Saturday, June 11, 2011

New Calling for Elder Gregory

Letter received today from President Margetts:

Dear Elder Gregory,
At this transfer, you have been called to the position of Trainer. It is a pleasure to have you serve as a new missionary trainer. This is probably the most important calling in the mission. Helping a new missionary get a firm foundation at the beginning is essential.

"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6)

In this calling, you will be leading, teaching, and directing the growth of a new junior companion. "A missionary's first companion has a lasting influence on the development of his or her attitude and habits" (Mission President's Handbook). It is my desire to call only the most capable missionaries, those who are absolutely obedient and know how to find, teach and baptize converts.

"I would call only my finest missionaries to be trainers...if you want to change your mission, just change your trainers." (Elder Tingey, June 1997 Mission President's Seminar)

Thank you for being worthy of this special calling and responsibility. We have great faith in your abilities. Please be sure to be kind and sensitive to the needs of your new companion as they go through this transition but you should also set your expectations high. We continue to pray for your success and the success of the Mission.

Faithfully yours,
President Sherman K. Margetts

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

April 17, 2011

Dear Mom,

I`m doing way well, this transfer is coming to close and it has indeed
been a good one. This transfer was extended a week so instead of
ending this last thursday, it ends this thursday. I will let you know
about transfer calls and what not. It`ll be great :)

How`s life in the Gregory family?

So I actually forgot to mention something last week because it slipped
my mind on April 6th, my companion was in a terrible bike
accident. He crashed and flew down about 10 stairs going about 30
miles an hour. I watched the whole thing happen, and I seriously
thought he died or at the very least thought he was going to have
broken bones and be sent home. I ran down the stairs, helped him sit
up, and gave him a priesthood blessing and said that he`d be healed
and that he wouldn`t go home. As I said the blessing, there was blood
streaming down his face, he was shaking and crying, and it didn`t look
like what I felt prompted to say was going to be true. Right after the
blessing, we walked down a hill and ran into an investigator who we
hadn`t been able to meet the whole transfer. I had never even seen his
face and Elder Harvard didn`t remember to much...he was dazed from the
crash obviously and didn`t remember he was in Japan. But anyways, it
was a miracle we met this guy and we went to a hospital together. The
hospital workers said it`d be a two hour wait, so we went to another
hospital by taxi. I called my district leader and apparently the
investigator we had accidently run into called some church members he
knew and shortly after we arrived at the second hospital, 4 church
members and two other missionaries were there to help and support us.
I suppose you are wondering how he is. He`s sitting across from me,
completely healed. He had stitches on his face but that`s healed
surprisingly face and the only thing that remains to be noticed is two
chipped teeth. Three days after the accident we were at church in
general conference and then we taught our english class. We`ve still
been out working and Elder Harvard has been a champ through it all.

The Lord has really blessed us through this trial. Doors have been
opened to us while we`ve housed and people are starting to listen.
We`ve progressed with people we found at the beginning of the
transfer. Trust with members has increased. Probably the biggest
miracle happened yesterday, a family came after church and wanted to
talk with me. Apparently the guy had been baptized over 10 years ago
and then went inactive. Now he wants to come back and his wife and kid
both want to be baptized. So if I`m here next transfer, I`ll get to
see at least two wonderful people baptized! And they are awesome. Oh
and a part member family came to church for the first time in a long
time and I introduced myself to them. I talked with them for a long
time and it was awesome. THe husband who is not a member is awesome
and he likes me. We set up an appointment this friday! Anyways, lots
of blessings!

I really liked your email especially what you said about the return
missionaries and President Brignon. I love analogies and parables and
have been trying to impliment them into my teaching. What President
Brignon said especially rang true to my heart. There are several less
actives and investigators that need to hear what President Brignon

There`s an Elder in my district from Hawaii and I think he might know
the girl who had her arm bit off. Oh wait, no, he just said that he
only saw her book in Borders. Well, that`s pretty cool. It`s
definitely an inspirational story.

I love you Mom! Don`t forget that. Be safe and don`t go surfing in
shark infested waters. And don`t ride your bike down stairs. That`s


Monday, March 14, 2011

Dear Dad,

I`m safe and all is well here in Iizuka. I`ve had some interesting experiences that I`d like to tell you about though. Just yesterday I was out house contacting with my companion and we met a man. He opened the door and when he saw us, he started to close the door. We somehow got him to listen to us for a second and then we got to talking. I asked him if he believed in God. He told me no, and said the earthquake is evidence that God doesn`t exist. I explained to him why these things happen, and how we sometimes have hard times in life which make the good times so much sweeter. I told him we can learn from these things and we continued talking. We continued on and taught him the gospel of Jesus Chirst. I was teaching him about baptism and he was listening very intently when man`s wife walked up. So I pretty much had to start over from the earthquake. This time as I re said the things I said and the man was in agreement with me, and the wife began to understand. I told them how I love and respect parents, especially mine because of the hard things they go through for their families. We talked a lot about how God is the same, going through a lot for our benefit. It was an awesome lesson. Their little daughter came out and listened too. Opportunities to teach a whole family at once are very rare, and I was so glad that it went from an almost shut door, to a wonderful lesson. After about 45 minutes of talking, they said we could come back. I`m stoked!

Wow, I didn`t know the earthquake was that massive. At first someone told me it was a 7 and that 1400 people were missing. Then I heard it was an 8.8 which was way bigger than what I had heard earlier! I was way surprised. And now I`m hearing it`s a 9.0 and possibly over 10,000 are dead. That`s way intense. As I told mom, there were 4 missionaries missing for about a day, but they`ve been contacted and are fine. So intense. I can`t believe that I`m 12 feet closer to you as well. That`s a crazy thought on how powerful the earthquake was.

I am very excited to being getting a package from you and I am looking forward to delicious beef jerky and letters from home. Thank you so much for continuing to support me and to love me. I love my whole family and I am very grateful that Matthew and Miles know why I`m here. I`m excited to see you in a year and a half. I love you dad. You are the man.

Dear Mom,
I`m safe and fine here in Iizuka. I felt nothing and life is almost still normal. There are a ton of people here who are worried for family in Sendai and I suppose I was pretty worried too. I have 2 friends up in sendai and we got a call a few days ago informing us that 4 missionaries were missing and we were to pray for them. When I thought that it could be a good friend of mine, it definitely made the quake more real to me. Fortunately, we got a call the other day telling us that the missionaries were found and that they were alright. We`ve had to conserve energy here in kyushu though because apparently tokyo was without power (maybe still is) due to the fact that they get most of their power from sendai. It`s pretty scary stuff, but we`re all fine down here. I felt no aftershocks and we are getting regular calls telling us to be safe and prepare for anything if anything like that ever came.

Thank you so much for sending me the patriarchal blessing! I`m so glad that I got to read it again. If it wouldn`t take too much time, would you still shrink and laminate it and send it to me? I`m not sure if I can print it at the place I`m at but I`ll probably take pictures of it on my camera. That would be the best. Thank you so much mom, I really appreciate all that you`ve done for me.

So I have a quick question. You guys are in California and you went out for a girls day, right? Was Uncle Chuck present for the girl`s day? Haha, sorry, that`s how I read it in the email and it made me laugh. I`m glad you told him I would be staying. I`m pretty sure nothing would make me come home from my mission. The Lord has called me here and this is where President Monson said I should be till August 31st, 2012. I`m going to do exactly that! So anywho, how is/was California? Pretty great I`m hoping. Did California see any of the tsunami? How`s the family?

Things are going great with Kaneko and he`ll be getting baptized very shortly. He`s such a stud. He`s doing so well and keeping his commitments. When we taught him the word of wisdom he stopped all habits that aren`t in harmony with the Lord`s teaching. I`m so happy for him. Recently we`ve been making some good progress with Hayashi and her family. If her family got baptized...Iizuka`s primary would go from 0 to 4! I`m hoping she continues being awesome!

Thanks again for all the support. I love you very much Mom. I`ll be a missionary you can be proud of. I`ll keep all the rules. I study hard everyday. I talk to everyone I can. The Lord is blessing this area and me so much because of your prayers. Thank you so much Mom. I love you. Be happy, have faith, know that I`m protected and safe.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Hey Dad,

It was great hearing from you. I'm glad you and the family are happy and out building snowmen. That definitely falls under the category of whole recreational activities! I'm jealous you all got to ride ATV's! It must have been way fun, and I'm was terrified to be driving with Miles haha. Recently the only vehicular fun I've had is on my bike. I've been practicing wheelies, riding on raised 4 inch wide curbs, and drifting. We have a lot of long rides here in Iizuka, so I have a lot of practice time of stunts. My last companion rode everywhere as fast as he could and I loved that because it meant more dendo time.

Was that sarcasm from my father? "I'm not that into [the Superbowl] anyway"? That's funny, I'll never be one to watch on sunday, but Monday Superbowl is a blast!

Well dad, I love you very much. I'm glad some of your problem cases are settling. I'll keep praying for you and for success. Well, looks like it's time for district meeting. Love you

Dear Mom,
I didn't get the first email but I got the one you resent on February 1st so thank you so much for that. By the way, my p day hasn't changed, we just don't have a place that's close to Iizuka to email so we do it before district meeting on tuesday at the mission home. So please don't feel neglected! (Did you get my email last week?)

How was Flagstaff? I bet it was a blast! I definitely have some good memories of family trips up there. And I remember Miles biffing it on his ATV as well. I remember when I went off that sand dune and dropped 30 feet. Good times, still have the scar on my chin! It sounds like you had a very good gospel doctrine class as well. I hadn't thought about the fact that Adam and Eve didn't have blood in the garden. That's very interesting. Blood gives us life but it definitely an imperfect that a perfect body must do without. Well, as I age, I will be grateful that it is only a reminder of my Heavenly Father and that I must surely stand before Him one day.

I was wondering about my patriarchal blessing. Did you know you can call Salt Lake and have them send you a new one? I really, really would like that if you could do that for me. I'm coming up on about 6 months this week so I would be grateful to get it when you can!

Thank you so much for the emails and the letters. I wrote a letter to you and dad this last week. Tell Miles and Matthew I'll write them big letters next week! I love you.


Wow, so I just discovered that I had your email from alst week, and it was fantastic! Thank you so much. To answer your question about basketball, yes! I played with some investigators and my companion for the first time on my mission. They were pretty good but they didn't stand a chance against a 6 foot 1 American. It was way fun though. The old investigator in my last area I think is getting baptized this next saturday, I'm still way stoked, even though I don't get to be there.

We're teaching some way good people we found recently, I think we might have a baptism at the end of this transfer or the beginning of next one. We're going to do the commitment soon so wish us luck!

Man, ribs sound amazing. I am way jealous.


Friday, February 4, 2011

January 31, 2011

Hey Dad,

Sorry my email is getting out to you a day late, I think we're going to have to start emailing on tuesday mornings before district meeting. It's cool because we get to see the AP and the mission president, not too mention the temple (i'm under the temple as of this moment!). And it's free and not far away so that's the main reason. So yes! I'm glad I have the chance to be emailing you today.

This last week has been fun, it's been snowing! We've had to do a lot of walking dendo, which feels a little more ineffective than bike dendo, but as long as we can invite people to come unto Christ we are doing what we have been called here to do. Right now our main focus is getting people to church! We have the most beautiful church building in Iizuka (it's three stories tall and probably bigger than the gilbert ward building) but only 20 people or so come to church. They used to have about 50 active members but a bunch of big families moved away which really shrank the ward. So we're going to "fill the rows" as my companion said it. There are so many good people investigating and the Lord is really blessing this area so I'm confident we'll be able build up this ward.

I laughed when I read that Miles threw up his hands...what a funny kid! I'm curious to know if there was any scolding after everyone returned back home. At least Miles has a good strong testimony. I've been thinking about where he"ll probably serve recently too, and there are just a ton of places that come to mind. I keep thinking China but it's too far away from letting people in to do missionary work yet. So maybe he'll be off to Eastern Europe. Wherever it is, I'm sure he's going to do great.

Well sorry this is short, I still need to email mom. I wrote the family letters, they should be there in 10 days or so. Keep working hard! Love you dad.


January 31, 2011

Dear Mom,

How's everything going? Is life treating you well? I missed your email this week, hopefully everything ok! How goes moving preparations?

So right now I'm under the Fukuoka temple. It's so pretty here in Fukuoka and the temple just makes everything so much more beautiful. Yesterday, we went out with a member in Chukushino and some other missionaries for all you can eat shabu shabu so we didn't have time to email yesterday. I think we're going to start emailing on tuesday mornings now, just for a heads up! But anywho, the food was so good. And the member who paid for us was hilarious. He told us that we can get "fat for free" whenever we want because he had so much help from members on his mission. So I got fat for free yesterday.

So recently we've been meeting with a recent convert who is from Jamaica. He married a Japanese girl and they moved to Japan and he is so out of place here. Him and his wife are going through some hard times right now and are living separated with a 1 year old baby living with the mom. He got baptized and came unto Christ to fix his life and he's on the right track, but he still needs help. Are there any scriptures that come to mind? If you could give me any advice, that'd be wonderful.

Sorry this is so short, we're about to head out for district meeting. I love you. Tell everyone I love them and tell Matthew and Miles I wrote and sent letters!


January 26, 2011

Dear Mom/Family,

Here`s the big news...I transferred! I`m in my second area now with my third companion and it is great! And SOOO cold! My goodness, I had a short sleeve shirt on under my suit coat when I left Okinawa and when I arrived in Fukuoka I knew I was in trouble. my usual evening dendo dress is my garments, a white shirt, a sweater, my suit coat and a big jackets. That`s a ton of layers! I feel like a girl when I go to get dressed (at least I don`t need to accessorize!). Sorry mom, no`s difficult for this boy. So anywho, I`m in Iizuka with Elder Ainge and it is so awesome here. The branch is 19 active members but we are in a building that is 3 stories tall and so beautiful. I`ll take a picture of it and send it to you guys sometime soon but I`m pretty sure it`s bigger than the one in Gilbert. So our job right now is to fill this building! It`s quite a task, but the Lord has prepared a way for us! The branch president here is the dad of one of my MTC friends, which is so cool. He is way genki and he instantly loved me, I`m excited to be here!

Wow, good Subway story. I`m hungry! I`d watch out for fingers in my food here if there weren`t so many other things to watch out for! haha just kidding, the food here is great. I actually was introduced to a new drink which became my favorite drink! IT is Panacake drink. Tastes like pancakes. And it`s so good on a cold day. It comes from the vending machine way hot and so it keeps me warm in the special way only Pancake Drink can. I will be sure to send the family some to try in my next package back home. You`ll have to heat it up though!

That`s so cool that Miles blessed the sacrament for the first time! I think on my first time I messed up...hopefully he did better than I did! Man, I just tried typing that sentence as fast as I could and it was way fast! I think I`m going to start typing as fast as I can for the rest of my mission so all my emails will be longer! Anywho, I`m way happy for Miles that he was able to bless the sacrament. I`m sure Matthew is excited for the day when he gets to do it too!

I`ve started emailing Parker which is way good. He`s such a stud and I know he`s going to tear it up in France. He told me that the people who drive buses there were on strike so he and his companion are having to walk everywhere. I thought that was pretty funny. I don`t think strikes are possible here in Japan. There are always a hundred people to fill the position if someone doesn`t like it or doesn`t want to do it.

Well mom, I love you very much! I love the family and I`m excited to share with you what`s going on here. I sent dad an email that tells a little bit more about Iizuka, hopefully he shares! Take it easy!


Sunday, January 23, 2011

New Pictures

Just a few new pictures located in the pictures section in the blog. Check them out!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Dear Mom January 2011

Dear Mom,
I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed my getting pooped on by the bird story. It's definitely an experience I won't soon forget. As a missionary, I'm always looking to the heavens for help and now I have another reason to look skyward! Thanks again for the wonderful Christmas call. Being able to hear my family and everyone's voices was wonderful. Everyone seemed very happy and it sounds like Miles and Matthew are both maturing (increasing in wisdom and stature). Man, I might start doing that unintentionally more often. Elder Hardy was telling me that missionaries often make references to scriptures unintentionally. That was right after he said that the laundry was as white as Angel Moroni! Haha, good times. Anywho, thank you for the phone call and the letters. It's always comforting to know that everyone at home is doing well. I really liked the experience you had of doing that exercise of picturing some place peaceful and envisioning meeting the Savior. I'm going to have to give that a try!
I love you mom. I hope you always know that and know that I'm praying for you.
Love, Robert

Monday, January 10, 2011

January 10, 2011

Dear Mom/Family,

Thank you so much for the wonderful pictures and the email! I died laughing when I saw the first picture of Matthew doing who knows what. Probably blowing out candels but it looked like he was a martian brain sucking alien. A good impression of the guy from Rocketman, if I must say. It was also good to know that Miles uses the black vans (shoes)! I miss those shoes...and Miles too :p

Dad would make a great ward mission leader! Man, That`s awesome that that`s his new calling. Dad, keep up the good work. Otsukaresama! Right now we are actually working in 2 areas because there were more returning missionaries then arriving missionaries last transfer.

Baptism stats. I think in Fukuoka there are 110 missionaries (10 of whom are senior couples who do office work and such) and there were 180 baptisms or so last year. It was up like 30 baptisms from the year before so that was great and we already have a good start on this year. France definitely sounds like a tough place at the moment. I`m sure Parker`s going to help it improve! Speaking of which, if you could email me his mission address, that`d be great!

It`s cool that you are reading the New Testament. I`m going through it everyday as well and I`m really enjoying the parables more than I ever did. Oh and I found an interesting scripture. Ephesians 4:4-6. There is one Spirit, One Lord, and One God. 1+1+1 equals 3! So anyone who says the Godhead is one person should read this scripture. It`s in the Bible. It also says there is one baptism meaning there are a lot of churches that are wrong. Only one can be right, and I bear my testimony to you and to everyone that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the one true Church. It is called after the name of Christ and in His name we exercise His priesthood to do His will. I love you all. Keep praying for me. I pray for all of you everyday.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

To Mom

Dear Mom,

I`m glad to hear that Christmas went well. I like what President Laney said about not spending a lot of money for Christmas...I got you all presents that aren`t the most pricey...but they`ll make you laugh and feel loved. It was so good being able to talk to you and everyone as well. I constantly pray for Pepa, that he`ll accept the Dad`s email, he said that Pepa was touched so that was so good to hear. I`ll have to write him a letter sometime soon.

Miles is a stud, I think that`s funny that he complimented you and dad on your gospel knowledge. You and dad always have good insights...thank you so much for what you said about faith. I have been recently studying faith. The way we show it is by our actions and I know that as a missionary, that means I have to obey all the rules! Way good.

Sorry this is short, I love you mom. Have a fantastic week!


To Dad

Dear Dad,

It was such a blessing to be able to talk to you and the family on Christmas. I definitely was uplifted myself and I`m looking forward to future calls. Thank you for what you said about your investigator and how he was baptized later. I know that this boy is going to be baptized. I know that his mom is going to be baptized. It`s going to take some time for the mom to get over her fear of commitment to a religion but I am confident she will. I was bummed because I would to have loved to baptize someone on Christmas but you know, I`ll be just as happy if someone else does it.

That`s good to know that Kyle is doing well. The Utah mission doesn`t seem to appealing at first, but it is wildly successful. A friend of my trainer got back from his mission recently from Provo, Utah...a place where you think everyone would be LDS...and he had 57 baptisms. Not too shabby. Haha, so I`m sure Kyle is going to do great things in Salt Lake City.
Thank you for bearing your witness of the Savior. I know that when I testify to people of Jesus Christ, that I am telling them of their Lord and their way back to heaven. The prepared people will listen. I know they are here. We just need to have enough faith to be led to them.

I hope all is going well at home. I pray for you everyday. I love you dad.