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, August 29, 2016

"Zooey Mama!" Whatta Week.

August 29, 2016

"Zooey Mama!" Whatta Week.  The lord blessed us greatly.

Monday was a "Companionship Activity" which basically means we sleep, so that's what we did with our P-Day. That night we had dinner with a lady and her boyfriend and her inactive son, then went to a meeting with our High Counselor Over Missionary Work. 

Tuesday we had a great district meeting then had to go to the mission office to take care of some stuff, then after that we taught our investigator J . We had a great lesson in which we committed him to look at the next few Saturdays on a calendar and ask God which one he needs to get baptized on. Then we had dinner with a less active family who believe God has led them away from the church simply because they are happy not going to church. 

Wednesday was pretty great, we taught Erik in the morning, then taught C. and G. the last lesson. After that we were out sitting on our bikes when a lady drove up and rolled down her window and said "you should come over later tonight, my husband would probably wanna talk to you." She pointed where they lived, and drove off. Haha. Then we taught a couple less actives, then shared a message with a family that just moved in to a little town home. With 13 kids. Wowza. It was super fun though to see a strong family sharing their beliefs and testimonies with us. After that we gave a blessing to and shared a message with a lady who got baptized about a year ago that has been having some tough spiritual battles lately. Then we went to the apartment the lady pointed out to us and E. answered the door. Instantly elder Simmons was beaming cuz as he puts it E. was another 'Brutha'. We talked to him for a minute and he seemed interested, but was playing it off a bit, and then we heard his wife yell from upstairs "He's reading the Book of Mormon!" Haha. Sweet, we can deal with that! So we set up a lesson for Sunday. Whoop whoop! 

Thursday I had District Leader Training meeting, so I hopped in the front seat of our neighbor"s Supercharged Silverado and we raced to pick up another District Leader and headed to the meeting while elder Simmons worked with the other district leaders companion, who, coincidentally, became the second and only other African American missionary in the mission. So they had fun. The meeting was awesome, we focused a lot on baptism interviews. At the end of the meeting the mission president told us the meeting went a completely different direction than planned, there must be a ton of baptism interviews in store for us in the future. Rad. 

After the meeting C. and G. passed their baptism interviews, and after dinner we taught a less active family with a non member son. We picked him up as a new investigator, sadly he didn't accept a baptismal date but we can fix that:)  After that we got dropped off at the stake center where our bikes were and we went in side to use the bathroom, and as we walked past the relief society room we saw the entire stake presidency and all 11 bishoprics in a meeting and elder Simmons said "that looks like an important place to be." We got to the bathroom and a few seconds after we got in the stake president burst in and said "Elders when you're done in here come into the meeting." Sweet, so we went into the meeting and the Stake president pulled us up to the front and basically talked us way up to all the bishops. He asked us to share a few miracles we had seen lately so we shared a few, and all the bishops looked pumped. Then president Starks asked us what each Ward could be doing better to get the work moving and we explained how real time correlation needs to happen weekly and if the Ward mission leaders are not doing it, they are not helping us at all. Then president Starks asked the bishops if it would be helpful if we went around to them individually and told them how their Ward mission leaders could improve, and they all said yes. Which is great for us because there are a few that aren't working at all, now we have the OK to tell the bishops about it. It's always hard because we don't like telling bishops their wmls aren't magnifying their callings, but sometimes it's necessary. After the meeting we went out and taught a less active guy. 

Friday: Hump Day! It honestly does not feel like I've been out a year... Cmon guys I got into the MTC like three weeks ago! I'm honestly a little scared, everyone always says the second year flies by much faster than the first, but I can't imagine that given how fast the first year flew by. I have gained so much thus far from my mission... I cannot imagine how much I would be missing out on if I did not come. I have learned so many life lessons in this year that normally would take ten to learn. I hope any of you who are undecided on whether or not to serve a mission can recognize that the blessings that come from doing so far outweigh the sacrifices made. A mission is literally a tithe of your life and just as Malachi tells us, with this sacrifice the lord will "open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."

Saturday morning we went and started filling the Baptismal font and studied while it filled, then C. and G. got baptized at 10! It was a great baptismal service, and afterward we ate a ton of Springrolls and egg rolls sister Lim made from scratch. After the baptism we rushed to do some service for a couple that was moving in, they needed help moving stuff around inside the house. That took a little longer than we would have liked, so we didn't have time to eat lunch (good thing we loaded up after the baptism). While we were there we got a call from C. and G."s mom S. She is from China so her accent is hard enough to understand in person, let alone over the phone. From what we understood she told us that she had a friend who is not a member who came to the baptism, liked what she felt, and wants to join the church. And she will be at church Sunday. Sweet! Then We rushed to a lesson we had at 3 with E., which didn't happen cuz he was late cleaning up for one of his kids football games. But we were there for a reason, a family with an unbaptized daughter that we picked up and put on date two weeks ago came down stairs which was perfect, because the daughter, H., needs to come to church the next three weeks in a row to get baptized. We committed them to come to church and they said they'd be there! So that was great. After dinner we had a lesson with a less active couple, J. and E. Not too sure if that's his real name but that's what's on the records of the church so... E. We met them a couple weeks ago while they were pushing their one year old around in a stroller. Both are pretty rough lookin. I'm so bad at judging people based on their appearance. I mean... They are still rough people but pretty nice. Apparently E. spent about 15 years as a Professional Concert pianist until it destroyed his lower back and he had to get some vertebrae fused. Apparently when you jam crazy tunes on the piano all day every day for years it destroys your back. Nice couple anyways, and they said they were already planning on coming to church Sunday, which is cool. They definitely have a love for the gospel, just have some things holding them back from enjoying all the blessings. Sunday we went to church the first hour with Erik, then headed to C. and G.'s Confirmation. S.'s Non member friend W. was there and stayed for all three hours, and at the end of gospel principles (which elder Simmons and I taught) we went up to her and asked her if she wants to be baptized on September 24th. She said "Oh my birthdays on the 22nd" and then S. said "You should do it then! That'd be so cool to get reborn on your birthday!" So, now, W. is on date to get baptized on September 22nd! After church we taught H. and her dad T. H. loved church and what we taught, and seems super excited to get baptized in a couple weeks. After that lesson we Taught E. which went super well. He has a ton of questions and talks a lot... But has a genuine interest in the gospel and feels it's the most correct church. He is reading the Book of Mormon and loves what he's read so far. He accepted to be baptized October 1st! After dinner we taught Erik about baptisms for the dead and family history work, which he is stoked to do, and after that we taught a less active lady.

It's been a super busy week, the lord has sent us so many miracles! Sorry for the long email... There was just a ton of good stuff that happened this week. I hope you are all preparing to share your testimony in church Sunday! (Especially you, family. 😉) Have a good one, don't forget to read and pray every day!

-Elder Ray

C. & G.'s Baptism with Elder Ray and Elder Simmons


Elder Tahaafe and Elder Ray at District Training

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