Monday, April 23, 2012

April 23, 2012

Dear Mom and Dad,

Hearing Mom´s stories of packing up the house and leaving is pretty crazy... but I think it´s a lot easier for me, now, since I accepted the move a few months ago and now I don´t have to live through it. I´ll keep praying for all of you, and keep sending me pretty pictures from Oregon :D

Great week this week, although you´ll have to take my word for it since once again I am seated at a computer that can´t handle pictures. Oh well, double pictures next week, I guess.

The week started out great--Monday night we had family night (in Spanish it´s Noche de Hogar, or Home Night) with a family in the ward and a few of their friends, talking about patience. It was a fantastic class, and R and A, a single mother and her 12 year old son, liked it a lot and agreed to meet with us the next day. Meeting with them the second time was proof that God places people who are really prepared around members of the church, because He wants them to find the gospel and He trusts us to be able to help them. They came to church this Sunday and loved it. A, the 12 year old son, has already said that he would like to be a missionary like us--12 years old, hasn´t even been baptized yet, and he already wants to be a missionary! Pretty incredible family.

On Tuesday we had a mission conference. We talked more about working with members, the power of music, and the Book of Mormon. As part of the discusion on the Book of Mormon we watched a movie called "Journy of Faith" about the scientific and archealogical evidences of Lehi´s journy, it was quite interesting. Another part of the conference was the hymns--each zone chose and practiced a hymn that talked about Christ to celebrate Easter. Our zone picked "Abide With Me," and I ended up singing the second verse as a trio with two other missionaries. It came out pretty nicely, and I think I¨m on the right path to getting over stagefright!

Skipping forward--today, the entire zone came over here to Quintero and we played sand volleyball, which quickly became handball, like soccer but throwing instead of kicking (it isn´t North-American football because there was no tackling), because we didn´t have a net. We then made sandwiches and went exploring along the coastline, it was quite fun. Pictures next week :D

Last night, we met and shared with the parents of J, one of the missionaries from this ward, who is currently serving in Argentina. He was baptized several years ago and his parents didn´t follow his example, but his mom showed us some pictures and he seems to be doing great. It feels like an honor to be able to share about the gospel with the family of someone who is doing the same thing I¨m doing, in a different country. If I had been the first convert in my family and was now on a mission, it would make me exstatic to hear that my family was sharing with missionaries back at home.

Last story. Saturday morning, we decided to pass by one of the member´s houses to see how we could help them and to talk about how they could share the gospel. They were in the middle of a big house-cleaning, and so we ended up helping them wash the car. Then we started talking about their live and their story in the church. After a few minutes, they started talking about how they weren´t sure they had a testimony, and about how sometimes it was hard to do all the things we know we should. Thoughts:
1. I am so glad that I have the privelege to serve a mission and to be taught so many things by the spirit. At this point in time, and I¨m sure this will only become more true over the next year and a half, my testimony of the restored gospel has become unbreakable. I know this is true.
2. We shared with them about how to gain a testimony, simple things such as reading the scriptures and praying earnestly. I have seen this before, and I know that these simple, daily things will, in the end, be the most important things, as this member gains a testimony that will help her stay firm in the gospel.
3. God was watching out for His child that day. We decided on a whim the night before to pass by this member´s house--now I can clearly see that it was inspiration. He knew the they would need our help at exactly that time, and He made it happen.

And I know that he will do the same for me, for all of His children. That´s the joy of the gospel. That´s the wonder of the message of the Restoration.

Love you both a ton,

Elder Jason Ray

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