Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mission Tour - Jan 28, 2013

Dear Family,
 I'm trying to write this as fast as I can cause the power  keeps going out and deleting my nearly completed emails! It’s really making me quite mad right now.
 So anyways I'm so happy to hear about the Waymans. That’s quite a bitter sweet blessing for Gerald to get his kidney. It really is miracle and almost sounds like a story you'd hear in conference or something :)
  The Last week has been an experience. First our District leader Elder Chaffetz( the son of Utah representative) got promoted to AP. I really liked him though, mostly cause he and I liked the same bands( oh yeah the Who!) and even the same movies,  although he was more into grunge and punk music haha
 Then Tuesday we had a Mission tour. During which Elder C. Scott Grow of the 70 came to visit us. He gave a couple really good lectures on missionaries working hard in rough areas and focused a lot on reaching out to less active people. Also baptizing and holding those we do baptize to the church. This time was not only great because we got hear him as well as President & Sister Judd( which by the way have you been talking to her? she said "Elder Ray your mom says your such a happy missionary" just wondering if you had? :)
but also during the tour I was able to see some of my friends from the MTC including Elder Ujafusha, it was good to see them again.
 When we got home we found we had power (which had been off for the last day or so) but no water. We checked the pump which was working fine, however when we checked the poly tanks that hold all or water we found them to be dry! This meant we'd have no water for the next month. So for 4 days we bought little bags or pure water to cook, drink, and wash with. It was a pain and quite a hassle to deal with luckily the mission home found us a water truck and we have been saved and refreshed! :)
  That was my crazy week. We don't have any baptisms until the 2nd week in Feb. But there are a lot coming and we are teaching a lot of people every day. I'm also gaining a reputation as a historian out here. Everyone loves to ask me random dates to see what I know and I usually can answer haha. They are very surprised by my knowledge of church history- asking what happened here or to what person. So I think I'm finding my place :)
 Good luck and I wish everyone the best until next week!
Elder Ray

That Mp3 player sounds like it’s a beast. I also would like if you can get the “A team”theme song and National Geographic theme song on there. Another kid had the A team on his and it made me laugh, so I was just wondering if you could do that for me. plus don't forget the Legends of the Fall music and True Grit music too. Bree can probably pull those from youtube as well as instrumentals and covers of other songs. Mail comes in tomorrow so I'll see if the packages have arrived. Thanks and Love you :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Bike Race - January21, 2013

Dear Family~  Well yes my clothes are really starting to get big on my and fast! my pants and shirts swallow me up and I have had to punch lots of new holes in my belts.  I'm still staying very health and fit. Every night I weight lift with my cement and rebar weights., plus we bike and walk miles on end everyday so I'm doing great.
 I'm glad to hear that Tyler had a good farewell talk, I wish I could have been there, but it sounds kind of like I was  there-  haha.  I hope "I" got some ice cream and cake.
  I found this stuff called "fanice" which is sorta like an extremely creamy ice cream, it’s ok I'll take any ice cream here. I buy a fanta orange and make I nice orange cream shake! I have really enjoyed yam and sweet potato. They put a really spicy salsa on it which isn't bad.
  So last night I raced some punks while I was on my mountain bike and somewhere through the city I lost my name tag and white handbook. Nothing important money wise, but hopefully I'll have a new one in a week. I don't wear dad’s tag for that very reason, though I did at the MTC and my teachers were impressed by it and now they want to give their tags to their kids one day.
 Don't worry about the worms I'm drinking good clean water and even taking my garlic pills, plus before you go home the mission doctor gives everyone DE-worming medicine just so that there is no problem.
So I have a plug that has an end for the usb to go into so that should work just fine, thats what everyone else does for theirs. My adaptor/convertor is working awesome! it’s a beast and the other kids are impressed by it power(all I do with it is charge the camera, which yes I'm taking a lot of picture, but this computer barley lets me send one or 2 at a time. if that card fills I can put my picture on my flash drive you gave me too.
Well everything is good here in Ghana! Pray that the Ghana Black Stars win the African football cup or there may be riots in the streets plus we bet ten referrals on the game haha.
 ~Elder Ray~
P.s. if you get a recorder just get what ever one will you think will work the best for shipping and using wise. plus dalton and Moms & dads letters are coming together soon, like in the mail already.

Taylor and his dad like to take songs and change the words so each week they send one to each other - this is Taylor's latest ( done to The Who song - Teenage Wasteland)

   So I thought about this during the week-
Out here in the field( the mission field that is)
I farm for my meals( the field is white for harvest & I might start a tomato plant)
I get my back into my living( everyday from 10am to 930 pm)
I don't need to fight, to prove I'm right( fight with Jehovah witness)
We just need to pray and be forgiven yeah yeah yeaah!
Until next week
~Elder Ray~

Monday, January 14, 2013

Waters of Baptism - Jan 14, 2013

Well Family& Friends... 4 people went into the water and came straightway out of the water! IT was so amazing to finally be able to baptize people! The best part is that this Sat. we have 2 more getting soaked, plus hopefully by the middle of Feb. we will get 4 more! everything is going so well right now. We are teaching so many lessons at times we don't have time for all of them! then other times we run around looking for someone to teach, but all in all the work is going great!
  So I'm really starting to learn the languages better! Twi( tree) & Ga` are the big ones in my area. There is even some french around and other languages I don't even recognize. I have now revived a Twi name, Ga` name and even a french name, its Victor don't ask way but that one I can spell.So Every time someone asks me for money or tells me to take them with me to America. I just say I'm either Canadian or Germany then speak some random German words and they back off.
 Outside our compound there are about 10 kids always running around and they love to hang with us outside the apartment. In honor of the Lone Ranger movie I told them my name was Kemosabe and they always chant it to me day and night! When people ask for my native name, (whatever that is) I give them that Indian name haha. Story of the week: We were playing baseball with those kids( yeah a they had a baseball and 2 gloves, the only ones in Ghana!) Elder P. accidentally threw it on the roof and for the next hour I had kids climbing my back(since I was the tallest thing around) to try a reach the ball- it finally fell through the tin roof into someone's kitchen and we got it, though  was filthy dirty haha all in the days work I guess.
  I'm so glad to hear about the blessing you guys are receiving! hopefully with more hard work on my part they will continue :) I'm missing you guys, but I remember my purpose so I will get by, I will survive!
until the next time
love you all,
~Elder Ray~
P.s. I will watch for those packages, I really look forward to them. and thank you so much for working on that Mp3 player it will be a savior when it gets here. just remember that music I asked for. can't think of anything else I need.
P.p.s send Tyler my wishes and let him know how proud I am for him! :)
 the picture is of the 3 people I baptized Elder P. Lucia,Frances, me and Felix.

Upcoming Baptisms-Jan 7, 2013

I have learned so much from my parents, things you just don't learn from anywhere or anyone else. its funny you mention this because in my handwritten letter to you I talk a great deal about this, so I'll expound even more on this subject there. For now please know that you have taught me some of the greatest things I know.
   Now, last Tuesday I finally got my Christmas package from the family! it made it safe and sound, just a couple weeks late. Thank you guys so so much for all the uplifting letters and presents! the pez candy didn't last very long though :) and that Ink pen! I love it! I have pen using it everyday and soon you'll have some letter from me written with it. So you can  send multi packages at a time, but they my arrive weeks apart, that's what the office told me.
  Hopefully if you send the mp3 player it will just take a little while for it to get here, and I don't think I can get speakers for it here sorry. could you also add the lion king, tangled, and billy joel on it oh and maybe some john williams music, like jurassic park or stuff like that? as long as you think that would be fine. And some talks if you can? Neal a Maxwell or Hugh b Brown have some good ones. just some ideas.
 Yeah isn't that cool the Dan Jones guy? steamboat captain, missionary, and Manti mayor! is there any bios or teachings about him or Porter you could send to me? I wonder if they ever teach spiritual things on porter haha?
   So have you heard anyone else to get their calls since I have left? when do those Richfield & Gunnison boys come out? oh and something else I have been wondering, how did people react when the world didn't end back in Dec 21?
  So there are 4 baptisms coming up this Saturday. 2 brothers Frances& Felix. Frances I now have given two blessings to and he is doing very well and seems to have recovered. they are awesome golden converts and have been amazing to teach. One is a lady whose whole family is LDS and she has finally made the step to be baptized. the last has been a little tricky. she is a 80? or 90? year old women who doesn't speak english only french and doesn't remember any of her info. but we got it worked out with her :) then we have 4 more dates out there, 2 for the end of the month and 2 at the first of Feb. so things are zooming on along right now.
 I do believe I'm growing and shrinking right now. I am reading the BoM like never before and discovering things I only thought where in the pagaent haha jk. but really I have learned so much from the BoM, which President Judd tells us to focus on so much. physically I'm shrinking everyday, I know it because I feel like it and people( like investigators) tell me it. We did get a curling and bench bar with weights from a local member...its a big piece of re-bar with cement molded on the ends I'll get you a picture. the locals were impressed that I could lift with it so well :)

Well I hope everything is going well( sorry to hear about the pipes) and try to stay warm, I did leave you a lot of firewood :) Thanks for everything and I love you all and miss you all so much.
Elder Steven T. Ray

Ps. this maybe a little hard but, could you get me or find me I should say Levi's mission mailing address, Blake's and David Swensons, Micheal Lutes, and Jordan Mackey's, plus Andrew Brown? thanks I feel I should say something to these brethren
pictures this week first is the local natives fishing

Friday, January 4, 2013

All Is Well December 31, 2012

Dear Mom,

and maybe I should say dear anyone else that reads this too :)
  I was worried I wouldn't have enough to say in 40mins, but that time did fly. I did hear you guys all say you love me, I'm just sorry i wasn't able to say goodbye to everyone there, like my sisters and grandma Russell and grandma & grandpa Ray. Make sure they all know I wanted too, and I'll write them all soon too.
 Well Christmas here was...hmm interesting. We worked as much as we could during the day, but lots of our appointments feel through because of people taking a holiday. We came home a little early so we could call home, then went to our first FM or free meal. it was fufu and bonku( yeah I thought diarhha tonight) then a little later we had another FM at a recent converts outdoor bar. It was really nice and while the radio was playing Don Henley's "Boys of Summer" came on - oh how nice it was to hear some 80s music, it was what I considered my gift(beside calling you guys) then even though we were full, the others were bound and determined to get to KFC, We caught a cho-cho or crappy little van bus thing and rode into town. The KFC was not like the ones in America. It was more like a 5 star restaurant and you paid like it was too. I got a zinger burger with a sundae- ate on the 3rd floor and enjoyed the AC, well I did the others were freezing.
And that was Christmas, with all the joys and everything.  The next day we did go it at an area 70s house far far away so it took up the whole day. they fed us very well and I got to see my buddies Ujafusha, Bay, and Ikoro from the MTC at the party. Hutch was not able to make it on account he was in the bush area and they don't get to come to the Christmas party for its 7 hrs away.
  Sounds like you guys have had a very wonderful Christmas, not only by the gifts you received but by the service you guys gave. I do want to see a picture of the clock mom got and the snow, oh and did you guys paint the kitchen too? I want to see haha. Thanks for feeding the missionaries. I realize how nice it is when members help them out now that I'm one of them. I wish I would have been more open to helping them when I was there and understand why, but it's ok now. What missionary knew me? Elder herria? or pederson? Tell them I said Hi and thanks for what they taught me.
 I love you guys and I'm so grateful that I have a loving family back home, who support me so well. I hope to get you all letters really soon, but for now you have my emails. Keep my action figure well fed and let him listen to the Who. I wish all the kids well as they get ready to go back to school and I wish mom and dad well as they take care of the family.
Love you guys all very much
~Elder Ray~
PS I starting to take my vitamins :), but I still suck at typing fast and spelling things correct.

Ok now on a different note...things I need. I really want pancake mix that stuff would be a life saver. Then is there packs of jelly you can send? It is hard to find here and extremely expensive. I really could use some here. the bread is amazingly good here and very cheap so some nice jelly would be awesome. Chocolate, like milky way or snickers anytime you can send me that I would love it to, not as big of a priority though as pancakes and jelly, but still needed. Soon I might need some more crystal light packs, I making the ones I have last, but they sure help with the nasty water taste. Some talks or stories about Porter Rockwell( not even other missioaries know about him) and a man named Dan Jones he sounds pretty cool and I don't know a lot about him.
Now the big thing that I really want....a MP3 player with some speakers. We have plenty of time to listen to music and this is what most kids are asking their parents for as well. nothing really fancy just as long as it works and it will have to have some small speakers. as long as it has a little usb cable I can charge it. As for the music....Mormon tabernacle of course with the good stuff like "come thy fount", "Down to the river to pray", "Amazing grace", "How firm a foundation", Hie to Kolob", Come come ye saints. those songs and others. also any Disney song is acceptable by mission rules. I would like Tarzan soundtrack, Hercules soundtrack, and the Lion King, and others as well I think you would know what to put on there. Movie soundtracks like the Legends of the Fall theme or the Last of the Mohicans theme, instrumentals like that are fine too so maybe if you have some favorite music as well add them on as well, I'd like the True Grit soundtracks especially the "leaning on the everlasting arms" its fine too because its a hymn. then don't freak out when I request this but 80s music, no before you get the wrong mind set the APs and office Elders as well as the other missionaries have plenty of country music or stuff like coldplay and Hannah Montana( no I don't want any that stuff) but light stuff like Bon Jovi's Lost highway or maybe something by Don Henley would be fine. they are calm and good meaning songs. Also If you can find songs that someone has just made a instrumental or violin cover they work too. Now I'm not saying stuff like AcDc or Judas priest, but maybe someone has done it to the Who or living on a prayer or light rock like that, you understand? I'm sure Bree can find stuff for this. I would really like the actual song Words of wisdom by the Beatles, I listened to that the other day at a members house. Oh and maybe some good talks too you can put on there. Ever heard the Mobster to Mormon guy? he has a really good story. Anyways that is my little thing for this week. as soon as you can send that mp3 player it would really help. you don't have to put all that music on there just want you feel would work and can, but try please!!!!! one more thing, were you still going to send me a tape recorder? just wondering.
Thanks for everything and for being willing to send me stuff still
love Elder Ray

December 24, 2012

Wow, everyone there has their hands full with a lot of different church positions, that really makes me happy to hear that :)
Ok so the mission field is 100x hotter then the MTC, right now I'm emailing from a little internet shack on the side of the road, haha - I didn't think I would be able to send pictures from here but it looks like I can but I didn't bring my camera so next week I will get you some pictures of my area - the beach (yup right next to the ocean here!) and pics of my comp, Elder Probst from Heber.  I really like him - he is a good worker and a nice kid.  Well, everything here stinks like open sewer - probably because I have to hop over one every 50 feet or so.  So the first day I got here the ATM ate my church issued debit card (they told me that happens very rarely) I was able to borrow money form Probst and then the office brought me some money out.  I have wrecked on my bike once so far, don't worry no ripped clothes just torn skin - which I boiled some water and washed out and treated just fine! remember I'm a mtn man! hahaha. Oh and some old lady at the vendor shop asked me if I needed an African wife, I was taken off guard for a minute then promptly told her I had a lovely "obruni:" date...that word means white and I hear it yelled at me all day from really old people to kids, mostly kids.  They love to fun up to me and touch my skin (awkward but I'm getting used to it)  It's tre or however you spell it however I'm starting to learn the language.
Now though all that stuff and more fish heads, things are really picking up spiritually.  We already have 4 baptisms dates (Jan 12) and everyday it seems like we have more investigators! One baptism date is for a 100 yr old woman who has practiced black magic and every other thing west of the Nile!  Pres Judd was very nice and Bishop Adams wrote me a very impressive letter (I need his mailing address)  We have had a few free meals but no cat yet!
Ok so tomorrow I will hopefully get my call to you around 10am which is 5pm for me.  I hope that works and I enjoyed the package of chocolate you sent (was that Christmas?) it was really good and I would love for more...lots more! :)  Well until tomorrow...I love you guys lots and can't wait to talk with everyone.
Elder Ray

ps - I will call the house number, if that fails I will try dad, mom or my old cell.