Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Week 18 Arizona - Sister Raynor becomes Hermana Raynor

So this has been a crazy week! On Monday, our Zone Leaders told us to get ready for transfers because "they're gonna rip this place apart," apparently President Toone has adopted a new policy where you will no longer be staying in an area for more than 4 transfers (unless the Spirit directs otherwise, of course.)  So a big chunk of my zone (6 of the 18 missionaries) have been here for 4 transfers, and there are 3 missionaries who are on their last transfer (they go home today/tomorrow) and 1 who got his visa to go to Brazil, so that's like 10 people with an 80% chance of getting transferred. Saturday and Sunday where awesome! I loved conference, it was incredible. Sunday night was crazy, transfer calls came annnnnnnnndddddddd its official! I am getting transferred! 

And for the really big my new area, I will be known as Hermana Raynor (in case you didn't get it, that means my Mission President has decided to reassign me to Spanish). At 10:20 last night President Toone called and asked me if I would accept the assignment to be a Spanish missionary, and I said yes.  It has been something that we had talked about before, but I didn't actually think anything would happen. Two weeks ago, President Toone said he needed to meet with me privately, and in that meeting, he told me that he was aware of my desires to speak Spanish, and that 1). I should have told him about that myself, 2). That they could use some more Spanish missionaries 3). That he had received the First Presidency's approval to reassign me, and 4). That he had not yet received personal confirmation. We talked about the possibility of a reassignment and we ended with lets pray about it and call him on Monday (2 days later).  This meeting freaked me out, I was very much caught off guard by the whole thing. I wanted give him the right answer, not the one that I wanted it to be, but what Heavenly Father wanted. This is what I wrote President Toone: 

President Toone,

This week has been a good week. We had that incredible baptism on Saturday and on Sunday the confirmation was just as powerful. Those spiritual experiences have really helped me. Since Friday night, I've had a lot on my mind. It was a struggle to discern between what I want and what the Lord wants for me, but after much prayer and fasting, I believe that I got my answer. It came this morning during personal study, but really I think it came Saturday night, but my doubts and my fears made everything foggy. Today as I was praying before my personal study, begging to know His will, I just got this feeling, a quiet assurance, it was like the answer had been there all along but I just hadn't been ready for it or able to recognize it, but I feel that Spanish is right. This whole weekend doubts have been going through my mind nonstop, "my Spanish isn't that good, I'll let people down" or "my companion would hate me, she'd feel like she is having to pull my weight in teaching" "no one out there is that patient." I had a lot of doubts, but I realized that if this is right, if this is what the Lord wants for me then it will be possible. I will probably struggle and feel uncomfortable for a bit, but I know that with enough faith, I can do it. 

Sister Raynor

The week after, that, I started to doubt, but this is part of what I wrote him:

This week we went on exchanges with Hermana Haar and Hermana Mejia. I love exchanges so much! I just love getting the chance to learn new things and this is going to sound kinda weird but i love getting the correction. I have desired to be a consecrated missionary from the beginning of my mission and so getting the chance to go on exchanges where i can learn ways to be better from those with more experience than I, is an incredible opportunity for learning and growth. On this round of exchanges I went with Hermana Haar to her area and Hermana Mejia went with Sister Douros to our area. Sadly on this exchange there was a massive dust storm, so we were inside for a bit and we didn't get a lot of teaching opportunities but as per usual I still learned so much. While we were waiting out the storm Hermana Haar and I did language study. It was my favorite part of the day, she is an incredible teacher, and now here is the one and only time I'll leave a little bread crumb, if you feel that me going over to Spanish is right...Hermana Haar is an amazing teacher. I have so much respect for her, I committed myself to read chapter 1 of Preach My Gospel each week, and there is a section about the power and authority that comes with this calling, and I can see that so strongly in her. When she testifies of something, I can see that she knows it, that there is no shadow of a doubt anywhere in her mind of what she is saying. When I told her about our meeting last Friday, I was telling her about all my doubts, and right in the middle of my sentence she just grabbed my arm, looked me strait in the eye and said, "Sister Raynor, if your Heavenly Father desires for you to speak Spanish then you WILL be able to speak Spanish. He will bless you with the gift of tongues and with the gift of interpretation of tongues. Stop doubting and have more faith than that." She has that power and authority that I am working towards. I am so glad we had exchanges, because I needed to hear that.

Sister Raynor 

Sister Raynor,

Great letter ... I appreciate all that you are willing to share with me as you write to me each week. Thanks for all you do. I hope and pray that you will support the decisions that will come with transfers. True, things are going to be different. But, I believe the changes will be a blessing to all of us and they will especially bless the mission. You are the best. Please remember that Sister Toone and I love you. We are here for you. We pray for you multiple times a day and we know that the Lord will bless you with everything you need. Live up to your privileges and you will be amazed at how God will pour down upon you EVERYTHING YOU NEED. 

President Toone

These next few transfers are going to be an adventure, but we'll see what happens. I am super excited. I love you all. 

Sister/Hermana Raynor

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