Hi I'm Wray
I am A kite flyer A disc golf player A table tennis player A boardgame player A bass guitar player A singer A former High School dropout A former United States Marine Formerly self employed A husband of almost 20 years A father of three boys A repentant slob and procrastinator Politically curious
Why I am a Mormon
I am Mormon because it is the best program I know of to attain the two things that are most important to me, namely joy and peace. I was raised Mormon. My parents are both converts so I see them and myself as pioneers of sorts. They were the first in their families to embrace the restored gospel and my siblings and I are the first in our families to grow up with it and accept or reject it. My youth can be largely characterized as easy and suburban. I was self centered and indifferent to a great extent. I thought little of the gospel. I have no conscious memory of my baptism at age eight. I dropped out of church activity about the time I also dropped out of school and I did not serve a mission as is typical of LDS young men. Despite all of this, I was pretty well grounded in the traditions of my parents and other adults from church. Starting roughly with the end of High School, I felt pressed with regret for the lack of discipline and focus in my life. I had finished High School on schedule despite dropping out for a year and I felt the need to build upon that success. That self examination and analysis invariably pointed me back to the LDS upbringing I had received and careless discarded. My prospective marriage with the girl that would become my wife above all else was the catalyst for my renewed faithfulness. Like my parents, she is a convert. As I faced her and the possibility of eternity with her, I was pressed to confront all the big questions of life and the inherent hypocrisy of my apathy in light of the prospect of her baptism. Thus began my return to the faith of my parents. I am happier and stronger for it. My Marine Corps experience was pivotal in my life in pointing out how insignificant my little concerns are compared to my duties and the welfare of those that rely on me. My Marine Corps experience also largely coincided with my new embrace of the gospel which instilled the same conviction in me. I am weak. In Christ I am strong.
How I live my faith
I currently hold three callings in my ward, or congregation. I am an instructor in a quorum, or groups of men. It is more or less a Sunday School type of group specifically for men. In that calling, I lead discussions once or twice a month. I am a home teacher. In this capacity, I am assigned two families in the ward and I make it my purpose to care for them and help them in any way needed. That will usually be a simple visit once a month where I share a gospel message but it could be almost anything else. I might deliver a priesthood blessing for an ill family member or I might help load a truck. Whatever they need, it is my responsibility to aid. I am also formally called as a Missionary. I am not a full time proselyting missionary like those you see riding around town in their white shirts and name badges. Rather, I work with them, serving part time in my local community. In this capacity, I spend typically one to four hours a week sharing my love of the gospel with people that care to hear about it. I get a great deal of satisfaction out of my service as a missionary and I am grateful for the opportunity to compensate for my lack of attentiveness at the age that I could have served a full time mission. Beside these formal callings that I hold, I endeavor to love and serve in many ways. My roles as husband and father are the most important to me. My greatest responsibilities and challenges are in these relationships. Additionally, I have made efforts to rebound from the social awkwardness of my youth and be a good friend to others. We open our home once a week to friends and family for a game night. I make a point of shaking hands a saying hello with a smile. I personally relate to how important these little things can be. People need love. At the very least, I can always express it with a joke and a smile. How tragic is it when someone is yearning and I don't care enough to notice? I have made that mistake enough already.