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, April 25, 2016

Miracles are Everywhere

April 18, 2016

New transfer! It's been an awesome week jam packed with miracles. The problem is that the better the week, the less time I have to write in my journal cuz I'm way too tired.

Tuesday morning we woke up, I worked out while elder Brink finished packing. Elder Fehoko showed up at about 9 with his gym and we got him all unpacked and headed off to work. We taught J.-crazy deep doctrine lover-and then taught N., and had elder Manarin from the Philippines come help us teach so she could understand a bit better.

Wednesday we had a great district meeting. It was a great day, we met a bunch of potentials and set up appointments. We taught K., who was so ready to be baptized! Then taught N.. She probably won't be baptized on the 23rd, she wants to read more from the Book of Mormon. It's too bad, because she had an answer but her husband kinda changed her mind about the answer not believing that she could get one so fast. When we got home we played pool with Philipe. Elder Fehoko won, he is a pro haha. 

Thursday was busy, after elder Fehoko's language study we had lunch with a ward mission leader, then had a zone introductory meeting. There are 4 missionaries in the zone from Arizona. rad. We taught Brooke and D. (C. was sick) about obedience, the Sabbath day, prayer, and scripture study as commandments. They love the gospel! On our way to dinner, we were bookin it cause we were late and we rode past a lady, and decided to turn around and talk to her anyways. Her name is E., and she hardly knows anything about the gospel. We set up an appointment for 1:00 on Friday. 

Friday was awesome. After weekly planning we went and had lunch with the Blocks and correlated, and I used their computer to make Kaiden's baptism programs. Then at 12:30 E. called and said she was at the church ready to learn. Sick! So we booked it over there and taught her. She's now accepted the date of the 14th to get baptized. Then we
rushed to A. and taught her, she's still doing awesome and said she'd come to church. After that we rushed back to the Block's house and finished the baptism programs, then rushed to K.'s last lesson as a nonmember. We taught a few other people and at the end of the night were headed across a busy road to go home. We crossed in a big break of traffic, and looked left and saw a dude walkin down the sidewalk and kinda stumbling a bit... Then he falls into the road... Then tries to get up and falls further into the road. The cars are getting closer and there's no way they'd see this dude wearing all black lying face down on the pavement, so elder Fehoko and I book it over there and yank him out of the road literally only a few seconds before he would've gotten hit. He was soooo drunk. So we got the cops over there and they were kind enough to take him home. Haha. Just a testimony builder that the Lord can put us In the right place at the right time.

Saturday morning we woke up at 5:20 and went to the temple to watch S. do baptisms for the Dead for the first time. It's so cool to see those that you bring to the truth continue to progress! Also, K. got baptized! It was a great day.

Sunday he was confirmed a member by his uncle and we got to participate. E. was embarrassed because she doesn't own any church clothes so she didn't come to church but tomorrow the relief society president is takin her shopping. So awesome. We taught her about the word of wisdom cuz we felt that would be her biggest struggle, and she agreed to live it and said she knew it'd be the right thing to do.

Miracles are everywhere, just gotta find em.


-Elder Ray
Elder Ray and Elder Brink with K.

The new West Jordan Zone
Elder Ray and Elder Fehoko

Monday, April 11, 2016

Stayin' in West Jordan

April 11, 2016

Another stellar week in the books. Tuesday we taught a somewhat mentally not all there old man who asked us the same questions he asks us every time we go over. He is less active and has some weird philosophy's on religion haha. We decided to tract out a random apartment building we don't know much about and met a woman named E. who is not a member. She said to come back Wednesday cuz she'd like to learn more, but she wasn't there when we tried back. We will keep tryin! 

Tuesday night we split, elder Brink taught K. who is still solid to get baptized Saturday, and I taught N. (Filipino lady). She has such a strong desire to learn and do what's right! We put her on date for April 23rd and is looking solid for that date! 

Wednesday morning we taught a less active lady outside her house in the beautiful weather and committed her to come to stake conference. Not sure if she did or not yet. Then we had lunch with a ward mission leader, then taught J. and his wife. J. is a member, just inactive. His wife is not a member. J.'s problem is that he loves deep doctrine. Advice to everyone: stay out of deep doctrine, especially if you don't have a testimony of the first principles and ordinances of the gospel. It just drives you crazy. J. is literally crazy. So yeah that's something we're trynna fix. Wednesday night we taught N. again. She loves the plan of salvation and is still solid for the 23rd! After N. we taught an inactive lady in the apartments who has used the excuse of being sick for the past 9 months. Lame excuse... We shared elder christofferson's video 'daily bread: pattern' (which I love, it's in the Mormon messages, watch it) and invited her to church. She said she'd try, and we asked what would be keeping her, then she said her health. We talked for a minute and then shared my favorite scripture (3 Nephi 13:30-34) and promised that if she came, the lord would make it possible. She said that scripture has been on her mind and we got a solid commitment out of her! Our ward mission leader offered a blessing and she gladly accepted. As we were leaving, we get in the car and he just looks at us and goes "wow, is every night this spiritual with you guys????" And it kinda took me by surprise... And I realized that, yes, it is. Being a missionary is the best. The lord puts us where he needs us when he needs us to be there.  

Thursday we set up a ton of lessons with both non members and less actives. Always good to have lessons set up! We taught J., a 9yo recent convert who has too much energy despite his mom never letting him have sugar. We have been trying to get him to read a chapter a week from the Book of Mormon  but he struggles with that cuz he's pretty busy. The good thing is that he read it a year ago and remembers exactly what happened. No joke. We talked about 1st Nephi chapter 4 and he told the whole story without having read it in a year. Crazy. We then taught B. (nm) D. (Nm) and C. (LA).We've been trying to figure out how to get B. more interested (at the beginning she made it VERY CLEAR she was not interested, that she was just there to support D.). But, we taught them the plan of salvation and put D. on date for the 23rd. We didn't feel right about asking B. to be baptized so we didn't. As we were leaving she comes up to us and says "the 23rd is not gonna work" and we're just thinking 'crap, she doesn't wanna let him get baptized' but she tells us they just remembered they'd be camping there. Huge relief. So we said we'd figure out another date at our next lesson SundayFhew. Then we taught a less active in the richest home in our stake. She is so awesome. Her husband passed away a couple years ago, and he never had his temple work done. Her uncle did it but they haven't been sealed, and that's her goal. It's going to be really cool to see her progress toward the temple!

Friday a lot of lessons canceled. But we still got a lot done, talked to a lot of people and got referrals and set up lessons. We taught A., another less active man with mental health issues who wants to get back to the temple. Saturday K. got interviewed for baptism. Stoked! That kid is so happy to get baptized! (see pic) then we taught KD and talon who are ready to get baptized as soon as their mom gets outta the hospital. Then we taught J., a 40 year old inactive return missionary who loves the gospel more than most active members. His only problem is the motivation to get to church. Lame excuse. 

Now Sunday. Wow. Ok. So we had stake conference in the morning, and elder Durham of the quorum of the 70 presided. We got to meet him and talk to him for a bit which was cool. Meeting general authorities is always a neat experience to see how normal they are and feel the immense spirit around them. After that, D., a recent convert we've been working with, received the Melchezidech priesthood. 

Then we rushed and ate a quick lunch, then went to a lesson with a less active lady named K.. We needed a member to come with us since she is a single lady, so we called one and got him to pick us up and take us. When we get there we sit down and start talking, and it turns out the 'random' member was her bishop a while ago when she was going through a bunch of trials. We were able to share a message to strengthen her, and she asked for a blessing from the member. It was so spiritual to know that everything fell into line as guided by God. 

Then we taught M. (?), a non member from India that married a member. Both of them are completely active. His problem is that within Hinduism, it's basically your religion to adopt practices and beliefs from different religions. So he struggles to commit to one. We will help him see the truth in the restored gospel tho! Then we shared a quick message with W., an excommunicated man who is active and wants to come back. He said it completely answered a question he has been prayin about for a long time. 

Then we taught B., C., and their 9 year old boy, D. again. So we went in and talked for a bit, and discussed the baptismal date. B. said that because of some court things with D. and his real dad (not Cory)  they were gonna be going thru a lot and wanted to push the date back a couple months. Dang! But we explained how having the gift of the Holy Ghost would help him through those trials. We expected her to argue, but she just paused and then said that makes sense. Sweet. So we decided that May 14th would be the best date for him to be baptized on. Then we taught them the gospel of Jesus Christ. We asked B.what she thought about the gospel and she opened up. We found out she was raised LDS but her parents never let her get baptized. After talking a bit more we just said 'the gospel is for families, and we want you to have the opportunity to be with D. and C. forever through the restored church' and then invited her to be baptized despite our fears. She didn't say anything for like 10 seconds (which is scary cuz this lady shows no emotion) and then she looks at D. and goes 'what do you think D.?' And he says "Hmmmm, I think YES! I believe in God, and I believe in Jesus Christ!" And wow, the spirit just smacked all of us like a railroad tie. We truly all felt the presence of the Holy Ghost in that moment. Then she turned and said 'well it looks like D. and I are getting baptized on the 14th!' We were so excited! Such a miracle, the simple, short testimony of a 9 year old has the power to bring the spirit strong enough to have the converting power of God himself. We are so blessed to be here! 

Speaking of being here, Today we found our about transfers. Elder Brink is getting transferred. He is switching places with... Elder Fehoko! So he is going to be with elder Mestre in draper and Elder Fehoko is my new companion. I'm excited!

-Elder Ray

Elder Brink and bikes

Last Pic of the District before Transfers

April Fools and General Conference

April 4, 2016

So Tuesday we had a really good zone training meeting that was focused on how we can be as effective as possible. It rocked. Great motivation for us to always try and be better.

Wednesday we helped a less active pack up to move. He bought us Panda Express, so totally worth it. Wednesday night we found a new potential, a lady who is from the Philippines who moved her and is married to a man who is returning to activity. She has already been to church a couple times, we have an appointment set up to meet with her this week!

Thursday a lot happened. Of course, the day before April fools, we went to Smiths and bought window paint. And some gum for one of our less actives who has been going cold turkey on smoking. We bought some extra gum and wrote a little note saying "you're doing EXTRA well, keep it up!" She loved it. At lunch we got a call from the Assistants to the president saying they wanted to meet with us at 3:00. We were a little scared cuz usually that only happens if someone is in trouble, and we haven't done anything wrong so we had no idea what was going on... So we met with them and sat down in a stake center and they say "Elders... Don't worry, you're not in trouble, we just wanted to congratulate you on all the hard work and thank you for all you are doing!" Fhew. They wanted to know what kind of things we were doing to have the success we were having. It was cool to find out president Chambers recognizes our hard work and it pays off! That night we had an appointment with randy but she wasn't there, so we talked to her husband and came to the conclusion that she wasn't ready. She isn't progressing, her concern is that she has anti-LDS family and coworkers that she wasn't ready to confront with joining the church. It's too bad and we were disappointed, but we felt the confirmation of the spirit telling us it's what needed to happen.  Then we taught D., one of our 9 year old investigators who has a non member mom and less active dad. His mom says she is not interested, but when we teach D, she always sits in and seems way interested. Hmm... Gotta play our cards right on that one.

Friday we started exchanges, I left the area again and went with our district leader, elder stout, to work the Spanish area, once again making me wish I could speak Spanish. Dinner in the Spanish area is usually fun, but I got pasta last time... This time the lady was like "my husband said not to cook pasta cuz missionaries always get pasta" and we were all stoked to hear that. Then she brings out pasta and says "but this pasta has chicken in it so you'll like it."...... If you feed the missionaries, no pasta, nuff said. But we are still grateful nonetheless.

Saturday morning we watched conference with a super cool family (in English, thankfully) then ended exchanges and elder brink and I watched the Saturday afternoon session, then went to dinner, and went to the priesthood session which was so great. The President of the quorum of the 12 spoke, the general young men's president spoke, and the entire first presidency spoke. Wow. It was great. I encourage all of you to go watch it if you haven't yet. After that we had a killer lesson with another inactive member who has a great desire to progress. 

Sunday morning we only watched a bit of the first session because we had to be at the Trax station by 11 to head downtown. We got to go to the Sunday afternoon session which is a huge perk of this mission. We got tickets with the mission and got to sit 7 rows from the very front. It was awesome. I saw two people I know from back home which is always cool, and another perk of this mission. Today we played softball as a zone which I haven't done before on the mission. New is good.

What is new back home?

-Elder Ray

Elder Ray and Elder Brink (left) at General Conference

Pranking the Sisters on April Fools

Part of the West Jordan Zone