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, 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

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