Sunday, December 29, 2013

Arizona Week 4 Merry Christmas!

Dear Family, My mission has been really great, my bike is super awesome but my area is massive so we have to drive to get anywhere.  I hope to get to ride it soon actually.  For my area, my companion and I live in a house with the Jones.  They are the sweetest couple (you will get to meet them on Christmas) and we have a dog, his name is Bob, he looks a lot like Sculley (Nonies old dog).  I'll send pictures soon, Bob just got a haircut so he actually looks just like Sculley, I'll send before and after shots soon. 
     I just started living with the Jones again on Tuesday which has been super awesome, they give us free milk and eggs and veggies from their garden, its awesome. We have this super awesome investigator, her name is Mariah and her son is Daniel. The Hermanas and I taught the first lesson to them and they are just so well prepared, they committed to baptism at the end of our lesson and the Spirit was so strong. It was really meaningful.
     I can't remember if I told you last time, but I do have a big reservation in my area which is pretty cool. 
Funny story, my new companion was a resident in my building when I was an RA, I remember her vividly. To keep it short, I pray for more patience and more love.  I feel like this because I was an RA that she remembers and so she treats me differently.  She has relaxed quite a bit on my training.  Its been a bit rough, she tends to look to me for guidance but she is supposed to be training me.  I am doing all of the driving.  I'm sure I will learn a lot from this experience. I'm still loving my mission and my people.  I'll skype you around 10am on Christmas Day. 
Also, I'm on face book now, super weird, I don't really like it but I'm still working on it - we all have our own Ipads to use on the mission.  Ha, they are protected by BodyGuardz.  (Thanks Uncle Todd!)

Sister Raynor

PS this is a link to a really good mormon message about Christmas, its the one we are showing everyone right now. Its a good one.

Week 9 Philippines

Family po!
At the request of some family members who don’t believe that I am actually learning Tagalog, this is a letter that I wrote to my mission president in Taglish:
Magandang umaga po!
Mahirap ang linggong ito sa paborito ko at most prepared investigator si Sister Catalina left. Pumunta siya sa Manila to be with anak na lalaki niya para sa Pasko.  Sa Thursday, nagtext ako sa kanya ng tungkol sa susunod lesson.  Nagreply siya na hindi babalik siya sa San Felipe dahil sa tatay ng anak ni Catalina convinced her to stay with him sa Manila. Sinabi niya na alam niya na totoo and Simbahan at mahal niya kami pero kailangan niya ang maging karapat dapat sa pamamagitan ng kasal bago babalik siya at magiging baptized siya sa future.  This was a heart break para sa akin dahil si sister Catalina ay unang investigator ko na I began teaching with Lesson 1.  We has helped her sa pamamagitan ng maraming mga pagsubok at problema.  I miss her bawat araw pero alam ko na nalalaman niya na totoo ang Simbahan at she will find a daan to maging myembro.  I am beginning to notice some improvements sa Tagalog ko.  Maramdaman ko na kung wala si Sister Enguito, kaya ko maging okay. Pwede akong magturo lesson 1.  Ang lesson 1 ko ay hindi pa perpekto pero kaya ko iyan.  Hindi perpekto and tagalog ko pero pwede akong magusap with mga tao around me.  As mahal ko and mga tao, nais ko magusap sa mga tao learn Tagalog. Alam ko na as I focus sa work naming, I improve bawat araw.
Sister Raynor

I forgot my camera so I will send pictures of my Christmas next week.  Lets just say that it involved a lot of spaghetti and even more fish.  On Christmas Eve, we went in at 6 to avoid the drunks and made mashed potatoes (we didn’t have a masher and so they were pretty chunky) and carrots and Sister Hart made spaghetti (only we didn’t have sauce and so she tried to make some sauce out of ketchup and sugar—bumusok (fail)) .  We then sat there for two hours making balloon animals out of this weird kit I bought in the palenkey  (market).  Christmas Day, President Querido decided to do surprise interviews.  We also spent a lot of time eating sweet spaghetti with the hot pink hot dogs.  I had balut again.  I also had bloog- porridge, I would not recommend it.  It looks like dirt. We all ended up at Sister Trapsi’s house.  Sister Trapsi is an RM with two RM sons that work with us a lot.  She is nuts but in a good way, I think.  She told us a Taglish story about how on her mission she got up in the middle of the night to “urinate” and saw her companion with some man.  She is hilarious.  She always makes us break rules though, like Christmas morning she just walked straight into our house and would not leave (we are not allowed to let people into our house).  It was great talking to you on skype last week.   Well this is all the time I’ve got.  I love you all.  And I guess I’ll talk to you in 2014.  Pretty nuts.  Its almost been four months. 

Ashley- you should write me back.  I love you all.
Mahal kita.
Sister Raynor

Arizona Week 2 and 3??

Sorry that my letter was not detailed, I tried to get the basics down because there was an insane week. My trainer was sent home, she had some depression issues.  I couldn't write about it last week because she was with us on our P-day.  For the past 2 weeks I have been with my zone's sister training leaders so we have been spending our time between their area and ours. 

Yesterday was our mission conference/Christmas get together. It was super awesome and spiritual. Today we went to the temple as a mission.  President and Sister Toone we're waiting for everyone in the Celestial room and when we arrived, we all got to give them a hug.  It was super sweet.  Today I also got my new trainer, she said that I was one of the RA's in her building...she was kind of different then but we will see how she is now, it's been a year.  
My address for the next while is:  Sister Ashley Raynor
                                                     4616 W. Piedmont Dr. 
                                                     Laveen, AZ 85339

I'm in south Phoenix, it's super pretty and I have the Indian reservation in my area.
I love you all so much.
Sister Raynor

Week 8 Philippines or I've been out over 100 days!

December 25, 2013  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
Family!  Hello po!
I am just going to write pretty quick because I get to skype today!
Tagalog- I think it is slowly coming--I guess you'll see for yourself when I skype mamaya.  Its still difficult but I am starting to actually communicate a little.  I definitely am not going to be training next month.  ( That is what President Querido always does- you train after your three months of training.)  But I don't think that I am fluent enough yet.
I love our investigators.  If I get transferred I will be pretty sad.  I LOVE the branch members.  President delaCruz (branch pres) and I are pretty much best friends.  He is super sarcastic and he doesnt speak very much English and I don't speak very much Tagalog so it is always interesting.  We had these two recent converts of the elders give us (the four sisters) a Chrsitmas present- an orange.  It was probably one of the best if not the best gift i have ever received.  Their names are Iverson(9) and Fatima(11).  They are really really poor but they love the gospel so much.  We cried when they gave it to us because oranges are so expensive here-- about 30 pesos (.75cents)  The next day we gave them a huge Toblerone chocolate bar.  They were so happy.  It was really amazing to see.  Then I was able to help them pay tithing for the first time.  It was such an amazing feeling.  They have so much pananampalataya.  Tomorrow is Christmas Eve.  We are supposed to go into our apartment at 6pm to avoid all of the Christmas Eve drunks.  So we are going to splurge today and buy potatoes to make mashed potatoes and we are going to move our bed pads (we don't use mattresses) into the living room and watch The District(the missionary training videos).  Super exciting. Its going to be a good time.  Then on Christmas we are just going to 5 different members' houses to share a message (eat).  On Christmas, Filipinos eat spaghetti because that is what rich people eat.  The spaghetti here is sweet and it has those hot pink hot dogs (like Africa) in it.  They also put hard boiled eggs chunks on it.  Christmas will definitely be different but I'm excited.  Well I have to go but I love you all.  Merry Christmas. 
I'll talk to you in 30 minutes!! Love you, Sister Raynor

                                 Rach- I thought about you on your birthday.  

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Week 7 Philippines

I had balut this week.  Elder Christensen and I did it together.  I took a video but it is too long.  You drink the zygote juice and then you peel and bite, but it is just this yellow yoke and a big black baby bird.  I touched the beak.  But I did it and it tasted like hard boiled egg.  

I got a package of shoes on the 12th.  It was the greatest.  I also got 5 really old dearelders -- also awesome.  
I also have a nice infected blister.  It is swollen and bright green. 

This week was Sister Hart's birthday.  Sister Hart is from Australia.  She lives in my apartment with her trainer.  She is my best friend out here.  She, Elder Christensen and I always hang out.  We are all planning a trip to Australia when we get home.

Favorite quote from this week:  "I like the way you wear your blush."  Said to me by a creepy 60 year old.  Creeper.

I LOVE YOU ALL!  Got to go.  Mahal KITA. Shout out to Rach:: Happy Birth.

Countryside Photos:

Sister Enguito's Birthday

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Arizona Week 1

Dear Family,

     So I think I win for craziest first week of the mission. Katie may have had a hurricane but I have this:  
1) My mission president is literally 7 feet tall, his wife is 5'1".  
2) After a day and a half of training my trainer is going home, super sad, I don't really know much about it but pray for her please... (Sister Gannon)  
3) Since Friday, I have gotten my wish of being a Spanish speaking sister missionary sometime during my mission...  The Sister Training leaders  of  whom I am in a trio with for now, are Hermanas!  

     So this has all been interesting and definitely an adventure, but I'll be reassigned tomorrow or Wednesday so it was fun while it lasted. I've gotten to see just how little Spanish I know.  During lessons, I find that I just say, "me llamo es Hermana Raynor, y yo se que el Libro de Mormon es verdad."  
     Sorry my letter is going to be short this week and, we are having mission conference next week so I won't have a p-day to write, but I will be able to skype on Christmas so that will be fun. Oh yeah, Elder Russell M. Nelson was at the MTC for Thanksgiving. Super cool. Love you All.

Sister Raynor

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Arrived in Arizona

There wasn't much of an email this last week and actually I just received a very short note from Ashley by postal service.  She did arrive safe and sound...  I also found it interesting that although we have the opportunity to use the Internet that the missions seem to be stressing writing to your missionary regularly and encouraging them in their proselyting efforts.

The other thing that her mission president wrote which I appreciated was:  

"As we met with Sister Raynor yesterday, we stressed the principles of obedience, hard work and worthiness.  This mission holds great potential for each missionary assigned.  The members are strong and love these great Elders and Sisters.  You can be assured they, and we, will do all possible to watch over your daughter.  It is a very special responsibility we feel toward our missionaries.  We want to see them enjoy a happy and successful mission."

Here is the mission home address and hopefully we will be receiving an exact address for Ashley.  However, since her P-day isn't until Monday, it will be a few more days.  

Arizona Tempe Mission
1871 E. Del Rio Drive
Tempe, AZ  85282

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Week 6 Philippines

Happy Birthday Thomas!!!

Seth told me once that the hardest part of your mission schedule isn't waking up, its staying awake until 10:30 pm.  Totoo. (So true!)   Roosters and Tricycles outside usually wake me up around 5:30 am - no problem.  But I usually fall asleep at 10 pm at my desk while working on the area book. I measure my productivity for the day based on how early I fall asleep at my desk.

Thursday was thanksgiving.  I didn't realize that it was until 12:30 so we said really quick at lunch what we were grateful for - I said America.  
Friday - Happy Birthday Caroline!!!
It's December now - the nicer houses have a few Christmas decorations.  It doesn't feel like Christmas because it is SO hot.
Sunday - We (the 6 missionaries in the branch) put on a missionary fireside...  We all gave super long talks sa (in) Tagalog.  Yuck.
We are also restructuring the YW's program so that our investigators actually want to go there.
I don't have much time -- I'm really slow at typing today because my index finger got sliced off by a fan blade... not fun - I don't have a finger pad now.  But I love you all.  
Shout out to Ash!! 
Mahal kita.  Katie

Side note: (Thank you Nonie for looking this all up.)   Grandpa Tom was wounded in Mindanao, Philippines on March 13, 1945.  Mindanao is the big southern island along with some smaller islands. The battle for Mindanao began March 10 and didn't end until August (when the war ended). It is a Muslim territory and there is always unrest.