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, September 27, 2016


September 26, 2016

This week was even slower than last. The new diagnosis for elder Simmons is Ebola. When we told the mission presidents wife that the doctor said elder Simmons had Ebola she almost had a heart attack, that was pretty funny. 

Monday we got hair cuts, then had a zone activity. We played frisbee and touch rugby. Then we taught E., Z., and L. They are great! It seems like the only one with any concerns is E.'s wife, J. And yet she is the member in the family. Haha. 

Tuesday we had district meeting. My district almost doubled in size because the Daybreak stake got an MLS couple. After the meeting elder Simmons was dying so we took him to instacare. They told him that everything in his body was inflamed. Haha. Then after dinner we taught a few less actives. 

Wednesday we went on exchanges, I went to the Daybreak stake to be with elder Cady and elder Craig came to be with elder Simmons. 

Thursday we taught R., the Christian pastor we have been teaching for a few weeks. Great guy! He has some crazy desire to seek truth, but struggles with understanding that Christ gave priesthood authority by the laying on of hands. Then we taught some more less actives. 

Friday elder Simmons was sick all day,  but it was different than before, so we had Erik take him to the instacare again. They said nothing's wrong with him... 

Saturday we had lunch with Erik and taught him... not much else.

Sunday we left for meetings in the morning at 7:30, went to church till we sung in a primary program around 1, then stayed at church till a meeting at 4 with all the Ward mission leaders, then went to dinner with a Ward mission leaders fam. After that we talked to one of our investigators and set up an appointment, then taught S., a less active. 
We haven't gotten transfer calls yet but we are pretty sure we are staying here and together, because elder Simmons is getting some major dental reconstruction done soon and president doesn't wanna push that on another companion, so I'll probably be staying with him.  That'll be sick, I'll get to video him when he gets his wisdom teeth out next week. :)

-Elder Ray

Seth with the Daybreak Zone in South Jordan


September 19, 2016

This week was pretty slow compared to most. Monday elder Simmons was sick, but we hit up the batting cages with the Daybreak elders anyways, then had dinner with a less active lady and shared a message with her, then met with our high counselor. 

Tuesday we had district meeting, then went straight to the dentist so elder Simmons could get some cavities filled, then we had dinner with the Batman family, then did real time correlation. We had a lesson with E. and his two kids, L. and Z., are now on date for baptism! Then we taught a few less actives with Ward missionaries and called it a night. 

Wednesday we helped H.'s dad T. move some old couches outta their apartment and some new ones in. I tell ya... All these new apartments are so 'Space efficient'... It is not easy getting couches through those stairways. Elder Simmons was still sick so he almost passed out a few times. #trooper. Then we started exchanges with the zone leaders. I got to stay in the area with elder Craig and Elder Simmons went to Elder Bouchillon's area. We taught a bunch of lessons Wednesday, we picked up a new instigator named S. (say it in an ozzy voice), then taught H. who all of a sudden came up with a bunch of concerns, then taught a 19 year old kid named S. who has fetal alcohol syndrome so he is essentially 10. S. is awesome though because he has a true desire to make his life better and discover if God is there. In the past couple weeks of meeting with him he has gone from hating life and believing there is no God, to loving life and knowing God is there. It's so cool to see the change the gospel helps people undergo. After dinner we taught a couple less actives and our investigator M. who is super solid. She knows everything already which is rad!

Thursday morning after studies we didn't have much time because elder Craig needed to leave to go to the temple with one of his recent converts at like 11, so we just booked it out of the apartment right after studies to head to knock on a door or two. We saw a girl at the park with some kids and went to talk to her and found out that she is a member but usually doesn't go to church cuz she spends time with her FiancĂ© that has started to resist going to church. We were able to just share the blessings of putting God first and she told us how good she felt talking to us about that. It is amazing to see the spirit testify of truth even in the most casual situations to help God's children make correct choices. After we ended the exchanges elder Simmons was, you guessed it, sick, so we didn't do much till after dinner, we tried to go out and work but he was too sick so he went home with a split and I went with a member and taught E. and his Family the plan of salvation. They all had a ton of good questions which is always a good sign!

Friday was extra crappy, elder Simmons was too sick to get outta bed so I did weekly planning by myself then did call ins till about 2:30, then we had dinner just drop off food, then we tried to walk to the church to get our bikes to head to an appointment. When we got to the church elder Simmons immediately went to throw up, then threw up two more times before we left, so we rode the bikes back home in defeat. We weren't able to find someone to stay home with elder Simmons and someone to come out with me so we stayed in the rest of the night. 

Saturday was pretty similar, no luck finding people willing or able to split with us so we stayed home most of the day till the evening when we had a lesson with M., we were able to find a split to go to that. 

Sunday wasn't bad, we spoke in sacrament in the morning and elder Simmons didn't throw up till after sacrament meeting, then we went to a few different wards, and then practiced singing with a primary for their primary program next week. Should be fun. Then we taught H., had dinner with a less active Tongan family, taught S. again, and then hit the hay. 

We're onto the last week of the transfer again. Hopefully elder Simmons feels better so we can work hard! My diagnosis is that he has Leprosy.  

Have a killer week everyone. Don't forget to write!

-Elder Ray

Batting Cages on Pday

Elder Simmons at the Dentist

Utah Salt Lake City South Mission at 5 Mile Temple Run

No Mo Pokemon Go

September 8, 2016

Hokay, you guys get a bit of a break this P-Day, it was a short week. Thursday night a single lady signed up to feed us so we went to the north shore of the Oquirrh lake, where every Thursday night about 15 food trucks line up so people can come get food. After that we had real time correlation with a couple Ward mission leaders. 

Friday was pretty cool, we had the usual Friday planning and call ins till about 3, then after that we went to see a kid who just came home early from his mission. We know his family pretty well since they have helped a lot with teaching and fellowshipping Erik. Their son J. got his call to Argentina and within a couple weeks there in one of the roughest areas of the mission he got mugged a few times, apartment got robbed, and a ton of other crazy stuff that would be sure to freak you out if you just came from Utah a few weeks earlier. After that we went to an early dinner, then went to a nearby stakes Community Fair. The mission president wanted us to volunteer at it so us and a few other companionships did as well. It was an awesome change of schedule. I spent from about 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm making cotton candy, so you could say imma pro by now. If anyone needs a cotton candy maker for a party, I'm your guy. After that we cleaned up for a few minutes and I got to wander over to the car show to see a 50's ford pickup built into a class 8 desert truck. Cool shtuff. 

Saturday was a slow day. All of our lessons cancelled, after dinner we were headed to knock on a potentials door when we saw a family out doing some yard work. We offered to help which they took us up on, and while we were helping we learned that it was not their house, it was the dad's brother's house, and earlier that week he was accused of a pretty big crime so he couldn't go outside because  constantly news reporters were trying to photograph him. But, they needed their yard cleaned up because if they didn't have it clean by Monday the HOA would slap them with a fat fine. (Daybreak literally looks like something out of the Truman show.) Then the family that was outside had to leave at about 7 pm, so we were left to do it alone. So we were there till 9 and completely manicured this dude's yard. Looked pretty good at the end of the night if I do say so myself. So if you need full service yard care, I'm your guy! Haha 

Sunday morning at 8:45 we taught H. and her dad T. They're doing pretty good, H. is ready to get baptized but there's some issues with the family keeping it from happening soon. They are progressing... Just a little slower than optimal. Right now we're looking at a baptismal date early November. After that we had a regional conference, broadcast from he conference center to almost the whole valley, it was great. Bishop Waddell of the presiding bishopric, the General YWP Bonnie L. Oscerson, Elder Hallstrom of the 70, and elder Ballard of the quorum of the 12 Apostles all spoke. There was a huge emphasis on a ton of things that the world seems to struggle with today. Oh and I'm pretty sure elder Ballard condemned Pokemon Go and other video games. Take note, kids. After that we taught Erik, but about half way through the lesson his back started going crazy and he was in a ton of pain so we gave him a blessing and disbanded. We then went down the hill with a ward mission leader to contact a referral from the Spanish elders, and while we were down there we got the impression to go see S., a man we had talked to on the street earlier this week. We went by and were invited in, he lives there with his wife's parents, and their 4 kids (two of which are also married with kids). So it's a busy house. They are all members but we could tell they weren't active, so we shared a brief message, and at the end of the lesson the dad spoke up and said they as a family have been struggling spiritually and that we were an answer to their prayers. That's probably my favorite thing ever, just as our Prophet says, "to follow a prompting and later find out it was the fulfillment of someone else's prayers."   After that we taught H., and were able to have a member who spoke Mandarin there with us. 'Coincidentally' he moved in to the ward almost at exactly the same time we started teaching H. That's cool. 

So it was a great few days. The lord loves missionary work, that's all I gotta say. I hope we can catch the same vision!

-Elder Ray

Making Cotton Candy at Community Fair

Elder Simmons and Elder Ray at Oquirrh Lake

Thursday, September 8, 2016

5 Miles

September 8, 2016

Hokay. Sorry I didn't write Monday, for this week today is our preparation day because we will be attending the temple. Last Monday we didn't do much on pday, but in the evening we taught H. (the correct spelling, still sound like Whi) with the relief society president.  H. is awesome! She wants to join the church for all the right reasons! After that we had a meeting with our high counselor over missionary work.

Tuesday we had zone conference from 8:30 - 4 pm, it was really good, I took away a ton of stuff to improve on as usual. Wednesday we started out with a district meeting, which was kinda a flop... There is only one other companionship in my district, one of the elders is a zone leader and his companion is just a regular missionary. In our zone the two zone leaders are in two different companionships, and they had a meeting to go to Wednesday morn, so their companions were together and supposed to come to my district meeting. But, they forgot. And so about 30 minutes into the meeting with just elder Simmons and I there I was finally able to get ahold of them and they headed over. Haha. We had dinner with a family and we're talking to their son Isaac who said he had a friend whose not a member of the church who might be interested, so we set up a time the next day for Isaac to go introduce him to us. After that we met a guy whose not a member but his wife is and she attends every week. They have been married for 13 years but he's never read or prayed about the BOM...? So we challenged him to do that. 

Thursday we had Nielsons frozen custard for lunch (be jealous the new Gilbert store isn't open yet) then had a zone leadership council stressing the importance of hitting the weekly standards of excellence and hitting the 2016 baptism goal of 555. After that we went with Isaac and met his friend Z., taught him on the porch, he loved it and accepted to be baptized on September 24th! Super good kid. Sadly, later that night, Z.'s dad texted us from Z.'s phone and said "I appreciate you guys coming and talking to my son about God, but I will not let him join your cult. But I appreciate you talking to him about God." Gosh dangit. 

Friday not a ton happened, in the evening we taught Erik about the priesthood which he was on track to receive on Sunday. Saturday we spent most of the morning doing service for a less active family. We demo'd their kitchen tile. It was fun, brought me back to my flooring days! Then they took us to Nielsons for lunch (Be jealous). Elder Simmons needed to get his temple recommend since he lost it, so we went to the mission home to do that. Later in the day we taught R. and L. who run a Christian church near by. Super nice, probably the least antagonistic Christians who are firm in their faith that I've ever met. 

Sunday was pretty busy. We were all over the place in the morning at different wards. At noon we got back together because Erik was receiving the Aaronic priesthood and being ordained to the office of a Priest! He asked me to do the ordination, which was a great experience. He has been so stoked at his progression, he was able to receive a limited use temple recommend as well. After that elder Simmons taught H. and her fam. After that we taught H., had dinner, then taught a less active guy. 

Monday I ran my first Ever (and last ever...) Five mile race. There was a run from the Oquirrh Mountain Temple to the Jordan River temple, the two closest temples in the world, and president Lansing wanted us all to either volunteer or run. So we ran. About half way through the race elder Simmons tweaked his bad knee so he stayed back and walked with another missionary and I kept goin with a different missionary. That night we taught H. again, then had the weekly meeting with our high counselor.

Tuesday we had a zone training meeting, then had lunch, then we had to go to the dentist because elder Simmons needed to (brush your teeth, kids). Then dinner, and a few lessons. We swung by E.'s place and his wife answered and said she was glad we stopped by cuz the day before, E. passed out from dehydration, hit the floor face first, and busted his teeth out. So she asked us to come by and give him a blessing. 

Wednesday morning we went to the Oquirrh mtn temple with Erik and he did baptisms for the dead, it was a great thing for him. He has changed so much! After that we gave E. a blessing and taught him how one day he can receive the priesthood to bless his family which he seemed really interested in. After dinner we taught a few lessons, one of which was a new investigator, M., who is now on date to get baptized the beginning of October! So far today we spent the whole morning in the temple, which was awesome. It takes you out of the world. Definitely the best way to spend a morning!


-Elder Ray

Elder Ray meeting with stake leaders
Elders Ray and Simmons with Erik at the Temple

Seth with his Zone at the Temple