Monday, April 30, 2012

April 30, 2012

Dear Mom and Dad,

This is life (as a missionary) as it should be lived. Fantastic week, Elder S and I are really working together really well, and I absolutely love seeing the Lord´s hand guide and lead us throughout the day.

First story: We were teaching about the Restauration the a young couple named W and S. When we got to the story of Joseph Smith and the first vision, the spirit absolutely filled the room--it was really an incredible effect. We talked about the feeling of peace and joy that each one of us had felt, and then went on to describe what it meant. When we invited them to come to church, S said "Yeah, we´ll come, because I really felt something when you talked about Joseph Smith. I want to find out more about this." Great experience.

Another lesson that shows how the Spirit works in us happened when we were teaching the R family. We started out watching a video, and then opened up for questions. As we went through answering their questions, each one of us--Elder S and I--said things that were a little bit random and that had never occured to the other one. But it turned out that those random bits were the answers to questions that different members of the family had had trouble expressing. I think teaching by the Spirit could be the coolest thing I´ve ever done in my life. :D

This week we got to meet the mother of J, a missionary from the ward who is currently serving in Argentina. She isn´t a member, but she very warmly let us in and showed us pictures of her son. He is doing fantastically, he left for his mission 6 months before I did and is having great success. It felt pretty special sharing with her--I thought of how important it would be for me, if my parents weren´t members, that the missionaries had passed by and shared something with them.

We met an awesome older lady named Y when we helped her carry her groceries to her house. She is cleaning up an old, unlived in house that hadn´t been used for years, and so now we are helped her to clean up all the trash and weeds out of her backyard. She talks a lot about how much God loves his children, and sings songs that remind me of the Sciptures Scouts while we clean.

We had stake conference this week, and got to hear both President Gillespie, the mission president, and Elder Corbridge, a general authority who is leaving Chile speak. Elder Corbridge´s talk was incredible--he talked about the things that matter most, when you take away the smoke and the mirrors and are left with knowledge, faith, character. It inspired me to make sure that I don´t get distracted by all of the small, seemingly important things to do and forget the goal, the purpose, the vision behind it all.

To finish off--some of the amazing people we are teaching right now include a couple of jovenes, or youth. Two of them in particular, A (whose mother is also sharing) and K (whose mother is a recent convert), really amaze me. A already wants to be a missionary. K asked me for some paper so she could take notes in the conference. Both of them already have really strong desires to follow Christ and to do the right thing, and are helping their mothers to remember to read the Book of Mormon and say they daily prayers. When I think about the kind of things these two kids, each of them only 12 years old, will do for other people and in the church in the next years of their lives, it makes me so grateful that there are youth like that in the world. It also made me think about my brothers and sisters, who are also jovenes, youth, with so much promise and potential ahead of them.

Viviendo el sueño,

Elder Jason Ray

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