Monday, January 16, 2012

January 16, 2012

Dear Mom and Dad,

So, moving to Oregon... That is pretty crazy, although it makes me incredibly excited and happy at the same time. I really do know that God is taking care of you all, just as he is taking care of me. Please give my love to everyone from Durham, and take lots of pictures of everything before you leave.

Fun week, as usual, that started off with a little preparation day excursion. Usually we end up sitting around/sleeping for most of preparation day, but last week we shook it up and took a walk. We walked down to a pier, took pictures of the city spread out behind us, pictures of the ocean, pictures of the seals on the broken bridge piece (who knew there are seals in Chile?), pictures of VW Bugs hung up on clothes pins. I also have a picture of me and my companion now, so you can see how team gringo we are. We finished up our Monday adventure by ordering Chorillana (Chore-ee-ah-nah), a Chilean tradition of a fried egg on top of meat and french fries. It was so unhealthily delicious it made me wonder why they don´t make them in the states. Definitely going to remember this recipe.

In this last week we started helping an inactive family get back to church, Daniela and Roberto with their two young children. Every time I talk to them I think about how important home teaching is. This family really wants to come back, they just need some push and a helping hand, both of which can come from home teaching. I know have the goal to be as good of a home teacher as I want to be a missionary, or to continue being a missionary as a home teacher after my mission.

Interchanges with the Zone Leaders this week--some of the benefits when your companion is a District Leader! Elder Roylance, a farmboy from Washington, and I talked to roughly 374.9997 people on the streets and in their homes that day. Elder Roylance is a great Elder, someone who just shines, and what I kept coming back to while watching him work is that he loves. He loves me, he loves the other missionaries in the zone, he loves the people, he just loves. I want to learn how to have that kind of love for others, everyone from my companion to the person I sit down next to on the bus to the person I stop on the street.

One of these people I am trying to love is named Pablo, boyfriend of a girl in the ward. He has been meeting with us for a few weeks now, and he really wants to know (he also gets along well with the ward, not limited to his girlfriend, and enjoys coming to mutual). The problem is that he doesn´t live within our ward boundaries, not even in the stake. His branch, where he lives, doesn´t have any youth, and he can´t meet in his house because his step-dad can´t stand religion. It´s a tough case, because with the goal of being able to serve a mission, progressing in the church, and eventually having eternal life, he has to go to church (and really should receive the missionaries) in his home area, but there are so many complications... we are putting God´s promise from James 1:5 to the test in this one. We lack wisdom, and need some help.

For another interchange that we did this week, I was paired up with Elder Egan, from Utah. Both he and Elder Marecos, one of our roommates, have studied marshal arts. While we were waiting for someone to show up to a lesson in the church they started sparring and teaching each other moves. I think I need to learn martial arts, it´s pretty much amazing!

Yesterday in church, all of the youth + the missionaries were together to talk about the Aaronic Priesthood and serving missions. We all talked about how Duty to God prepared us for our missions, and what we think of our missions now, and the High Counselor that was teaching challenged all of the teachers and priests to go out with us in the next week. I think that´s a wonderful challenge, especially thinking about how much I was helped by going out with the missionaries junior year.

This week we also saw a couple of going-to-be-miracles-in-the-future moments, but I think I´ll save those until they happen so that I´ll have more of a story to tell.

Love you all,

Elder Jason Ray