Monday, July 14, 2014

7/7/2014 and 17 Months

Dear Family and Friends, 

      Things are going really really well here. Thanks for all the incredible emails and support! Last week the power went off around 11 o'clock and stayed off until late that night. It really puts a damper on P-days when I don't get to check up on y'all. 
      I'll try to give a quick summary of what all has gone down, how the sector is doing, and what the companionship is like. 
      I'll start off with the companionship. I'm working with Elder Rakotoarison. He's an awesome little dude who was trained by Elder Garza. He started his mission with Elder Bulunga and Elder Brou (other missionaries I've worked/lived with) last October. He's climbing up to celebrate his year mark soon. 
      The companionship rivals one of the best I've ever had on the mission. Things are fantastic. In the mornings we jump out of bed, slap on our world cup jerseys and plastic cleats, run over to the nearest patch of dirt and play some good old football. After a good warm up we jog back to the apartment, whip up some breakfast, shower, and are ready to go for personal study. When companionship study rolls around we start with a hymn or two and then plan out the day. We end with another hymn and a prayer and we're out the door. We talk to EVERYBODY. It's awesome. 

      We work in the "Calavi University" sector. It's kind of a deceiving name because we don't actually go out to the univeristy... yet. Our area is pretty villiage; mostly dirt roads and small brick houses. It's a relatively new sector so we land a lot of potential investigators by people just wanting to know what the big white guy is doing walking around Benin with a white shirt on in the blazing sun. 

      The branch is super new too. There are eight missionaries working to fill up our new branch. I also have the blessing (ha!) of being able to play the piano for sacrament meeting. I'm hoping my prayers of converting a piano player carry over from Gbegamey... I've gotten a little bit better, but I still have no idea what I'm doing. 
      Elder Merril (another American working with Elder Malowe in the other Calavi district) and I have been unofficially called as the nursery leaders too... THAT is something I wish y'all could see. They put two big white guys who can barely communicate with the grown up natives and expect us to teach a bunch of kids. However, with a little bit of patience, cookies, and a LOT of patience we can actually string together a half decent lesson. 

      So... yeah. That's just about that. Things are fantastic. The Gospel is true and the Priesthood power is restored. I love you allllllllllllllll oh so very very very much and hope you have the bestest of weeks!

-Elder Gray
Elder Gray eating Atcheke
Elder Rakotoarisan easting Atcheke
 Germany World Cup Soccer Uniform

Argentina and Brazil World Cup Soccer  Uniforms (He is looking  for the Netherlands so he will have a set of the finial four)
*He said he paid $4.00 for the uniform $5.00 with socks and $3.00  for the cleats... go figure
(Elder Gray's caption not mine!)

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