Andrew's Address

andrew.reay@myldsmail.net

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

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

Monday, July 27, 2015

My past comes back to haunt....well, really just to say hi.

¡Buenos días! I hope you guys had a really fantastic week! I know I did! I'm feeling old,coho ugh. As of yesterday, I have SIX MONTHS until I go home. So six months from now, I will probably be passed out at home, sleeping. :P

Monday we didn't do a whole lot. We went to Steak N' Shake, per tradition, then went to go help out Bro. B. He is getting sealed to his wife in the Memphis Temple this week!! At the reception, I guess it's a traditional thing for the bride and groom to do a waltz. And Elder D just so happens to be a great ballroom dancer. Go figure, the guy can do ANYTHING. So we got to basically just sit there and watch him teach them to waltz. Then we went to dinner with the Gs.
Tuesday we started off with district meeting! It's been a while since I've been in a district that A) has sisters in it, B) has more than four people, and C) is Spanish! It's kind of weird, it is the first time in my mission we had a district meeting in full Español! It was a good meeting. After that, we  had some lunch at Gallo Giro and went on exchanges. I took Elder Moore with me in my area. We managed to get in with the C kids and we read a bit with them in the Book of Mormon Stories kids book. Then we tried some more people, but we didn't get in until later in the afternoon, with some people in a new area we hadn't tried before. Then we had a good talk about the Atonement with A and L. 

Wednesday we were pretty slow. We did some digital record making/paper record burning ( we have a fireplace) and then went out. We got to see J again, which was great! We hadn't seen her in a while. Other than that, no one let us in. We had dinner with the Rs, a new couple who just moved in. They are American, but both served missions Spanish speaking, so they fit right in! After that, we had the unique experience of translating for the stake president while he gave temple recommend interviews for some of the branch members. FYI, to get into the temple, a member of the Church has to be worthy and living the standards of the Church to go in. They have an interview with one of the Church leaders, and since he didn't speak Spanish that's where we came in! It was really cool.  Plus the parking lot flooded while we were in there, which was cool.

Thursday we had more exchanges! This time, Elder F came over here with me. It was pretty fun to have him around again! We tried to find people for a bit, but we got rained out. We had a awesome lesson with bro. R' kids. They are SUPER smart, they understand everything really well and want to figure things out!Then we saw the C kids again, which went well. We read in the Book of Mormon, played a bit of soccer, got really sweaty, that sort of stuff. After that we saw this person we found a few weeks ago named M. She is really cool, and we had a good talk with her. After that, we looked for some more people, and then went to dinner at the Hs. Only their older daughter and her boyfriend were there, since the rest were at the temple (that's a good excuse for not being home). We had a good dinner and a good time. 

Friday we unexchanged and had some lunch. Then, we headed off to go do some planning. It was the first time planning with the IPad. For all you missionaries serving out there right now without it, it's WAY different. For one thing, the way the app updates, only one person can make plans. If both make them, the app will double the appointments. It's also a lot faster. You can get really organized for the people you are working with, and it's great. So anyway, we did that, and then went to go see Bro. R. and his family. The kids were going in and out, so we mainly just talked to him. We helped him... "cut down" on his beetle population a bit (they really don't taste that bad) and had a good talk on faith and how the Atonement really works. We read a scripture in the Book of Helaman form the Book of Mormon that goes like this:  
"...for he said unto him that the Lord surely should come to redeem his people, but that he should not come to redeem them in their sins, but to redeem them from their sins."
We learn there that Christ cannot save us in our sins, but from them. What's the difference there? Well, it makes repentance necessary. If we were to be saved in our sins, then there would be no point in following Christ, since whether we obey or not wouldn't matter. A lot of people I have met out here think that way; they say they don't need to go to church or be honest or listen to any preacher, because Jesus died for them and He saved them already. But that gets cleared up in the next part: "And he hath power given unto him from the Father to redeem them from their sins because of repentance; therefore he hath sent his angels to declare the tidings of the conditions of repentance, which bringeth unto the power of the Redeemer, unto the salvation of their souls." 
So the reason that Christ could save us in the first place came by our repentance! And He sent His angels to "declare the tidings of he conditions of repentance," a.k.a the Gospel and the commandments, which is what brings our salvation. It's a really powerful part in the Book of Mormon. After we met with him, we tried to find some more of our people, but once again no one answered. Well, that's not true. We knocked on one door, and their little daughter answered. We asked her if her parents were home. She ran back calling for her mom. She answered, and they had a quick chat in the back. Then she came running back and said, "She says she's not home." 
We tried not to laugh, and asked her to ask when she would be. She went, came back and said that she'd be home tomorrow. We said we'd try another time. It was pretty funny. Then we had dinner at the Ds house with some of the English elders, since their oldest son goes to the YSA branch and invited them. Then we got a bit of a surprise! President P had been texting us asking if we would be able to come over that night. He wouldn't tell us why, which confused us a bit. We told him it would be better tomorrow. Then we got a phone call from his house. It turns out that he had a visitor... Elder (former elder) Jorgen Davidson! My "mom" in the mission! I hadn't heard from him in over a year, since he had gone home. By this time it was too late to go see him, and he was only there until the sealing the next day, but it was great to talk to him! 

Saturday we found out a few things: first, Elder Diaz got permission to go to the B's and the T's sealing ceremony, so we had to go and stay with his companion. FYI again, a sealing ceremony is different from a regular marriage. For most people, a wedding vow lasts "till death do you part." A temple marriage, a.k.a sealing, lasts for time and all eternity, past death, if the people live the way they should and honor the covenants they made in the temple. Isn't hat just fantastic? :) So we went to the temple, and found out that the Conway First Ward, my first area, was doing temple work there! So, I got to see a ton of people from Conway, which was AWESOME! And then, while I was talking to them, Sister Mecham randomly came out! For those of you who don't remember her, she was in my very first district in the mission! She had gone home a while ago, and just HAPPENED to be passing through to visit people and went to the temple! And THEN some people from Jonesboro came to the temple, so I got to say hi to them too!  All this happened in the two hours we were waiting for the session to get out. And then, when hey all came out, I got to see Jorgen Davidson! He was exactly like when he left haha :) So we took some pictures, and then started the day. We saw the Cs and made sure that they were coming to church. Then we had dinner at the Ls, which was delicious, as usual. Then we went to the R house to make sure his daughters were going to come this time. They said they couldn't promise us, because it was kind of early for them, but we told them we would stop by to get them up. More on that in a bit. After that, we got invited over for dessert by President Perez, so we went and did that. 

Sunday was great! We went over to the Rs, half expecting to have to drag them out of bed, only to find them not only awake, but dressed and ready to go!! They seemed to enjoy church, too! We did a musical number in church with all the missionaries on about 10 minutes of practice, and it came out good! ( I'll send you the arrangement sometime, Dad. It would literally take 5 minutes with people who knew the parts.) after that, we had some lunch at the church that one of the sisters in the branch brought us, which was a LOT of food. It was good though. Then we drove the other elders to their place to pick up their bikes (they get bike week during the week of excessive heat warnings. Wheee.) we dropped them off, then went to some appointments. Not a whole lot of people showed, but we met some more new ones! Then we had dinner at the Rs' place, which was amazingly delicious. We tried to go see some more people, but they weren't home, so we did some more digital updating. 

And there is the week! Hope yours was just as incredible! It's starting to freak me out how fast time flies!! Sorry if there were any typos, you may have to do some proofreading. #touchscreens #icant 

I love you guys so much!! 
-Elder Andrew Reay
2250 Meadow Glade Ln. 
Apt. 1
Memphis, TN 38134







video

Monday, July 20, 2015

#MiracleBikeWeek

Hello everyone! Glad to hear from all of you who wrote me this week, I
really appreciate it! This letter is going to be a long one! I figured
since I have an IPad I would just write what happened that day as it
happened. Kind of a journal entry, I guess.

Well, it was my first official "bike week" since Conway this week!
Bike weeks are really different here. We live about 4 miles from "the
triangle," or the area between 3 main roads that have the highest
concentration of Hispanics, so we get rides from the other elders to
get there, which saves a lot of time and sweat.  This week was hot,
too! I checked, and for the most part the actual temperature was the
same as in Peoria! And then add humidity, and it's just not healthy.
But hey, we gotta do what we wanna do, right?

So anyway, Tuesday we had lunch with the ore guys at this place called
Sweden Kream. Not a misspelling. It is basically the
sketchiest/tastiest restaurant in the Triangle. It was good food
though. After that we went out. And it was hot. Like worse than I've
had on my mission. There wasn't a dry spot on my shirt. We managed to
talk to one of our best investigators though. Her name's J. She's
cool and really smart. We talked about the Book of Mormon with her.
And committed her to read it. She also decided she wants to prepare to
get baptized! It was a good lesson.
Then came #Miracle1. We had already been out for a few hours without
going inside at all. Before meeting with J I had prayed silently
that God would keep us from harm with so much sun. So anyway, when we
left her porch the first thing we noticed was that it was cloudy. Not
super cloudy, but enough to make the sun way less strong. Then we
looked north and there was a HUGE wall of black clouds. It was pretty
far off so we figured we had a few hours to go before it got there.
About 20 minutes later, it was blowing in. And I mean blowing. We had
about 40+ mile an hour winds. So we hopped on our bikes and started
booking it to our next appointment a couple miles away. At this point
the temperature had dropped from 100 and dank to 75 and really quite
nice out. Then the wind got stronger, and tree branches started
dropping all over the place. Seeing as we were dodging these on bikes,
it was really fun. We stopped to help a guy whose dead tree had
basically exploded all over the road with the wind, and then it
started to rain. We didn't mind, since we were already wet from
sweating. We got picked up by the other elders, and went to a library
to take shelter. The power was out, but they were still open. Long
story short, that saved us from dying of heat stroke. God looks after
us a lot. 😊 So after the rain stopped we went back out to go find
people. It was a lot more bearable since the clouds stayed there. We
found a lot of people too! After that we went to the Vs for dinner,
which was really good.

Wednesday we didn't have a storm, so we were just really sweaty. The
other guys were a bit late picking us up, so we didn't have as much
time in the sun. We found a few people, rode around seeing if anyone
was home. We met with J. again, and she had read more in the Book
of Mormon than we had told her to, which is awesome! She understood
everything. We talked about the Plan of Salvation, which also made a
lot of sense to her. We met her mom too. She isn't as enthused about
church as Jenny is, but we'll be working on it. Then we made it about
halfway to our next appointment when Elder Heaton's tire got cut by
some glass and went flat in about 4 seconds. We were stuck. But a
member just HAPPENED to be driving by RIGHT when he got off his bike,
and she pulled over to help. We managed to fit both of our bikes into
her Chevy Spark (I know right??) and her husband came and drove us to
our appointment. #Miracle2 We met with the C. kids, read a bit in
the Book of Mormon and played some soccer. At this point I was more
wet than yesterday after the rain. Eeewww. Then the other guys came
and got us and the bikes. We had dinner with the N. family. It
was really good. Then we went and spent the night at the other elders'
apartment to save miles the next day, since we had a meeting and it
was I the opposite direction as our place.

Thursday started off... Interesting. We came down from the apartment
with enough time to get to the meeting with a few minutes to spare.
But when we came down, our car was gone. Like not there. We were a
little bit stressed, me mostly because my bike was still attached to
it. We went to the office, and through a long string of phone calls we
found out they had towed our car because "it didn't have a parking
sticker." It really did, but it had fallen off without anyone seeing.
So we got a ride from one of the mission presidency to the meeting. It
was a good one too! We got training on our digital area book and
planner. FYI, we keep a lot of records as missionaries. We make
records for the people we teach to keep track of their progress, and
we have agendas to plan. Those tend to pile up. But now, it's all
going digital! It'll be a pain at first, since we have to enter in the
records for all the investigators anyone has taught for the past 3
YEARS, but after that it'll be great! After that, we had to wait for
our ride to get done with some appointments, so we didn't get home
until dinner time. We went to the H's house. It was really
fun, they are a crazy family.

Friday we stayed in until four p.m. putting in records. Every time we
start teaching a person, we make a record of them so that we can keep
track of what we've taught, as well as how far they progress, so that
when both of us are gone the next guys will know a bit about them.
Most apartments have a 2 or 3 inch binder full of them. We have four
of those binders, and we got about ten pages done. It's gonna be a
while.
After that fun stuff, we went out with Bro. L. to go see some
people, but no one was home. Then we had dinner with the Ds which
was really good. They dropped us off to go see the C. kids. We
were there for a bit when they randomly decided to go out to eat. So
we ended up out in the streets in one of the sketchier parts of
Memphis with no ride, and it was getting dark. Some Hunger Games jokes
were made, and then we went to the G. house to go visit our
recent convert.

Saturday was pretty slow. We did some more of the file processing, and
got out about 2:30. We went to go see some appointments, but they were
not home. Elder Heaton's bike still hadn't been fixed, so we just kind
of walked around trying to see everyone we knew in the area. That
wasn't too progressive either. After seeing a car almost get mauled by
a train (Memphis drivers) and then having to wait 10 or 15 minutes for
it to pass by, we went to Bro. R's house to go teach his kids.
It was super hot, but an elderly couple randomly drove up and gave us
a ride. They were members, and they were celebrating their wedding
anniversary. They just happened to be driving by. #Miracle3 Anyhoo we
got to their place. They had been teaching them before I had gotten
here, but since then we had never found them. Only one of his
daughters were there, so we talked to them for a bit. Bro. R.
told us his son had told him that he was going to church, which was
sweet! Then we went to go see the Cs again, and they weren't
home. The other elders took us up north for an appointment. We
got there like an hour early, so we knocked around up there and found
some people. Then we met with President Perez' nephew and his
girlfriend, who is not a member. We had an unplanned dinner with them,
which was great since we were starving #Miracle4

Sunday was great! Bro. Rs' son came!! It was awesome, he loved
church. I got to translate for one of the stake high council who came
to speak, which was GREAT. Oy. Also, Sister Mitchell, who had gone
home a few months ago, came to visit, which was cool! She was super
excited to see us. Afterwards, we had some lunch with the other guys
and got the car from the sisters!! Then we DROVE to some appointments
in air-conditioned comfort. We met with the Cs again, and then
went to go find some people. We found a couple of sweet people too!
Then we went to the Rs for dinner. This time, everyone was
there, so we finally got to teach them!! We set some goals with them,
and we are going back in a few days to see when they want to be
BAPTIZED! Woo! The son was great, he was just super stoked about
church and telling everyone to go.

And that was the week! It was full of little miracles, which tells me
that God is looking out for us and making sure we don't die of
heatstroke :P I hope you guys are having a great summer! I love you a
lot! Bye!!


So here's me and Heaton with our dope new suits! Also the whole
Spanish district with Sister Mitchell! In order from front row: Elder
Diaz, Sister Mitchell, Sister Ponce, Sister Hudson, Sister Madsen. Top
row: Elder Fortie (remember him?), Elder Jenkins, me, Elder Moore, and
Elder Heaton.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Memphis is awesome, basically

Hello hello hello from the other side of the Mississippi! This week
was insane and all over the place and hot and awesome and a lot of
stuff.

First off, my new address is:
4520 Meadow Glade Ln. Apartment 1
Memphis, TN 38134

I guess it didn't get through to some people when it made a
link.

So Monday we did some email, ate lunch at the Steak N' Shake (new Pday
tradition, btw) and then looked at some random stuff at the mall. Then
we had dinner with the G. family, which was great. Bro. G. is
hilarious. They got there a bit late, so by the time we were done it
was time to go home.

Tuesday was a hot one. Actually this whole week was a hot one, but
yeah. We had a car, which was good. We dropped off the other elders
(they were on bike week haha) and then went off to teach people. We
didn't end up finding many people at all. That's one of the things
about Memphis, not many people answer their door. It's all right
though, there are so many people here we will never run out!  Then we
picked up the other elders and met up with he Germantown elders for
dinner with the V. family. Bro. V. saw the English elders in
McDonalds and invited them to have dinner with us. It was super good,
we had chicken empanadas. A LOT of chicken empanadas. I got stuffed,
and so did everyone else.

Wednesday we started off with a zone meeting. It was good! Elder Fiso
is my zone leader, so it's great to see him again! We talked a lot
about how we can answer people's concerns from rumors they heard about
the church. After that, we went on exchanges! I left my area to go
with Elder Diaz! It was fun to be together again. Granted, it was
hotter, we were biking, and the bike I was using only had one working
pedal, but it was still fun! We had dinner with the coolest recent
convert EVER, Bro. R. We had a TON of good food, and had a
really good time. He is hilarious. We also ate some small beetles. For
real. They actually don't taste that bad, they're a little spicy. The
hard part was getting them into your mouth, they run! :P apparently
they're super healthy for you.

Thursday we unexchanged and went back out into the oven! We talked to
some more people and walked around a lot. Then we went to the
H. house to have a "fellowship night" at their house. It was
really fun, we had some of our investigators come! We had hotdogs and
played games, and it was great.

Friday we want to do some training for phase 2 of the iPad
implementation. By this Thursday, all of our planners and records will
be going digital! For you older missionaries, that may be a little
weird. Trust us, it's weird for us too. But anyhow, that took a long
time. Then we had dinner with one of the youth who was getting ready
for his mission. He fed us Chinese food, and it was delicious. Then we
did some planning, and picked up the other guys.

Saturday was pretty slow as well. We did manage to get in a few
lessons though which was nice. We went out teaching with Bro. L.
after having some mole with him. Not the rodent, the sauce. We saw
some less active members and gave their daughter a blessing. Then Bro.
R. called randomly and told us to come over for like 5 minutes.
So we did. He seemed pretty normal, and then he asked Elder Heaton if
he liked brown or blue better. He said blue. Hen he led us back to the
other room, turned on the light, and there sat 2 fresh new suits. No
joke. Plus a tie. And socks. We were speechless. He told us that he'd
had a really good week at work, and he wanted to show his appreciation
for us. We were extremely grateful, but I doubt we will be able to
make it up to him. I'll send pics as soon as we hem the pants.

Anyhow, Sunday was good as well! I gave a talk (forgot to mention
that, I got assigned to speak Wednesday) and it went really well. I
talked about how the members of the church could help us missionaries
in the mission work. I think they received it well, they have a lot of
desires to help, and now they have some ways they can do it! After
church we had meetings that went reeeeeeally late, we got home about
5. We went and saw a girl named J. we had met the week before and
set a baptismal date with her! That was awesome! She is really cool.
Then we walked to Bro. R's house to visit him. Naturally, he
had food. And it was super good. He'd had a rack of ribs marinating
for 3 days in his fridge. I also discovered that agua de sandía
(watermelon, water and a bit of sugar run through a blender) is
probably the best thing ever for a hot day.

Well, that's my week! Sorry I was so late writing, we were getting
stuff done all of today. We went to a thrift store and got some random
stuff (I got some good sturdy loafers for cheap) and then we went to
the place they got the suits at to get some resizing done. So I may
not get to respond to everyone today. Keep writing though, I really
appreciate it!

I love all of you a lot! Bye!
Spanish Elders and Sisters in Memphis on the 4th with a wonderful member!


"We are a little weird..."

The "Elder Bednar" pose?

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Walking in Memphis

Hello from MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE!! This week has definitely been an
adventure, gotta say.
So Monday, Elder Zickella and I were together. Elder Hernandez and
Elder Croft went to the temple and then stayed in Little Rock for the
night with the departing missionaries, since it was his group. So he
and I went to Bishop Rs house and had dinner with them, then went
to the B's to say goodbye to them.
Tuesday didn't exactly go as planned. We were expecting the other guys
back in the morning, but they had to go help the office elders with
some stuff. So I went with Zickella for the day. We helped the Os
move to a house a few streets away. Then they dropped us off to an
appointment Sister W had set up. She wanted us to teach her hair
stylist in a non threatening way. So she got us an appointment to get
haircuts! I had just gotten mine a few weeks back, but I got one
anyway, complete with that little front spike job that all the Mormon
kids seem to have. I'll send a picture. After that we had some appointments
Wednesday we drove to Little Rock in the morning to organize everyone.
I got lucky, I ended up going with Elder Hooker and delivering a new
mission car to Memphis! So instead of driving in the crowded transfer
van I went there in a 2015 Chevy Equinox with 16 miles on it. It was
niiiice. Anyway, we got to Memphis and had a videoconfetrence with the
LR side to have a mass meeting! i got put with Elder Heaton from St.
George, UT. He's been out in the mission for about a year now. He's a
super chill guy, we get along well. After the meeting we unpacked and
then tried to go see some people. We met a guy named Jose Luis, and he
seems pretty cool.
Thusday was pretty slow. We knocked on a lot of people's doors but
hardly anyone answered. We did get to see the recent converts, the
Castro kids. their parents aren't members (we'll see how long THAT
lasts) and they are super cool! Then we had dinner at the Hermosillos
house. They are REALLY cool. We had some really good fish tacos. Then
we slept over at the apartment of Elder Diaz and his new companion,
Elder Moore. Elder Morre is an English missionary. And they put him in
the Spanish branch. It's pretty hilarious.
So Friday was an adventure. We drove out to Arlington to have a big
party with all the elders on his side of the Mississippi for the
Fourth of July. It was Fijian style. Like Wakolo brought an entire pig
to roast at the party kind of deal. We cooked it in an earth oven
which is basically when you fill a hole with rocks and wood, light it
on fire, lay a rack of food on it and then bury it. We started doing
that, and then it started raining really hard. So, being guys, we held
up a big tarp over it. And then we almost died from smoke inhalation.
So we decided we would take turns being the guy under the tarp by the
fire holding it up. We ended up sending a Samoan elder into the woods
by the church with a machete, which he used to chop down a tree and we
used that to hold it up.  Someone finally got a shelter thing for it
once we buried the food. We washed off in the drainage canal (it got
about 3 feet deep) and then we ate. It was really good and manly
tasting. We got home about 5 and had dinner at the Ds house, then
we met a less active guy by their house.
Saturday we did. Some planning, then we tried to see some people. No
one really wanted to talk to us with the rain and all. So then we had
dinner at the P's house. He is the branch president, and is super
cool. After that we tried to find some more people but with all the
fireworks and gunshots (yeah they shoot a lot for holidays) it got
kind of dangerous to be out.
Sunday was great! We had church and it was awesome. A lot of people
thought I was elder Reid, a missionary who had been there for a
loooong time who I apparently look a lot like. But I love the people
here. They all seem very sincere and friendly. After church we had
some food at he other guys' apartment, then went out finding. Again,
not many people answered, but it was stil good. Then we went to dinner
at bro. Rs' house. He recently got baptized, and he loves the
missionaries. He cooked some posole and we had a great time. I ate a
little beetle thing that they use to spice up food sometimes. It was
pretty good. So now I am a member of "La Banda de los Chicos Buenos"
as we call ourselves.
And that was my week! Here is my new address for those of you
anxiously waiting to write me:

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

Love you lots!
And here's my haircut: