Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Words from Elder Lamar & Sister Sarah Jean Gray in Dominican Republic

2 Nephi 29:7 “Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?”

We have been on one of those isles of the sea for over a year now.  How blessed we are to be among these people! They are accepting the gospel and love being members of the church.

A couple of months ago about 120 saints came from Jamaica. Most of them had never been to the temple, so they were coming for their own endowments and they had been researching names of their ancestors so they could do the work for them. It was awesome. One of the main reasons it was enjoyable for Hermana Gray, was they speak English! We understood each other. Some of these saints had been saving and waiting for 20+ years to come to the temple. You can only imagine the joy in the temple that week. They really needed to be here longer. After they had been here a week, they still left over 1000 names to be done by others.

The entire week was a reminder of the many blessings we take for granted.

Our mission is different because the people who come to the temple have already been converted. In the temple we perform ordinances for those who are no longer on the earth, praying that they will accept the work being done for them.

Elder Gray is the president of a branch, Los Llanos. Hermana Gray teaches the keyboard class which can now play and lead all of the hymns in sacrament meeting. This is a major accomplishment! A couple of students still play with only one hand, but all students are progressing.

For Mother’s Day we took small potted flowers to the sisters in our branch. It was not much, but they were so appreciative. Los Llanos reminds me of St. Johns. They are off by themselves, away from the big city, and often have to rely on each other.  The kids ride horses down the streets sometimes driving small herds of cattle and men are milking cows in corrals along side the road. One huge difference is they don’t have to irrigate. One man, who lives in a different area, said he planted his grass in l978 and just has been watching it grow every since. They get several cuttings every year.

Today was a special day is our little branch. The new East mission president and his wife (President and Sister Corbitt) came to Los Llanos to visit. While he was there he also interviewed 8 missionaries.

As missionaries everywhere we are learning more than can be imagined.

We are meeting so many wonderful people here. We are privileged to be with temple workers everyday—full-time temple missionaries and the Dominican workers and the patrons. We also meet the senior missionaries who are serving with other callings: humanitarian, lawyers, public relations, institute, PEF, record preservation, medical, office, welfare, auditor, presidents of missions, MTC, temple, and the Area Presidency. Of course the members of the Los Llanos Branch whom we love so much. All have opened their hearts and homes to us.

We do enjoy reading everyone’s contributions.J We have watched most of you young missionaries grow up and we are so proud of you for the work you are doing to further the Lord’s Kingdom on the earth.

                A few weeks ago we met this young, wonderful, humble Hermana Hamblin from Round Valley. We heard she was here and we were eager to see someone from the White Mountains. She and her companion had lunch with us one day. We asked her if she would speak to us if she saw us at a Round Valley/St. Johns game. She said she might wave to us if it was dark. J J

We are so grateful for Jesus Christ, for the sacrifice He made for everyone, so we can repent and return to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ; and for the great plan that families can be together eternally.

Love to you all,

                Elder y Hermana Gray

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