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

Thursday, October 20, 2016

"This Week was Crazy"

October 17, 2016

This week was crazy.
Monday after shopping we decided to go on a drive, so we took the Sliderolla up Butterfield Canyon to the Kennecot Mine overlook. That was a pretty fun drive, it felt good just to...drive... after that we played some sports with our zone then taught C. and G. a recent convert lesson. 

Tuesday we had District Meeting, the zone leaders were evaluating another district meeting so it was just Elder Simmons and I, and Elder Brock and Elder Bower. It was a bit odd having a tiny district like that again. We had dinner with the nicest people I've ever met, and they weren't members of the church. Sadly they were not interested in hearing our message. We still shared it, still invited them to be baptized, they still said no :/ After that we made visits with Ward mission leaders. We taught an excommunicated member who is waiting to get baptized again, then a less active fam that's been coming to church. Then we taught G. (a former investigator) and put her on date for November! Hopefully she can stay on date and we don't have to drop her again haha.

Wednesday I had a District Leader Training meeting all morning which was awesome. I took away a ton of things I can do to improve. After dinner, we had RTC (real time correlation, i.e., visits with Ward mission leaders). We taught a great guy, K., whose not a member, but we couldnt get him to commit to letting us back to teach him again. Oh well.

Thursday we had a mission tour, where Elder Michael Ringwood, a General Authority Seventy, came and taught us all day. It was pretty great. After dinner we took a 20 yr old out with us who is prepping for a mishmash and taught a couple less actives.

Friday we went on exchanges, I went to elder Brock's area and elder Bower came here to be with Elder Simmons. They went pretty good, we were able to put someone on date for baptism in their area.

Saturday morning in their area we helped Mia and her mom move, they moved from my stake into elder Brock's stake so we were on the receiving end of the move. Then we finished the exchange and worked hard till the end of the day. We were pretty exhausted which is always the best.

Sunday we did church all day. Then taught W., a less active who is coming back to church, then spoke at a mission preview activity for a Ward, then taught S., then hit the hay. 

Peace fam

-Elder Ray

Seth at the Kinnecot Mine Overlook

Wisdom Teeth, a Bike Rack, and a Baptism

October 10, 2016

Well as you all know, Monday Elder Simmons got his wisdom teeth out. It was possibly the best day ever. I'll send some video. Later in the evening elder Simmons stayed with some members and I went and taught M. and H. with her family. 

Tuesday morning we had a zone meeting but elder Simmons was still way out of it so he stayed with a member again and I went to the meeting, then we didn't do much till dinner. After dinner I dropped elder Simmons off at a members house and I went out with some Ward mission leaders and taught some less actives. 

Wednesday morning we had Interviews with President Lansing, and we got a bike rack for the car! So now (when Elder Simmons gets better) we can haul our bikes to parts of our area and bike them. We taught a Christian pastor whose knowledge of the Bible is way too much for his own good. He refuses to view the Bible any differently than he currently does. Oh well. Elder Simmons worked with me that night but it beat him good. 

Thursday we had a zone leadership meeting so I got together with another District Leader and we went, leaving elder Simmons with the other district leaders companion. Then we visited some people and had M.'s baptismal interview.

Friday we had weekly planning, then elder Simmons had another Dentist appointment to see what the next step with his teeth is. We got home around 2 and did call ins till our lesson with S., then we went to help some elders in my district fix their bikes so they could get to dinner, then had dinner, then we taught E. 

Saturday... BAPTISM! M. got baptized, it was killer. One of the best parts was probably that her mom (who is catholic) said it was one of the most powerful things she has ever seen. Too bad they are moving next week! That's okay though, the other missionaries can get her:) After the baptism we went and had refreshments at M.'s house and then went out to work. We were pedal to the metal all evening, it was a good feeling since we haven't done that in a while. At about 8:30! We had the impression to go by a part member family, so we did. We knocked and a large African American guy answered and invited us in. Elder Simmons was happy. He is not a member, and his wife is active. We had a great visit and Taught him the restoration, he clearly felt the spirit. It was a great end of the night. Apparently we caught him just right as he got home, he is a truck driver so he is hardly ever home, it was a miracle!

Sunday was great but long. President and sister Lansing showed up to one of our sacrament meetings which was really cool. They bore their testimonies, we bore ours, and pretty much everyone else who bore their testimony bore it on missionary work, the spirit was so strong! But the best part is that W. showed up. W.'s wife and kids are super active and super strong, but W. hasn't been to church in over a year. About a week ago we set up an appointment with his family to teach them (him, mainly) Sunday evening, so it was so cool to see him come to church before we even committed him! After dinner we went to W.'s house and taught them. The spirit was so strong! It is so cool to see how the lord prepares people to come back to him, I know that we were foreordained to teach W. We were able to connect with him so well, he opened up to us in a way that perfectly allowed us to boldly testify and commit him to come to church. After that we taught S. again. 

I am so grateful for the spirit. It's presence in my life has greatly strengthened my faith. The Joseph Smith translation of Romans 4;16 reads "Therefore, he are justified of faith and works, through Grace." This prevents us from believing that faith is merely a passive belief, resulting in no change to our behavior, loyalty, or character. Paul saw faith as a principle of power and action. 

While our works do not justify us from sin, it is only Christ's atonement which can, our works signify our faith. To be blunt, if your works are not righteous due to your faith, then you have no faith, you have a passive belief.  Moroni 7:38 says that "No man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in his name." That is true. So have faith on him, and act according to that faith. If you do, "Ye can enter into the rest of the Lord, from this time henceforth until ye shall rest with him in heaven."

-Elder Ray

Elders Ray and Simmons with Mia at her baptism

South Jordan Zone

Monday, October 3, 2016

Prepare the Way!

October 3, 2016

Dear everyone, 
Coming to you live from the oral surgeon where elder Simmons is getting his wisdom Chompers out!

It's been a quality week. Monday we got news that we both stay together again! Sadly we still had to pack up and move because our apartment contract ran out, so we moved to a much, much smaller basement. But that's okay! We spent most of the day packing and then taught E. and his family and a couple other people. 

Tuesday morning we moved everything over to the new crib and then went out to work. We met with the zone leaders and the other district leaders to go over a few things. We taught J. that night, who we haven't taught in a while. He said he feels bad because he said he slacked on reading and praying, and he noticed his faith and spirituality decreasing. But it's cool that he could recognize the difference in his life when he follows the commandments or doesn't. We taught a few other lessons then hit the hay. 

Wednesday we had district meeting, and I'm back to having two other companionships in my district which is nice. Still a small district but I get a bit more participation which is appreciated. One of the new missionaries in the mission/my district is from Queen Creek. Represent! We taught some Jehovah's Witnesses that said we are horrible people for celebrating Halloween. C'mon... I like candy... Then we taught a few other people. 

Thursday and Friday we taught some people... we taught M., she's almost ready! The baptism is on Saturday  we are stoked! She knows more about the gospel than any other kid her age I know, and she wasn't even raised in the church. 

Saturday was general conference! We watched the first session at the High Counselor over missionary work's house, then went out to work, then came back to his house and watched a bit of the pm session, then got ready to head downtown to view priesthood session in the Conference Center. We took T. (H.'s dad) and J. It was really neat, T. struggles with the word of wisdom and President Monson's talk just hammered on that, it was great.  

Sunday we had breakfast with the newly created 12th ward's bishopric, and then stayed and watched the first session with the Bishop and his family. Then between sessions we went out and worked some more, then watched the second session with the Batman family. We worked hard the rest of the day and taught S. at the end of the night. We invited about 20 people to be baptized over the weekend, it was a blast. 

I think that the best part about this week was getting to go to the conference center during priesthood session. This was my third time going, and every time you have a similar experience. The center is huge and there's over 20,000 people there, but the minute President Thomas S. Monson walks into the room, you feel it. The second he walks into the room the Holy Ghost teaches you that that man is called by God to be the Prophet of the World, and I testify that it is true.  Amos 3:7 tells us that "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.' Today God is doing his work on the earth and as Daniel taught in chapter 2 verse 44, "The God of heaven shall set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever." This is the Last Days, The Final Dispensation, and we must prepare the way for the second coming of the Messiah. 

Have a good week everyone, prepare the way!

-Elder Ray

Elder Simmons with T. and Seth at the Priesthood Session

Elder Simmons and Elder Ray at the Conference Center