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, May 9, 2017

Lots of Meetings and a Baptism

May 8, 2017

Another crazy week. 

Monday we had a Zone activity, played some basketball and other sports. We found a family of 10, 4 of which need baptism, and we had to correct disobedience at like 10 pm. Fun.

Tuesday we went to district meeting, elder Bowen—the assistant I replaced—is trial running a new format for district meeting, so we evaluated that and gave suggestions. After that meeting we went to the mission home and had a meeting with all the new missionaries and their trainers. We conducted that meeting and gave a training.

Wednesday we had Mission leadership council all day long. It was a great meeting. We are in charge of pretty much all meetings we do.

Thursday we had a Zone Leadership Meeting in Draper that we went to, then later that day started exchanges with the Draper Zone leaders. I worked with elder Arbon, an elder that came out with me from Queen Creek AZ!

Friday morn we ended exchanges, then did some stuff at the office, then headed to President's House for STL and ZL accountability meetings which took the rest of the afternoon.

Saturday morning we met with President, and in the afternoon we went back to Oquirrh lake for Beckhem's baptism!

The mission is the best. The Spirit I feel as I testify is the greatest I've felt before, I know the Gospel of Christ is on the earth in its fullness!

  Elder Ray

Beckhem's Baptism


Busy Busy Busy!

May 1, 2017

Well this was quite a week to not have my journal. We are currently at the mission office and we've got a bit of time before our Zone activity.

So Monday night we were up pretty late finalizing things for transfers, and then Tuesday we had to be at the train station just before 8 to pick up the 5 new missionaries. That was total dejavu...  the front runner showed up right at 8 and we rushed them and their bags off the train and loaded it all up into the big mission van. The 4 elders hopped in there and took that over to the mission office, the one new sister went with Sister Lansing, and Elder Morris and I drove the truck and met them at the office, where we unloaded them and fed them a quick breakfast. 

Tuesday was probably the busiest day of my life.  We did a ton of stuff. Coordinated the interviews with the mission president and new missionaries, helped with lunch with the new and departing missionaries... we had a meeting with the trainers with the mission president and were in charge of that...  after that meeting we met with President Lansing alone and figured out which trainers would be with which new missionaries, then after that we gathered them all together for the last meeting at the office where we announced who was going to be with who, I got to conduct that which was fun. After all the new missionaries and their trainers departed, we cleaned up and then all headed over to the mission home in South Jordan for dinner with the whole mission presidency and office staff, the two departing missionaries, and us. We had a great dinner, then in the basement organized all the chairs into a circle and had a little devotional. President Lansing conducted and in this very intimate setting, all the staff and presidency gave the two departing missionaries advice for back home and bore their testimonies, then last of all the departing missionaries bore their testimonies.  It was a neat experience, pretty crazy to think it all ends soon. All of this ended at about 8:30. The office staff and presidency went home, and We cleaned everything up with the departing missionaries, and president basically said 'no curfew, just don't wake us up.'  Haha. What usually happens is you stay up all night talking. We all changed out of our dress clothes and into regular clothes and went up stairs for some treats, and President Lansing comes out of his office on the phone with a worried look on his face and pulls us into his office. A missionary in the Spanish zone was on splits with a Ward mission leader and his wife and they were driving to an appointment and got into a car wreck. They were all being ambulanced to the hospital in West Jordan. So, we ran back downstairs, got changed into dress clothes, and rushed to the ER. We got there at about 9:30, talked to the receptionist, and found out the ambulance had just arrived and that we could go back to the room in about 15 minutes, so we waited, hoping for the best, not knowing at all how he was doing. We got let into the room and ran back to see him. We were pretty worried because a few months ago he tore his ACL and had to go back to Mexico to get surgery, and he just got back to the mission a few weeks ago, then this happened. We heard over the phone that his knee got hurt, so that scared us. Turns out it was the other knee, along with his back and head that got hurt, but all is well, he is already out doing the work. We were with him in the hospital for a while, we took them back to their area and got back to President's house at about 2:00 am

Wednesday morning we woke up three hours later at 5:00 am to get the departing elders sent off home.  I don't remember a ton else of what happened, just that we had district meeting at 10. 

We were up doing stuff late almost every night this week, and during the day before dinner we spent meeting with Zone leaders and Sister Training Leaders to talk about the new transfer. One evening we had a lesson with a potential investigator named A.. It was such a great lesson! We get in there and she basically says 'I want to get baptized because I love the church but I just wanna learn more first.' So we pray and instantly open up to Doctrine and Covenants 20:37 and talk about the qualifications for baptism and how the lord doesn't require us to know anything, just to feel and be willing to do things. She then said that she had never heard the gospel explained that way, that her past churches always told her she needed to KNOW things, not feel things. She accepted to be baptized on May 20th, and she also came to church this Sunday!

Friday we met with our mls missionaries. We only cover 3 wards in the Sandy West stake, Elders Henley and Dutton cover the other wards, so they were there too. Elder Henley turned 25 today, so they got cake. 

Saturday morning we spent from about 10:00 to 1:00 at President Lansing's home meeting with him—the assistants meet with him every Saturday—talking about upcoming meetings such as Zone conference, Mission Leader Council, District Leader Training, etc. he shared a lot of good notes he took from this week, most of which he spent downtown at a Mission Presidents Seminar with other mission Presidents and a bunch of General Authorities.  Good stuff. 

All in all a crazy but good week. 
Don't have too much fun in the AZ heat!
  Elder Ray

Working in the Mission Office

Visiting an Elder injured in a car accident

Elder Henley's Birthday

"In His strength I can do all things"

April 24, 2017

Well this has been a pretty crazy week. Last week before transfers usually is... and I honestly can't remember a ton of what happened, nor do I have time to write about it all. So I'll sum up the fun stuff. A few weeks ago one of the missionaries in our Zone had an idea to make a Facebook page for South Jordan missionaries to kinda help the image, since there have been some missionaries in the past who hurt it a bit. So he sent us a detailed email with a plan so we could run it by the AP's and president. Elder Rodriguez and I thought it wasn't a bad idea but with the amount of work necessary it wasn't worth it. Elder Bowen and Morris-the assistants-thought the same. So that was that. 

Saturday morning (two days ago) at about 9:15 the APs called us and said "hey, we ran the Facebook idea by President Lansing and he loved it! He has a friend who is in the social media business and we want President and his friend to meet with you and us at President's house. Can you meet us at his house at 10?" So we're like "sweet, yeah" and we got ready and headed to President Lansing's home. We get there and knock, the APs answer the door and elder Bowen says "hey, you elders ready to talk about Facebook?"  And we say yeah and then elder Morris says "we lied elders. Elder Rodriguez, your split is in the truck, you will be working with them today. Elder Ray, come with us." They pulled me into the mission home and shut the door behind us. I spent the next hour interviewing with President Lansing, then talking with them and President. We all worked on transfers until about 1, then we got longhorn steakhouse for lunch, and the AP's took me back to elder Rodriguez. They told me they'd meet me and my stuff at their house Sunday night at 8:45pm. So I found a member with a truck, packed up, and met them at their house Sunday night at 8:45. I unloaded all my stuff in their apartment, then we rushed to the mission office to do all the mission's weekly numbers, and finish transfers. We got home about 2am

Elder Bowen has been an assistant for 3 transfers which is the normal term for an assistant. I'm taking his spot. 

This is a humbling opportunity given by the lord, and I am honored. There are many more Zone leaders who are qualified to become Assistants, but for some reason the Lord has provided me with the opportunity. "I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things"

-Elder Ray

Last Photo with Elder Rodriguez
Elders Ray and Rodriguez with Stake High Councilman over Missionary Work