Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Week 43 Arizona


The antidote for all worry, sadness, pain, anxiety, etc. is service.
We were sharing a message with a member of our ward last night. As we
were talking about the love of God she told the story of her
conversion. It was filled with a lot of mistakes, loss, regrets, pain,
sorrow, but ended with hope, peace, fulfillment, and love. After 35
years out of the church she hit rock bottom. She told us she felt
hopeless and empty and nothing, that she was trying was getting her
out. So she went to God.

She could not find a job as she started her path back to her Father so
she spent her time totally immersed in service. "This service" she
said, "is what saved me. It healed my deep wounds and brought light
back into my life." What a powerful testimony she bears when she talks
of the Atonement. When we serve others we serve God. What better way
to happiness.

I can testify to the power of service. I am changed through the
service I have been blessed to give. It is all around us and I know
that it is one of the tools that Father uses to shape us into the Gods
and Goddesses He hopes and desires for us to be. When we throw
ourselves into service we are surrounded by His spirit. That is the
spirit that brings peace, love, healing, and guidance into our lives
and hearts.

The other day we were telling Brenda about the spirit. She is a recent
convert that struggling and she could really use some prayers. Brenda
has a heart of gold but no motivation right now to kick her desires
into action. She moved out of her boyfriends house to get baptized,
but after a few weeks...she found out that she was pregnant and now,
she is back to living with him.

We were able to share some very powerful scriptures with Brenda to
help her understand how much she NEEEEEEDS to be reading her
scriptures EVERYDAY and coming to church EVERY Sunday. It is these
little day to day things that help us have and keep the spirit. When
we have to spirit Satan has no hold on us. She cried and told us that
she knows but it is so hard. So guess what we did... (Caroline your
going to love this part!) We made a schedule with her. We gave her a
piece of paper and helped her figure out a time EVERYDAY that she was
going to read. And how she was going to prepare to attend church. Then
we made a plan on how we as missionaries could follow up daily to help
her. There is no point in committing someone to something if you are
not going to follow up.

Family: I know that God lives. I know that He loves me and each of
you. He has a perfect plan for you that you already agreed to. You
said Yes! In the words of Elder Malm of the 70 "we are all yes-
sayers." And guess what? that also means that everyone you see each
day said yes to this plan too. Sadly a lot of them have forgotten this
and so we are called to remind them. This plan is the plan of
HAPPINESS. This world always needs more happiness so lets teach
everyone this plan. As we do we will have Father's Spirit with us to
lift us, guide us, and help us all along the way. You are called to
serve. Grab your scriptures and put on your badge of honor and follow
the Savior.

I know as you do you will be blessed. I see it everyday. I know it, I
live it, and I love it with all of my heart and soul. You can do hard
things. Live each day with purpose. You will find joy and peace as you
do. Love you all.  

Sister Raynor

This is the creepiest thing I've ever seen...it's a tree stump 

This is our fort-like set up from our last apartment. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Philippines Week 48

I've been transferred!!!!
I’ve been trying to think of what I should write all week and I still don’t know exactly what to say. I guess I’ll just share my thoughts with you.

Transfers- It always hurts a little when you leave an area. I had been in Abucay for 6 months and so, of course, it was hard but exciting saying goodbye. It was hard to say goodbye to the members and less actives that I have come to love with all my heart. (It was especially hard to say goodbye to one of our investigators who, hopefully, was baptized last Saturday). But of course, I am so excited to meet the people here in Subic.

Companion- Sister Empalmado is literally amazing. Our lessons are amazing. She is a great teacher and I look forward to learning more from her. As we discussed this last transfer, we both agreed that we really felt that President had prayed specifically for us. We know that there are amazing opportunities awaiting us here. I look forward to seeing the work of the Lord fulfilled in our area.

Sister Smith- My last week with Sister Smith was very stressful but I actually really miss her. I pray for her and think of her daily. I can’t think of anytime in my life where I have experienced more change in myself. Our companionship was not easy but it was probably one of the greatest learning experiences of my mission. I am so grateful for the time that we had together. 

  • So we found out about transfers early. SO I was able to say goodbye to everyone in Abucay.
  • I got transferred to Olongapo--Subic specifically. I got called to be a Sister Training Leader. So we are the mission home STLs. So I go to church with the Assistants to the President and the Office Elders. 
  • Elder Christensen (from my first area) is now an office elder and his companion is his trainer. They live right up the street. Its like a blast from the past. 
  • I see the Senior Couple (The Gorringes) all the time.
  • My new apartment has air con, hot water, and a washing machine. I'm living the life. :)
  • My area is all mountain on one side and then ocean on the other. We just hike all day. It is gorgeous because the ocean is right there every time we look off the mountain. 
  • MY companion, Sister Empalmado, is the best. She is Filipina and we go home at the same time. Which apparently is getting pretty close.I got called a pauwi this week. which pretty much means someone that is close to going home.
  • We've also been introduced into a new concept--I2L-ing jeepneys. SO basically we get up in front of the whole jeepney while we are riding to appointments and invite everyone in the jeepney to learn about the gospel and we hand out pass-a-along cards with our numbers on it. So we contact 20+ people in a 3 minute period of time. Its kind of scary talking in front of everyone but it is worth because you are giving so many a chance to learn. 
I'll send pics next week when i get my camera fixed. We are planning a trip to hike this HUGE mountain in a few weeks. So excited. Love you all. Be good. Love Sister Raynor

Bus station goodbyes. Sister Hart is now south in the mission and I am in the center/heart of the mission. BIg CITY!!

​This is the branch president that went less active for 25 years and then we helped him return to full activity. He cried when we said goodbye and then told me to come back when he goes to the temple next year--- looks like we might need a family vacation here in the Philippines. :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Week 42 Arizona

Hey Mamma-
Its been a crazy week so I've just put in all of my journal entries for this week... sorry I don't have a lot of time to write

We just finished having an amazing week. 
       Tuesday, my companion was super distracted and upset about something. She was driving us to District Meeting and we reached a stop light and then she just treated it like a stop sign. She stopped, then went. After District meeting, she asked Elder Diaz for a blessing. It was one of the most spiritual blessing that I have ever gotten to be apart of and it was awesome because he gave it to her in Spanish. Ever since Tuesday, we've been so much closer to Elder Diaz...that blessing was a moment. I know that God's power is once again back here on the earth and I'm so grateful for worthy priesthood holders and leaders. We found a new investigator that day and she is really awesome, her name is Irma.

        Wednesday was also a way Awesome day.. The Evergreen Ward had us teach the young women's activity that night and we taught about what mission life was like and why we chose to go on missions and we were able to bring an investigator and a recent convert with us to meet all of the girls and listed about what we do as missionaries. We then read from chapter 10 of Preach my Gospel and taught the girls how to use the scriptures while teaching someone about the gospel. We divided the girls into 4 companionships and Hermana Smuin and I were 2 investigators and then the recent convert and the non member were 2 investigators and they taught us their favorite scriptures using the model of explain the context, read with them, then apply it or their lives. The spirit was so strong. The nonmember, Julia, approached us afterwards with a bunch of questions about the baptism process. We ran from there to an awesome lesson with the Lindor family and a Ward missionary couple came with us and they provided great fellowship.

       Thursday was also bomb. It was the first time I have ever gone on splits. We got so much done and we were able to work in the Spanish and the English Ward at the same time. We finished the night with an awesome lesson with a Ward missionary couple. The work is much more fun when we are with the members.

       Friday we had a surprise meeting with President Toone and the whole entire mission, even all of the missionaries from Yuma came up. And he laid down the hammer! It was a blunt meeting, a lot of how we need to use Facebook and how we need to be examples. I really liked it. It helped me know exactly how I needed to change. There was no beating around the bush. 
And the cherry on top of this huge chocolate cake of a week, Saturday.....

       Saturday, we had the amazing opportunity to hear from a member of the Presiding Bishopric, Bishop Davies, a member of The Seventy, Elder Corbridge, and a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Christofferson.  The power in the room was definitely felt as we filed through and introduced ourselves while shaking these leaders' hands.  They talked to us about so many things, I took 4 pages of notes. At the beginning, he talked a lot about The Second Coming actually and our role in gathering a group of righteous people to welcome Jesus when He comes. But something that really struck me at the end was what Elder Christofferson taught us about the sin of rebelling against God. He said we need to stop all rebellions against Him and start doing His will. We must ask Him what He wants of us and then do it. He made the comparison to Satan and said that he was cast out of heaven because he rebelled against God and we need to be so cautious and careful because he is still recruiting. The time we have to serve the Lord as full time missionaries is too short to be wasted. That day we saw a lot of miracles and just had the greatest desire to work in the Lord's vineyard. That night we were driving in the car and Sister Smuin asked me, "alright, where to?" I felt super strongly like we needed to go visit this girl named Florentina, so we headed her way, and we had an amazing lesson about the peace that comes through the Holy Ghost with Florentina.

       Sunday was even more amazing. I was literally shocked that each day just got better and better. A recent convert's daughter came to church on Sunday and instead of going to Relief Society, we stayed out in the hall and talked to her. We had one of the most spiritual lessons. It was incredible. She accepted to be baptized on the 19th of October :) it was an absolute miracle. She's so prepared. Her name is Julia Morales. We ended the night with a Mission President's devotional and it was good to see everyone there. I was getting really nervous about transfer calls because usually they come around 9 or 10 on Sundays, right? But they never came!! I was so antsy. The zone leaders told us they were going to tell us in the morning. I was dying.
Today, we've been writing letters and still no calls. It's Killer. We just got a call...Sister Smuin is stepping up to be a Sister Training Leader. I'm so happy for her because I know this is what she wanted, but I'm also so sad because I know we wont be companions...my fate is still to be determined. Leadership calls go out before transfer calls. I'll let you know if I get a call.

(Sounds like I'm staying!!  - YEA!)
Love Sister/Hermana Raynor

This transfers transfer board...its like march madness for missionaries

Weekly district pic

 Me, Sister Smuin, and Elder Diaz- we found some name tags that say "Hello my name is"  I was Hope, she was Staci and he was Maru.

Ward Party

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Philippines Week 47

Sa aking magandang pamilya--
Kumusta na kayo?? Namimiss ko po kayo palagi pero napakaganda ang gawaing misyonero dito sa Pilipinas. Sana malusog at maligtas kayo sa inyong mga gawain. Sobrang crazy ang linggo ko.!!

To my beautiful family--
How are you? I miss you always but missionary work is very good here in the Philippines. Hopefully, you are all healthy and safe. My week was crazy.

So I am going to go through and bullet my week because all of the days kind of blurred together because of all the typhoons that hit here. (Sorry, my camera is broken and so I have 0 pictures). 

  • Teresita, my favorite investigator ever, is getting baptized on Saturday (right after transfers so I don't know if I will see it but it was cool because I was able to find and teach her all the way through the lessons). Love her.She is about 60 and CRAZY! I love it.
  • Teresita was interviewed this week by our District Leader and his Samoan companion came too. On the way back, a typhoon hit, umbrellas broke and we got pummelled with rain. So, the islander decides to try to start a water fight in the middle of the street in a HUGE DEEP baha (flood). Good times in the Philippines.
  • There were two bagyo (typhoons) that hit this week. We lost power. I think we probably changed clothes 2 or 3 times a day everyday this week because we were just constantly soaked. We also hardly slept because the rain was SOOO loud.
  • Because of the above bullet point, I have had a super wicked cold and sinus infection for about a week. I just started antibiotics.
  • I had exchanges with Sister Pilkington. It was like a slap of reality. She goes home in 3 months. 
  • I'm loving the members here in Abucay. We have transfers on Wednesday and i will be kind of sad if I leave the members buts I've been here 6 months and i could really use a change. 
  • Tender mercies that I listed in my journal this week:
  1. Teresita made us hot chocolate when she saw us coming to her house during the typhoon.
  2. Members that love the gospel. 
  3. The gift of tongues. So real.
  4. The knowledge that I will be going home in less than 6 months. This is the best part of my mission, because during the hard times it's starting to feel like there's some hope at the end of the tunnel, but during the good times I can still feel like I have some time left to enjoy my mission.
Well, I love you all so much. I hope everyone is doing good. I'm enjoying life on my little island in Asia.
Love (the better) Sister Raynor 

    Week 41 Arizona

    The Book of Mormon is so powerful. In Alma 31:5 we are encouraged to try the virtue of the word. In Alma 37:9 Alma tells us that is was the Book of Mormon that converted and changed the hearts of the Lamanites. This has been the message that I have received all week long. 

    I don't have a lot of time today and I have a million thoughts that I was wanting to share today so I will do my best to get them all out and still make is understandable.

    So on exchanges, which I love, I was talking with Sister Roth, who with Sisters Smuin and Haar is one of my favorite people EVER. We talked about so many things but the one that I feel impressed to share today has to do with comparing ourselves to others. We were talking and she said how when we do this we are being prideful. We are either putting ourselves above another or someone else above us, and both are wrong. As a missionary it can be extremely hard not to compare, but you are always left with feelings of inadequacy, which it says in the PMG will result in the loss of the Spirit. When we lose the Spirit we are more vulnerable and susceptible to the adversary and his tricks. At this point I agree, but I pointed out that it can be used for the good as well. When we use it to compare our weaknesses to others strengths and the results are self-deprecating thoughts, it is negative, but when we use it to measure ourselves it (in my mind at least) can be very positive. If we compare ourselves to Christ for example, it is easy to get discouraged, but if we use it as a gauge (okay I need to work on patience or charity or humility) it can help us to keep progressing.

    So what can we do to avoid the negative while still using the positive? This has been a question I have asked myself many times. I cannot say that I have one sure answer, but at the same time I can. That answer is Christ. We need to focus on Him. Don't look at Him and compare who you are right now, because that is the worst comparison you can make. He is perfect like our Father, we are not and cannot be until we to are resurrected. But look to Him. Take the attributes that He exemplified and apply them. Focus on how you can be Father's hands. It's all about letting His love replace your feeling of inadequacy. 

    Trust. What a powerful word. This is what I strive for. Trust from Him and all trust in Him. He is the way the truth and the light. He is how we get to our Father. We have to trust in Him. We really have no other choice. I learned this again this week when one of our investigators Maria told us that that lesson with her would be the last that we have. Loosing an investigator is always hard, but as I prayed about it that night, I felt peace. I had to trust that the Lord knows what is best  for her. I know that one day she will act on what she knows is true. She told us when she finally does gets baptized that Sister Smuin and I get all the credit. I shared my testimony to her and the Spirit was so strong! I know that she felt it and I know that she'll make the right choice someday.

    I love being here in Tempe, It's become my second home. These members are my friends, my brothers and sisters, but transfers are looming and I can feel that my time here in Tempe might be coming to a close. 

    The Church is True, The Book is Blue, and Moroni stands on a ball.

    Sister Raynor

      Tempe - just before the rain storm.

    After a long day of no lessons, Sister Smuin bought us slurpees with some sweet mustache straws!

    Philippines Week 46

    Let me just start by apologizing in advance—I have no idea how or if this letter will flow or make any sense but I guess we’ll see if I can link my thoughts together to explain how I am feeling.

    This week was just a blur of emotions, mile marks, and intense lessons.

    This week I hit my one-year mark in the mission.
    This week I turned 20 years old.
    I saw some of my batch mates and my “anak” (trainee).
    A member of the 70 came and spoke to us.
    Sister Smith took a tumble that landed us in the hospital.
    A very close family friend died.

    As I hit my one year mark and birthday, I kind of realized that I have become a little stagnant in my personal progression. As I was beginning to realize that I had the opportunity of seeing some of the missionaries that were with me in the MTC. I was amazed at the change and maturity that I saw in them. I felt like in the beginning of my mission I had changed so much but maybe I had just lost some of my “spark”.

    That is why I am SO grateful for Elder Bowen’s teachings to us at Zone Conference. I am grateful for Sister Smith’s fall. It was a pretty bad fall but I am grateful for what I was able to learn from President Dahle.

    “Are you a Mormon?” “Well, Why not?” That was President Dahle’s question to the guard in the hospital. That simple question (in English) sparked something deep inside me. My desire.

    From my studies of the Abrahamic Covenant, I’ve realized—again—that my purpose (as Elder Bowen said) isn’t to baptize but to convert so that all those around us can enjoy never-ending, covenanted blessings. It is so necessary that these people are adopted into the House of Israel in order to receive those blessings. Those blessings are everlasting. Even though people die and it’s heartbreaking, I know that there are much more, greater things in store for those that have stayed true to the end.
    People desperately need the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

    Other things this week:
    • I ate suso for my birthday. Yep, that's snail. You have to sip it out of the shell. It's weird and buggery. 
    • Someone also made potato salad for my birthday.
    • Teresita, investigator--she will be baptized Sept 27th, told us about how she went to an entrepreneur's conference in Bablanga (the big city). I guess the main topic was about a sanitary napkin (pad) that has a special medicine on it that eases headaches. So if you get a headache you just put the pad on your forehead to ease your headache and then use it for its normal use (women's menstruation). Pretty hilarious--just because Terestia (60yo) was trying to show us how to use it with a pad on her fore head.
    • Sister Smith slid in some mud and so we went to the hospital with President and Sister Dahle. I got to translate for President as he invited people to listen to the message of the gospel. It was so cool. He just kept going up to people and saying "Are you a Mormon" and then if they said no he would say "well why not."  So cool!
    • Elder Bowen of the Quorum of the Seventy came and spoke to us.
    • We had Zone Conference. I got to see Sister Hart, SIster Pizon(my anak), Sister Gorringe, Sister Bautista (old comp) and Elder Hill (from my batch).
    • CONGRATULATIONS to SARAH LEWIS!! That is super exciting.
    • Does Cheyenne have a middle name?
    Love you

    Week 40 Arizona

    So we've had an interesting week here too. It went from blazing hot to
    a dust storm to 3 "imminent threat" flash flood warning text messages
    all in like 3 days. 
    So...blazing hot day...this is kinda awkward. On that day we were on exchanges and...I 
    totally passed out. I'm fine and all, I just lost my favorite orange Nalgene bottle (the 
    one with the Mr T sticker on it). So... I hadn't been drinking as much water as I
    should have been and we were tweaking a lesson outside and my companion 
    (Sister Clemens) was essentially debating with this guy for like 20 minutes! Luckily, I was
    leaning against a wall and I just said "I think I'm gonna pass out," next thing I know, I'm in a chair with a fan blowing cold air on me.
    This morning, we woke up to a torrential down pour...that's why I'm writing so late, the library was closed due to hazardous road conditions. Our parking lot looked like a lake!

    Philippines Week 45

    Family!! What up?!? I hear that there is a new edition to the family. Congrats Davey and Shaybaby.

    Follow-up on my favorite less active:

    As we walked by Joseph’s house earlier this week, he called us in and sat us down. He directly told me that even though he was baptized in the 70s that I am his missionary and that he knows that I will probably be transferred soon but that’s okay because he has work to do here in Abucay. He then pulled out a ward directory of priesthood holders. The list was all marked up- with descriptions of families, people, and concerns. He then told us that His goal is to reactivate the priesthood and then work on their families. We then shared Doctrine and Covenants 84:88 with him which says that God is with us in this work and that the angels are round about is to bear us up. He then looked over with teary eyes and said “I feel them. They are here.” He then told me that I won’t see the results of my work here in Abucay but that he won’t stop visiting less actives until there are so many that they need to start another branch here. He then told me to come back in 1 year when he goes through the temple.  This man was one of the hardest people that I have ever met. His change of heart inspires me to work harder and continue through the challenges that I face every day.

    Things that happened this week:
    • Happy Birthday mom!!
    • Met a couple of drunk men. 
    • Had a few really nice conversations with crazy men.
    • There was a huge storm.
    • I hit my one year mark on the 11th.
    I love you all. Hope that everything is going well.  Next week.  

    Happy Birthday to Linda Allen this week.  

                            Sister Raynor and Sister Smith
                                                                                     kids chasing us.

    a baby's swinging crib. they are super sick.

                                                                               a cute baby.

    Saturday, September 20, 2014

    Week 39 Arizona

    So this has been a crazy week to say the least. Tuesday was soooooooooooooooo long, but we made it through. Then on Thursday we had a day...we had mission tour so there was some serious spiritual lift at that meeting. Elder Schwitzer of the 2nd Quorum of the Seventy came and did some training with us...it was just awesome. It was all about repentance and humility and the conversion process. It was super cool, and from then until now we just saw miracle after miracle...it has been amazing. I'm gonna try and tell you about all of them, so bare with me.

    So Hermana Ayala. I'm just gonna say it, re-activations are way awesomer than baptisms. The Elders had been working with this lady for weeks and absolutely no desire to go back to church, then Sister Smuin and I came in and we had this incredible lesson with her, she told us that she had gone to our ward once before but never felt super welcomed, but we got her to come. So she comes, and then she left right before the closing prayer in Sacrament meeting...we thought she hated it and that she ran away. Then we weren't able to visit her the next week and we were super sad, but then she showed up at church again the next Sunday, and... their records were read in. 
         Then on Friday night we went over to visit her, she told us that since she went back to church, Justin (her 13 year old son) has been better. He has ADHD, Asbergers, OCD, and the week before we visited her she found out he also is schizophrenic. Since they went to church, he has been better. Then, this Sunday, Hermana Ayala brought her whole family to church, Justin received the priesthood. To this point in my mission, it was the best thing I have ever seen. I have never felt so happy for another person like this, I cried a little bit during that meeting.

    On Thursday, Sister Smuin was struggling a bit, and by a bit...I mean a lot. She got dear john-ed and she saw someone from home on Thursday that she wasn't expecting to (or wanting to) see after she got the letter if-you-know-what-i-mean. So Thursday night, there where a lot of tears and pep talks. By the end of the night, we set up an appointment with president because she just had a lot on her mind.During the whole thing, she just kept saying "I wish Elder Nelson was here, he always knew what to do." Elder Nelson was her last district leader in Phoenix and he had just gone home, so not a chance of that happening. Anyways in to Presidents office she walks and about 20 minutes later, she walks out and standing in the hallway is none other than formerly Elder Nelson. His family just so happened to be coming through on that day at that time. It truly was a miracle.

    Funny for the family:

    So we live with two other Sisters, and on Saturday night Sister Roth told us something that her grandpa told her once. She was slouching real bad, and so he put his arm around her and said, "don't ever let your stomach stick out further than your feminine charms" (aka your boobs) then on Sunday Sister Smuin and I were in church and I drew something and then she tried to quote Sister Roth's grandpa, but failed. I was crying from laughing so hard.

    Us at the temple, peanut butter m&M on sister Smuin's forehead.

    Philippines Week 44

    Sorry, I dont have much to say this week. its kind of been crazy.

    This week was filled with too many ups and downs to count. It wasn’t necessarily a ‘bad’ week or a ‘good’ week. I’ve found that as I have learned to love the people here, their ups and downs affect me. It hurts when I see them hurting or struggling.  Their ups and their joys are the highest and happiest joys that I have experienced.

    So this week I met a nice man with a permed mullet. He was probably about 50 and he had a gold tooth. He is probably by new best friend in the philippines. He told me that he will become a Mormon if I come back for him. I told him that I will keep his offer in mind.

    Tender Mercy of the Week:
    -------I'm sitting next to Sister Hart right now!! Reunited at last.

    Love Sister Raynor

    Sister Smith and me.

    Week 38 Arizona

    So this letter is gonna be a bit different than usual, but I'll give
    you the news updates at the end.
    So...it's official...I'm on the down hill.
     I am so amazed at how fast time flies and so sad to see that so much
    of it has gone. It was really motivating to know that I only have x
    amount of time left so I better jump on that train and get moving. I
    feel even more motivated to give it my all and not hold anything back.
    My desire is there and now I just have to act.
    In Elder Oaks 2011 april conference talk he explained how improtant a
    desire is. He said that your desires = your priorities. Your
    priorities = your choices. Your choices = your actions. Your desires
    talks about the priorities of our desires and how we can over ride our
    desires with greater ones. ie You over ride your desire to eat with
    your greater desire to fast.
    Our desires make us. It's like virtue. It starts in our inner most
    thoughts. I remember a song that I heard a lot as a child, YOU THINK
    IT, YOU FEEL IT, YOU DO IT. If we can master our thoughts we can
    change who we are and what we will become.
    This week was a "Blow me out of the water week." We had some of the most
    AMAZING lessons that I have had thus far. Sister Smuin and I would
    leave the lesson with beaming grins and over flowing hearts. When the
    spirit teaches hearts are touched and changed. Miracles are seen!
    Speaking of miracles they have been EVERYWHERE!! On Thursday, we got a
    call from the assistants and they asked us to take another ward
    because the elders that were covering Evergreen had to get ET-ed
    (Emergency Transferred) out. So, the first thing we did was find the
    Bishop. As soon as he saw us at his door, he literally started crying.
    He said that he had been praying for something to change, and that we
    were it. The Evergreen ward hasn't had sisters in it for 16+ years.
    Then on Sunday, during ward counsel, we went in and told our members
    that...we literally have nothing to work with in this ward, and so we
    are 100% at their service, and we just bore testimony that the Lord is
    truly hastening His work and that He does answer prayers...the spirit
    was so strong there. Since then, we have seen so many miracles. Just
    our enthusiasm has changed so many hearts and attitudes.
    At first, we were worried about this change, that we wouldn't be able
    to spend out time evenly, but we decided to make sacrifices to make
    this work and we have seen miracles.  Each day we have been able to
    make lists of miracles that we have seen and amazing experiences that
    we have had. There is so much power in giving of your self so that
    others can have.
    Sorry this one is short and my thoughts are totally scattered, but
    since next Sunday is fast Sunday (for us as a companionship at least)
    I want to encourage all of you to go to True to the Faith and study
    under Fasting. I did this because I wanted to learn more about
    sacrifice and to understand a bit more before this Sunday. I was
    inspired to fast more and with a greater purpose. I know that Father
    has blessings waiting for us. So bring on the blessings!
    The Church is true, The Book is Blue, and Moroni stands on a ball
    Sister Raynor
    So today we got to go to the temple! Suuuuper tired right now, but
    super grateful for the opportunity.


    Philippines Week 43

    Warning: I am on an island in Asia and I’m thinking some deep thoughts.

    There are two types of people in this world: those you love and those you do not yet understand.

    My mission has not been easy. Honestly, I’ve struggled…probably more than I’d like to admit. I remember the first 3 months I don’t think that I have ever been so homesick. My next 3 months with Sister Pizon were so stressful. We had a HUGE language barrier and we were both still so new in the mission. At that point in my mission, everything seemed to tear down any type of self confidence that i had. Tagalog. Homesickness. Rejection. As I look back to when my mission seemed to change, I realize that everything that got so much easier when I realized a simple concept: Love.

      To quote Elder Holland: Take heart. Pure Christlike love flowing from true righteousness can change the world. My super talented sister, Rachel, once told me that “love can soften and break down anything”. I didn’t realize how true that was until I myself was broken down and humbled. I have seen hearts change because of simple, pure love. I know that I have seen vast improvements in my Tagalog because I gained a love of the people and desire to communicate with them.

    I know that if I had not learned the importance of love, I would not be able to be companions with Sister Smith. My love for her is certainly not perfect. I don’t think anyone but our Father in Heaven has a perfect love. But I do love her. I enjoy learning from her. I am grateful for our time as companions.

    I love this little island in Asia.

    other crazy things...
    1. alimango--crab. pretty tasty
    2. met a lady with a weird creepy barbie collection.  she kept referring to me as her real barbie. it was strange. she had a bunch of different collections.

    1. Sister Malicdem (my mom here) had her birthday. 


    Love Sister Raynor

    One of the 9 pair of rubber shoes I've gone through thus far...

    Just something cute along the path!

    My Room and study area.