Feb 27 2012

Today we went to the zoo. The last time i went the jungle closed and i
didn’t get to see it. boy did i miss out, it’s SICK!!! I’ll send some
pics. dang it’s awesome. Plus we got in for free cuz some people in
one of the branches have bring a guest for free so four random ladies
we don’t even know (we talked to the other missionares to set it up)
showed up at the zoo, and got us in for free and said bye haha.
AWESOME! Other big news items, i’ve been doing a comb over lately,
pulling off the little clarky clark look. Also, prayer has been a big
deal lately. I’ve beehaving a 30 minute prayer once a day for like 5
days now and it’s sweet. I’m gonna do it for 30 days straight. I
invite you all to read the talk “improving our prayers” by elder
worthlin. http://www.lds.org/liahona/2004/08/improving-our-prayers?lang=eng&query=improving+our+prayers
It’s awesome. I want you all to know that this church is true. Even if
i knew it before, i don’t understand how it didn’t fill every fiber of
my body as it does now. I LOVE this gospel. Such happiness can not be
found elsewhere. Hold to the rod, for letting go will only bring you

–Elder Ragsdale

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So this week was cool for a couple reasons. Unfortunately, noone at
church from our side of things, but 2 from north came and i’ll tell
you about them later. But this week we have met 3 new people, and we
have learned how to determine whether people are ready for the
restored gospel. After we say the first vision, we just look at them.
Don’t say a word. If they ask what Christ said then they were paying
attention and want to know. Otherwise they don’t really understand the
gravity of what happened to Joseph and we need to try again. We’ve
really seen a difference in our teaching and feel extremely happy when
we teach. The only problem is we aren’t teaching a ton. We are going
to do a lot of looking this week so hopefully we have some good news
next week. But also, yesterday at church we talked. Elder Orellana
talked about the restoration, Elder Terris about the Book of Mormon, I
talked about baptism, and Elder Jimenez talked about sharing the
gospel with friends. Very powerful. One of the investigators that
north had that i have taught before also, decided pretty much that
this has to be the church of God. Awesome! Good news! I have read all
the way from 1 nephi 1 to Mosiah…this week. It’s awesome! I LOVE the
book of mormon. Even though isaih is hard to understand. Seriously.
Doing this has changed my outlook on the BOM. SICK! I love you all and
hope you have a good week. As you put God as your top priority he will
help you out. I love this life and how God has done it all for US.

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Jan. 3 2012

Could you let people know? Thanks πŸ™‚
Dear Missionaries,

The mission office will be moving to the chapel located on Martha
Street on January 3rd.Β  To help us in getting your mail forwarded
properly, would you email the address below to your parents or others
who may be sending mail to you.Β  Mail will be forwarded for a period
of time, but it would be best to have everyone using the new address
as soon as possible.

Nebraska Omaha Mission
11027 Martha Street
Omaha, Nebraska

The phone number at the office will remain the same.

Thank you,
Nebraska Omaha Office Staff

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Isn’t that a strange date? It’s like it jumped from 12/29/2010 to
now!! It’s crazy. HEy, just some quick updates on the investigators:
S——r, stopped smoking, he says, but started doubting and beleiving
in the virgin of guadalupe again. didn’t show up for church which
makes his baptism date invalid. So sad. I have the STRONGEST testimony
of the apostasy. Out here we encounter people with SO many different
beliefs that are TOTALLY against even the bible. It’s insane. I mean,
it’s surprising to me that people cant just see how the church makes
sense. I mean, there’s nothing to lose. Either our church is true, or
it’s like EVERY OTHER church out there. SO annoying. But when they
feel the spirit, it all changes. I love the gospel. I love this
church. Elder Caldwell and I have been doing a lot of tracting the
last little while and there’s some people we’re looking forward to
seeing, i’ll let you know what happens next week. I want you all to
know i love you all, thanks so much for all you do πŸ™‚ This church is
true, i KNOW it. And not even that, but you have to follow the things
you know to be true or knowing the truthfulness does nothing for ya. I
love you all!
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Oct. 20 2011

Sorry i didn’t write monday! We had some problems with the library
being full and car issues and time problems but hey, today is as good
as any. Any new updates hmmmm lemme think. Well, The newest thing is
that the two North Omaha Spanish Elders moved into our apartment. I’m
getting really buff due to having someone in the apartment that knows
how to work out, and it feels so good. I want to be bigger when i get
back. Also, S——r is progressing towards baptism on the 5 of
November. This week he is quitting smoking. Pray that he will be able
to withstand the temptations. It’s that time of teaching again where
we need to go out and find. Last night E Caldwell and I went tracting
for like 3 hours in the cold, but it paid off, cuz we found a lady I
think could really have some potential. We will be doing a lot of
finding these next weeks, especially cuz I don’t wanna have to tract
all day in the winter. I wanna just teach teach teach!!! So S——r’s
doing well, but other than that we’ve just got some people floating
around. F—l is one we’re really wanting to focus on. He is in a part
member family but they are inactive. I just love being a missionary.
It’s funny cuz i can’t really remember who i was. I was thinking the
other day of how scared I would be to fly 15-20 feet in the air at a
high speed on a bike when Its what i loved to do at home. Weird. I
know this church is true, but more importantly, i know it because i’ve
lived what is taught and i ‘ve seen the blessings. I feel like such a
greater person than who I was before. Even some of my desires have
changed, which is a sign of the savior’s atonement working within us.
I love you all, and I know that as we prioretize the Lord in our
lives, we become happier. Is God not happy? Are we not ehre to become
like Him? As we do so, we become happier, it’s simple math (although i
have no doubt i wouldn/t be able to do difficult math πŸ˜‰ ). Love ya!!!

Elder Ragsdale
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Oct 3 2011

Well, Conference was great! The only thing that could have made it
better would be if we had more investigators show up. Some of the
talks were straight up FOR our investigators. The one on the BOM, the
one on the Lord’s prayer(Josh’s mission pres. sweet!), the one on the name of the church, gee IΒ could go on! D—– did not come even though she had work off. I don’t
know what happened, but she’s breaking my heart! She knows it’s
right!! Oh, i loved how they sang consider the lilies at conference.
One of my faves. The cool thing is that S—– came to conference and
he will be baptized this Saturday. We have taught him basically
everything and he remembers and lives it all! I love him he’s awesome.
Pray that he can continue to progress. D—–, well, I hope things
look up soon or she will probably give in to what the Devil says. We
also have a family of 4 set for baptism the 29th and we hope to help
them make that date. Also, F—— and J—- are super close to making
decisions that will allow them to be baptized. We have really seen a
pick up in the work. I’m so satisfied, and so tired at times haha.
Next Monday I will be sending a lot of pictures at home so in like two
weeks you will be able to see lots and lots of good pictures πŸ™‚ I hope
all is well there. It brings me peace to know that Christ is there for
us. As someone said in conference, Christ will never fall asleep on us
(the apostles fell asleep as he suffered). I know He lives, and I know
that we are here to become more like him. The only way to do that is
through living like him, which His restored church helps us do. I love
His church, and I love having the opportunity to help bring others
into it. It’s weird to think that in two more transfers I will have
been out a whole year. I love you all and I pray you are physically
safe, but more I hope and pray that you keep yourselves spiritually
safe, as the latter is much much more valuable. Have a good week!

Elder Ragsdale

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Hey, basically no time i was reading your letters and president’s.
But, S—– is set for baptism for the 8th, we have three more set for
the 29, and we’ve seen D—- and we’re trying to set her for the
15th. things are going so well for her, i love her! Transfers didn’t
affect us so we will continue to grow together. Love you guys! Pray we
can get these people baptized and fix this area!

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It seems that we always have to go through the wilderness to get to
the promised land, and i believe part of the calm after the storm has
settled. Things this week were better. We had a couple miracles. We
found D—–, and everything is just fine. She was working a lot and
was in Iowa and when we found her she was like, “Where have you guys
been?!” We had a great lesson about the purpose of this life and she
told us she wants us to keep coming, to read the scriptures, and to
get baptized πŸ™‚ We will try to get those to happen. We’ve had a pretty
good week πŸ™‚ Also, missionwide this week everyone spent as long as it
took to clean the whole apartment hardcore. Our apartment is super
legit now and I actually enjoy being in it. Let me tell you something
wierd. You know how after a while school and work and all the normal
things turn into daily routine stuff that isn’t exciting after the
first couple days? It’s almost a normal thing to say life changing
things hhaha. It’s so werid. Like we’ll have a bomb lesson, and
afterward it’s like…yeah, that’s what we do. Ya know? It’s awesome!
We’ve had some great lessons about the apostasy and how churches are
all wrong and stuff and the poeple totally agree! The only hard part
is getting them to undersatnad the actual importance of the Jospeh
Smith story. They don’t tend to cling onto the fact that there’s no
perfect churhc, and that we’re saying now there is one. It’s hard but
once it makes sense it brings such happiness to me, and them, and the
Lord. I love serving. I love you. And I love the opportunity I have
everyday to learn and grow. Wow this life is wonderful when we realize
what it is we’re doing here. That’s what has hit Β me this week. The
purpose of this life. So many people don’t understand it. They go to
work and to school and etc and etc and odn’t understand why! Waking up
everyday has a purpose. I’m so grateful I know that purpose. This week
I will be working on my andger and frustration. Things are pretty
cheap around here with the way we’ve been getting treated by the
mission and i’ve been upset, but it do esn’t do anything! So i am
trying for now on to change and not get angry. I made it a goal that i
don’t want my children to ever see me angry when i can actually just
take care of it. Ya know?
Everything is possible with the Lord. I’ve so grateful for what i’ve
learned out here. Having to live a higher law has helped me see just
how low I was living. I apologize to any and/or all of you I have hurt
or damaged by doing stupid stuff. I love you all and I love the Lord
and his mercy. This church and Jesus Christ and you all mean
everything to me. Everything.

Elder Ragsdale

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Too bad holidays and festive days and things like that mean nothing to
us. Haha I don’t even remember what day it is half the time. It’s
either sunday, p-day, or during the week. Sounds like things at home
are alright! Keep it up gang! It’s weird to hear about normal life
haha, it’s so different out here. Investigators wise, D—– has
disappeared. Seeing as how she lives across the street from us it
means she heard something like a dumb rumor and got scared off. We’ll
have to stay persistent until we hear what the problem is from her own
face. L—-, yep, the same. Gone. Won’t answer calls, won’t return
calls, won’t call, never home, nothing. Even from her good friend.
It’s insane. I’ve been here for like 3 or 4 weeks now, and i’m in the
most populated hispanic area in the mish, yet i’m not teaching. I feel
like i’m doing something wrong. Every day goes by so quickly or slowly
or impossibly that the whole week goes by and I never had time to
think about anything all week! It’s insane. The only other
person/people are M—- and J—- and M—. M—- is this older lady
we knocked into and set up an appointment. Came back, had a legit
first lesson, everything went well. She’s supposed to read and pray
and we’re calling tomorrow to set something up. J—- and M—,
haven’t taught ’em yet but they seem super nice and so we’re going to
strain it for all it’s worth. Those people are the important ones
right now but other than that, please just pray that we can find
somebody. I really want my kid to see success. Speaking of which,
Elder Meza and I set Norfolk up for success for months.

A—- and U——, remember them? have come to church and have been
taught again. Evidently she heard that we worship Joseph Smith so she
peaced out. She’s back on the radar. Pray that she progresses.

A—- also has been to church and been taught, she is expected to be
set for baptism this week.

C—-‘s wife is doing very well. He has promised God to join the church.

V——-, didn’t tell you about her. I spotted her and talked to her a
couple days before I left, he’s been teaching her and she always asks
where Ragsdale is πŸ™‚ She’s close to being set for baptism.

R— is set for baptism this saturday.

Can you believe it?!?! I feel like I fulfilled my purpose there in
Norfolk and the fruits are still showing.

Perhaps soemday it will be the same here.

One cool story before I gotta go: The other day I was like 30 feet in
the air with a chain saw, on a broken tree, cutting off humongous
branches. It was INSANE! I wish we would have gotten a picture, but
didn’t have the camera. I was up in this HUGE tree like 30-35 feet
above the ground, for like 4 hours. One of the parts of the tree was
like a foot in diameter. HUGE! But i’m safe and sound so don’t worry
:)Love you guys! I know this church is true. Things are hard
now…just like they were before I left, but afterward i became so
strong. I want to be even stronger so i will persevere! This gospel is
true and it’s perfect. Wow I have a testimony of the apostasy. Just go
talk to some catholic or testigo de jehova o algo. Insane. Love you!

Elder Ragsdale

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Today I’m 8 months old

I just realized i’ve been out exactly 8 months. Weird or no?? Creo que
si. Anyway, omaha is huge. Way big. And me and my greeny cover half of
it. We have to share a car, so that means going without it for half
the week, and due to that and that the first pday of the transfer was
hectic as heck, we didn’t get to email. Sorry!! We searched for
libraries but they were either closed, or asking for a lot of money or
seomthing dumb. Geez i don’t even know what to write about. We are
speaking spanish again! Thankfully. Geez it was hard in Norfolk with
not as much Spanish. Speaking of Norfolk, E. Meza called me up, J—– and M—– basically dropped us. They went from saying they’d be at
church EVERY sunday to basically, we don’t wanna hear you. Super
saddening. But another lady we started to teach missed the heck outta me evidently. AWESOME. It’s beginning to be harder to think in English as I write so it’s really cool. Um, we basically are just doing a lot
of work haha. Lot of teaching my greeny. A lot of walking. A lot of
trying to find less active members and investigators etc. It’s werid
because the way you work changes in every area, it’s really werid.
Another thing that’s different. I have NO time to think. We are always
working, or planning, or studying, or i’m doing district leader stuff.
It’s super different. And I haven’t been able to have a legit gospel
talk with somebody for a while about deep doctrine. My comp just isn’t
that kinda guy. Not trying to be mean or anything
but….way different than me. Things are well so far though. Lots of
mexicans here. So many we don’t even have to search. Kind of
intimidating. There is a little mexico here. Literally. Stores, signs,
EVERYTHING spanish and mexican. Legit. The only thing is their clothes
are super expensive. Like cowboy boots or belts or anything nice like
that SUPER expensive. I wanted to buy a belt made out of crocodile
skin and has teh croc head as the buckle, 120 bucks. Yep, that was not
a typo. Last pday we had a chance to play soccer in an abandoned
parking garage. LEGIT. Also, Remember C— from Norfolk? Yep he’s here
now cuz his wife was moved to the hospital here. He’s doing okay. I
don’t really know what else to say. questions?

I know this church is true. If i didn’t, I wouldn’t be spending 2 yrs
of my life to share it. It makes PERFECT sense and answers every
question. Intellectually and spiritually. I love this gospel. I love
my savior and Lord Jesus Christ. As we live better lives we learn to
become better people.

We are not earning heaven, we are learning heaven.

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