Full-time Missionary

Missionary in the Utah Salt Lake City South Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from August 2015 to August 2017

Monday, November 30, 2015

A Car for Christmas! (and a Transfer to Draper)

November 30, 2015

It feels good to no longer be a new missionary, I am finally done with training! This week has been really good. Our focus this week has been on prayer and making sure we are sincerely praying. I feel like everything we have been taught by our leaders has had need to be applied already. One of our investigators is progressing well but has the idea in his head that he wants to try a different church after he finishes the gospel principles class this year. We asked him if he is praying and asking for an answer and he said he is. Then we asked if he received an answer right now, if he would get baptized. He said he would still want to attend the other church first, which helped him understand that he may not be receiving an answer simply for that reason.

For thanksgiving we had lunch, and two dinners. We were pretty full by the end of the day but the thanksgiving spirit has brought so much joy to us and the members in this area.

Good news: I'm getting a car for Christmas!!! The trade off is I'm getting transferred to Draper which is kinda sad since we made such progress in this area. We had 3 people ready for baptism in December, and even more that were progressing quickly. But I know this is what the Lord wants for one reason or another, so I will make the best of it. Elder Hamilton is the new district leader in this area and he is also training again. Means the Lord was pleased with his work! He is gonna be fantastic.

Oh and what's this white stuff on the ground...?

-Elder Ray

Snow in Utah
Thanksgiving Dinner with Elder Hamilton

Thanksgiving Morning Turkey Bowl

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Are You Smarter than an Primary Child?

November 23, 2015

Well this week started out with one of our investigators (or his parents, I should say) dropping us. J. is 9 and is very interested and wants to get baptized, our only concern was that his 11 yr old brother was baptized and never went to church again because the parents are inactive. After our lesson Monday, the parents who were supportive of his decision to get baptized realized how big of a promise it is with God to get baptized. We hoped this meant they would want to return to church but instead they decided J. was not ready to make that promise because they would not be able to help him keep it. Hopefully he keeps the desire to be baptized so when his parents
let him he is ready.

On Wednesday we were biking by a house and realized it was the house of one of our ward clerks and we remembered we had something to drop off for him so we stopped. We knocked on the door and his wife
answered and before we really said anything she said 'he's in the garage' so we knocked on the garage door and out came a rough lookin guy with tats all up his neck. He said hi to us and asked us to come in like he was expecting us... So a little confused, we followed him into the house and down to the basement and took a seat and started talking to him to realize that he was an inactive man we had been trying to find for the past two weeks, who ended up being the clerk's son. We were able to set up an appointment with him and find out that he really wants to meet with us and change some stuff about his life. That truly was a blessing from the Lord to be led straight to him!

We were able to put B., our 11 yr old investigator on date for December twelfth. Her mom isn't active but is pretty supportive so we are confident everything Will work out great!  Now we have two solid investigators on date to be baptized within the next month, and plan on getting more!

We met so many people this week who are prepared by the Lord to receive this message. This stake is amazing. Transfers are next week, hopefully I stay! (Even though it'd be rad to get transferred to an area with a car for the winter...)

Stay warm AZ!

-Elder Ray

Elder Hamilton and Elder Ray playing "Are You Smarter than a Primary Child" with the Tithing Hill Ward Primary

Monday, November 16, 2015

Snow, A 50s Impala, and an Investigator from Thailand

November 16, 2015

Snowing. Yay.

There's definitely been interesting things going on since the hand book change. Lots of people have a new anti tool to use, it is pretty sad. On Wednesday we had an all Mission tour where the whole mission met with Elder Wilson of the 70. It was an amazing meeting focusing on the importance of the Book of Mormon as the keystone of our religion.

We talked to some new people and got a lot of referrals from members. We still haven't had a chance to visit all of them, but I know good will come out of it. We OYMed a guy in his garage working on a 50s Impala, I hoped it would be a good 'in' but he was already a member. But.... He is a super cool guy who was also able to give us referrals. And, he daily drives his Lexus, which puts 1200Hp to the wheels. Stoked on getting a ride in that.

This week we picked up a new investigator from Thailand named P. She is a foreign exchange student living with a member family. We taught her God's Plan Friday, then took her to temple square Saturday to meet with the Thai missionaries.  She is very excited about the gospel and accepted the baptismal invitation and plans on being baptized December 5th!

Friday night one of our bishops called us and said his two adult speakers canceled for Sunday, so he asked us to speak for about 15 minutes. Then when we got to church Sunday the youth speaker never showed so we each spoke about 22 minutes... But it turned out pretty good.

Overall this week has been pretty killer for us. Our land lord is going through some rough health stuff which is hard. We gave him a priesthood blessing last night and he is doing better today. He's a good man.

Well till next time,

-Elder Ray

Elder Ray and Elder Hamilton at Church

Monday, November 9, 2015

Ten OYM's and a Famous Chameleon

November 9, 2015

Well this week is starting to get colder. I'm glad I bought some sweaters last pday because I've used them. It's been sprinkling a lot this week, even spat some snow at us for a bit. It makes riding a bike very, very cold. I'm prolly just being a baby being from Arizona though...

So every day we have a goal to get 10 OYMs (open your mouths) where we actually have a gospel related conversation-or get shut down trying. On Wednesday we had 9 OYM's going into our last appointment which was at 8:30. We got out at 8:55 and still were one OYM shy of our goal.Not too many people are walking around at 8:55 when it's raining...But I knew God would want us to reach the goal we set so I suggested we pray and ask for one more OYM for the night. As soon as we closed the prayer, a man pulled into his driveway behind us and got out, and we reached our goal. It was just one more confirmation that Heavenly Father wants us to succeed in all that we do.

Friday we went on exchanges and I went to our DL Elder Jaco's area. Friday night was one of the coldest this year, and I got to be in a car. Win. That was a pretty fun exchange. Elder Jaco is from Honduras so we talked about a lot of interesting stuff.

Yesterday Elder Hamilton and I talked in church. We were the only two speaking so we each spoke about 20 minutes. It turned out pretty good though. Last night we had a lesson with S. who has been investigating for two years. It's obvious that the missionaries that have been teaching him were teaching weirdly because there is so much he does not know. We are progressing fast with him and I feel we will have him baptized this month.

That's about it. Oh and we held a famous chameleon.

Elder Hamilton and Elder Ray with Youtube sensation, Pascal the chameleon.

Monday, November 2, 2015

A Pretty Chill Week in Riverton

November 2, 2015

It's been a pretty chill week. It seems like this week was filled with more anti-LDS people than usual. We met so many people that were 100% convinced that the church was wrong. We were told that we should not have to ask God to know the truth of anything, and were even told by a born again Christian that because of what we teach, we are going to burn forever in a lake of fire and brimstone... Scary stuff. When we get into situations like that I find pretty much the only thing we can do is smile and leave them with our testimony and hope they feel something.

It started to cool down this week. It rained all day Wednesday and Thursday, and despite his claims to be "protected" on a bike, elder Hamilton still managed to crash pretty good. Made me miss biking where
crashing is a regular occurrence... But I don't think he had the same thoughts, Ha. He's a great guy though and we get along pretty well which I am glad about.

Overall though, this week was very productive. We met a lot of people and met a bunch of potentials in the stake. Work is really picking up here. We have people that will be baptized this month and I am stoked to get them there.

Idk how much of conf you got to watch but you should re-read or re-watch the talk It’s Never Too Early and It’s Never Too Late By Elder Bradley D. Foster Of the Seventy. I love the story about Pablo. Makes me think about the tree analogy... When's the best time to plant a shade tree? 20 years ago. When's the second best time? Now. 

Hope all is going well back home, I definitely miss beautiful AZ Fall.

-Elder Ray

Elder Ray enjoying FHE dessert with Riverton members