom! Secondly, we know that Sister Weed had to insist at our conferences about orders, we still insist
about garments, only those who are ordered to follow their numbers (size / size) that will be taken into account.

To say hello good hearers do we!!!
Understanding, fraternally
Your humble brother
  Elder Tshizanga
 
 

This is the picture with Elder Gray (Top Row 2nd from the Left)