Week 106 – honorable release, going home

December 15-18:

The family picked Elder Ralph from his 2 year mission in Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission. It was wonderful to meet the Mission president, see where he served, those he brought the gospel to, service he rendered and those who he loved and loved him. It’s been a spiritual feast to hear his and others testimonies. It’s been wonderful experience and so grateful we could do it. It’s the best Christmas present! He will be speaking in church Sunday January 1, 2017 at 11 am.  The church is on the corner of Snider and Cornell Rd. Anyone is invited.  There is a get together with Micah that same evening from 7-9 pm at our home: 6634 Middleboro Rd. Blanchester, Ohio 45107.  Refreshments will be served.

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Week 105 in the Mission Field

Hi everyone,

Honestly,  this past week has flown by… and all is a blur… 

Tuesday, we had our district meeting! They did a funeral for me, that was different to be on the receiving side then we went out to eat! I asked for no cheese and well…. forgot check….. and we went out with our ward mission leader!
Wednesday, we got to do service at the food bank and did a bunch of less-active hunting, a lot of tracting! We went over to the mission home to help one of the senior couple unload a trailer load of stuff!
Thursday, I got to see Elder Howe in the Hospital! He remembered me right off the bat and kept trying to get up to go do stuff. It was great to see him then we did some tracting and tried to see a few people but they cancelled on us….
Friday, we had the ward Christmas party which was a ton of fun! My companion and got to sit on Santa’s lap and we did a bunch of tracting again! 

Saturday, we biked to go do some service and well…. it being a nice and brisk temperature of 39 degrees made us bike rather fast. Service at the food bank was great until the end… when one of the guys learned that I was going home and about transfers. He though it’d be a good idea to call the mission President and let him know why we needed to stay… then we had a good discussion! It ended up being rather funny…. someone(not me) learned that white guys cant say certain words…. and some people (again not me) will always sound white no matter what they do… or say! The different meanings of a lot of other words, haha! I have not laughed that hard in a while!

Sunday, I gave my go home testimony in church and we had dinner at the Rabalais! We came back and tried to see Daniel but he wasn’t home… and we spent some time with our neighbor! 
Monday, we were asked by the people at the food bank if we could come in and help because they were having the To Day Show come in and do take some shots of the food bank and interview some people!then  we went and helped a member’s cousin move some stuff! Later that night, we went over to the Marchan’s to have Family Home Evening which turned out great! 

We had a amazing lesson with Rick Marchan, we studied Mormon chapter 9!I have  2 suitcases, a backpack, my shoulder bag and the duffel bag. My clothes are a bit worn out so when  I get home I’m going to have to get some and order new garments. I’m going to be a popcycle when I get home!It was 39 degrees last Saturday… and that was COLD!  Im going to need some warm stuff. I have coats though so I’m good in that area! My camera…. it’s starting to break…….. it’s not zooming in/out right. We are eating with Gene Young Thursday night, Kim  and Kelly  Newsome Friday afternoon, Sister Matri Friday night and then Saturday night we are staying with the Johnsons. I’m looking forward to going out to eat with Doug, just not armadillo! I’m looking forward to seeing my family and showing y’all around.  I’m pretty much all packed. 

It’s been an amazing 2 years here in Louisiana! I’ve learned a ton about myself and about many other churches. I know that Jesus Christ is each of our Savior. I know he is the same yesterday, today, and forever! He calls prophets in our day. If he does not then he would be a changing God. I have come to know that there are many good churches in this world today.  They offer much but there is only one that can and will bless each of us more then any other church and has more to give to us then any other. I have come to know for myself that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints  is run by Christ, and that it is His church on the earth today, and through it can we come to know Christ better then from anywhere else. I have been to dozens and dozens of churches here in the south and there are many good people in each but they are run by man. I have seen pastors get run out of town because the people did not like what they had to say, and I have seen churches change their doctrine. Christ and His Apostles didn’t get paid for what they do, they did it out of love and so should we! Proverbs 3:5-6 will carry you if you let it. If you have questions ask them because the answer will always be no unless you ask! If you see those 2 guys knocking doors or riding their bikes be nice and talk to them! Life as a missionary is already hard enough… you can brighten up their day or anyone’s day by just being nice and talking to them! I know that the more we give to the Lord, the more He can and will give you back! Christ never tore people down, He corrected them and built them up. I have come across so many people that tear others religion down, and I know that tearing  others down is not of Christ. We all have our own views and things we think are right and that’s great but when you force it upon others and degrade them then your not doing what Christ did. Thete  is a time and place for everything. If you want to come closer to Christ,  do the hard things and ask the Lord what He will have you do, then follow it. 

Looking forward to talking in my home Ward sacrament January 1. Maybe I can do a musical number sometime, too. Hope y’all have an amazing week!
Love,
Elder Micah A. Ralph!

Week 104 in the mission Field


“Trunky” letter

Hi Everyone,

Monday night we saw a investigator and he is doing great then we had dinner at a members house!
Tuesday, we did service in the morning and I pushed my self a bit too hard and got sick again…. so we had to cancel the appointment we had that night and i slept all day…. it was so needed!
Wednesday, we weekly planned because we had a bus Thursday planned! We had lunch and saw Carlos! Then we did some tracting and went over to the Marchans for dinner! They have been such a blessing! Both my companion and I have been praying that we could find someone to help us with missionary work and well…. it was supposed to be a dinner appointment but it turned into an awesome lesson with one of their sons who is not active! We talked about tithing, prayer, and faith. The spirit was there and Rick kept asking questions, more questions and more questions! At the end, my companion asked him to pick a number between 1 and 4. He chose 3 so we gave him 3 book of Mormons! Both of us felt that we needed to give him promises from the lord. When we were walking out to the bikes, he asked us what we were doing tomorrow (Thursday) and well…. he offered to go with us to do some service at the food bank! It was awesome because instead of a 8 mile bike ride one way in 50 degree weather, it was only 3! 

Thursday, we did service!It was the day of service and that was awesome! It was rather cold on the way to Rick’s house! After that, we went and unloaded some stuff for those that got flooded! We went and saw a part member family that moved into the ward! They are great! It took us a bit to find their apartment because we wrote down the wrong one…. 

Friday was a wee bit hard… we had our zone training meeting which was good! 2 of the instructor came down pretty hard on some things but it was really needed! I gave my “Go home” testimony…. that made things a bit odd…. I actually feel like Im going home now. After the meeting, I was stinken tired and we started exchanges! I was down in Gonzalez  with Elder Mayer who was my companion in Laplace before I got to Baton Rouge! We ate dinner at a members house! and wow. that family is sooooooooooo animated! Mostly the dad but wow. They had a friend drop by about half way through dinner so the friend stayed and ate with us all then we had a short lesson! At Zone Conference, we had a white elephant gift exchange and someone got a manequin head.  It was pretty funny.  There are 5 in the mission and we kidnap them from each other. 

Saturday….. was…. my 2 year mark! We ended exchanges in the morning and then saw Carlos Barre! We went out with Brother Mills! We got to see lots of people that got flooded and a bunch of less-actives! 

Sunday was crazy. We got a ride with our ward mission leader to church then we met with the other missionaries in our ward to wrap a bunch of book of Mormons for the ward Christmas party to hand out to members! We had church and a less-active came and stayed for all 3 hours for the first time in over a year! Right before church I got to talk to Elder Howe’s parents! It was great to meet them! Sister Hansen asked me if we wanted to come over and have dinner with them and elder Howe’s parents! Elder Howe is doing much better.  He is talking, studying, ready and singing! Thankfully, we got things mixed up and were able to go to it! After church we finished up studying and then went over to the mission home for dinner! It was great! It was also a bit short because we had to get back to our apartment by 6:30 so we could go with our neighbor to the Christmas Broadcast that the church puts on! We got to the church and well…. the projector wasn’t working…. so we spend 20 minuets trying to get that and a TV to work only to find out that there is a short…. so we just got to listen to it!

I’m glad y’all invited the sisters! Us missionaries kinda get left out on Monday nights…. some times that is needed though! The light of the world challenge is awesome! 

 Can y’all pray for Rick Marchan, Daniel, Bo, Gene Duncan , Gene Young and Elder Howe? 
I hope y’all had a great week!
Love,
Elder Micah A. Ralph! 

The temple is beautiful at night.

Sweeping at the food bank!

Taking a rest on the bests at the store! 

Bikes getting a ride back to the apartment.

The store manager had a lot of fun with us. 

The Christmas tree at the other elders apartment.

Elder found a teddy bear as big as him at Costco!

Week 103 in the Mission Field


Hi everyone,

Well, this week started out good!
Tuesday, we had District meeting and that was great! We learned a lot about having real intent and then we went out for a district thanksgiving lunch! Afterwards, my companion and I help a recent convert and his brothers move! Durning the move I strained my back… mini fridges are rather heavy when they are full of stuff…. so that made for a long rest of the day.
Wednesday, we did service in the morning and then literally everything fell through… all 4 appointments we had canceled on us due to it being thanksgiving week! So we tried to tract but that didn’t go too well….
Thursday was a break! We had breakfast at the Sants  house, Lunch at the Sanders and dinner at our investigator, Ms Patti’s house! 
Friday was a long, rough day. Again, everyone cancelled on us so we decided to go pass out a bunch of the Christmas cards! Out of the 100+ people we talked too only 8 seamed to care and I got sick… Later that night, our mission Presidents wife called and asked us if a missionary could stay at our apartment for the night. Then about 20 minuetes later our mission President called and asked the same thing, he and the missionary got to our apartment at about 1:30 in the morning…. Elder Howe was hit by an SUV and severely injured.  His companion only has bruises and scratches.  Elder Howe and his family need prayers.  He had broken ribs, a punctured lung, swelling on his brain with 3 brain bleeds.  They removed a small section of his skull to reduce pressure.  Right now he is in a prescribed coma to let his brain heal.  We have faith and miracles do happen.  His bike and helmet protected him. I love Elder Howe and had the privelage of training him when he first came out. He will be fine but recovery will take time. Prayer works miracles. 

Saturday,  we had to cancel a bunch of stuff in the morning because we didn’t know how long we would be with the missionary. The Denham Springs zone leaders came, picked him up around 9 and then we had to high tail it to the church because our bishop asked us to attend a memorial of a members friends mother… and us not having a car we biked! It took us 35 minutes to bike to the stake center,  then afterwards we did some tracting and follow up!  

Sunday, we went to some meetings before church and then another one during the last hour of church! After, church we got a call from missionaries. The sisters asked for some help to get a dead cat out from under a less-actives bath tub…. and well.. that took about an hour. Halfway through getting it out we learned that it had crawled under there 2 weeks ago because it got attacked by a possum and died. It was rather bloated. We had to go clean up and get over to see 2 referrals!  
I’ll need a suit and church shoes when I get home.  We did some store contacting and got to know one of the mangers at a store. he let us play around with a few of the bikes and skate boards! It was really funny seeing the manger and a missionary race down the hall! It made all the workers day!

Can y’all pray for Elder Landon Howe, Daniel, Gerard and Ms Patti? Hope y’all have a great week!

Love,

Elder Micah A. Ralph

Week 102 in the Mission Field

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Hi everyone,

Monday night, we had a lesson planned with a less-active but he had to cancel due to some health issues so we went to a members for dinner and on the way we stopped and helped a guy move into his apartment! He asked us if we could help him stop smoking, which normally we are the ones asking if they want to stop!
Tuesday morning, we went by the mission office so we could pick up some more Book of Mormons and then came back and had lunch. We headed out and tracted for the rest of the day! Later that night a member came by and picked us up for dinner! They cooked us some really good gumbo! It was a huge blessing that they could pick us up because it’s a 25 minutes drive to their house! Saved us about 20 miles ūüėÄ although on the way back the drive got a bit confused and lost…. soooo the drive back went from 25 minuets to about 50……. it was kind of funny… me: “take a right here, it’s a bit shorter”, the driver : “no that not our turn”, me again” that’s our road.” driver, ¬†” no that ‘s not it… it’s a few miles further”. This went on for about 10 minutes and ended with Driver’s wife saying “honey, we’re taking them home right?”, Driver “oh, I thought we were going back to our house…”. The wife: “well I’m ¬†not sure where your going but our house is the other wa!” We ended up on the other side of Baton Rouge, haha! That ¬†was a fun night….
Wednesday, we got to do some service at the food bank then we had to get back quickly, shower and change then head over to a appointment we had with one of our investigators! It went pretty well! We came back for a 20 minute lunch and headed out to another appointment,  came back and finished lunch. We did a bunch of tracting! We were only planning on doing only an hour but a appointment we had cancelled on us so we ended up doing about 3 hours then heading over to go see the Hargus family!
Thursday, we had zone conference and that took a while because we are on bikes we needed to get a ride from someone who has a car. So we got picked up at 8:30 so they could get their car inspections done before the meeting at 10! The meeting didn’t get out till about 2:30 and on the way back we got stuck in traffic so we were about 40 mins late for the appointment with our apartment inspector who got there a bit early. It was a bit of a long day but I learned a ton about the Plan of Salvation at Zone Conference! We spent the rest of the day tracting and we finished up our studies!

The start of Friday was a bit frustrating. We got a referral that was pretty far out there and both of us felt really strongly that we needed to go see it so we called and set up an appointment for 11:30. ¬†We got about 3 miles out and I hit a curb or something. My back tire went flat and the rib got a bit bent so thankfully, we were only 1/2 mile from the North elders apartment so we walked over there and got a ride from the Spanish elders back to our apartment! One of the north elders let me borrow a inner tube for my bike so I could bike over to the bike shop and have them fix my bent rim and such. So we spent the morning repairing my bike. Thankfully, the guys at the bike shop are awesome and didn’t charge me for fixing my bike rim then we had lunch and did some tracting. Later, that night we went and followed up with a guy we helped move in on Monday! It was a huge learning experience for all 3 of us! He asked us if we could baptize him and his 3 kids, help him learn how to read and get his life back in order! He has had a bit of a rough life but is trying to change and be a good parent! At the end of the lesson he was crying a lot. I’ve really learned this week how small things make a huge impact on others! He kept thanking us for stopping to help him and his girlfriend unload the moving truck. Its helped me realize how small of a voice the spirit talks in! We were biking past them and I had a passing thought to help them unload.

Saturday morning, we biked to some service. It was cold…… 53 degrees doesn’t sound cold until you add the humidity and get on a bike. The 3 mile ride felt more like 20…. by the time we got there both my companion (who kept on insisting and telling that La does not get cold enough for more then a sweater) learned what the winters are like here! It was pretty funny! We came back, showered and changed then headed over to an appointment with carols! We came back after it and had a 20 minute ¬†lunch before a member picked us up so we could go see a lot of less-actives! We had dinner at a members house!
Sunday, we had church. ¬†This week we didn’t get asked to teach anything! I got to talk to the stake president for a bit, it was good to see him again! After church, ¬† we had a little meeting with our ward mission leader and then we went with our ward mission leader to give a blessing, came back to our apartment and weekly planned. We normally do it on Thursdays but 1) we kinda forgot and 2) we had a ton going on…. so we finished up what we didn’t do on Friday then we did a bunch of follow up and had dinner at the Rabalais house! They called as I was ¬†having lunch, my companion was making a cake and asked us if we had a dinner appointment! After we had dinner with them we had a appointment with our neighbor!

Can y’all pray for Jared, Ms patti, Daniel and Gene?

Hope y’all have an awesome week!
Love,

Elder Micah A. Ralph!

My companion found a chair he wanted in the trash so he threw it on his shoulder to bike home.

We went to visit less actives and they obviously don’t live there at the moment.

 

Keeping warm during studies.

Week 101 in the Mission Field

Hi everyone, 

Tuesday, we had our district meeting! It was really good! Elder Heath gave a great instruction and he talked a lot about learning from the scriptures! Our district leader was getting sick… he was really out of it…. we came back to our apartment and then headed out to do some tracting!p, which went really well! We met a bunch of really good people and got a couple of return appointments then our ward mission leader picked us up and took us out to dinner! We tried to see a less-active that lives in our apartment complex, he wasn’t home though…
Wednesday, we did a lot more tracting… and got some more return appointments then we went and saw a recent convert and helped him learn how to read! Both my companion and I felt like we needed to be talking about the book of Mormon a lot more and give them to people so we passed out a bunch! We felt like we needed to go to a road that had no name on any maps and we found a huge apartment complex! We started tracting that apartment complex! It has about 1400 apartments… so yes, that’ll keep us busy! 
Thursday, we weekly planned like we normally do and then ended up having to go to the store because well… we had an egg left… and lots of pancake mix…. but just an egg… so we went and bought 15 dozen eggs! It ended up being about 60 cents per dozen,  that was a huge blessing! We came back and tracted. We met a couple of people that accepted a book of Mormon and said we could come back. One of the ladies we met had a golden retriever! It was mixed with something but it was a awesome dog! 
Friday morning, we updated the area book! We had a lot to fill out… making new teaching records and updating other stuff!  We spent the rest of the day knocking on peoples doors! One of the doors we knocked on the guy opened it up, saw us and got really angry and slammed the door… I’ve been out for a long time and I have never had my ears ring so bad from someone slamming the door so hard. I’m  honestly kind of surprised he didn’t break the door but hey, we all have bad days. About 5 houses later we tracted into a guy  named Jared who accepted a book of Mormon and invited us back! We taught him the restoration and he opened up to us a lot then we had dinner at a members house!
Saturday was a bit crazy…. we had 2 appointments in the morning. One of which we had to move to another day because both my companion and I have been trying to find a place to do service at. We found one and felt like we really needed to go to it. The other appointment cancelled on us…. then we had to get back, make lunch, then head out to go see Carlos, then head back to eat the lunch we made and 10 minuets later high tail it over to the mission home to have interviews with our mission president! We had to come back and finish up eating lunch!  haha…. then we tracted the rest of the day,  it was a pretty busy day… 

Sunday, we were picked up by our ward mission leader for church! We were walking in the 2nd hour and got asked to go set up a ton of chairs and tables. Earlier  in the week, we got asked to teach 3rd hour which turned out really really well! It answered a lot of questions some people we’ve been working with had! A bunch of the people thanked us for teaching. After church, we had a linger longer, basically a ward lunch! It was great.  Towards the end of it we got our meal calendar back and no one had signed up…. our ward mission leader saw it and asked for it then went around asking people to feed us! After  church we went and followed up with a bunch of people,  got dropped by one person and another was sick… and we went to follow up with a referral we were asked to go to then we did more tracting. We got back that night and my odometer on my bike broke :/ it lasted about 11 months…. even though it got soaked a ton. 
My companion is great.  He is new so it’s been a learning experience. It’s great working with someone who wants to go work! The sister with the broken foot does not have to have surgery so she can stay in the mission. It’s been in the 60’s and I’m freezing. I had to get a jacket and hat back out this week. I’m going to be a block of ice when I get home.  I’m not a fan of ghetto’s at all. My birthday was great! A bunch of missionaries surprised me with a couple of things! 2 of them showed up at our apartment and told me to get in the car.. then took me out to lunch! One for the sisters took it upon her to tell loads of people it was my birthday.  I got lots of texts and calls. I’ve been studying in 2Nephi! It’s been talking a lot about Isaiah! Proverbs 3:5-6 is a lot easier said then done but the lord always provides a way! I will need some clothes when I get home.  Don’t want to freeze! I am looking forward to showing the family around my mission!

Hope y’all have an awesome week!
Love, 

Elder Micah A. Ralph 

Honorable Mission Release date letter

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11 November 2016
Brother and Sister Ralph

6634 Middleboro Rd.

Blanchester, Ohio 45107

Dear Brother and Sister Ralph,

This letter is to advise you that your son, Elder Micah Andrew Ralph, will be returning home from the Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission on December 15,2016.

Your son has filled an honorable mission. We hope you have shared the unique experiences of his mission through his letters and emails. He has had some difficult assignments and some outstanding spiritual experiences as he has served our Father in Heaven. We are grateful for his unselfish end and loving service for the Lord and His kingdom.

Elder Ralph’s capacity to serve has greatly increased. ¬†He will make major contributions to the kingdom hereafter. He has touched the lives of many people. It is a great achievement to receive an honorable release after having served faithfully and obediently.

We express our deep gratitude to you as parents, for the support you have given in preparing and sustaining your son to serve successfully. We send our love and appreciation and ask the Lord’s blessing to be upon you and your family.

Faithfully yours,

Reed Hansen, President.                                                                                                Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission