Monday, May 26, 2014

May 24, 2014

We received this wonderful email on Saturday from the Clowards, and BONUS it came with a picture:
Bro. & Sis. Gray,
My name is Barry Cloward and I had the opportunity today to meet your son Elder Gray and wanted to tell you how well he is doing.  He was happy, helpful, and full of the Spirit as we talked with him today.
My son served in this same mission 3 years ago and we are now in Africa for two weeks retracing his steps.  He lived in the same apartment as you son so this is how we got to meet him.
I have attached a photo for your enjoyment as well.  Thanks for being willing to sacrifice and let your son serve the wonderful people in Africa.
Kind regards,
Barry Cloward

May 19, 2014

May 19

Hihi Everybody!

      First of all... sorry about last week... and the week before that... we haven't had a whole lot of power over here and I hear that power is pretty important for internet. And computers.

      I'm still with Elder Tshibambe and living in the same apartment with Elder Garza and Elder Sery. The work is moving.... bit by bit.

      I've really come to appreciate the small things in life this past week. I found a waffle iron whilst going about missionary
business and bought it on the way back home. Waffles can make any day a good day.

      This morning Elder Garza and I went out super early before the Sun's deathly rays could fry us and played a good game of catch with the frisbee my Mom managed to get over here. That was a lot of fun.

      I love you all!!!

-Elder Gray

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

FINIALLY!! - - May 5, 2014

May 5 at 11:59 AM
Hey Family and Friends!

      This is Elder Gray finally checking in after a really really long time. Sorry about that. The connection here has been really really really really really really REALLY bad... I've been spending all of the computer time trying to read through all the good stuff y'all send, sending in pictures, and chatting with my parents. Mom and Dad everything right now. They've really been helping me out a ton.

      Anyway. Things have been shaken up and I've been transferred to a lovely place called Menontin. If you look up "Stade de l'AmitiĆ© de Benin Cotonou" you might be able to find our appartment. We're right behind it. If you can't find any actual pictures I'm super sure that you'd be able to find maps.

      It's kind of a trippy experience being in this branch because just over a year ago Cococodji was still a part of Menontin... which means that I already know a lot of the members. What is REALLY surprising is that a LOT of the members still remember me... which actually is helping us out a ton.

     These past couple of weeks our companionship has been showered by tender mercies in the beautiful form of contacts from the members that remember and trust Elder Gray. It's been keeping us busy and we always have things to do.

      My companion is Elder Tshibambe. He's from the Congo and lives up to their reputation. We share our appartment with Elder Garza; Del Rio, Texas and Elder Sery who comes from the Ivory Coast.

      These past couple of weeks have been super super exhausting due to the lack of electricity and the fact that it's always bloody hot.
No power = no fans = oven room = no sleep.
We've also discovered lively little friends who munch on just about anything and make TONS of noise. We caught one the other day! (See attached picture)

      Anyway. I hope y'all have the bestest of weeks! I love you!!

-Elder Gray
**Note:  I asked Elder Gray if his friend was the lone survivor or if there were others, he replied:  "Friends, Family and just about everyone and everything else!!!" 

May 5, 2014 - - Pictures of his latest area Menontin

The Branch finally got to watch General Conference, they are raising their hands to sustain the Prophet

Cutest little girl ever!!! Elder Gray didn't know what her name was, but her mom is Sonia
Sister in the Branch,  Caca and her baby,  (Caca in Fon means a lot)
Elder Tshibambe and Elder Sery  (Elder Tshibambe is Elder Gray's companion and Elder Sery is Elder Garza's companion)
Elder Garza's face when the power goes out AGAIN!!!
Elder Gray and Elder Garza went on Splits one day,  while on splits they went to visit members who live in a place called City on the water.  Here are some of the pictures he took:
Branch Clerk's Home
Elder Gray on the Branch Clerk's Canoe
Elder Garza and Frere Jean in the same canoe

April 25th - - Baptism in Menontin

Elder Garza filling out Baptism papers.  (Elder Garza is the Zone Leader and  lives in Elder Gray's apartment.)
Elder Garza and Elder Gray eating yummy food after the Baptismal interview.

April 25, 2014 - - Yeah Pictures!!!

Elder Gray's Camera was stolen at the Pancake Activity and it took him a while to get another one, here are the first pictures from his new camera.  (Big thank you to Grandma Gibson for helping with the purchase!!!)

To young Men Elder Gray and Elder Lala Baptized: Auriol and Amos, their dad is now the Group President in Cocotomey
More friends from Cococdji, a recent conver, the Branch President Paul Dansou and Gladys.
Florimond Tossa, Elder Gray and Elder Milambo baptized her a year ago.  She is now in the Relief Society Presidency for the entire District. 
Elder Gray and Precious (Precisous is one of Elder Gray's favorite people in his mission, she works in the mission home and takes really good care of Elder Gray)
**It was a really neat experience for Elder Gray to attend an activity and meet people he had served with in previous areas.  So exciting to see them again and know that they are well and happy in the Gospel.