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, January 26, 2016

Half the Twelve

January 25, 2015

This was a pretty neat week. Tuesday ended with a blizzard while we were out making visits with one of our wards, but I can't complain because I actually thought it was fun. 

Wednesday morning there was a worldwide Missionary broadcast put on by the general authorities. Every missionary in the world got to view it, but we got to view it in person! In attendance were Elders Bednar, Oaks, Nelson, Anderson, Renland, and Stevenson from the quorum of the 12 apostles as well as the presidency of the 70. It was really cool to get trained by them and hear them speak to us. I also got to see Elder Tyler Beckman, a buddy from back home who is serving in the Salt Lake City East mission. 

We met a woman this week who used to be a Relief Society President in one of our wards that has gone inactive. Anti-LDS, actually... She claimed that once she gained new knowledge from other sources she decided the church was bad. She failed to ask God what she should do though because she decided he doesn't exist and that any good feelings we get from prayer are from our own heads. Then she called me a liar for saying the Book of Mormon was the word of God... So we moved on - haha.

We had a bit of a weird experience at an old Native American woman's home... 

Then got the opportunity to speak in sacrament meeting Sundaytalking about faith and how it relates to missionary work using Elder Anderson's talk Faith is not by Chance, but by ChoiceThe young couple came to church again. The girl said that she just got a promotion at work that pays way more and doesn't require her to work Sundays. The Lord's hand is definitely there. K. came to church again!!! We have a lesson set upon Wednesday.  We will have to figure out how to teach it since it's all designed for families... But we will figure it out.

After church we shoveled the driveway of a family we share messages with which only took about an hour since it wasn't the biggest house on the street. It had snowed about 8 inches over Saturday night and on Sunday, so everything is white again despite the somewhat warm 32 degree weather right now.
Love you all, have a great week!

-Elder Ray

A couple things Elder Ray loves...
Elder Ray and Elder Beckman at the
Worldwide Missionary Broadcast

Friday, January 22, 2016

"He wants the best for us..."

January 18, 2016

Well, the first week of this transfer is over! It was great. My new Companion is Elder Brogan. He's from Benson, Arizona so he's pretty cool just naturally. Most AZ people are... We spent this whole week working hard, meeting all the leadership, and shaping the area to what we want it to be. We were able to meet with our stake president, president Holmes, who as it turns out the brother of my stake president back home. Small world.

Wednesday we got a text from an inactive guy --K.--I met a couple weeks ago saying that he wants to start taking lessons from us, which is really cool because he is gay but still believes in the church. And is a direct descendant of a recent prophet. We got a referral from a member that turned out to be J Beibs ex-manager, and yes it's the biggest house I've ever seen... I tried taking picture of it but it wouldn't fit the whole thing so I quit. Our appointment with D. and his fam fell through cuz they had family unexpectedly come to town, but he fed us Texas Roadhouse again and we set up another time for tonight. So we are friends again.

K. came to all three hours of church yesterday which was a huge step for him, but we were surprised at how many people he knew which is great that he had friends that will be there for him. Earlier in the week we taught a couple that was just married a couple months ago but have gone inactive because of financial struggles and having to work. We taught very simply yet boldly how important it is to put our trust in the lord and have faith that if we do what he asks, he will provide. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." we invited them to on their own time together ask God what choice they should make come Sunday. They came to church.

It is so awesome to have a loving Heavenly Father who hears and answers our prayers. He wants the best for us, which isn't always what we think is best. But if we have faith in him, he will provide. "Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself."

Elder Brogan ALMOST caught a deer.

-Elder Ray

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Subway,16 oz. Rib-eyes, and Peaches

January 11, 2016

Last week of the transfer! It was a pretty good week... Started Monday with going to a teriyaki grill with elder Kim and right when we were about to pay, a member came up and payed for us. Then we went bowling as a district which was a lot of fun to be able to get out and do something...normal...

Tuesday we had a zone training meeting and elder Kim and I gave a killer training on having the faith to find people to teach. Tuesday night we had a lesson with J. (our investigator who we have been thinking about dropping since he's been taught everything but isn't really progressing) and he really felt the spirit while we read the Book of Mormon so we are gonna get him set up with a reading mentor who can help him progress that way.

Wednesday we decided to hit up subway for lunch since some members gave us subway gift cards for Christmas. But once again, before we could pay, despite telling him we had gift cards, a member paid for us. That night we taught G. but we didn't teach much since his grandma had a bunch of her day care kids over and it was way too hectic. So we are gonna try and move the lessons to a more spiritual environment like a church or a members house next time. We also saw M. again, he told us he's been sober for 8 days now! He is doin great. He got a haircut and shaved his beard, and also cleaned his
apartment-which was absolutely filthy. 

Thursday it snowed most of the day. We worked hard all day contacting referrals without luck. Then finally someone answered. This dude's name is D. We talked on his doorstep for a couple minutes and found out he is a returned missionary who hasn't been to church since he got home about 25 years ago. We really hit it off with him and he invited him in, and while talking more to him and his girlfriend we figured out that between his kids from a previous marriage, and his girlfriend and her kids from a previous marriage, there are 7 non members in the house. D. seemed receptive about coming back to church and his girlfriend seemed supportive. We hope to go back tonight and teach the whole fam. Thursday's work payed off!

Friday we decided to hit up subway again. And: before we could check out, a member paid for us. Despite telling him we had gift cards. Ha. AND, while we were eating, a lady bought two more subway gift cards and gave them to us... So we started with one gift card each, and have eaten at subway twice, and now have two gift cards. Rad. 

While working Friday we met a lot of people who were very against the church. Lots of people seem to not like that the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is a works based faith. They prefer not having to do anything and being saved by grace. Ok.

Saturday we went to Texas Roadhouse since D. is the owner and he invited us to come get a meal, on him, and missionaries can't say no to free food so of course we went. We each got a 16oz rib-eye. Elder Kim only finished about 1/3rd of his but shoot. I ate the whole thing. I was stuffed the rest of the day.

Sunday we taught a mission prep class which was a lot of fun. We did some role plays which are funny to do with people hat haven't been doing them for months like I have.

Transfers are tomorrow! We got part of the transfer news. Elder Kim is transferred:/ he's actually my new zone leader now. But we haven't been told who my new companion is yet... Hopefully we find out soon... But it's nice to know I'm staying for a number of reasons, one being that I get to stay in a car through another cold month and a half.

All in all a killer week. I got Peaches by the Presidents of the United States of America stuck in elder Kim's head so he's been singin it all week haha.

Hope everyone has an awesome week!


-Elder Ray

Elder Ray and Elder Kim at a Family Home Evening

Elder Ray with his District

Bowling on P-day

Seth with his Comp 

Selfie :)

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Christmas and Miracles

December 28, 2015

Well besides being away from home, Christmas season on the mission is pretty great. At least in my area. Tuesday night we went on splits with ward missionaries and the ward mission leader. We call it Real Time Correlation, where we correlate about what is going on in the ward while we work at the same time. This was something suggested and brought to us by our mission president. We are seeing some amazing miracles as we implement this in each ward. Tuesday night while doing this I was able to get into the home of an inactive woman and her unbaptized kid who missionaries have been trying to get in with for months. The mom has been known to be very rude to missionaries, but we were able to get in, share a Christmas message in which even the mom felt the spirit, and then set up an appointment to start teaching the son the lessons! There are miracles in following the counsel of the mission president.

Wednesday/Thursday we went on exchanges with the zone leaders. I went to their area which is the YSA stake that covers most of Draper. I learned a whole lot during that exchange. A lot about how to show the Lord we are willing to work for miracles. Using what Elder Kim and I learned we have seen much more success in our OYMS, seeing many people prepared to receive a message about the restored gospel. 

Thursday night we went to maybe 3 or 4 Christmas parties. All of which fed us too much food. Christmas Day was very similar in that we ate too much and members were way too generous. 

Saturday we saw a guy out shoveling his driveway and went and offered to help. He politely declined but then we started talking to him and figured out he just moved in from Arkansas a couple months ago and knows nearly nothing about the Church. He accepted a Book of Mormon and wants to come to church!

Little things like that have been happening a lot lately, it's great to see the Lord is trusting us with people who are prepared.

But yeah. It's been a great week. Happy New Years!

-Elder Ray

Elder Ray and Elder Kim Sporting Matching Christmas PJ's

Elder Ray at a Ward Member's Christmas Eve Party

Elder Kim and Elder Ray Getting Spoiled by Members

Seth and his district

More from District 1

District 1 Enjoying P-day

Draper Zone