Ryan's Entire Mission

Ryan's Entire Mission
ryan is in the far right corner

Ryan at a Zone Conference...

Ryan at a Zone Conference...

Ryan and President Brubaker

Ryan and President Brubaker

eating raw fish -- eeewww

eating raw fish -- eeewww

Ryan at temple - day before MTC drop off

Ryan at temple - day before MTC drop off
handsome guy!

Ryan and President Smith

Ryan and President Smith
getting set apart as a missionary

Welkom all friends and family of Elder Ryan Leash

We welcome you to the first edition of Elder Ryan Leashs' missionary blog. We hope that you will find the information included fun, informative and memorable. Please make comments and show Ryan your support by writing him often!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Ryan and Elder Brown for four months!!

September 19, 2011

Hello family,

It sounds like all is well at home :). I’m sorry to hear about your hip mom is it giving you a lot of trouble still? Ill keep you in my prayers! Please ask Danielle if she remembers that she has a brother for me!
Things here are going pretty well! This last week had been interesting; you meet all sorts of ppl on your mish. I have some funny stories ready to tell yall ;). The highlight of this week is definitely Lillian! Elder Mohrmon and I found her back in April on a Saturday at 2:45 on a very hot day (so tells Lillian I didn’t remember all the facts but she does). We went very quickly with her at first and taught her everything and then she got cold feet and didn’t get baptized and yet she still came to church and would meet up with us now and then. 3 or so months go by and she starts to show strong interest in things again and for the last two weeks we have been talking at least every day and meeting on average every other day at the church for lessons etc. We coincidently ran into her just before we came to the library and walked to the church together and I read her the baptismal questions and she answered them all appropriately; we then told her how ready she is and how much it will bless her. Lillian then shared some concerns about how her family is making fun of her for going to church etc and started crying. We talked to her about how Christ has suffered all pain and embarrassment etc. for us and he can take that pain away from us if we come unto him and that the biggest way we can come unto Christ is through baptism. We told her about how the Zone Leaders will coincidently be here on exchange this Thursday and we can re- evaluate how she feels at that point and if she feels ready then she can have the baptismal interview with her there and she can be baptized Saturday. Not exactly the typical process or the ideal situation but she is ready and Elder Brown and I both feel that the time is come and that if not this week that certainly within the next 2 or 3 she should be baptized. We will keep you posted! She has gone through a lot in the last year or so and I know and she knows that this will help her!
In other news our ward mission leader was finally called! Eric Vanderpluim. It will be great working with him. I think three quarters of my mission has been without a ward mission leader loll, it will be interesting getting used to the help and support again ha-ha. Hopefully he will be able to help us work through our only growing investigator pool. I have just found with my experience that ive only been able to get 3 maybe 4 investigators to progress on any given week and with all the investigators we have we are just going to have to pick the most prepared and the most positive and work with them first. In any case we are doing are best and are running our tails off everywhere trying to keep up with things lol.
Vie been companions now with Elder Brown now 4 months or so and surprisingly im not sick of him :), I don’t know if he can say the same but it has been good serving with him :). Heerlen is also good. All things told, life is good and I can’t complain :), I love yalll much and will talk to yall soon
Elder Leash

No More Lillian, but now Evaline!

September 26, 2011

Mom, family and friends,

Well, mom your letter was very informative and I liked hearing about all that Danielle has been up to and also hearing that she hasn’t forgotten poor ol Elder Leash ;). So she is on the road with driver’s training, I’ll keep her and her teacher in my prayers lol, jk boo boo I know you will do great :). Now please remind me who Harold and Darlene are? I have gained quit a reputation lately for my forgetfulness not only with names, but with just about anything; this can be quit frustrating especially when trying to think of scriptures in lessons, ha-ha luckily we work in pairs. I guess I am just following in mom’s footsteps with the early onset of Alzheimer’s lol.
It was so great to hear about your missionary efforts, you mom with Jocelyn and Danielle with her school secretary, way to go boo, preach it like its hot!!!! So do you think that Danielle is serious about a mission? I hope so :), but I am sure she will do great things no matter where she is!
Food is going ok, we seem to find ourselves eating out 3-4 times a week lately :/, part of it is cuz we are so busy, but another part is probably because we don’t have so much to eat at the house; we eat LOTS of pband j, lots of pancakes, some pasta, and ....yea that’s about it, we get creative.
Work is going well. I mentioned last week that we got a ward mission leader; we are going to have our first correlation tonight! I think that I have had a total of maybe 4 or 5 correlations since I’ve been out lol, im excited. Even though I haven’t had too many correlations I have had some great support from the members in areas I’ve been in. Other exciting events include a young adult meeting that we attended yesterday after church; the youth here are going to start to get more active with activities etc, I’m stoked, I think it will be great for mish work down here, especially because one of the sisters from Zoetemeer comes down here to comes to church with her boyfriend that is a non-member lately!
One of many great opportunities that these activities will help take advantage of! This week has been good, lots of traveling. Monday we ended up taking one for the team and fitting some appointments in then because the next few days we would be on the road. Tuesday we had district meeting, and then got back from Eindhoven and had to get back on another train headed to Antwerp, Belgium to spend the night before heading out to District leader council up in Leiden. The next day; by the time we got back to Heerlen, Wednesday was gone. In spite of the fact that two full days we gone we still ended up being able to salvage our week and see some great things happen, among them was finding a solid investigator in Heerlen Centrum, who at one point during our conversation, said “can I come to church?”.
I know I’m not a member yet, but would that be ok?" It gets better, this lady speaks English and Dutch and seems as though she would fit right in with the ward, in fact she already knows one of the solid members in the ward already, and to put the cherry on top this women seems to be completely sane! What a blessing! Her name is Evaline; please keep her in your prayers! We found some other positive ppl as well and planted many seeds as well. Something that has been frustrating to me lately is my scripture knowledge as well as how ppl so often get caught up with the Bible etc that they are not open for more scripture. Mostly all we can do is bear sincere testimony and try to invite the spirit to soften their heart.
I do have some bad news; we met with an investigator on Monday, Joyce. She herself had a baptismal date but we had to drop her first of all because it was difficult fellowshipping her because she can be very shy, and because she speaks absolutely NO English, and because there isn’t really anyone her age at church and we could get joint teaches out to her and because we were only able to get her to church once. The second reason we had to drop her for was because she would just turn off if we would read scriptures or try to teach something; Elder Brown and I tried acting scriptures out and spice things up a bit, it helped some but not enough. The third reason we had to drop her was because she, like so many, was looking for a church that fit her wants and comfort zone etc and she had been going to Victory Outreach where she had long standing ties etc. A real bummer, we did our best.
This brings me to my next peace of bad news. During the last appointment we had with Joyce, she mentioned she saw Lillian earlier that week in the city. We were surprised that she knew Lillian, we asked her how she did and she said that she knew we knew her because she saw her at our church during the one time she came but that she knows her originally from the Victory Outreach church where she informed us she has seen and known Lillian for the last year and a half more or less.....when Joyce said that I felt like I got punched in the bread basket! I felt cheated on ha-ha but really just really hurt! Lillian had shared some concerns; her family teasing her for coming to church, being already baptized etc but the real and deepest concern finally came out. She had ties to us but obviously similar ties with this other church and the ppl there. It is clear now that she was letting social relationships affect her testimony and not focusing only on her relationship with God.
After hearing that from Joyce we called Lillian up and I told her how we felt; frankly a little hurt and disappointed that she had failed to be completely open with us etc. and that she is still welcome in church of course, but that we can’t really meet with her for appointments and lessons unless she is progressing toward baptism and full activity in our church; it was a tough lesson to learn, but I know now that often if someone takes longer than two months to fully commit to baptism then there are concerns that you have not yet fully addressed.
If your feeling a little bummed with me please read the first half of my letter again; I am bummed, but also glad that we are not wasting the Lord's time anymore with ppl who are not ready to come unto Christ by receiving the restored gospel and partaking of baptism. We have already made big strides in finding more who are prepared to take those steps! A good week and I think this next will be just as good if for no other reason than the fact that we have General Conference woo woo! I’m trying to read the entire last conference edition before Saturday, wish me luck! Well I really need to go, I’ve been on too long lol, love yawl lots and have a great week and talk to you soon!


Elder Leash

Monday, September 5, 2011

Wallenberg Caves

August 15, 2011

Dear Mom and Dad,

Mom your letter was really great! Thanks for that. Well, I just want to start out by saying that time is limited; the district wants to go to Wallenberg caves (and I do too) so we are doing that today. It seems like things are going pretty well there, I’m sorry to hear about Danielle’s piano teacher....that is a very strange accident... she will be in my prayers. Dad I feel with you on your back, mine for some reason lately has also been REALLY acting up, if it keeps up this way much longer im guna have to notify someone but ill give it some time.

So the work! This was an awesome week; I don’t know how I forgot to mention that we were going to have a baptism but we did this Saturday and it went perfectly; the best service I’ve had yet for sure :). Guido was so prepared and the Spirit was really present and strong! Guido asked that I baptize him and I was a little nervous because he has got a good 3 inches on me, but it went well and he was just like puddy he was really easy and it was just a great service. We had two investigators there and it was great. One of them really hit it off with Guido and it was awesome! I think he will be baptized also at some point! We have just been busy busy busy! It’s great :)! Well things are going really well and thanks so much for yalls support and love, it means a lot! You’re in my prayers!

Much love
Elder Leash

Birthday Boy!!!!

August 29, 2011

Dear family and friends,
Sounds life is just ripping by and its going good; seminary has started again, school, you got a new calling :), life is good! I did get the b-day package and really enjoyed it - I especially enjoyed the EFY music, good stuff! There was somebody who made me a b- day cake! It was actually more like a birthday mountain! Delicious!
Things are going pretty well here with the work; we had a very interesting Sunday! It was pretty crazy btwn our investigator Joyce and her 2 year old son Chandler who was running around the church like a wild child. To add to our interesting Sunday experience, our other investigator Lucas, who looks like a modern-day Moses, complete with long hair and a thick shaggy beard made it to church, as well as Lillian who was at church as usual - like she has been for the last 4 or so months (still not baptized darn it! :). Somehow we made it through all three hours without too much crying (from the 2 year old) or too many totally off the wall comments (from our modern day Moses) not too much wandering around and socializing (courtesy of Lillian) and best yet not too many comments about how weird the gospel can seem (thanks to mother of the 2 year old who we btw will be bringing things very much back to the basics with tonight lol).
Yes, truth be told we had a great Sunday right up until priesthood lol. Our inactive friend brother, Alexander, decided that he was going to share his opinion about Americans which normally wouldn’t be an issue here in the Netherlands if we weren’t in the Heerlen military ward aka "mini America". Brother Alexander doesn’t seem to be too fond of us Americans, there were things said such as "If you cross an American they are very likely to pull a gun out and shoot you." After Brother Alexander shared his opinion we then had the chance too hear it reciprocated and added upon by a Belgian member in the ward, who as it was related to us, was treated "as a slave" by his American companions on his mission. Luckily, our lesson was on kindness which I think helped our American members keep their mouths shut and their clenched fists tucked in their pockets and our inactive friend along with Belgian RM managed to keep all their teeth :). I’ve obviously dramatized things slightly....and truth be told we had a great Sunday!
Sunday evening we got the magic call and we were informed that Elder Brown and I will both be here in Heerlen another 6 weeks, I’m very happy about it and it will be a new experience as I have never served with a companion longer than 3 months, Elder Brown and I will be together for four and a half before its over! I’m looking forward to it!
Well, last little bit of news etc. my back has been REALLY acting up, I’m not sure what aggravated it but I cannot bend over now without some sort of support to help me straighten myself back out... I called the mission nurse and she has prescribed ibuprofen for now; I’ve take some 2 hours or so ago now, but I’m still really feeling it. Please send me all and any advice as well as any home remedies medications whatever may help and please keep me in your prayers!
I love yall and will talk to you soon
Elder Leash

Bad Back

September 5, 2011

Dear Mom, Dad, and Danielle,

Wow, Danielle passed up a Taylor Swift concert?! What a ding dong! Mom, did you really send a letter to the mission president about my back? You really shouldn’t have done that lol, but I appreciate the concern! Well, I obviously was really worried about it and I started doing a lot more stretching and core exercising in combination with heat pad on the back and ib profin to dull the pain and to try and loosen up things back there; none of these things did the trick, they helped a little, but I was still really feeling it! I started thinking about it and what could possibly keep causing me such trouble. It finally dawned on me the other day that I was bending really far over my bike while riding in fact because my bike is too small for me I had to raise the seat up higher that the handle bars lol so I was essentially bent over with my back horizontal with the ground! I decided id try lowering the seat and see if that would help and over the next couple days the pain left! Halleluiah! Yea I do also feel the pressure a bit to get some things done with a deadline in sight! The mission is most definitely no cake walk, and it is definitely one of the hardest things I have ever had to do! It can be very mentally and emotionally challenging. That being said, there are so many wonderful and fun things we can do on a mission as well; I suppose that whether a mission is difficult or a 'vacation' is really in the eye of the beholder!

Well work is going pretty well! We have a key appointment with our baptismal date Joyce tonight. We are really stretching ourselves and our creativity with her and our teaching to try and help apply our teaching to her life. She has opened up a bit and shared that reading from the scriptures and talking about such things is nice and important but that in the past she has had experiences where religious groups etc would talk with her about her daily problems in her life etc and then treat that and counsel her with scripture, etc. We are more than willing to do that appropriately and yet at the same time we also are very much there with her to help her come to know that the literal original Church of Christ has been restored to the earth. We will keep you posted on how things go!

Lillian is also still around and we are able to teach her now and then but its also a stretching and balancing act with her as well; she is also not so hot on 'bible study' so we are trying to find different ways to approach and teach her as well. Normally I would be inclined to drop someone like that but she still keeps on coming to church and calling us and we have a good relationship with her. Another keep you posted.

We have other investigators that we have hope for that we are meeting this week; one in particular just amazes me at how well she follows the light of Christ to discern truth from false teachings etc. She speaks great English (finally someone, most all our investigators only speak Dutch) so she will fit in well with the ward! We are just working with some amazing ppl! Our only struggle now is keeping up with all of them and helping them make and keep commitments. We are doing our very best and I know that the Lord will help us and make the difference so that we can start helping ppl keep commitments.
All things told life is good, health is good, the work is good, I can’t complain! I hope it is likewise for yall!

Love Elder Leash

Monday, August 8, 2011

Herrenburg - 6 months to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dear Dad,
Loved the email! It sounds like all is well back there :). How did it feel to have your back walked? Mom told me that she did some foot stomping. I love hearing about Danielle and how much she is growing and maturing, I have no doubt that she is becoming an awesome young woman! Yall’s anniversary is on the 10th yeah? Wow! 10 years already..... that has flown by; do ya’ll have anything planned for the big day? And Danielle is approaching number 17! This is a big and fun week back your way :)! I’m excited for yall.
Well a little news about things here in Limburg. This last week has been a crazy one. Enough has happened to fill two weeks lol. To start out our week we visited the zoo with lions tigers and bears only without the tigers and bears lol, we had a good time and even got back home on time to start our work week. Tuesday was my first district meeting; it really want too bad. I was nervous but I have a great district and I had a lot of participation and comments etc, and it went well.
Wednesday was very busy and we were running in circles all day lol. We saw a lot of miracles and I really felt as though we were being tools in the Lord's hands that day. We ended the day with an appointment with Tennison our future baptismal date and a joint teach who has been inactive for the last 2 months or so and we had visited him earlier that day and he really felt as though Heavenly Father was really talking to him after he was asked by someone in the ward to give him a blessing and then he had another random visit by someone in the ward and then while they were visiting Elder Brown and I stopped by and shared a spiritual thought, lol anyhow we had our Joint Teach fall through so we asked this brother to step in last minute and he did and we had a great lesson and we finished around 8 ish. We then told our investigator about how we were going to Antwerp, Belgium that evening and he told us that there was basically no way to make that. I had assumed that there would just be an inter city directly to Antwerp but I was wrong :/ so our investigator ended up giving us a ride to Maastricht where we caught what was probly the last train out to Belgium lol and we ended up getting to the Antwerp train station at 1130 lol, a little late :/.
The next morning I went on exchange with elder van doesburg to Leiden up north and we had District Leader Council and that took up all of Thursday and Friday and Saturday we also blessed days I would explain but I don’t even know where to start lol. Sunday I woke up and my body retaliated on me and decided that it was done running around, I woke up with a really bad sore throat and totally congested and with a fever. Despite the symptoms we went to church and had a great fast and testimony meeting and some great meetings. After church we went to a members home and had dinner etc and came home thereafter did weekly planning, did calls and numbers and that ended our day. I am feeling somewhat better today but would appreciate your prayers to help get better quick :). Things are going very well :).
Well I love yall lots, Mom and Dad, Happy Anniversary and boo boo Happy Birthday! I will talk to yall soon!
Elder Leash

Monday, August 1, 2011

Ryan calling us to Repentance!!!

Dear mom and family,

Mom, your Dutch was.....wonderful! It was fun reading it lol :). So school starts tomorrow? I can feel your enthusiasm even through your email! Danielle sounds like she is working too much, especially because she is not getting her day of peace and rest in! The Lord gives us great promises that we can cash in after we do what he tells us right momma? So do you think you’re ready to come to Europe and do the tour now mom with all that biking you and dad are doing? I am glad you managed to find that credit card btw, did you pray about it? Man I am on a roll today! I will say it anyways, tell dad that we are to eat meat sparingly and only in times of winter ha-ha just messing! I really enjoyed hearing about that movie – 17 Miracles! So that is showing now in theaters? Very cool, it sounds like it was a good one! I liked hearing about the fair too, that’s cool because my comp and I get to go to the zoo today, some members are taking us so we are hurrying to get all emailing shopping and cleaning etc done quickly :).
I’m excited for my b-day package! I thought about a couple other things on my wish list, can I get some BBq sauce maybe some A1 or bulls eye, heck you could even send me some of dad's secret marinades :). Also do you think you could send some pens (erasable if possible), and mechanical pencils? Well, I’m glad y’all had a good week!
My comp and I had a solid week as well :). We gave at least 7 books of Mormons out this week which was cool and we got 3-4 potentials out of it! Friday we went down to Antwerp for Zone Conf which was great btw, a very uplifting fun ZC. At the end we had a recent convert of a year that was baptized in our mission open his mission call, it brought back a lot of memories from my mission prep time :), he is going to the Manchester England mission English speaking! Sunday I gave a talk, Brother Woodbury introduced me and said over the pulpit how much he and his family appreciate and how they feel like im just another member of the family, and I love that family! I feel the same way :).
The talk went ok, my topic was testimony and I centered it on a quote I found from Elder Spencer W. Kimball "You may know. You need not be in doubt. Follow the prescribed procedures and you may have an absolute knowledge that these things are absolute truths. The necessary procedure is: study, think, pray, and do." I even mentioned you in there momma - about how when I was very young you would walk me to the front and whisper in my ear what I should say :). Lillian was there and she honestly feels as though she has been cursed so in the second hour the Bishop my comp and I gave her a priesthood blessing, I hope she does her part and I know the lord will comfort her. Tennyson also made it to church but had a difficult schedule so was only able to stay for sacrament meeting; Guido had night shifts Saturday night and Sunday morning and was not able to make it this week. On the whole we had a solid week, and things are going well. I love yall lots and will talk to you soon.

Love, Elder Leash
p.s yall are in my thoughts and prayers ;)