Logan Picture

Logan Picture
I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me;
yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy. Alma 29:9

New Experiences

August 31, 2015

Dear Family,

I am happy to start this new adventure in PEI, for however long it may be. My companions name is Elder Shambrook and he is from Wales, UK. He has such a cool accent but sometimes it is hard to understand what he is saying. I do like that he says the word rubbish a lot. He has been out three months and just finished his training. He is really funny/sarcastic so we should get along well.

We didn't get to do our transfer temple trip this time because it was closed for maintenance, which is the first time I didn't get to go since being on my mission.

We spent the last three days just visiting all the members so that I could get to know them. The Montague branch is small, there are only about thirty members and we meet in a room for sacrament that is pretty much the size of the primary room at home. It is very different going from a huge ward, to a small ward, to a small branch, but you get to know everyone very quick. In the ward at home I honestly only knew like half the ward it was so big.

Now that I am in a New Brunswick zone and not in a Nova Scotia zone I get to meet many of the missionaries I have never met before. It's weird that you serve at the same time as all these missionaries but many of them you may never meet, that's what happens when your mission area is so big.

On Sunday I did the usual introductions and testimony. For Sunday school Elder Shambrook and I taught the youth, all three of them, about learning and teaching in the home. There is one young man, Jason, and two young women, Hannah and Jacqueline. Apparently earlier in the week President Dourte, the branch President, asked us to do a presentation for third block and either I didn't hear or completely forgot. So on the spot I just took my talk that I gave in Sackville ward last week, thankfully I had it, and used the principles on becoming a member missionary from it, and made it into a lesson plan, which worked out well. I thought it would be really short but with the participation of the group we managed to fill the time.

Sunday evening there was a trek fireside that we attended to support the branch and it was a presentation and picture slideshow of the quad stake trek which all three youth were a part of. Seeing all the pictures just brought back such good memories of my trek and looking back I would have regretted it so badly if I didn't go. I would do it again for sure.

The days in Sackville were starting to get slow and drag on but now that I am in a "whole new world" the days have been going by fast, with lots of work to do.

Love you all more than the cookie monster loves cookies!!

Love, Elder Ray

This is our rad investigator Gary.

This is Melissa, she is an investigator in Sackville.

The Taylors, a couple in the Sackville ward, who love to feed the missionaries.
I just think that it's funny because he is from England and she is from the Philippines.

Had to say goodbye to the Haas family, one of my faves.

Elder and Sister Burgan, the Addiction Recovery Program couple.

All those in the Montague branch that went on Trek,
they are "Trekkies" (and the missionaries)

Some views are just too good.

Six month mark Tie Burning!

Thank you Grandpa Schnepf for the birthday money,
it was used for a fun P-Day of candlestick bowling.

Last but not least, Elder Shambrook, sharing a coke with Ray.

Talk and Transfer

August 24, 2015

Dear Family,

Sorry about last weeks letter, it was hard to even get in the mood for typing but you are in for a treat this week because I have much to say. What a crazy week, at the beginning of the week I was on an exchange with Elder Craig, one of the zone leaders, to help train me and find ways to be motivated. It was definitely a go go go week, always have something planned. On Tuesday we had dinner with the Fitzner family and one of the kid's, Joseph, had two friends over who ate with us. Joseph started asking us questions about the gospel, mostly so that his friends could hear it, he will make a great missionary. But we asked if his friends, Grace and Emma, wanted to learn more, and they both said yes, so after we finished eating we taught them about the Godhead, the Book of Mormon, and prayer. It was such a great moment because it was the first time we found someone new to teach all transfer.

The birthday cake mix and stuff you sent me I finally used, but it made two cakes and one of our investigators, Melissa, had a birthday on Friday so we dropped by and gave one to her. She was excited because she wasn't going to do anything for her birthday and was grateful for it. It was a small act of kindness but it can go a long way, she wanted to give us a hug but we couldn't, which she thought was kind of dumb. We have visited Melissa like four times this week to keep in contact and lift her spirits because it helps her depression.

On my mission I have not seen anyone more prepared to be baptized than Gary, he believes everything that has been taught, he loves church and the people, and wants to be baptized but won't fully commit, I wonder if something is holding him back, but I think he is ready. I know he will be baptized soon though, but I won't be here to see it.

Again it is transfer week, and I am being transferred to Montague, Prince Edward Island. I am so grateful for the amazing time I have had to serve in Sackville, and I will miss it, especially the people. There is so much happening here but even when I leave I know the work will continue. I have seen many miracles and the changes that people make in their lives to conform to God's will. I have been blessed by blessing others. I am excited for PEI though because I wanted to go there some time on my mission but now I have to leave a wonderful place, three months was not long enough in Sackville but I know that PEI is where I need to be for the next while. What I am excited for is that I will most likely be getting a bike because it is an island, and I have wanted a bike like my whole mission. I was stuck in a car for six months because the areas are so spread out and you drive from one destination to the next, but with bikes the community will be able to see us and we can talk to a lot more people.

On Saturday we helped continuing the project on sister Mackenzie's house, shingling the roof. Missionaries aren't allowed on roofs so we were the shingle carriers and stackers, those suckers can get heavy when you try to carry multiple at once. It was so muggy that day I literally thought I was melting, it was gross.

We had our fifth Sunday yesterday even though it was only the fourth because President and sister Pratt were there to speak because it was also missionary Sunday, so guess who else had to speak, yours truly. As a missionary though talks seem so easy, especially when the topic is missionary work. I used to hate giving talks but I actually enjoyed this one, and I wasn't as nervous as a used to get. "There is little growth in a comfort zone, there is little comfort in a growth zone." I wanted to share part of my talk with you that was taken from a book, The Power of an Everyday Missionary, that I used because the focus of my talk was Being a member missionary.

 Principles of Becoming a Member missionary

1. We cannot predict and should not judge: We simply cannot know in advance who will and will not be interested in learning about the Church.

2. We succeed when we invite: We succeed as member missionaries when we invite people to learn and accept truth. We give them the opportunity to exercise their agency.
We have observed this general pattern - one in four people we invite to learn more say yes. A friend of ours, Ben, applied this in a very interesting way. He didn't feel he wanted to be told "no" three times so he set a goal that he would be told "no" once. The first person he asked said "no." That was easy and he succeeded! Ben then set a goal to find three additional people to say "no." He was surprised when the next person accepted his invitation. He learned that inviting people really is easy because you succeed when you invite, regardless of how it turns out!
When the background of our invitations is love, every invitation is a success because it is an expression of our love for others. God's love for His children is completely unaffected by the choices they make, and we too can love people regardless of their responses to our invitations.

3. Use Mormon words in everyday conversation: Using Mormon words in our daily conversations opens a door for people to have a conversation about the Church. The vast majority don't walk through the door, and that's fine. But sometimes they do by asking, "Oh, so you're a Mormon?" We have found it very helpful to follow up by asking, "Why do you ask?" This better prepares us to follow the spirit in answering the questions they are interested in and to not miss opportunities by talking only about what we are interested in.

4. What people are interested in: When someone says, "Tell me about the Mormon Church," as a general rule, we ought not to tell them what we like about our own church. We often give a doctrinal response, eternal families, modern prophets or scriptures. This makes sense to us because doctrine is the reason why we are in our church instead of in another. Doctrine over time becomes very important to converts, too. But it often is not the initial reason for their interest.
A survey of converts conducted by the Church found what typically attracts people to the Church initially are desires to feel close to God, to experience happiness and peace, and to develop a sense of purpose and direction in life.
If instead we respond with a question like, "It's a great church. Why do you ask?" we open the door for people to share what's important to them and possibly a question they have about religion. When we know what's important to others, we can share something that makes a difference for them. And if they don't have anything specific in mind, we can talk about one of the three areas most people say appeal to them at first: being close to God, experiencing happiness and peace, and having purpose and direction.

I had to make my talk good though because I was speaking right before President and sister Pratt, so they got to hear it as well. I love President and sister Pratt, they are so awesome and I got to know them better because they spent the day in Sackville.

Like all missions, we keep a record of what we accomplish weekly, and Elder Wolvers and I were told that we led the mission this week with our key indicators and we even hit the silver standard, which I explained before, but that I think was a great way to end my time here.

It has been a fantastic week but it is time for another change, maybe one day I'll get used to it.

I love you all and miss you more than the thieves that had their arms cut off by Ammon miss their arms... I tried.

Love, Elder Ray

I guess it's official, cake and all.

Elder Craig trying to take a selfie with his awesome computer setup.

How Firm A Foundation

How Firm A Foundation

Elder Craig, the climbing monkey

This is our investigator Owen, who loves to study the scriptures!

Fitzner Family and Friends.

I love the Pineau's robust cat, Tiger.

Service pt. 2

Service pt. 2

Service pt. 2

Service pt. 2

Service pt. 2

Service pt. 2

Service pt. 2

Service pt. 2

Service pt. 2

I don't know how small the camera makes them look,
but did I ever tell you about how big the spiders get here?
They are freakishly huge. Even spider-man would be afraid.

Welcome, to Jurassic Park. It is foggy almost every morning.

I just think it's ironic to have a fireworks sale sign on a firetruck, anyone else agree?

Third Area - Montague, Prince Edward Island

Interview with President Pratt

August 17, 2015

Dear Family,

On Thursday we had skype interviews with President Pratt, which was good because we get to know him better and he gets to know us better as well. As I have had some days where I struggle he helped me find ways to be better and press forward, it was well needed. On Saturday we helped a less active paint part of the outside of his house so that it might sell better. Other than that not many appointments, and no new investigators sadly, I don't know why it is so hard to find people, maybe we are not looking in the right places. Next week will be better.

Love Elder Ray

Phone calls, you love to hate them.
This is brother Muggah, we enjoy visiting him
every week and discussing the gospel.

Birthday Party and Service Project

August 10, 2015

Dear Family,

Thank you so much for the birthday package, it was amazing! I knew you were trying to make me fat with all the treats, haha. We had a district meeting on my birthday and Elder Wolvers made brownies to take, when we got there sister Hughes had cupcakes, oh it was awesome. Then the missionaries did the part I don't really enjoy...they sang happy birthday. All day was busy, busy, busy though, and at the end of the day I came home to a package from David and Shawna and family, plus a card from Grandpa Schnepf. Elder Wolvers and I have been living off of brownies, cake, and candy all week. My body tells me, oh no, but my mind says, oh yes.

With Gary we were actually worried that something happened to him, because we stopped by almost everyday and he didn't answer the door, the phone, we had no word from him. Finally, he called us and explained what happened. He had a friend that wanted him to sing at his mother's passing anniversary and he wasn't going to go. But last minute he decided to and because he doesn't have a car he hitch hiked there and was gone for most of the week, and he left his phone behind, so that' why he didn't answer, because he couldn't. So we did get back in to teach him though and we taught him what he needs before baptism but he has a few questions as he reads the book of Mormon. He will be baptized but we don't have a for sure date set anymore. I hope that it will happen before I have to leave Sackville.

We continue to meet with Owen about twice a week but he doesn't progress much. He likes it when we visit and talk more about the scriptures and he says that he is learning a lot, so that's good. He is reading the Book of Mormon for the second time, is almost done with the doctrine and covenants, and finished the pearl of great price. I think he has read almost more than I have. He seems to be into it for the historical part of it, not the spiritual.

Other than that it is pretty much the same, talking to people, visiting members, etc.

On Saturday we and the Elders Quorum helped sister Mackenzie tear down some walls and part of the ceiling in her home so that it will save her a couple of thousand dollars by not having to pay someone to do it. She is trying to get new walls built. It was dusty work but it was pretty good, definitely needed a shower after that.

I love you all and hope that everything is going well at home.

P.s. It gets really muggy and I feel like I am melting.
P.s.s I still miss Mexican food.

Love, Elder Ray

How can I be twenty?! Look I am already growing white hair.

I feel spoiled, Love the gifts.

District meeting, more like Party!


Service Projects!!

Press Forward

August 3, 2015

Dear Family,

What will I do with my last few days as an irresponsible teenager? Grow up? Never. Christ said, Be as little children. Still can't believe I will be twenty this week.

Not a good week for lessons. Gary hasn't been doing well, he is sick or something and didn't meet with him at all so we are postponing his baptism by a week. Shane dropped us and we didn't meet with Melissa either. We only met with Owen, who is a great guy and enjoys learning about the gospel, but has many concerns.

Super stressed, but things will work out.

On Saturday I spent the day in Bridgewater with Elder Blum, it was so good. Even though I was a little worried about Sackville, it was a well needed day. We spent the morning with the sisters doing a lemonade stand, passing out mormon.org cards and books of mormon. There were so many people down there we were giving the lemonade away like crazy. We ran out of water and Elder Blum and I ran into a museum and they gave us a big jug of water for free, so we could continue the stand. It was so beautiful in that area that if I were to move to Nova Scotia, Bridgewater would probably be the place.

Other than that it was a very slow, long week but hopefully things will pick up. You can't have a good week every week, although that would be nice.

Love you more than I did last week, and that's almost impossible to beat!

Elder Ray

The lemonade stand.

...Elder Blum

Tiny milk jugs, they're so cute!

D&C 42:6 And ye shall go forth in the power of my Spirit, preaching my gospel,
two by two, in my name, lifting up your voices as with the sound of a trump,
declaring my word like unto angels of God.

Orphans Home....No exit. :(

We helped in what the ward calls, Operation sandwiches,
where we make a couple hundred sandwiches for the hungry and homeless shelters.

Now my wife won't have to make the sandwiches because I am an expert sandwich maker. JK.

There is a store that sells lawn chairs.

We asked if we could take a picture in the big one they had built outside.

It was hard to get this picture, and it came out blurry still
but this guy on his bike was wearing a muppets helmet, it was so funny.