Monday, June 18, 2012

June 18, 2012

Dear Mom and Dad,

Transfers this week. The big news is in--I am leaving Quintero, heading up north a little bit to an even smaller city called Laligua. Two other exciting pieces of news--I will be going as a district leader, and my companion, Elder S, will be training! Really, I am absolutely estatic for Elder S. He is a great Elder, he has prepared himself well, and training after 3 months doesn´t happen a lot. He is pretty excited too. He says he´s not nervous, but I bet he is. I know I was when I heard I was going to train ;P But he´ll do great, that´s for sure.

So, here's the lowdown for my last week in Quintero.

R and A lost an uncle just a few days after their baptism. It was truly amazing to see their reaction, knowing that he hadn´t finished, only moved on, and that they will be able to see him again. They are so strong, and A (12) is going to be a fantastic missionary in a few years.

The R family was also sad to hear that I am leaving, but we set a goal. They want to go to the temple in July of 2013, just a few weeks after I end my mission. [Editors note: we think he might have meant before?] And so, if they keep going strong, I´ll be able to see them again as they are sealed for time and all eternity in the temple in Santiago, the capital city. I´ll be praying for that.

This whole week felt like setting the stage, preparing the next event to come out. We didn´t know until Saturday night who was going and who was staying, so we worked hard, trying to leave behind a good situation for whoever it was that ended up staying. I feel pretty good right now leaving Elder S here, even better that he is training. They grow up so fast... *wipes away tears*.

M, the lady whose dog bit me, came to church yesterday with her neighbor. She said she felt pretty great to be there again--what's more, a couple of the older members in the ward remembered her and welcomed her back quite warmly. That was a miraculous dog bite that I won´t be forgetting.

I don´t know how much I have written about the V family, but they are awesome. Sister V is the single (divorced) mother of three boys, every single one is a fantastic example of how to live a gospel-centered life. We have worked a lot with them in these last few months, teaching their friends and family, class-mates, and preparing G (17) for his mission in a few more years. This week when we went by Sister Vsaid something quite touching about Elder S and I, about how she could tell from the first day that we met the family that we had the spirit and wanted to help, and how that got her excited to share the gospel with all her friends.

I basically just love life. Especially the part that involves being a missionary.

Last thing--President Gillespie goes home in a few weeks more, so we had a last mission conference. In it he talked about something that I´m sure he thinks about all the time. Staying active and hard-working after your mission. He and his wife have a copy of a painting called "it´s true, sir: all present and accounted for," that shows the aftermath of one of the battles in the Book of Mormon, when every one of the 2060 Lamanite youth is wounded, but not a single one is lost. We all signed the back of the painting as we left, to say that we, too, would be present and accounted for when the accounting came.

Viviendo el sueño,

Elder Jason Ray

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