The MTC is waaaaaaaaaaay better than Disneyland! I have been here since the 20th and I still haven't cried. My district is super fun especially the sisters. There are only four of us so we are roommates which is super fun. We live on the main campus and it is super cold - I packed for the heat and didn't think about the cold. I love the missionary discount at the book store, I keep thinking that I should save my money but then I'm like, "when will I ever have this discount again" so I usually just buy something, like new scriptures cool study books, pens, etc. Sunday was the best night ever, we sang a missionary version of as sisters in Zion, and it was super awesome. One of the wives of our branch presidency had all of the words written down so I'll make sure to email that along. The devotional on Sunday was also super awesome, the speaker was an old mission president for the Arizona Tempe Mission and my companion and I pushed and shoved our way to the front and we totally got to talk to him for a bit. So stoked for this week because we have devotional tonight and another on Thursday and so we get to sing a ton (go choir!) My companion is super sweet and really spiritual and much, much more focused than I am. We taught our first TRC yesterday which was super awesome. The lesson went really well except we found out that she is a devout catholic and so we cut our lesson at the apostasy and sang all 3 verses of i am a child of God to fill the rest of our time with her, so for the rest of our P-Day we are going to dive into the apostasy. So the temple is closed which is pretty sad because we can't go today, but at the same time that is 3 extra hours of free/nap time so I'm not heart-broken. so this time next next week I'm going to be in Arizona!! Our roommates are going to the California Ventura Mission and they are leaving the day before us so that is going to be super sad but just pretend that it is weeks away.
FOR KATIE: So stoked for Sister Mary Catherine to try balut, please forward any documentation/ videos of this awesomeness for me.
We had my first baptism: Renzlee Regunay. She is 11 years old and really excited about the gospel. It was really neat- even though only 4 members showed up and the Branch President called 5 minutes before saying that he wasn’t coming.
We had follow up training on Friday. I got to see all of my MTC batch which was fun - a good milestone. I can’t believe that I have been here for more than a month - next week is my first transfer! We also had companion exchanges. I got to work with my lola (grandmother) we actually all live in the same apartment. It was so great and fun to be with an American. I learned so much from her.
I tried liver this week. I had no idea what it was except that the texture was so strange. On the way home they told me that it was liver. Sister Hart (one of the sisters in the apartment with us - from Australia) tried Balut. She did so great. My companion wouldn’t let me try it because I was sick the day before from bad water. But I almost threw up when I saw it. I told the ladies selling it that I will try it on Tuesday so I’ll write about that next week. I don’t have too much time but I love you all so much.
And happy birthday to Shay, Seth at Caroline.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you Americans that are celebrating!
Love you. Sister Raynor
A sticker in a tricyle that says pray for us- which is how I feel in anytime of vehicle here.
Well, Sister Ashley Raynor entered the MTC today at 2pm. She did a great job. Ashley's last few hours consisted of packing up a last few things, manicures with Rachel, and then a quick stop at Guru's to have a plate of sweet potato fries and a bottle of coke. Good byes were sweet at the MTC and off she went - to serve the Lord. If you want to write Ashley for the next 12 days while she's at the MTC her full address is: Sister Ashley Parker Raynor DEC03 AZ-TEM 2011 N 900 E Unit 219 Provo UT 84602 If you want to write to Ashley through dearelder.com, then use the following format: Sister Ashley Raynor Unit 219 AZ-TEM DEC03 Until then, enjoy these photos:
This week was the first week in the Philippines where I haven’t been super homesick. Its been a wild week. We had Zone Conference so we got up at 4 am to take a 2 hour bus ride into Olongapo. The buses here are like the Indiana Jones Ride at Disneyland—when the big boulder is rolling at you and you just can’t look. I usually try to count how many people we should have hit but there were just too many people. I guess its safe to say that I have gotten over my fear of cars. Africa doesn’t have anything on the Philippines in that respect. So at Zone Conference I got to see 3 elders and 1 sister from my MTC district- I didn’t get to see Sister Udall (my kasama) but I will see her at follow up training on Friday. Its crazy to think that I have been here for almost a month. We drove home from the conference in the AP’s 8 passenger van-there were 17 of us in there. Longest two hours ever. They put 6 of those small primary chairs in the back. I also got a letter(testimony) and a dearelder from Mom- it was super duper super exciting.
On Thursday I had that song that mom used to sing “Today” stuck in my head all day- it was awesome J
Friday, we taught the law of chastity to an unmarried couple. We were super nervous. But I think it went well. By the end of the lesson they were discussing wedding plans so that they can be baptized. They told me that I could be the witness (because I’m white).
I also met this white man from the Czech Republic. He yelled at me in the middle because he said I was trying to change him. He was pretty scary.
We also had an appointment with a gambling lord- he organizes all the illegal gambling in San Felipe. He told us that his son was interested so we went to his house. While we were there the old man told us that he figured that we could baptize his son so that he could then marry one of us. His son then walked out and said “I’m single, are you single?” Yep his son was 40 years old and balding. We left pretty quick. Our church attendance is up from 110 to 155 people this week. We had so many investigators that we had to move to a bigger class. It was so cool!
Tagalog=I still don’t speak it.
Tacloban- bagyo (storm): The first presidency sent a text and asked those going home in December and January to go home now (early) to make room for the Tacloban missionaries that cleared their psych evaluations- we are receiving 15 missionaries this week.
Family and Friends!!
So just a quick one and maybe some pictures.
Monday- We had FHE(Family Home Evening) with a family. It went super well. And then they gave us some Tang. It turns out that the water in the Tang was not filtered.
Tuesday- I got super sick from the above mentioned Tang. But we still went out to work because that is what misionaries do.
Wednesday- We proselyted. We put my 72 hour kit together because of the bagyo (big storm) coming. We are at a members house - fish with eyes, sardines, and, yep you guessed it, more rice. They also had Tang-I did not partake of any Tang.
Thursday- I taught my first lesson on the beach (see picture below). I also met an American! He is from Seattle. He moved here because he doesn't trust the American government--yep he was nuts...
Friday- The storm hit the Philippines. They had us all go home for three hours. It was categorized as a 4 - I dont know what that means besides it was super bad, one of the worst ever. We got hit with a 1. So just like blow you over winds. The first sister misionary from the San Felipe Branch came home on medical leave. On Sunday we found out that some of the missionaries from her area that she had been serving (where the storm hit) were missing. Pray for them.
Tagalog: I don't speak it. I dont understand it. People are constantly talking at me-I just smile and nod along. The other day I was doing my laundry and some lady walked by and just started yelling at me- This happens a lot.
Well I love you all.
So the pictures: I'm not sure if I sent this one of the big fat pig...
Typical meal - dried fish and rice.
Juvy and Queenie Rondero - my favorite family.
Sister missionaries: Shaina, Jean Rose, Minelle
Rice drying on the street. After they pick it they put it o the street to dry. That's why we always have to wash our rice.
Crabs from FHE-- yeah I was just sitting there and I kept hearing this noise next to me. I finally looked over and there were a bunch of crabs.
The squished frog on the road... gross but they are everywhere.
I love you and miss you. The work here is starting to progress.
Monday: We had a super spiritual lesson. The only problem was that the man we were teaching was completely wasted. We didn’t know this until we shook his hand and smelt him. I also met my first gay philipino. His name is Jovy he owns a hair salon. I also found out that Sister Enguito is afraid of gay people…. Luckily he spoke some English. Apparently he did Tyra Banks and Steven Tyler’s hair in LA last year.
Tuesday: Probably my favorite day. We got to teach the Rondero Family about families-super receptive. They asked to see a picture of my family—I only had the one from David/Shay's wedding. Two of the girls (17 and 19) and Sister Enguito all have major crushes on Andy Tygard. Its really funny Sister Enquito kept trying to ask me questions about him subtly in her broken English.
Wednesday: It rained! The rain here is so hard. It hurts to not have an umbrella.
Thursday and Friday: All Saints Days- everyone was partying in the cemetaries.
Saturday: The people in the house next to us play music all the time. And they were playing ABBA and Steven Tyler. Also there is always drunk karaoke here all the time. The other night they were doing a rendition of Chiquitita (ABBA).
Sunday is the best because we have church and we all get to see the elders. I got to talk to Elder Christensen which was awesome because he was my DL/ZL in the MTC and he speaks English! He is as confused as me which makes me feel better. I also got to see the Rondero Family again. The mother, Juvy reminds me so much of mom. She always hugs me and tells me that she love me. I also got proposed to by another drunk man—this is like a daily occurrence for Sister Enguito and me.
Mahal kita. Sister Raynor
ps: mom I decided to pay someone $1 to do my laundry :)