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, June 12, 2017

Elder Bednar - Amazing Experience

June 12, 2017

Wow... time is a weird thing at this point in my mission. 

Tuesday was transfer day. Elder Morris, Elder Kaka, and I woke up and went to the Frontrunner train station at 7:45 am to wait for the new missionaries to come from the MTC. We placed a couple Pamphlets and BOMs while waiting, and put someone on date who we could refer to missionaries in his area. The office staff showed up shortly, as well as President and Sister Lansing with two elders they picked up from the airport the previous night who flew in from the Mexico MTC. At 8 sharp all the new missionaries showed up, and the Transfer Day madness began. A day of craziness. We spent the Night with the departing missionaries at President Lansing's home, and they shipped home early Wednesday morn. 

We spent a lot of this week getting ready for a fireside that was on Sunday where Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles would come train us for 3 hours. We wanted to take a Mission Photo with Elder and Sister Bednar, and so we needed a lot of risers to be able to fit 160 people into a picture in a church building. That was a ton of work, but we made it happen. During the course of the week we met with a few of the Zone leaders and Sister Training Leaders to set expectations for the transfer and answer any questions they had. It was just a crazy week in general. 

Sunday was the grand finale. We left right after our last sacrament meeting and grabbed a quick bite to eat at the apartment, then headed to South Jordan to get things ready. We got to the Building at about 3:30 and started positioning the risers on the stage and in front of it, with chairs where they needed to be so that when the time came, taking the picture would be efficient. We had 4 companionships of Zone Leaders show up at 3:45 to start ushering for missionaries when they started arriving, which happened pretty quick. The meeting starts at 5, we told the mission to be seated reverently by 4:30, so they all started showing up around 4:00. Haha. Everyone wants good seats to see the Apostle. We made sure that on the stand, every seat had a label on it of who was going to sit where, and each had a water bottle with an agenda. At 4:40, Elder Kaka and I went to the Stake High Council Room with the counselors to the mission president and waited for President and Sister Lansing to show up with Elder and Sister Bednar. About 5 minutes later they did. We all arose as Elder and Sister Bednar walked around and shook our hands. We met with them for about 10 minutes, talking about the needs of the mission, then he said "Lets Go To Work!" And we entered the Chapel. We all took our places on the stand. I was Conducting, and so I sat next to Elder Bednar, who was presiding, and right when we sat down he leaned over to me and said "let's get started." So we did. I got up and announced the agenda, then for 3 hours we were instructed by an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. It was an amazing experience, the spirit was so strong entire time. The Revelation I received was perfectly tailored to me. After the meeting, Elder Kaka and I were the first out of the congregation to shake his hand, then we ran back to the stage to direct everyone as they came back to take their place on the risers for the picture. It all went very smoothly. It was a ton of work, but it was worth it. President Lansing called us this morning and told us how impressed Elder Bednar was with it all. It was by far one of the most amazing experiences of my life. 
The church is true! Jesus Christ is Alive! He knows us perfectly. 

-Elder Ray

Elder and Sister Bednar with the Great Salt Lake City South Mission

With President and Sister Lansing

With the Departing Missionaries

With the Newly-arrived Missionaries

A new poster to put up in their church buildings

Nuevo Compañero

June 5, 2017

Ok... it's been quite a crazy last week of the transfer. 
Tuesday I woke up at about 3 am puking like a hose. Threw up about 5 times between 3am and 10am. So, I went and stayed at our newly released senior couples home all day long, and slept on their couch all day. Didn't throw up at all there, that was good... elder Morris found splits to do what we needed, he picked me up at 9 and brought me home.

Wednesday I wasn't feeling nauseous anymore, but was absolutely exhausted all day. We went to Sandy "All District Meeting" (all district meetings are the same as Zone meetings, long story short Zone meetings have been done away with in the world due to travel limitations, of which we don't have any, so elder Christensen of the presidency of the 70 said we can do "all district meetings.")

Thursday we went on exchanges with Elder Kaka and Elder Manarin, the Sandy Zone Leaders, and we ended early Friday.

Friday at Noon elder Morris and I met Elder Kelley-the departing elder-at the trax station and we headed downtown for the Departing Missionary Salt Lake Temple Trip. We got there about an hour early so we did some other things in the temple before we did a session with President and Sister Lansing and sister Tulip, who they drove downtown with. The Salt Lake Temple is AMAZING! The most beautiful building I have ever seen, inside and out. If you haven't been... you need to go. It was a great experience. After the Temple, president and sister Lansing took us to one of the nicest restaurants in salt lake, 'The Roof,' on top of the old Hotel Utah. Crazy. After we got home at about 8 we met with Ashley for her baptismal interview. She passed! She is awesome. Our district leader, Elder Henley, performed the baptismal interview. After the interview we told him and his companion that we would pick them up at 9:30 and take them to the mission home the next morning. That scared him a lot, because the new assistant gets brought to the mission office Saturday morning, so he thought it was going to be him.

Saturday morning we picked them up and took them to the mission home. We had elder Dutton—elder Henley's companion—call elders Kaka and Manarin to have them "come pick them up". We had elder Dutton tell them that elder Henley was going to be at the home all day and elder Dutton needed to get back to his area. Elder Kaka got to the mission home and knocked on the door, we said "thanks for picking up elder Dutton. We lied. Elder Kaka, come with us." And we pulled him in to be my new companion, to be AP2.  We spent all day Saturday finalizing transfers, then welcomed elder Kaka to the squad with some Texas longhorn steakhouse. We took elder Kaka back to his area just before 5, and after dinner elder Morris and I worked on some transfer stuff some more.

Sunday was church, and Sunday night Ashley was baptized! It was awesome. Then Sunday at 8:30 we picked up elder Kaka and all his stuff and moved him into our apartment. We worked till about 2:00am on transfer stuff, then got up at about 6 this morning and went to the office to finish transfers, and got everything sent out to the Zone Leaders. It's been crazy. But a blast. Life's good, the church is true. I am learning so much. "I'm proud to be a member of this great church!"-Legrand Richards

-Elder Ray

Ashley's Baptism

Departing Temple Trip

View from The Roof

Seth with Elders Morris and Kaka

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Holy Guacamolé . Crazy week.

May 27, 2017

Ho-Kay. I wrote like once this week.

Tuesday we went to a district meeting, it was amazing. Gonna make the kid a Zone Leader next transfer. Wednesday we had a new missionary training meeting, that was good, then Thursday we had Mission Leader Council all day. So good. Then we started exchanges with West Jordan Zone leaders. 

Thursday night we brought bishop to a lesson with Ashley, after the lesson she said "Bishop! My husband and I need to meet with you so we can get sealed in the temple!" Woah, she is solid. Baptism this Sunday! On exchanges in West Jordan I saw a couple of my converts! I had served in that area for three transfers so it was cool to be over there. 

Friday we had a meeting for the missionaries who go home in July, basically a meeting to be sure they sprint to the end. It was awesome, President and Sister Lansing did a Q&A sesh at the end. The meeting went from 1:30-4, then after they all left, elder Morris and I stayed for dinner with President and Sister Lansing, then met with President Lansing till 9 pm discussing transfers. Haha. It's gonna be insane... 

Saturday we had a lot to take care of at the office, and Sunday was church. We spoke in one of the wards about making and keeping sacred Covenants. It was awesome. It's always cool to prepare one thing and have the spirit guide you a totally different way to be able to minister to the one. Life's good. The church is true!

-Elder Ray

Elder Morris and Seth with an elder who served here and went home about a year ago

Zone Conferences, Zone Leader Exchanges, and Transfers

May 22, 2017

Buenos Lunes
One more busy week down, of which I remember very little. We are currently at the Mission Office, And I don't have my journal in front of me, so I'll try my best...

We had our last zone conference this week, with the Two biggest Zones in the mission, Sandy zone and Spanish zone. Zone conference is always crazy and fun. We did the same training as the other 2 Zone conferences, focused on the "Music of the Gospel". A lot of the training was pointed toward helping missionaries understand the importance of having effective studies. The night before each zone conference, we picked a missionary from one the zones that would be there the next day and took them 36 paper cups, with the instructions that they had to completely stack into a pyramid all the cups, and unstack them, all within one minute. We told them to practice and get Reallly good at it. Then, the next day, at the start of the training, we asked for one volunteer from each of the two zones. Hands go up, and we pick the missionary who had practiced the night before, and a missionary who did not. We brought them up to the front, and had them compete. It was pretty funny to see everyones reactions, considering that one missionary absolutely destroyed the other, and no one new why. It was a great example of the Importance of preparation.

We went on two exchanges this week, one was with the Riverton zone leaders, the other with the South Jordan zls. both went pretty well!

Saturday morning we always meet with the mission president to discuss the goings on in the mission. Before the meeting we had to take a couple beds to a new home for the spanish zone leaders, then we headed to President Lansing's home. Always a great meeting. These upcoming transfers will be pretty crazy. We lose 27 missionaries between now and the end of august, most of which have been high in mission leadership, so we are going to be hurting a bit. Crazy stuff.

But, All in All, Life is Good!

-Elder Ray

Elder Morris and Elder Ray

Seth with the Riverton Zone Leaders

Happy Mothers Day

May 15, 2017

First off, Happy Mothers Day to the best mom in the world! I am sorry for those of you whose moms aren't mine, cuz she's the best. 

This week was pretty crazy and just flew by... Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:30-3:00 we had Zone conferences, which meant we were at the office at 8 to get things ready, and didn't get out till 4:30. The meetings went really well, we centered it all around a new Mormon message that no one had seen. Last week we were praying about what to train on because it was 12am and we had nothing, then we opened up Mormon channel and saw this brand new Mormon message, and loved it. Now 2/3rds of the mission is quoting it and the other third has no clue what's going on cuz their zone conference is tomorrow.

Thursday from 9-1:30 we had district leader training, it went super well. Then we had exchanges with the Spanish Zone leaders, I went with Elder Garcia and Elder Morris went with Elder Bottari. We knocked on a door and met Chris, an inactive who said he was literally about to call the missionaries but couldn't find our number. He was going through a crazy tough time so we taught him a lesson and got his info to the YSA missionaries. It was awesome.

Friday we had ZL and STL meetings all afternoon...

Saturday was pretty all over. We went to an elders first baptism of his mission—he has been serving for 11 months. Tough. My first ZL companion was there, Thiago Rosette! Haha. He flew in last week from Brazil to go to LDSBC. we had lunch with some Zone leaders to talk about how they can better work with the Sister Training Leaders, then we worked on a new mission training plan. That night we had to get a spare tire from a companionship to take it to the Portuguese elders who blew two tires when they swiped a curb. Ha. 
Sunday was pretty chill, because of Mother's Day there weren't any extra meetings, then after dinner we got to Skype home! That was great. Crazy to think it was the last Skype call of the mission!

-Elder Ray

Elder Ray with Thiago Rossette, former companion

Elders Ray and Morris (APs) with the Zone Leaders

Late night tire change