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, January 26, 2017

The Big 20

January 23, 2017

Hello All,
Thank you all for the birthday wishes! It was a great 20th. It's pretty wacky to think that I left home when I was 18, and now am 20. It's also nice to be able to stop lying, because for the past 3 months I've been telling everyone who asks that I'm 20. Ha.On top of having a Birthday, the week was stellar.

Monday morning we evaluated the key indicators of our district leaders, then hit up Walmart, washed the car, and got some all you can eat pizza for lunch. After that we played some games with the district and then went to a family's house for a little party for me and the Dad since mine was the 17th and his the 18th. We had some super good southern BBQ. Ribs. Tasty. After that, we taught E. and his family. The day previous, E.'s mom had a stroke and ended up in the hospital, and we were able to organize for a ward missionary and his son to go there and give her a blessing. That was a great experience, and E. asked him to arrange for us to come by. We had the same ward missionary—Brother Young—come to our lesson Monday night, and it couldn't have gone better. We taught about temples and eternal families, tied into the priesthood. After a bit of us teaching we had Brother Young share his testimony. Wow. Brother Young's dad passed away two weeks ago. He told of his experience in the temple the day before his father passed, where he asked the lord once again for a witness of the truthfulness of the gospel, and received a powerful answer. After he shared his experience we asked what everyone was feeling, and Justina just broke down crying. She said she feels that she is responsible for leading her family to the gospel since she has already been baptized. E. spoke up and said that with all the trials they have been facing they can't go on without the help of God. So we put E., Z., and L. on date for Feb 11th!  It was such a spiritual lesson, and we left it and headed to an appointment with a family who basically ambushed us with a guy who left the church a few years ago because of anti material. It was very cool to see the difference between a very spiritual lesson and one where the spirit of the lord is not present.

Tuesday was normal, we went to a district meeting and evaluated it.

Wednesday morning we had interviews with President Lansing, then started exchanges with Elder Choi, one of the DLs, and his companion. Exchanges went great.

The rest of the week was pretty normal until Sunday when... E AND. HIS FAM CAME TO CHURCH! Wow. I can not describe the joy that I felt. I found myself sitting next to them with the most ridiculous smile on my face. I couldn't get it off. I've been teaching them since September, it is so cool to see them progressing! Wow. It was great. Later that night we got into the home of a guy named E., who is a born again Christian. Great guy! It was late so we didn't teach him much but he agreed to let us come back! He said something that just blew me away, something that I thought was extinct in Utah. He said that when he first moved in, everyone was so nice, but now that he has been there a year or so, his neighbors will not let their kids play with his because they are not members of the church. Absolutely ridiculous... 

A talk came to mind that was given by Elder Ballard in a regional conference late last year, I recommend you all read it. The Savior was the greatest example of all when he ate with the Publicans and the Sinners, let us all remember to be an example as Christ was, doing so will bring us more joy than anything else! The church is true!

-Elder Ray

Elder Jensen and Elder Ray

Seth and the South Jordan Zone

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Shaggy Hair and a Pretty Rad Zone Meeting

January 16, 2017

Monday we spent like 2.5 hours in the barber shop because dang, our hair was shaggy. So we waited forever and got that done. Pretty typical pday other than that.

Tuesday we had a pretty rad Zone Meeting. We did a super fun Role play where we split the zone into two groups, and had each companionship role play to one of us, elder Jensen took one group and I took the other. We came up with 9 profiles of people we have contacted on the street and wrote their names on a chalkboard and had each companionship choose who they wanted to role play to. It turned out pretty good. Lots of laughs and it helped everyone realize the importance of knowing everything  in preach my gospel.

Wednesday we had lunch with a Christian preacher, then went on exchanges with the assistants. Elder Stout came to my area with me. Pretty good.

Thursday morning we went and did 12 week with a companionship the zone, then ended exchanges. That night we picked up L. as a new investigator, she is one of Reagan's friends (Reagan is a recent convert I baptized). We also met with a gay couple who want their daughter baptized when she turns 8, it was pretty neat to talk to them when they are for the church, not against the church.

Friday we had the usual shtuff till about dinner and worked the rest of the night.

Saturday I did a baptismal interview for one of our district leaders investigators, then hit the grind for the rest of the day. Haha, we knocked on a potential investigators door and he takes one look at me, laughed, and then looks at Elder Jensen and says "He looks like a doofus with that hat on, doesn't he!" Needless to say he was a tad bit drunk. He did accept a baptismal date on the doorstep, we will just have to figure out how to get him to stop drinking... no problem! Haha.

Sunday we spoke in church and had a couple lessons.

Have a great week.
Peace fam, the church is true. 

-Elder Ray

Seth on Splits with Elder Chu

Elder Ray

Monday, January 9, 2017

Yo, Hold My Fish

January 9, 2017


Nuther rad week in the life of Elder Ray in the Utah Salt Lake City South Mission!  
Monday was a regular prep day, shopping and stuff, checked out some pawn shops for the heck of it, and then played some games with our district. At 6 we went out to work and taught the C's, then the J's.

Tuesday we had MLC (Mission Leadership Council, with all the Zone leaders, Sister Training Leaders, assistants, and President/sister Lansing). It was such a great meeting.  A few changes in things that we do in the mission, and we were presented with the new mission training plan for the next couple months, focused on preach my gospel and the Book of Mormon. I'm psyched. After the meeting and after dinner we had a couple good lessons, we taught K., an excommunicated member we have been working with who is trying to come back. Lessons with him are always super spiritual, I love it.

Wednesday we a had lunch meeting with the Embleys—an MLS couple who are over the rest of the MLS couples in our Zone—and the Sister training Leader and her companion to coordinate what we need to do to help the zone continue to improve and work in unity. After that we taught I., had a great lesson where we read the Book of Mormon. We spent some time putting up our posters in all the buildings before dinner... Haha we knocked on a door of a potential at like 8:45 and this dude just hucks the door open and is standing there just wearing basketball shorts, holding a 2x4, and tells us to never knock so late again bahaha.

Thursday morning we met with all the District Leaders in our Zone and trained them on some of the stuff we learned in MLC. We are trying to help them understand how much they can do and the impact they can have on the missionaries in their district. After that we had to drive a DL to the mission office cuz he slacked at getting a ride for a meeting, then we taught a couple recent converts.

Friday morning we got a text from I. asking if we could come over for a lesson! So right after lunch we went over and had a lesson with him. He seems to be getting more and more interested the more we meet and read with him! After the lesson we did call ins till dinner. At about 8pm it was 6 degrees outside and we knock on a door, elder Jensen is wearing a sweater and a big coat and I'm just standing there in a sweater, so the guy says "sorry guys I'm not interested" then as he is closing the door he pauses right before it shuts and opens it a crack and says "what the heck are you doing out here without a coat, it's freezing!" He then yells behind him "Honey this missionary is out here without a coat!" Then I hear his wife yell "is it the same one that was walking around the other day without one?!" Haha. So he yells at us to come in and instantly his wife is looking for a coat and I'm just like "I've got one back home... I'm good..." but no luck. We ended up leaving with a coat and two scarves, and they are going to try and take us out to eat too. I'm a charity case, I guess.

Saturday we taught the B.'s, then had lunch with M. and M.  M. is not a member and his wife is inactive, but they fed us killer teriyaki stake and sushi, and we taught them and picked him up as a new investigator.

Sunday I went to a ward and participated in the baby blessing for one of our ward mission leaders. We went to a few ward councils then met with President Starks, the stake president. Such a great man. We had a couple good lessons that night, and got out of one at 8:40 and then had a phone call with one of the District Leaders for about 5 minutes and then We oymed a man named R. as he was walking up to his house and he just walked in as he was talking to us and then walked out and handed us a little aquarium and said "hold my fish" then walked in and got another and we walked over to his neighbors house and gave it to them so they could watch the fish while they go out of town. We shortly explained how Christ had authority and gave it to his apostles, and it was lost until the restoration. He said that's a great way to describe it and that his mother in law never puts it that simply, she just shoves it down his throat. So we exchanged numbers and are goin to get together. 
Been a pretty rad week, hope you all have a great one!

-Elder Ray

M. & M. with Elders Jensen and Ray

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Happy 2k17

January 2, 2017

Woah 2016 is done. That's a pretty crazy thing. I spent all of 2016 serving the Lord. It was a pretty killer decision. This was a pretty good week to end/start the year. Monday we had a white elephant gift exchange with the whole Zone then played a sort of free for all dodge ball we call poisonball. Pretty fun, gets you moving for sure.

Tuesday we evaluated a district meeting, and did some other missionary things.

Wednesday we visited I. who just had surgery on his foot, so he was a bit too high to benefit from a lesson.

Thursday morning we went to the companionship study of two elders in our Zone, they've been struggling so we helped them with some stuff... then after that we met with Brother Holmes, an assistant Ward mission leader in one of our wards who used to be a mission president and a 70. He is awesome, so motivated to make things happen! Fun fact, he started the big home building company Holmes homes, his son is a stake President in Draper where I served last Christmas, his other son is on the high council in a different ward in the stake, and his other son is my stake President back in Gilbert. Pretty rad family.

Friday we started exchanges with elder Manarin and Elder Sandino, elder Manarin came to my area with me and we worked him to death, which was just what I wanted because he committed himself to work harder.

Saturday was New Year's Eve and we weren't allowed to knock doors of nonmembers, so we visited a bunch of members and generated referrals. We also finally got around to making posters to put up in all of our church buildings.

Sunday we had church all day, then taught 4 less active families the rest of the day. Pretty busy night which is always great, then we had to collect all the numbers from the zone for the week and send those to the assistants.

It snowed again last night, and it just started snowing again. Love it! Nothin gets sideways easier than a fwd Chevy Cruz! 

Have a great week, happy new year!

-Elder Ray

"Nothing gets sideways easier than a fwd Chevy Cruz."

Happy New Year