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, February 23, 2015

....Wait, what happened this week?

Hello! So, transfer calls were made today, and.... absolutely no change! Everyone in my district is staying here. 
This week was.... all over the place. so you know that it snowed and stuff all of Monday, so we were not allowed out. Tuesday we were allowed to walk places, but since the streets were still mostly covered in ice our cars were still... grounded, i guess. So we walked around. No one was outside, which was about what we thought, but we still managed to get a few miles out from our house before they sent out the text saying that we could use cars. Ugh. We just stayed out walking for a bit, saw Tina, who told us to come back another time, and then walked home to get picked up for dinner. A super nice ?????? minister gave us a ride, which was a welcome change from how they normally treat us. (No offense to any of you ?????s, but we are not well liked by them here.) 

Wednesday we mainly tried to see some less-actives that the bishop gave us to try and see. We didn't get really any luck with them at all. We also tried to visit with D, but I guess he had gone away during the storm. In short, we didn't really have much luck all day.

Thursday was big. To begin, we arranged with Arkansas State University to put up a booth about our church, where people could ask us questions and such. We weren't allowed to proselyte directly, but a lot of people came up to us to see what we were about. Most of them mainly wanted to argue, but there were some who seemed like they were actually curious.We are doing it every week, so hopefully with time people will show up. Then we went from there to try and see the big family we had found last week, but they were not home. Then we got a call from the person who was supposed to take us down to Little Rock the next day for a zone conference. He let us know that there was supposed to be an ice storm coming in that night, and he would not be able to drive us. So, we took our backup plan: Drive down there THAT NIGHT. So we drove home, packed our stuff, grabbed the other elders, and drove to Little Rock. We got there about 10:15 (which is way past curfew but we called and informed them so its ok) and spent the night with the Spanish missionaries there, Elder Meyers and Elder Geddes. Way fun.

Friday we had zone conference! It was nice to see all my Conway guys again. I met some of the brand new Spanish missionaries, Like Elder Contreras, directly from Guatemala, and Sister Reid, who speaks better Spanish than I ever did my first 5 transfers. I'll send a picture of everyone. but yeah, it was great! we talked about our new goals for  the next year, and said goodbye to a lot of the senior couples. And then right at the end, President informed us that there was a lot of winter weather in the area, and to be sure it was safe to go before leaving. We called a member in Jonesboro, and the ice was falling fairly thick, making driving impossible. You know what that means... SLEEPOVER!!! We went with the Spanish elders for the rest of the day. We had enchildadas de mole at a recent convert's house, which were fantastic. Then we went to the "soccer night" at the church. A lot of the Hispanic investigators and members show up to play. It was super fun. 

Saturday we went home, and got back around 1:30. Then we got called in to help clean the church parking lot and get all the ice out, because it was basically a skating rink. We got a lot of people together to help, which made it way easier. We got done around 5, and then went to The M's, a less active family. We watched the Restoration with them and clarified some stuff for the daughter we are helping to get ready for baptism.

Sunday was yet another crazy day. Not many people came to church, investigators or members. Afterwards, however, we had a ward potluck lunch. It was fantastic. Then right after that, we had a baptism for one of the member's daughters, which was great. Then we had a ward correlation meeting and went home to change. We had just left when we got at text from the zone leaders informing us that due to coming storms President was calling everyone in. Soooo we did nothing the rest of the day. 

So yeah, this week was nuts. Here's hoping for some normality this transfer!

here's the snow/ice/stuff that ruined our week since there are NO snow plows here

Picture, back row: Elder Ludwig, Me, Elder Dyorich, Elder Meyers, Elder Contreras, Elder Geddes. Front row: Elder Heaton, Elder Meza, Sister Reid, Sister Ives, Sister  Dube, Sister Goudie, Elder Diiaz, Elder Hernandez. Woooo Spanish!!!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Pioneerin' It

Man, so let me just start with the fact that it's white outside! We got about 2 inches of snow and sleet last night, which came together to make a lovely mix of hard snow and ice. That means we are not able to use the car at all, by order of President Wakolo. However, he said nothing about walking. So, we hiked a few miles in the snow and here we are! Y'all are lucky I love you guys. :P

So this week was pretty good! Tuesday was another district meeting, and then I went off on exchanges with Elder Hooker (yes that is his name. Stop laughing. :P) in Pocahontas. It was a pretty good day. Elder Hooker is super funny. It's his first transfer, and he loves the mission! 

Wednesday we went back to Jonesboro just in time to go out teaching with D! He wanted to have the "average mission experience" so we took him out knocking on some doors for a bit. He did super well, and he got along with everyone we talked to. Then we went and had dinner, found my keys (I lost them the week before)  and then went to ward council.

Thursday we went to try out some new areas. The problem was that it was so cold outside that nobody opened the door. But then we went to a less active family and it was great! the kids have been coming to church, but the mom works graveyard shifts so she has a bit of trouble coming. The kids are great though. One of the daughters, L, just had her interview with the bishop to get her Faith In God award, and she was bouncing all over the place with excitement. Then we went to try and see D, but he was sick and sleeping. Then we played basketball again, with a whole new set of nonmembers there! It was super fun, and it's always a workout.

Friday we had planned to go help out Brother R. clean out some storage units at the college, but he canceled last minute. So we kind of scrambled for a plan and ended up going through a list of former investigators to see if anyone was still interested. No dice there, but that's why they stopped looking into the church in the first place. However, we did talk to a guy we met a while before, Matt, who we thought had moved. He was still there, and really wanting to learn from us! So we talked  until his kids got crazy and he had to go watch them. Then we went and had dinner with the Rs. Since one of the elders here has Crohn's disease, he has a VERY specific diet. that makes all of our food extremely healthy. And Sister R. can cook something fierce! It was super good.

Valentine's Day was our big day. We had about all of our investigators planned, and we were psyched. First, we went and helped an older couple clean the church, since no one in their group could come, and then they took us out to breakfast. Then we went everywhere and anywhere. We didn't actually teach more than 2 actual lessons, but we arranged a lot of rides and stuff for church!

Sunday was cold. When we woke up, it was 18 degrees to begin with. Add 30 mph winds and then you have the reason that not many people came to church. Two less active families did though! Then after church, we found an awesome family. It was a tiny apartment, but there were at least 10 people there. All of them wanted us to come back, and two of them were especially excited to come to church this Sunday! Then we went to the Ms, a part member family, and talked about getting their daughter baptized. And then it started icing over, and we had to go in. 

Well, that was the week! Once we thaw out we should be able to start working again. Talk to you next week! OH and Happy Valentines Day, I LOVE YOU GUYS A LOT!!!

Llamado a Servir,
Andrew Reay

Monday, February 9, 2015

the jackets are coming off... and back on

So I've had a pretty normal week this time around, not a whole lot went on here in Jonesboro. Tuesday was super slow. We went to English class, and spent the rest of the day trying to find our investigators. Nowhere to be found. Elder Diaz made a birthday cake for the daughter of a less active family, and we went over for the party. The older daughter was watching Wreck-It Ralph for the first time. Psh. 
Wednesday my whole district drove together with a member to Searcy for a zone meeting. It was pretty good, we talked a lot about using the New Testament in our teaching. We played Jeopardy with it and our team made a comeback from -500 points to only lose by 100. SO yeah, that was exciting. Then we got back and went out with B, one of the young men in the ward. We only managed to see two people, some former investigators of Elder Reed (the ginger missionary who apparently I am the reincarnated form of). It went fairly well, they accepted the invitation to read the Book of Mormon and pray to see if they should be baptized. 
Thursday we had lunch with the Paragould elders and Searcy zone leaders before going on exchanges with the zone leader, Elder Marquez. He's half Hispanic but he doesn't speak it at all. It was a pretty good day, we had a lesson with Don and talked about the temple. He got his temple recommend on Wednesday woooo! He's excited to go. Then we rode around trying to find people, met some new ones. Then we had dinner at the York's, which is always fun, and then played basketball with the young men. Elder Marquez is about 6'4" and a football player so it wa a lot different than playing against a 5 foot tall Guatemalan. It was a good workout. 
Friday we decided to just go and see all-new people, because the old ones needed a break. We met a lot of new people, and  visited some we hadn't seen yet. Hopefully this week they'll progress more! We also may have gotten one of our investigators in a lot of trouble... We went to his house to visit his family, and his mom asked, "Weren't you with my son?" "Ummm, we don't really know." "Well, he texted and said he was with y'all." Then we remembered seeing him a few minutes before crossing the street with his girlfriend and a bunch of other guys. Then she got super angry and ran out the door, got into her car, and drove off after him. Soooo we left. 
Saturday was the high point of the week. The zone leaders had called the night before and challenged us to set a baptismal date with someone. All the companionships in our zone of 18 had a date except us. And you know how much I hate last place. :P But we had already planned to do it with D, our investigator with no legs. And guess what? It happened! He will be baptized on the 28th, if his medical condition lets him. He's been having some issues and may need surgery, so we are praying he will be able to get baptized that day. Then we met an awesome guy named A. We were walking through a neighborhood and we saw a dog in the yard just barking at us, as usual. Elder Diaz joked and said that it sounded like the dog was howling, "Aquiiii!" ("here" in Spanish.) Then we figured we'd listen to the dog, and we met a really cool guy! It doesn't look like his wife likes us though, she came in partway through the lesson, and just glared at us and left. Not a word. Well, we will see. 
Sunday was supposedly going to have a lot of appointments. All of them fell through, sadly. We could see a few of them watching us through the window, which is NOT the best way to act like you aren't home. It's pretty funny sometimes though, especially if you see them and then wave super excitedly. 
And yeah, that's the week! This Thursday marks one year since I got on a plane to fly to Mexico City! Man, this has been one heck of a year! Wouldn't trade it for anything! Love y'all!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Back on Our Feet

Well, this week was actually fairly good as far as our workload was concerned! It was nice to have a lot of people to talk to.
So Tuesday was my first district meeting! It went pretty well as far as anyone will tell me. Then we power walked a few miles to the college (its great when your car runs out of miles isn't it?) to do english classes. Then we power walked back to the church and went our teaching with C. R., who goes into the MTC this week to prepare to serve in Virginia! We saw T., a lady we had met a while ago and taught the first 2 lessons to. We hadnt seen her in a month, so it was nice to see her again. Since she had just moved in to her house, she had no furniture. So we all sat on the floor and had a great lesson there. Her only problem is that she has two jobs that keep her busy all day, so she's hard to catch and its even harder for her to find time to go to church. We couldn't catch anyone else at home, so we dropped off C.,& had dinner at the ward mission leader's house with the other elders. We had a bunch of shrimp and noodles, since Elder Zickella's medical condition gives him a really limited diet. It was still pretty good though.
Wednesday we decided that the only way to be able to talk to more people was to just go and find more people. So that was what we did. All day long. We didn't have any set appointments, so we just went to a bunch of neighborhoods, and knocked on peoples' doors. For those of you not familiar with missionary vocabulary, this is called "tracting." It's not the best way to teach people, but it sure does help you find them! And find them we did! We talked to a lot of new people. Most of them were not super interested, but some people did tell us to come back. We did find this super awesome family though! It's the H. family. We found the daughter first, and she is a senior in high school. She seems super interested, and really nice. She is also a few months pregnant, from what she told us. Her parents weren't home, so we said we'd stop by another time.  
Thursday we did the same thing we did on Wednesday, but in different areas. This time we didn't meet anyone super promising. In fact, no one was really home in the neighborhood. That night was the best, though. We had a lesson with S. and W. at the R.'s house. It was going about the same as usual, we used a General Conference talk by Jeffery R. Holland (putting the link at the end, SWEET talk) and the Bible and Book of Mormon & taught them about the nature of God and they responded with the same scriptures they had used the past three weeks to try and convince us that we were essentially going to hell. This cycle repeated a few times, and finally we just both bore our testimonies of what we knew was true.. And let me tell you something, I don't think I had ever felt the Holy ghost as strong as I did then. I have been working out some personal things with God lately, and that moment not only bore witness to everyone in the room of the truth, but also to me personally that my prayers had been answered. But S. and W. didn't feel it. S. was looking at me like I was a sick puppy or something. It's sad, they really do want the best for us. I could see that. What they were doing was their effort to help us to find the right path. The probelm is, I already have. I know that this church is true. Nothing anyone can say or show me is going to change that. There are a lot of people out here who find a lot of lies about the church or "evidence" that proves that our doctrine is false. They just tend to ignore the pile of scripture and physical evidence in our favor. But anyhoo, we finished things with them. They have all they need to find the answers for themselves if they are willing to look at it with an open mind. 
Friday we had another pretty good day, except for the fact that we nearly froze to death. When we started out it was a pretty nice day, but then the clouds moved in and it got really cold really fast. So we called F. and then went with him to avoid frostbite. We tried to see T. again, but she was working. We got to meet the rest of the H. family though! They seem really nice as well. They work every day unless it is raining, so hopefully it rains every Sunday so they can come to church! 
Saturday we had a few appointments, but we still wanted to find more people. So back on the bikes! We went up and down a lot of hills to go to this huge park to try and talk to people there. But it was so cold that there were about 6 cyclists, and that was it. So we went back a bit and walked around a neighborhood of HUGE houses. Not a lot of people opened their doors. So then we rode to the church and F. picked us up AGAIN (love this guy) and we went and saw some more people, mainly old investigators we wanted to try and see again. We met this sweet old Hispanic lady who has a strong testimony of jesus Christ and all He did. She's super nice. 
Sunday it actually did rain! But The Hs didn't show up, along with a lot of the ward. It was just really cold and miserable outside. Luckily, we got our miles reset on the car so we could drive! We went around after church to look for more former investigators that other missionaries had visited before. We met one guy who seemed to be a Pentecostal preacher, based on how he used the scriptures. We had dinner at the Ms., and then went out with their son J. to go see some people. None of them were available, thanks to the Superbowl, so that was a little annoying, but yeah. 

Annnnd that's the week! Here's an MP3 of the talk, if it sends! if not, here's the link:

Llamado a Servir,
Andrew Reay