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

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

White Christmas

December 26, 2016


Hello Everybody. 
'Twas a killer Christmas. 

Monday was a pretty standard PDay, we hit up Deseret Industries to get some gifts for a white elephant party we had planned with all the Zone Leaders at President Lansings house. That night we taught a couple of my recent converts.

Tuesday we had district meeting, we went to Elder Choi's district meeting. He is our newest district leader, this was his second district meeting ever, and it was so so good. He is an awesome elder! We had all three district meetings meet in our Zone building just because of Mail coming in, to make it easy on the office staff. After the meeting we got a call saying there was more mail at the office so we went and picked it up and played mail man till dinner, then taught The B.'s and I.

Wednesday we had exchanges, elder Westover came to the Oquirrh Lake Stake with me. We taught the B.'s again, and had a great lesson. At the end, we had the dad to pray and ask the lord if he should be baptized. After the prayer we sat in silence waiting for an answer, and his wife was the first one to speak up saying "I feel something telling me we all need to do this. I just keep feeling 'All', so let's move forward." It was pretty rad. They wouldn't accept a date, but they at least want to move forward, even if the pace is slow.

Thursday we ended exchanges early and had our Zone Leadership Council with the district leaders in the zone and set our January baptism goal for 8 baptisms in South Jordan. That evening we taught some less actives.

Friday was weekly planning and call ins...

Saturday was Christmas Eve! We spent a good portion of the morning making and delivering Christmas cards to the zone members, then spent the rest of the day up till 6 visiting members and sharing messages. At 6pm we went to president Lansings house with all the other Zone leaders in the mission and the assistants and had a white elephant gift exchange, dinner (number three for us for the day) and then had a bit of a devotional. It was pretty rad, I'll probably never forget that night.

Sunday we went to three sacrament meeting Christmas programs which were all great. The first one had a ton of instruments, it was so cool, the spirit was so strong. After church we got to Skype the fam! Always cool. Loved it. But now I'm trunky and wanna go home. Just kidding, I wish I could stay out here forever. Then we had dinner with  a few different families and shared messages. Pretty good stuff!

Today we had a Zone activity, we did a white elephant Re-Gift exchange, which pretty much ended up being candy swapped for candy, and played some sports. 'Twas a great week! It's crazy to think the year is wrapping up. 2016 is the only full year I'll spend on the mission and it's almost over! Crazy. 

Love
-Elder Ray


A White Christmas




Zone Christmas Re-Gift Exchange

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Yo I Met an Apostle

December 19, 2016

This week was pretty rad. 
So Monday we had Transfers to take care of and Tuesday I moved. BACK TO OQUIRRH LAKE! It's been pretty great to be back. Literally everyone I see goes "Wait Elder Ray, YOU'RE BACK!" I can tell I left a good impression on the stake because everyone is stoked to see me back. The second we started meeting the Ward mission leaders they all started giving us referrals of people that need to get baptized. We were able to take care of all the transfer items pretty quickly... we got bikes all moved to where they needed to be and made sure everyone had the info they needed to work since there were a decent amount of changes in areas.

Wednesday we had a District Meeting, and they all happened at the zone building so that Mail is easier for the mission office staff. Then everyone went home and came back after lunch for our Zone expectation meeting. All our missionaries are great, I'm pumped for this transfer. It's a 7 week transfer so we have a ton of time to find investigators, and we are already off to a good start.

Thursday we had a Zone conference with our Zone and the Sandy Zone, elder Jensen and I gave a training on the importance of studying Preach my gospel. It was pretty fire in my opinion.

Friday we had weekly planning and call ins for most of the day, but we found a ton of good potential. We contacted a girl named C. on the street, and the spirit was so strong as we testified of the Book of Mormon! She kept coming closer to us as we testified and we held out the book of the Mormon and she took it without us even having to put forth any effort. As we walked away from her after setting up an appointment we heard her say that this is exactly what she has been praying for. Wow.

Saturday we had a breakfast Christmas party where we shared the #LighttheWorld initiative and ate some food. Then we found and picked up a new investigator, I., whose wife and kids are active members.  We had a great lesson where we basically taught him how he needs to learn (by not trying to combat everything we say with what he believes). Haha.

Sunday was another session of "ELDER RAY WE ARE SO GLAD YOU'RE BACK!" All day long. We had a great dinner, then it was off to the mission office in Sandy. While President and Sister Lansing were in the MTC this summer before they came out, they were being trained by the apostles, and Elder Rasband asked them what he could do to help the mission. They told him it would be great to have a visit from him, and so spawned the idea of this little Christmas Devotional. So last night we all got to shake hands with Elder Rasband, the newest of the Lord's Twelve Apostles, then we got to listen to him teach us about Christ. Wow. It was amazing. I have a few pages of notes but I would say the thing that stood out to me was the promise he made to us that "The more you know the Savior, the more you will love him. And the more you love the Savior, the more you will want to serve and follow him" He told us how he has learned to look into the eyes of a missionary and discern whether or not their fires are kindled to the point of them having the desire to diligently do the work, and that some of the missionaries he shook hands with could use a little wood on the fire. He then counseled us to study the life of the savior so we can know him, love him, and follow him better. Pretty neat stuff. 

Have a merry Christmas week everybody!

       Love 
  Elder Ray

Seth and Elder Jensen

I'm Back!

December 12, 2016


Well this was a short week!

Wednesday we had temple day, and Thursday we had a zone leadership council with the District Leaders and the sister training leader. It went really well, we trained on the principle of accountability which was much needed. After that we did some service then had home inspections, then I interviewed one of elder Froehlich's investigators for baptism. After that we had real time correlation and we picked up two unbaptized kids as new investigators!
Friday we had a lot of administrative stuff to take care of...
Saturday we had a Christmas party and a bunch of lessons...
Sunday some more lessons. 
Haha. 
And we got transfer info today! We have spent all morning doing transfer calls and found out that Elder Rossette will be spending his last transfer just as a normal Senior companion in West Jordan and I will be going back to the OQUIRRH LAKE STAKE! I'm so stoked! Gonna be great. 
That's it for now!
Love 
-Elder Ray

Elders Rossette and Ray at a ward Christmas party

Happy December!

December 7, 2016

Hokay. A ton happened this week and I don't have much time so...
Tuesday last week we had Zone conference all day, then Mission Leadership Council all day Wednesday, and after that we started exchanges with elder Manarin and his companion, we ended right before interviews with the mission president Thursday morning, then after interviews  we started exchanges with the assistants. The APs are such good missionaries!  I learned a ton from Elder Kelley about how to be a better zone leader. Sunday we took a less active family to temple square and we saw some people we recognized...
Tuesday this week we had a zone meeting that was pure gold. It went really well, the spirit was so strong! And today was pday, we got to go to the temple! 
Talk to you soon,

Love 
-Elder Ray

Cleaning the Font with Elder Rossette

At Temple Square

With Elder (Tyler) Beckman at Temple Square

With  ex-Elder Aquino, Elder Rossette, ex-Elder Gutierrez, and Elder Embley.
Merry Christmas from Seth and Elder Rossette

At a baptism

At the Oquirrh Mountain Temple

At the Oquirrh Mountain Temple

Seth's Zone Meeting

South Jordan Zone

Monday, December 5, 2016

A Pretty "Food" Week

November 28, 2016

This was a pretty food week. I mean Good week. Good food.

Tuesday started with a district meeting, we evaluated Elder Manarin's meeting. It went pretty well, he has a pretty tough district. 3 young missionary companionships which is pretty normal, and 6 senior couple companionships. Senior couples are the salt of the earth... but they like to talk a lot. He does a great job keeping it all under control! After the meeting we started exchanges with Elder Froehlich, one of the district leaders, and he's another Arizona elder! He came out one transfer before me and is solid.

Wednesday morning we ended exchanges at 7:30 because elder Froehlich had to go to district leader Training meeting, then at 9 am we went to a companionship study with a companionship that has been struggling with a few things—having effective door approaches and street contacts, extending bold and clear invitations, etc—which turned out really well. They appreciated the help and have seemed to be doing better already. At noon elder Rossette had to go to a specialized Spanish/Portuguese training, and so he went with another elder in our zone and I worked with his companion, Elder Choi, from South Korea. The whole time I had flashbacks of Elder Kim and our good times in Draper last Christmas. Later in the evening we met one of our High Priest Group Leaders that is super missionary minded and he gave us a referral for an older less active couple in his building, we were able to go over and teach them on the spot! That was pretty great.

Turkey Day! To start off the day we went to the companionship study of another companionship that is struggling with working in unity and with their relationship. It was pretty sad to see how the senior companion (and District Leader) is so prideful and harsh to his companion what has only been out for about 2 months. After that we had lunch with the Kinikini Family, a huge Tongan family. Such a blast! The Polynesian people are so nice, I've never met nicer people in my life. Then a few hours later we had dinner with a large extended family, also very good. Throughout most of the day we just went by members and shared the new #LighttheWorld Christmas message you can find on Mormon.org, then we made cards for all the missionaries in the zone, our mission president (who lives in our zone), and then some of the leadership we work with a lot in our wards. Pretty chill day.

Friday we spent most of the day doing weekly planning and call ins. While doing call ins we mad our poster finally, it turned out pretty rad. We taught Shelly one last time before her baptism, she rocks! We knocked on a door and got let in by a less active man, pretty quickly we could tell he was really drunk and it basically ended with him pulling out two chairs and screaming at us telling us we had to sit down. So we left. Bahaha. Then we taught a less active family and had a really good lesson.

Saturday was killer. We had Shelly's baptism at 11am, then at 12 I got to go back to the Oquirrh lake for Reagan's baptism! I was able to find and teach Reagan just before I left Oquirrh Lake Stake, and I was able to do her baptismal interview as well

Sunday was pretty normal, just trying not to fall  asleep in sacrament meetings all day long. After dinner we were able to teach M., an 11yr old, and pick him up as a new investigator! He didn't accept a baptismal date but we will help him to when we go back this week! 
Now it's snowing again, so that's pretty fun. 

Love
-Elder Ray

Missionary Poster by Elders Ray and Rossette

At Elder Manarin's District Meeting


Thanksgiving Meal #1 with the Kinikini family

Thanksgiving Meal #2

Shelly's baptism

Reagan's baptism

Thursday, December 1, 2016

No Mo Good Weather

November 21, 2016

Well this week went from beautiful to freezing overnight. But now it's not too bad, just raining. 

Zone leader responsibilities are definitely different, but I like them. We have to do exchanges with each District Leader in the zone, as well as the assistants to the president, so 4 exchanges per transfer. Then we also move around to the different district meetings to evaluate them and tell the district leaders what went well and how they can improve. At the beginning of each transfer we have a meeting with all the district leaders to train them. We also have a short 1.5 hour zone expectation meeting at the beginning of each transfer, as well as a longer 2.5 hour zone training meeting at the beginning of each month, and a zone conference almost every month (with multiple zones included). So we are pretty busy. Haha. But it's fun! 

We have spent a ton of time this week helping out other missionaries and it's taken a lot away from our area, but yesterday we found some super solid potentials we know we can baptize, so it's really cool to see that as we serve our zone, the lord provides us with baptisms!

Monday was a pretty crazy day, we didn't have a lot of time and were pretty busy, but for he most part we got everything done and started work at 6. Not a ton happened that night, just taught a few lessons.

Tuesday morning we went to elder Froehlichs district meeting to evaluate it, then later we taught S. and K., both are doing great!

Wednesday we did some service raking leaves and then started exchanges with elders Partridge and Westover. Elder Westover came into my area with me. Elder Rossette went into the Oquirrh lake stake, where they froze to death because it snowed that night.

Thursday was a lot of administrative stuff, and Friday we met with the assistants in the morning to go over a few things since I'm a new ZL.

Saturday was pretty crazy. We did triage exchange blitzes in two areas in our zone to try and help the areas and the companionships out. We also had a baptism of an 8yr old whose parents we reactivated, and I got to go back to the Oquirrh Lake Stake for H.'s baptism! It was so great to see that our efforts helped T. stop smoking so he could baptize his daughter!

Sunday was pretty normal, about half way through the day we had to go interview an investigator for baptism, and the rest of the day was pretty chill. We received some really good referrals, so we are excited for what this next week has to offer! 

Love
-Elder Ray


H's Baptism

B's Baptism

At the chiropractors

Elders Rossette and Ray
Seth with the South Jordan Zone on Pday

Monday, November 14, 2016

Founders Park

November 14, 2016

It's been a really great week. Sorry this isn't gonna be very long, we have been pretty busy today. And all this week. So as I said last week, Monday I got the call to be a zone leader and Tuesday I had to move a whopping 2 miles across Daybreak to the Founders park stake, then we spent a good portion of the day taking care of administrative stuff. In our area  We are doing what we call "Building focus," where we cover one church building and the 3 wards that meet there. It's been really neat, I've already learned the area pretty good and have been meeting some cool members. When I got into the area we had one solid investigator (Shelly) on date for the 26th and a few others that don't have baptismal dates yet, and we have been able to pick up a few new investigators, one of which (Kadyn) accepted a baptismal date and is looking really good for December 3rd. Both him and Shelly came to church on Sunday. We had district meeting on Wednesday, it was really nice to not have to lead that for a change! Haha. But then Thursday we had a zone meeting. We have a lot of good missionaries in the zone and are stoked for what these next few months will bring! I'll really miss the Oquirrh Lake Stake and the people in it, but life goes on, change is good!

Talk to you next week!

Love
-Elder Ray

Leaving Oquirrh Lake Stake


First Pday in Founders Park Stake with Elder Rossette


Elder Ray

Moving

November 7, 2016

Alright. So Monday was Halloween. Not much happened, we played tennis as a district, then we had a zone training meeting all night long, it was pretty fun/spiritual.

Tuesday we had another zone meeting instead of district meeting, then we worked. We taught a non member and a couple less actives. We taught about Christlike service and it had K., one of the less actives (huge Tongan) and elder Westover both in tears after the Mormon message "Lift". Later that night we swung in on E. and his family and drilled on the importance of coming to church, and they committed to come again. Haha.

Wednesday we visited an old catholic guy named E. Haha... every time we see him he tells us how his dog is already Mormon, haha. Then we met with a Christian pastor again for the last time, then taught a couple less actives.

Thursday was pretty sweet. We took a kid out with us -J.- who came home from his mish early for depression, and when we biked to the bottom of the hill we stopped to talk to someone, then we turned around to head back and John looked like he was dead. His face was pale white, no color in his lips, and he was staring blankly and just kinda stumbling. We walked him over to the curb and sat him down. Apparently he hadn't eaten anything all day haha, it was 4pm. So his dad came and picked him up. That night we taught S. and her mom A., two non members, and picked them up and put them on date! It was great.

Friday was pretty crazy dealing with the district, but we got out to work around 3. That night we met with H.'s dad T., who we want to baptize her on the 19th, and we took away his cigarettes and really taught about the word of wisdom and set up a plan to help him quit so he can baptize her.

Saturday we worked hard. Didn't teach much, but got some good things done. We swung by E.'s again and recommitted for church.

Sunday the B.'s flaked out again. Haha. But we sat in church a couple rows in front of an unbaptized child, then taught her after church and put her on date! R. will get baptized this month!

Today's been good. We got another scary call this morning. I didn't think much of it because lately, with elder Simmons getting emergency transferred and everything, we have been getting a lot of calls from the assistants and president. And so at about 9:30 this morning one of the assistants calls and I don't think much of it, until he says "Elder Ray, do you know why I am calling?" Then it hit me. Today is transfer day, and I was getting a call from the Assistants at 9:30. So, I am getting transferred to a neighboring stake in South Jordan, the Founders Park stake, and my new companion is Elder Rosette (pronounced Hosetchee) from Brazil. Elder Rosette is one of our zone leaders. Which means I'm now a zone leader. Crazy! It'll be all new stuff... but I'm excited! I know the Lord calls imperfect people to do his perfect work, so I'm ready for Him to continue to shape me into who He wants me to be. 

Peace

Love 

-Elder Ray


Elders Ray and Westover


Tennis with South Jordan Elders

South Jordan Zone

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A Killer Halloween and Catered Cookies

October 31, 2016

Well this week was great, but it had a horrible start!

It all started on Monday morning during personal study, when we got a call from the APs! 😨They gave us terrible news! They needed our car! So we took it back to the mission office then got a ride shopping, then carved up some pumpkins with the zone. After pday I interviewed one of the zone leaders investigators for baptism, then we met with W. and his family and gave him a blessing, then we met with Grace and Charlotte.

Tuesday we had district meeting which went well, I had Erik come bear his testimony and teach us how the Holy Ghost played a role in his conversion which was super rad, then we went to a new missionary training meeting at the mission office which took up all the time till diner. After dinner we had RTC with a few Ward mission leaders and we split up which was really good for elder Westover, because when he is out with a Ward mission leader I am not there for him to lean on, so it has helped him grow faster.

Wednesday we went on exchanges, elder Bouchillon came to my area with me. It was great, we ended the exchange Thursday and then taught a few less actives. 

Friday it rained a lot, but it wasn't that cold so we still biked. We had a good weekly planning sesh and had call I am then went out to work. That night we had like 3 chili cookoffs to go to which was super fun. We saw W. and his family and heard awesome news that he got permission to baptize his daughter! He hasn't been to church for 8 years up until about a month ago, now he's been coming strong! It's so cool to see people progress so quickly, anything is possible in Gods eyes! 

Saturday we had breakfast with a less active family and shared a lesson, then at 1 we went with the zone leaders into one of the other areas in our district that is struggling and basically blitzed the area to try and get things moving. We were able to find an investigator and put him on date! So that was real cool. Sunday was great, elder Westover gave a talk in the 9th Ward while I gave a talk in the 3rd Ward. Haha, then after that we taught a young women's class about Christlike service which was pretty cool. Young Women's class is always way more spiritual than young men's haha. So that's about it. 

Hope y'all have a killer Halloween, we will be in a meeting all night. But hey someone gave us a ton of catered cookies to bring so that's nice.

Love,
-Elder Ray

Carving Pumpkins with the South Jordan Zone

South Jordan Zone

A ton of catered cookies...



I'm a Dad!

October 24, 2016

This week was pure insanity.
 
Monday was normal, after all the usual pday stuff we taught a couple less actives, then taught Charlotte and Grace (recent converts) then met with the stake high counselor over missionary work.

Tuesday we had a good district meeting, then after that had a lesson set up with a potential investigator. We get to the house and, nothing, he is not there, so we pray and ask the lord where we need to be and we feel we need to head down the hill. So when we get down there we are driving along and see someone and get out to talk to him, just to find out it's a former investigator. So we ask him when we can teach him again and he invited us over right then, so we taught K. and put him on date! Then we ate dinner, taught an excommunicated member, and a less active family that has been come back to church, then taught H.

Wednesday we started exchanges, I stayed in the area and Elder Bower came to be with me. We were able to find a new investigator which was great. We taught a couple less actives and our investigator J.

Thursday morning I had to go to a meeting so elder Bower worked with another district leaders companion while we went to the meeting, then after the excuse we taught K. again, which went pretty good. He definitely seems to be getting more enthusiastic about the gospel. We worked till dinner then split up after dinner, and we found some super good potentials!

Friday. Ha. So I can't give too much detail about Friday and Saturday, other than we spent more time with the Mission President than any missionary wants to, but basically it ended with Elder Simmons getting Emergency Transferred out. My new companion is great!
Elder Westover is from Washington state and has been out for 3 weeks! So I'm training which has been fun so far!

Sunday was pretty long, we were slammed all day. We taught a family, the dad of which is less active and has been coming back to church. Great family.  And today has already had a rough start, we had to give our car back :( but that's good because the weight gain season is coming up! Haha.

Well I hope all your weeks weren't as crazy as mine! Here's a crappy pic of elder Westover and me with dinner last night!

Love
-Elder Ray
Elder Westover and Elder Ray at a dinner appointment