Monday, March 24, 2014

Week 16 Arizona

Hey mamma, 

          So this week was awesome! On Saturday Nancy and Alex got baptized! It was incredible. On the Sunday before when we were planning their baptism, our ward mission leader told us that the night before, he had an incredible dream. He dreamed that he was at the baptism and that he was about to start the service and that every time he stood up, people would walk in for the baptism. He dreamed that so many people showed up that they had to move the service to the chapel. On Saturday, we got there and it was 10:50 and there were the normal amount of people in attendance, but people kept coming in. By 11 we had to go get more chairs. By 11:20 we had to move the service to the chapel. It was incredible! Last night we got the official head count...there were 104 people in attendance, including President and Sister Toone. It was the coolest service ever. 
         Hermana Haar (coolest/craziest person ever) sang this incredible arrangement of the words to Oh My Father to the tune of Come Thou Fount of Every Blessings, you should just try singing those words to it , it is amazing. 
        Transfer calls come on the 6th of April, so we still have a little longer, but I think I'm going to be getting transferred, but we'll see. 

I forgot my card reader...sorry.

Love you tons. Have fun on your trip.

Sister Raynor

Philippines Week 21

This week has gone by so fast but so much has happened.  
          The first kind of major thing that happened is that my wrist (where I have the metal plate) has started to ache a lot and is make popping sounds.  Its been a struggle not to use it too much but I have an appointment at Baypoint Hospital in Olongapo tomorrow to get it checked out... Hopefully everything will be fine.
          Mom, I think that out of all of your kids I have tried the most exotic foods.  This week I had pating (shark meat) and raw pusit (squid).  Shark meat tasted a lot like tuna or swordfish but it still had some rubbery skin.  Not that bad.  The squid...ayaw ko (I don't like).  Not a fan.  It tasted very chewy and squishy.  I would rather eat balut...
          We had a new Elder transfer into San Felipe. (Our District Leader returned to his original mission in Tacloban... ) His name is Elder Finau he is Tongan but from New Zealand.  He is pretty popular in the branch because he is 6'5" and most of the members are lucky if they are 5'7".
I also had the opportunity to teach Darnel (the Filipino from the US) in English again.  We taught him the Plan of Salvation it was a 2.5 hour lesson -- he had so many questions.  He came to church on Sunday and sat right by me and just kept talking.  Because it was Elder Finau's first Sunday, he bore his testimony in Sacrament.  When he got up, Darnel goes "ooo, I need to meet him. I speak some Samoan and Samoan and Tongan are similar."  After Sacrament meeting, I introduced them and then got called across the room.  After about 10 minutes, I returned to Darnel and walked him to his motorcycle.  I went back to the chapel and Elder Finau came up to me and asked if Darnel was my investigator.  I said yes and asked how Darnel's Samoan was...  Elder Finau just looked at me and said, "that man knows every vulgar, bad word in Samoan -- I don't think he realized that they were bad words though..." I love Darnel.
          We were also able to commit a new investigator to be baptized.  She is so willing and ready.  So prepared.  "The field is white" with rice here in the Philippines.  I love you all.  Thank you for all of the prayers.  Ingat po.
Love Sister Raynor

Yea, know that am nothing; as to my strength am weak; therefore will not boast of   myself, but will boast of my God,for in His strength I can do all thingsyea, behold, many    mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever. Alma 12:26

Pictures: Just the view from our apartment/porch.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Week 15 Arizona

Just some quick notes this week:

  • Keep up on the swimming Mom, I think that is totally awesome. One thing I've learned on my mission is that exercising is a lot like prayer, the times when you don't want to do it is when you need to do it the most, and you can never feel guilty afterwards.  
  • Rachel forwarded Aaron's letter to me - I read it and I am super proud of him and of what he is doing. 
  • I never thought I'd hear you say, "Jimmy Fallon makes me laugh" Mom - April fool's isn't until the 1st of April.  
So this week...we got to take Nancy and Alex (getting baptized on Saturday March 22nd) to the visitor's center!!! Nancy has been investigating the church for 2 1/2 years.  She's been ready for awhile, but she's from the South and she loved her coffee and cigars. Alex is her son. He is 14 and he has real bad ADD, so the visitor's center was really good for him. In normal lessons we have his attention for about 7 minutes but when the Joseph Smith movie started, he was sucked in. The Spirit was so strong. It was an awesome experience.

So last week we (all the missionaries in the mission) got in trouble because apparently Sister Toone went on a few cleaning checks and was disturbed by what she saw.  So we essentially all got grounded. All Pday activities are cancelled until further notice. We can't even "mingle" with other missionaries on Pday, so hanging out at the other sisters apartment is out, but we can still go over to do our laundry.

Tomorrow we have Zone Conference, I am so excited for that. The last one we went to was inspired.  I can't wait to see what happens tomorrow. Sorry this is gonna be short.  Before I forget though, can you send me my orange Chacos - the flip flops?  That would be so awesome.

Love you, 
Sister Raynor

                                               Spanish is Funny!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Philippines Week 20


The weeks go by so fast.  It feels like I just emailed/forgot to email.  So this week was the REAL start of summer here in the Philippines.  It was SO hot.  It was in reality about 95 F  but it felt hotter than anything I have ever experienced because of the crazy humidity.  Someone told us that there were  warnings not to be in direct sunlight from 10am to 4pm.  At siyempre sabi ko sa kanila "okay lang kasi may Espiritu Santo po ako" Narinig nyo na ba ang tungkol sa ebanghelyo ni Jesucristo?  (And of course I say to them "it's okay because I have the Spirit" Have you heard about the Gospel of Jesus Christ?).  But it really is hot.  We have to take an umbrella, extra purified water and sunscreen everyday. Last Monday, Sister Hart actually at in the laundry tub while I pumped water on her.  She said it was the best she felt in months.  On Monday, I also introduced some of the Branch Missionaries to Chubby Bunny.  (The game where you see who can put the most marshmallows in their mouth.) So funny because people struggle saying chubby bunny even without marshmallows in their mouth. It made me think of all those times with the giant marshmallows--Ash always dominated.  We also had lunch and dinner with members.  We had lunch on the beach.  That was super fun.  We then went and had lunch with the Ablians.  They are a political family here in San Felipe.  She is the new Relief Society President and he is the 1st Counselor in the Branch Presidency.  (Mom- you should add him on facebook because there are a ton of pictures of us-- Ablian Romil)
On Wednesday we had a cooking demo/mission president interviews/couple missionary interviews.  We started super late and so we didn't proselyte at all.  So I had an interview with President Querido and Elder and Sister Gorringe. 
On Thursday, we taught the Law of Chastity to a pregnant teenager.  I was super worried when we first got there.  I asked her if she read the pamphlet and if she had questions.  She looked at me and said- in Tagalog, but  essentially - "Sister Raynor, its too late".  She then laughed.  We talked a lot about the repentance process.  It was really neat to be able to see the gospel and the knowledge of the gospel working in her.  
On Friday, I taught Darnel. I say that "I" taught Darnel because I did it by myself. Darnel is 38 years old.  He is Filipino but he moves to the US when he was 8. HE just moved back to the Philippines last year.  He understands and speaks Tagalog but he feels more comfortable with English. He has traveled all over the world.  He has the weirdest accent.  Because he moved so much growing up.  He sounds like he belongs in Boston with a little bit of southern twang.  But we taught the first lesson about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to him. I taught the whole lesson.  It was so weird/fun to speak in English.  I understood all of his concerns and his needs and I was able to address them.  It was amazing.  The Spirit was so strong.  It was by far my best lesson so far.  
I love this work.  Sometimes, I get homesick or just the ease of life at home but I would not give up these 18 months.  I am sad that I only have 12 more months.  I love you all and I hope everyone is doing great. 
 Cubo.  Sister Raynor

                        1+2)  CDO- the youngest son of the Ablians.  He is 9 years old and is always at that computer.

3) Chubby Bunny

                                        4)  Sister Hart in the laundry tub

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Week 14 Arizona


      It is so awesome that you are swimming! That is such a great thing to be doing up there, especially when its all rainy and cold outside - way to be.  I have actually been thinking about Emily Young a lot this week.  If she had gone on her mission, we totally could have been companions! About 7 months ago, they created a bunch of new missions and so some of the missionaries from the Arizona Phoenix Mission joined the Arizona Tempe Mission, and by some i actually mean a lot.  Every other missionary I meet was in the AZ Phoenix mission before...she and I totally could have been companions but.. boys.  
     So last Sunday the Gilbert Temple was dedicated, but on the Saturday before, when they had the Cultural Celebration it was pouring rain. Here's the cool thing that I forgot to write about last week.  When President Eyring spoke, he promised all the youth who participated that they would be blessed and that none of them would get sick from the rain.  Out of the 10,000 youth who were there, not one has been sick!  Apostolic promises come true. I just thought it was cool. 
      This last week we decided to focus on service so we did 8 hours of pulling weeds, 3 hours of cutting paper, 4 hours of cutting lettuce, and 2 hours, of cleaning...long week. Besides that it was a very uneventful week, so this letter is gonna be a little short.

Also, I found this super sweet quote, I put it on FaceBook but in case you haven't seen it, it's my new favorite.

 Brigham Young said:  
"If you have a bad thought about yourself, 
tell it to go to hell because that is exactly where it came from." 
I like it, its a good thing to remember.

     So our mission president has challenged us to read the Book of Mormon this transfer.  If we read about 13 pages a day, we can read the Book of Mormon in 6 weeks and if you do that every day, you can read the Book of Mormon every other thought. If you have some free time, it'd be a cool thing to do.

Love you

Sister Raynor

PS:  Happy Anniversary Papa Wally and Granny Jo!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Week 13 Arizona

Hey everyone,

     So this week was awesome! With transfers we got another set of English sisters and a set of Spanish elders and we only lost 1 person. Super grateful for the elders because before there were only 2 Spanish companionships trying to cover the whole zone, so they were always stressed and spread pretty thin. 
     The Spanish sisters who cover our area are super awesome, but like I said before they've been pretty busy and then 2 weeks ago their ward mission leader just up and moved to Mexico. I guess his brother is going to be the new mission president in the Tijuana Mexico Mission, so he moved to help his brother out, kinda cool.  
     But since Brother Stewart (our ward mission leader) found out about it, he has taken on the position of temporary ward mission leader for the Spanish branch.  Brother Stewart is an interesting older man. He can't hear, he is pretty controlling, he micromanages us a bit, but he is awesome. He wants to make sure everything is running smoothly so I think he worries a lot about how we are doing the work.  He was a detective and a prison warden, but he is retired now, so he spends all of his time doing things for his calling. The other day, he got the move-in list for the past 3 years and he was going through it. When he finished he gave it to us with all of his notes, on one of them, it was for this guy named Peter, he wrote "no spouse/children of record, found orange flip flops outside the door, small in size, likely belong to a female."  It was a bit funny.  It's hard for  the Spanish sisters, because he was  not asked by anyone to do any of that investigation... he just assumed the role.  He is awesome, but yes, well, a little bit crazy.

On Sunday, the Gilbert Temple was dedicated.  So on Saturday, we got to go to the stake center to watch the cultural celebration, which was pretty fun, and then on Sunday, we got to go watch one of the sessions in the stake center.  We were at the 9 am session, but the satellite was down so we thought we might have to drive like 45 minutes to the next closest stake center, but then they got it up in time for the 12 o'clock session, it was so cool. At dinner yesterday we ate dinner at the Dunne's house, it was super cool because it turns out that Brother Dunne served in Modesto and Stockton, so that was kind of fun.

So I got my tooth fixed, One of the stake high counselors was the dentist so it was totally free. He was so kind and helpful. I got the package from the relief society and the one from you, tell everyone thank you so much, thanks for the shoes, they are perfect.  
That's all the good stuff, Love you.

Sister Raynor

The First picture was going to be my first baptism...then I got transferred so I missed it, but I love this family so much.

The second picture is me and Sister Douros at the Gilbert Temple open house...It was beautiful, there were these amazing stained glass windows everywhere.

Philippines Week 18

So seguro, short and sweet this week kasi walang time.
  • We saw our Branch Mission Leader and old Branch Mission Leader fight (mixed martial arts) it was crazy.  Super intense. Never again.
  • I did not get transferred. I am still in San Felipe with Sister Pizon. Sister Hart did not get transferred either.  Elder Christensen our District Leader got transferred. Super sad.
  • We had an FHE/mission farewell for Roni (our former branch mission leader).  We met our new District Leader and played a weird game where I had to eat two huge tomatoes as fast as I could. The tomatoes here are very different.  Not a fan :)
  • We walked all over San Felipe for a place with a white background so that I could take a passport picture for immigration. The people here really like to paint their houses bright colors.  I ended up having to go to a photo shop in town. 
  • Roni's dog bit my finger but didnt break my skin and so I don't have to get a rabies shot - hallelujah. That dog is pretty gross. It is all scabbing and hairless -- not like Maggie.
  • Just a quick shout out to Bart Bartoni. There is a man in the Branch here that looks like a mobster. He always wears his tank top, huge gold cross, and all of his gold jewelry.  He also wears his really nice dress pants. (Definitely not an "Italian mobster and DEFINITELY not as CUTE as my boyfriend - and Lisa's Bart!)
  • So yesterday I wasn't feeling good at church, so I wore my hair up without makeup.  When our Branch President saw me, in his Taglish he goes "Sister Raynor bakit pangit ka today"  (SIster Raynor, why are you ugly today). That is one of the things I have learned if you are having a bad day, the people here tell you.
  • Some guy on the street asked me to kiss him last night (pakiss).  Daniel, the Branch Missionary  got so mad and got in his face.l  It was hilarious.
  • It was Rodelyn Tabile's birthday (she lives with the Moyos) last night and so we celebrated with them.  
I love you all and I hope that everyone is doing good.  Cubo.  Sister Raynor

The Branch Missionary pretending to lift weights. He is the one that was "defending my honor". He is also the  one with the sweat rag on his face.  

Michelle Moyoand her baby in her house.  I spend a lot of time here. 

Rodilyn and me on her birthday. 

 Keane and Christaly (Cali).