Sunday, October 25, 2009

Que le cumple feliz!

19 Oct 2009

Dear Family,

Happy Birthday Jonathan! I can´t relieve that tomorrow you´ll be 16 already. While I was preparing Rocío, Gastón, and Romina for their baptisms, Rocío said that she was born in 1993. That made me think, “My brother already is nearly as old as she is!?!” I feel like I´ve missed out a lot in your life the past two years. I feel like I remember you as a 14 yr old. But, you´ll already start to drive and to date. From what I´ve heard, you are much more excited to do those two things than I was when I turned 16. You are already a fairly responsible young man, so I doubt you´ll have problems living up to the new responsibilities that you´ll be taking upon yourself. I wish you luck and I hope you enjoy your teenage years while you have them. I´m realizing now that I´m no longer a kid anymore. I´ll miss those days as I have to face the world. I love you and have a lot of respect for who you´ve become. Continue forth on good paths, avoid temptation, and you´ll become the grand man that God is planning for you to become.

Dad, to let you know, I took out 200 pesos out of the bank. This area is a bit more expensive than the last areas and we don´t receive as much help from the members for our food, so I have to buy much more. On tuesday, we passed by the family with whom we have lunch on wednesdays and she said that she was doing a little job and we needed to call the next day to see if she got paid in order to cook for us. They are the most faithful family in the ward, so I knew they were having serious financial difficulties. If they had, they would give, even if it wasn´t enough left over for themselves. So, we decided to have her teach us how to make a good sauce, we bought lunch for ourselves and the family and learned to cook it together. It was a good experience, but our budget is a bit short. (But don´t worry mom, we´re eating well).

This past week has been a fairly good week. E´Runolfson is a good elder and knows how to teach well. I´m very grateful to have him as a companion. I think we´ll work well together. Right now, I feel like our only success is coming out of children. I counted on Sunday and there were 75 members there, 40 of which are under the age of 18. This is a very young ward with a large group of youth, who are helping with the missionary program. On Sunday we had two neighbors of one member come, two neighbors of Alvaro, and two neighbors of Rocío, Gastón, and Romina. It´s great that all the kids want to come, but we want to help the whole family. We want to help the parents come. But the majority of the time, they aren´t married and don´t have much interest at all in religion. It worries me a bit because the bishop says that this ward is notorious for baptizing kids without their parents and without much of their support, the kids slowly go inactive. But, I can´t deny a kid, who at least has the permission of his parents, his salvation on account of his parents who are dull to the Spirit because of sin. So, we will continue to teach them and do our best to include their parents in the conversion process.

I know that this work is true and that there are thousands who are ready to hear and accept the message that Christ wishes to give us. I know that faithful prayer, scripture study, and church attendence gives us that ability to overcome the problems that are in this torrential world and find the peace and tranquility that so many look for. I know that it is only through and in our Lord Jesus Christ that such blessings come from. And that through our obedience to Him, we will be able to reunite with our loving and merciful Father. I know this to be true and I share it with my love to you.

-Elder Drake Ranquist

Sunday, October 18, 2009


So for all of those who don't know, Jonathan (yes, the baby of the Ranquist family!) Turns 16 on tuesday!!!! He says he's mainly excited for the cars, but I know that driving girls in cars must be in the back of his mind somewhere ;)

16 Great Things About Jonathan:

16. Amazing Indoor Tent Builder: I'm not sure if we ever took pictures, but Jonathan and I could make some pretty rockin tents with sticks and sheets that spanned our whole basement. good times

15. A dancer!!!: Shhhh!!!! No one's allowed to know just how graceful he is and how good of a dancer he could be if only he tried...

14. Fun to cook with: especially when I'm making cookies, while on the phone and the fight!

13. Good Rhymer: he can spend hours coming up with words to rhyme with the ones at the end of my sentence. I don't quite remember who won that one

12. History Buff!!!: History Channel is one of his favorite tv stations. He knows everything!

11. Has and keeps goals: He has always wanted to be a pilot. I know he will achieve this goal someday!

10. Trusting: He kind of has to be, to get in the car with me driving at 5:45 in the morning...

9. Good listener: I talk to much, whoops.

8. Smart: This kid knows so many random facts, it's awesome!

7. Smile: of course I couldn't pass this one up! He was called "smiley-boy" by Grandpa Ranquist, but lately his family isn't the only one to notice his georgous smile :D

6. An exampe: I don't recall him complaining. His lazy older sister would be sitting on her bed and ask him to run all the way down to the basement to get her paper that printed out, and he would!

5. Cheerful: He always laughs, even when being beaten up!

4. Loving: He has soo much love - for the family, life, the dog, everything

3. Athletic: He's going on a 50 mile bike ride this week! Crazy!

2. Close to the Lord: whenever someone in our house has lost something, we go to Jonathan. As soon as he says a prayer, it is found. The Lord listens to him

1. A GREAT BROTHER!!! when asked what he wants for his bday, he says things like "I don't really want anything really. I guess just me knowin that you know I miss you."

I Miss you too!!! Have a Great Birthday!!!!!

bautismos y cambios

12 Oct 2009

Dear Family,

Today, I find myself next to Elder Runolfson here in Moreno 2. Elder Callejas went to one of my favorite areas, Rafael Castillo 1. He will be able to help and protect the converts in that great ward. Elder Runolfson is from Northern California and has been on his mission for 17 months. I continue being district leader, so that makes me senior companion still (even though I´d love to return to the responsibilities of being Junior Companion). I´ve known him since the beginning of my mission because he was in my district my second and third transfer, which allowed us to do a few divisions together. I think we´ll have a good time together and I hope that we´ll be able to work as hard as I did with E´Callejas. I don´t feel we have very many good investigators (none came to church on sunday) right now, so it is possible that we´re in for a rocky road, but through pray, faith, and work, the Lord will provide. I have a firm testimony of that.

This past week, we had the great opportunity to be apart of the baptisms of Rocío, Romina, and Gastón Mendez. Elder Callejas baptized Rocío and Romina, while I baptized Gastón. I really wish that Alvaro and Gabriel could have done them, but they aren´t yet Priests. They helped us out a lot in supporting Gastón.

It gives me great joy to know that Nic was able to enter the waters of baptism and make covenants with our Lord. I really wish that I could have been there. And I hope to always be there to help him on this difficult road that gives so much peace and joy. I will pray his parents will accept his decision. I suggest to Nic that he too prays and possibly fasts to know that words that the Lord would have him use and the to do so with the faith courage that Limoni had while travelling with Ammon when they encountered his father. A good read would be Alma 20 and Alma 22 about how at first the father of Lamoni rejected his decision to be baptized, but then accepts. That his father becomes and instrument in allowing the entire kingdom receive the gospel. With this faith, prayer, study, and courage, God will help touch their hearts.

We have a new form of doing the transfers, so we are doing this really late and I don´t have time to write any more. May the Lord be with you all and his peace and comfort cover you. Here on the mission, I try to keep in mind, “Never give up, never surrender!”

Elder Drake Ranquist

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Me encanto la conferencia

5 Oct 2009

Dear Family,

We got back from our zone activity fairly late, so I don´t really have much time at all to write. I´m sorry. But as you all did, I absolutely loved the conference. It seems to get better every time. And it seems to go by faster every time. I felt the Spirit quite strongly through the duration of the conference.

I absolutely loved all of the talks about the importante of love. It is an atribute that I am trying so hard to improve. It has always been my weak spot. I can be diligent and do good things for good reasons, but I have a hard time doing such things out of love. I want to feel it more. I do love God and his children, but I want to feel it deeper down in my heart. I believe I am more sensible now, things touch my heart, but not quite as I think it should. I think it will be a trait I will be working on throughout my life. And I hope that when people see me, as President Uchtdorf stated, they will say “This is a man who loves God and loves his neighbor, why? And how can I have the happiness I see in him?” I know that I am called to be a constant example to help all that meet me to have more interest in the restored gospel. But, I feel I have a long way yet.

Now, I ask you to pray that I always have the energy that I need. The past two days, we went running around trying to invite and bring all of our investigators to General Conference. It wore me out a bit. But somehow God will pull energy out of nowhere to help me continue with His work.

Next week I´ll have a fairly big change. I´ll lose my companion E´Callejas and receive a new companion. We´ll also see this week if we acheived our goal of 200 baptisms. We have 130 for the transfer and 99 planned for this weekend (the last week of a transfer always sees the most baptisms). We hope to help with the baptism of Rocío, Gastón, and Romina Mendez.

I will continue praying for you all because I do love you Mom, Dad, Jessica, and Jonathan.

With that love,
Elder Drake Ranquist