Andrew's Address

Elder Andrew Reay
2250 Meadow Glade Ln.
Apt. 1
Memphis, TN 38134

Elder Andrew Reay
Arkansas Little Rock Mission
905 Kierre Drive
North Little Rock, AR 72216-3709

Monday, January 26, 2015

Transfers are still going I guess

Today marks a sad moment in the mission for me. Because of the extra time we Spanish missionaries spend in the MTC, we don't go home after exactly two years, but a little bit before. That being said, I go home in exactly one year from today. This ain't cool, guys. Ain't cool at all. 

So, it's been another crazy week of not much progress! There was still some good stuff going on though. Here we go:
Tuesday: We got on our bikes, because we don't have many miles left on our car for the month. We rode to the college to do English classes with Professor O. , a member from Brazil who can speak Portuguese, English, and Spanish. We help out in Conversations, where the students can get lab hours outside of the lab by going there and talking in English with us. Most of them are from Saudi Arabia, but there are a few from China and a Turk. Mostly we play Uno and chat with them about everything. Because it's a school, we can't strictly talk about the Church, but They ask us about our beliefs and we ask them about theirs. It's educational on both parts, and Prof. O. hopes that when they open their home countries to missionaries, they'll be received well because of this. Then, we rode to T., a teenager who was taught by missionaries before and shows a lot of interest. Of course, it's hard to get in without her parents home, which they hardly ever are. So then we rode to Sam's Club to have dinner with the R's. yay, bulk store pizza! But yeah, we couldn't get into anyone's house that day even though it was cold. 
Wednesday, we drove to specialized training with the other elders and Sister C., a super nice lady who lives an hour away from Jonesboro. It was a good meeting, we talked about obedience, the New Testament, and being bold in inviting people to be baptized. All in all, a great meeting. Then I did my first Exchanges as a district leader. I went with Elder H. to his area of Pocahontas, Arkansas, while his companion Elder H. went with Elder Diaz. Let me just say that Pocahontas is a LONG way out there. We got back to town about 5:30. We went to see a less active member's house to teach his daughter, who is preparing to get baptized. She is almost 9, and the most hyper kid I have ever seen. But it never ceases to amaze me how smart they are when it comes to the gospel. She already knew everything we taught her, and she could explain in 5 words what takes five minutes to explain to an adult. I love teaching kids. Then we went to a sort of Gospel Principles class for new members wanting to learn from Preach My Gospel how to introduce their beliefs to their friends. There were four people there, and two of them left before we started due to an argument with the other two. Great start. But anyway, the rest of the class went well! Then we tried to see some other investigators, but they were all asleep. 
Thursday we walked around to do some finding in the morning. We found a few people, left a note on some other houses, and then went to a gas station halfway to Jonesboro to switch back. Then we did the english classes again, and went off with F. to go see some people. We finally got in with a guy named B., who we've known for a while now, but never have been able to catch him. The lesson went well, and he should be reading the Book of Mormon now. Then we stopped by T.'s house to invite her and her brothers to play basketball with us and the young men that night. Then we had a lesson with D. about the Plan of Salvation. He understands it already, he just really wants to go to the temple. Then we went to basketball.  The guys we invited didn't show up, but basketball was still pretty fun! There were several nonmember kids there, and it was great.Then that night, we received news that they were TRANSFERRING Elder L.
Friday was actually a normal day. We just went around and did the usual proselyting stuff, while Elder L. got packed and set up Elder M. We had dinner with the Ms, which was nice because we gave them very little notice, Elder Diaz just called them and asked.  Afterwards,we went to S. and W., the two  "spies" from last week. We taught them about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the basic principles of the gospel. They taught us about how grace actually works, and that what we do will not help us at all. Well, at least we learned a bit about another church's doctrine.
Saturday we went and picked up Elder M. and the APs picked up Elder L. Then we went to lunch with the Cs, a couple who loves the missionaries a lot. They are planning on getting sealed in the temple next month, from what we know! Then we dropped off Elder M with his new companion, Elder Z from Jacksonville, Florida. He seems really cool. He came out with Elder Diaz and M. So I am the oldest missionary in Jonesboro. Then we went to the Regional Band performance for B's region. A lot of members were performing, as well as a few of the guys who came to play basketball. They were happy to see us there. And it was an incredible concert, too! they have a lot of talent. A few of the members are moving on the State level, which is awesome too.
Sunday, none of our investigators showed up, which was sad. D had vertigo, so he couldn't even come! We tried seeing some people, but nobody was home. We looked up some members who had moved in recently, and said hi/invited them to church next week. Then we had dinner with the  Bs, whose son is serving in the Salt Lake City South mission. As it turns out, Elder Z has Crohn's disease, which severely limits his diet. But they cooked accordingly, so it was fine. They also have a schnauzer which reminds me of my dog back home, which was nice.
Aaand that's my week! Hoping to pull off a lot of success this coming one, so here goes!    

Monday, January 19, 2015

New Address!!!

Please note the new address above!

Transfer Craziness Week

So this week's been NUTS. Just a bit of everything. So here we go:
Tuesday we went and did some teaching. We found two more guys at this one house where everyone loves having us over, and taught them the first lesson. They are awesome, and pretty spiritual considering they're 14 and 16. We also found out that the sisters were getting replaced by elders. When Elder Diaz found out, he called president, and before I could tell him it was a bad idea, he asked if we could take their apartment. Here was the conversation: 
Pres: Well, would you have to take a lot of stuff?
Diaz: No, just our luggage.
Pres: ...Why do you want to do this?
Diaz:....well, it's a better apartment.
Pres: ... I will say yes.
So. Tuesday night and wednesday was spent packing and cleaning out the apartment, driving over to the sister's apartment several times to bring it all over, and then cleaning some more. But it was totally worth it. To explain, here was our old apartment when we got there:
Old apartment

And HERE is what we have now:

It's a mansion, SO CLEAN. To all you Sisters out there, how do you do it? Anyway, so that's how we spent most of wednesday. We got two MORE spanish missionaries here, elder Ludwig (who's served here before) and Elder Meza (Elder Diaz' MTC companion). 
Also, that night, the other missionaries started to text me, letting me know they were in their apartments. So.... APPARENTLY, I'm the new District leader here! I'm in charge of the missionaries here in Jonesboro as well as in Pocahontas, so 6 in total. Still not sure what to think about that. But, I guess I'll have  to fulfill my responsibilities. 
Thursday, Sister Hill came by with her dad, traveling through the mission with them before going home. It wasn't too emotional or anything, I had just seen her three days ago. We didn't do much that day, due to the ongoing hibernation of all the people who'd want to learn. We went to this super awesome young couple who just walked into church one day. The sisters had an appointment with them, but they referred them to us. So we go there, and have an awesome lesson about the Restoration of the Gospel. The husband already has a Book of Mormon marked in dozens pf places, they are listening and asking good questions, it's great. and THEN he starts to bash with us afterwards. all the marked scriptures are used to attack our beliefs. As it turns out, he works for another church, and his job was to find out about all our beliefs so they can preach against them in their "class" on the Mormons they have every Wednesday. Also he gave a pretty good try to convince us to abandon the Church and accept the "truth." He was very nice about it, he actually does have our well being as his priority. But when it comes down to it, Why on earth would I leave something with all the truth for something that has only part of the truth? It's like trading a perfectly good hamburger for one where the meat's been bitten out of, the lettuce is brown. Just not even comparable. But anyway, we had a lesson with church spies, I guess. They gave us some Bible chapters to read that were actually really good, and did nothing at all to convince us of what he wanted them to. 
Friday was pretty average, as far as teaching goes. We couldn't really invite many people to church, because it was stake conference in Searcy and Jacksonville, about 2 and a half hours away. We went out with Benjamin Montoya, the son of one of the hispanic families in the ward. For those of my friends who know him, he looks and acts like Dylan Kim, but less hyper. It's great. 
Saturday involved a lot of driving and stressing out. We left for Searcy at about 3 because there was a choir practice  before the meeting. Yes, me and Elder Diaz were part of the FIRST EVER Searcy Stake Choir! Granted, the stake formed a year ago, but still. We made history. The conference was great. It was very funny, we had a member of the Seventy there and he was doing a Q&A session. The microphone was handed to a lady, and it cut out as she started talking. Elder Thompson (the Seventy) said as a joke, "well, when that happens you know you weren't supposed to talk," Two words into his next sentence, his mike died. There was applause and laughter for a while with that one. #karmaprobs
 So we drove home and got there about 11. On the way home I made about ten phone calls to figure out how to get two of my missionaries to the meeting tomorrow. They live in a tiny town, and everyone who was going had gone the night before and were staying in hotels. So they texted to let us know they wouldn't be at churchtomorrow. Well, THAT'S not allowed. So the next morning we got up at 4:15 and drove up to get them and bring them to Jonesboro, where another member would pick them up. this meeting was also good. I was sitting up with the choir the whole time, next to Elder Mitchel, from Conway. We came back at 4ish, and went to try and see people agin. We had a new member lesson with Don, and he told us that one of his relatives is wanting to talk to us about the church. His teenage nephew went to his baptism and confirmation, and at church he grabbed one of the Gospel Principles books. (by the way, for anyone wanting an in depth summary of our beliefs, get one of those. Ask my parents or the missionaries for one. It's good.) But anyway, he has been using it to learn how to read, since he cannot. So him and his mom are both interested now. 
And that brings us to today! We spent from 10 to 3:30 helpiong an investigator close out her restaurant, taking out the tables and stuff. So we probably won't do anything fun today but email. So sorry I can't respond to all of you, but please keep in touch! I hope you have a wonderful week! Love you guys!!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Walked on water! It was frozen, but hey.

I guess in some areas of the world, when these months come around, Water takes on the unusual property of becoming solid. And cold. The things you learn on a mission. 

Anyway, it was pretty cold this week, what with the highs being 25 or so. It was still sunny, which makes no sense in my head, but whatever. 

Numbers-wise, this was probably the worst week of my mission. I have had better DAYS before. But as usual, there's always something awesome at one point or another.  

So Monday, we went to Riceland rice factory, and met with Miss Arkansas Rice to talk about rice and eat rice aand look at rice and joke about rice and cook rice and take pictures with rice... Yeah, it was a lot of rice. But it was pretty fun. Then I took elder diaz to Chick Fil A for the first time in his life, since that needed to happen. We went three more times this week. I've created a monster. 

Tuesday was the beginning of the famine. We tried seeing a bunch of people, but they either weren't home or dodged out on us. We did go and see a member from Blytheville who was in the hospital with a collapsed lung, because he didn't have anyone to visit him.
Wendesday we had zone meeting in Searcy, which was pretty good. We did an activity that I found to be a great learning opportunity. They divided us into groups, with one leader that they had prayerfully chosen. I was the leader of one of them. They had us go through an obstacle course of sorts that had us make decisions about obeying the rules, proselyting, studies- basic missionary stuff. The decision was left up to the group leader, but the team could give suggestions, and our path was different depending on what we chose.  It was judged based on time and what we got done. My group made all the good decisions, and we got points for that, but we had the worst time by far. I was overthinking the decisions, even though I knew what was right. I was glad to be the person who made all the decisions, because it taught me that I need to improve on doing the right thing immediately, rather than hemming and hawing.
Thursday was another slow day. We tried to go finding, but it was super windy and cold, and we both almost died. One old man talked to us for literally 2 hours about anything and everything except our message. Thankfully, he let us inside for that, or we would have gotten frostbite. We had a good lesson with a teenage girl and her adult cousin about the plan of salvation, those two found it really interesting. We have high hopes for them. 
Friday was yet another uneventful day. Elder Diaz made the poor man's version of tiramisu in the morning, with pancake mix for the cake and a mix of dark hot chocolate powder and Martinelli's for the coffee. It was pretty darn delicious though. We din't get to see anyone at all that day, as much as we tried to. 
Saturday was busy, but with other stuff. In the morning we helped take out branches and leaves from a lady's yard, which wasn't that hard with all the people we had. Then we ran back to the chapel to have a lesson with don. He was sick with vertigo all this week, which was rough. He's doing much better now. We finished talking to him about temples, and he really wants to go. We want to set up an interview with him soon. Then we went and helped someone move from here to Paragould, about 30 minutes away. They moved to a third floor apartment. So, we got our cardio in for the day. 
Sunday was pretty average. They said it was going to freeze, but actually the rain melted what ice there had been before.  We only got to see two investigators that day, but they were the best. Ever. So here's the story: Our first week, we were in Walmart buying food when one of the employees came up super excited. He had been taught by missionaries before, and wanted us to come back. so it took six weeks of conflicting schedules before we could actually come in. This man is SO prepared. He understood everything we taught, and already believed in most of it. He read ahead while we were talking and made comments about the story of Joseph Smith. He really identifies with him from what he said. 

Well, that was my week! OH and transfers! We are both staying here. Sister Howton is going away, so we will have two new sisters here! We will see if they measure up. :P
Have a good week! 

Monday, January 5, 2015

It's a "wet cold"

Yaayyyy happy new year and all that everybody! It's been a great week, good way to start off the last year of my mission.
oh yeah, random side note, but what on earth is going on with gas right now? It's like 1.93 or something. Weird. 
So anyway, the week:
Tuesday we had district meeting up in Paragould. President Wakolo came to interview all of us, and it was great. While we were waiting, me and Elder Brich had a 2 on 2 basketball game with Jasmine Wakolo, his 11 year old daughter and her friend. Wrecked 'em. Actually, it was a pretty close game, those two play ROUGH! Anyway, we had exchanges that day and I went with Elder Brich. He is a super chill guy, I love him. We saw a lot of people, and it was also freezing cold and windy. 
Wednesday we met up for lunch at Buffalo Wild wings (per Elder Brich's exchange tradition) and then went back to work. We found two AWESOME people, Ta. and Ti. Ta's mom had been taught by the missionaries, and Ti. is her cousin. They are both very interested. 
Then we had dinner at the S, and went home to have a New Years Party. Which consisted of Elder Diaz working on a 1000 piece puzzle while I sat around responding to letters. Neither of us realized what time it was until a bunch of people let off fireworks at 12:01. Yep. Super fun stuff. 
Thursday we woke up to balloons packed into our front door and presents for Elder Diaz, because it was his birthday! He is 24 now. We had a pretty good day. We tried to contact a former member because we had her scriptures in our house, but no dice. We had dinner with the Ys, who have four crazy/adorable kids. 
Friday was probably our slowest day. We didn't really see anybody. We tried, but I guess no one was home or something, because nobody answered. 
Saturday was a little better. We had dinner with D. at a chinese buffet place, and then taught him a bit. He has the feeling that there's some "standard" way to live a "mormon life." We explained that really there is no one way to do it. It's a standard Christian life. We told him to go to and watch the videos. There are seriously so many different people in this church, even though not all of them "look" like an LDS person. 
Sunday, there were a lot of people I didn't recognize, which is always a good thing! We had one investigator show up that we hadn't seen in weeks, which was a blessing! 

Well, that was about all this week. Hope y'all have fun going back to work and school and all that stuff. We are going to a rice factory to get a tour of it. No idea why, but the whole district is going, so yeah. BYEE!