Thursday, October 30, 2014

Philippines Week 51

It seems like my whole mission has been filled with “crazy weeks”. That has been the most stable thing in my mission—weekly letters that start with ‘This has been a crazy week…’
I don’t know why the weeks all feel so chaotic but I think that it is just part of the Philippines experience. I love it.
This week, I just want to simply share from my personal study and pondering. Because, at least for me, my personal scripture reading is almost always followed by some deep thinking. 
I want to start with one thing that President Dahle shared in church on Sunday which kind of tied together my personal studies for the week. He said that we have a divine potential to become Gods. No matter how lowly we feel sometimes, that potential is still there.
In Ephesians 1:5, it says, “Having predestined us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.”
So we were foreordained to be adopted as Christ’s child into the House of Israel.  As I pondered this, I thought, of course we can only be adopted as a “child of Christ” through baptism.  We are baptized after we have accepted the Gospel of Christ. So the meaning of this is that we have all been foreordained to accept the gospel and become clean through it. “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness but unto holiness.” (Thes 4:7).
These people that we are working so hard to find have this same potential. I truly believe that there are people that remember the gospel because they accepted it before this life. I know that God’s plan is not NEW news. We are just reminding these people of their own divine potential. 
We are foreordained to accept the gospel and seek after the coordinating ordinances. This is the way. God has given us every tool to know and accept. This is his plan and we are just instruments to help others realize and remember the truth.

Other Tidbits and pebbles:
  • We climbed bundok bato. A huge rock mountain. Thought we were going to die. 
  • MY area here is beuatiful
  • We have mission president interviews on Thursday.
  • I've gotten really good at cooking filipino food. Im pretty sure that mom will hate it when I make it at home.
I love you all so much. Keep being good. Hopefully the pictures that i sent will all get posted. In the one picture with the Calagos family (with the black skirts) you should zoom in on my toes. I have a really bad tan line. 

Special shoutout to Rachey for writing me a dearelder--you da best.

Until next week, love Sister RAINY (my new nickname)

Yep climbed that mountain mountain mountain..... and yes, we almost died.  It was like bouldering at the rock climbing gym. 

Magandang pilipinas.



Calagos girls.

Week 46 Arizona

I'm really happy that you had so much fun with your half marathon. This week was pretty crazy. We had our interviews with President this week, and then another exchange, one of the most incredible miracles of my mission followed by a heart break, and then the mission president's devotional.

For this round of exchanges I went with Sister Stott, she is from Montana and she is one of those people that is just so happy all the time, like she poops sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. We went to her area and it's a biking area, so we biked around all day and it was super fun.

For that miracle...this week we learned the hard lesson that even when God puts every little thing in place for us, because people still have the agency to choose....  not to go. 

We have been teaching this family, Fabiola (the mom,) Lucy (10,) Christian (9,) and Mia (5.) These kids are incredible, we have been teaching them for 2 weeks now. When we first went over Fabiola was happy to see us, but then she stopped coming out for lessons, but she still wanted us to come talk to her kids while she was on the phone. Anyways, we finally caught all of them together (8:30pm on a Friday) and we really really wanted them to go to the Phoenix Temple Open House, we had been fasting so we could catch them and we did. After we invited them...they said yes, that they had just gotten their car back and that they could go tomorrow morning. The Miracle, everything came together in less than an hour. By 9:30 we had a ride, we had a member, and this was the miracle that we knew would come. The next morning, we get to their house at 9:30am, and the kids are all ready, Lucy just says we're almost ready, my mom is just getting dressed. Christian tells us how he is sooooooo excited to go to the temple, and we all wait for Fabiola. It's 9:45, we send Lucy back to check on her, and she comes back with the saddest look ever. Fabiola said that they can't go anymore and that she's going to go to bed.

We were defeated, we saw a miracle and had to watch it pass by. We had the rides, the members, the tickets, and all of that came straight from the Lord, but then...Agency. That was a really hard pill to swallow.

But like always, we pushed through it and ended the week happy.

Con Amor
Sister Raynor

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Week 45 Arizona

Yes, the Spanish is finally coming. When we go on exchanges with English sisters, I can stay in the area and talk to people. It's not good Spanish by any means but I think they get what I'm trying to say. I am still in Tempe! We thought that one of us was getting transferred but then President Toone nuked the mission and made 10 zones into 14 zones. So I'm still here is Tempe. 

These past two weeks have been a bit hard mainly because of the craziness of all the happenings here in Tempe. It feels like Sister Smuin and I haven't worked in our area together for forever.

I'll break it down...

Monday-        P-day, we don't go out to work until 6
Tuesday-       district meeting from 9-12:30, lunch 12:30- 1:30, Spanish 1:30-2:30, 4 exchange           
                      with Sister Tanaka and Sister Spendlove 
Wednesday-  4:45 exchange back with Sisters Tanaka and Spendlove, dinner 5-6:30
Thursday-      MLC 8-2:30, Facebook, 3-4:15, dinner 5-6:15, rides -30, Ward correlation 8-9
Friday-           weekly planning 9-12:30, Zone leadership meeting 12:30-1, lunch 1-2, 
                      Spanish 2-3, Facebook 3-4:15, rides -30, dinner 5-6:30, Ward Soccer 7-8, Zone 
                      Meeting prep 8:30-9
Saturday-      General Conference 9-11, lunch 11-12, Spanish 12-12:45, General Conference 1-3
                      Facebook 4-5, Dinner 5-6:15, Zone Meeting planning meeting 8-9
Sunday-        General Conference 9-11, lunch 11:20-12:20, travel to stake center 12:30-12:55, 
                     1-3, Facebook 3-4, travel -1, dinner 5-6:15, Sunday Sync 8:30-9

M 3 T 1.5 W 2.5 Th 1.5 F .75 Sa 1.25 Su 1.75    TOTAL: 9.25

Monday-        P-day, shifted vertebrae 
Tuesday-       district meeting, stiff neckedness, doctors appointments 
Wednesday- Meet the Mormons, neck
Thursday-     neck
Friday-          weekly planning 9-12:30, zone leadership meeting 12:30-1, lunch 1-2, 
                     Spanish 2-3, Facebook 3-4:20, dinner 5-6:20, travel -45, exchange Sisters Tew and 
                     Manwill 8:30
Saturday-     Exchange back with Sisters Tew and Manwill 8:30

Sunday-       Ward counsel 7:15-8:40, church 9-12, new beginnings practice 12:30-1:15, 
                     studies 1:30-2:30, new Beginnings 4-7, interviews training meeting 7-8:30, Sunday 
                     sync 8:30-9

M 0 T 0 W 0 Th 0 F 1.75 Sa 0 Su 1.5     TOTAL: 3.25

It's been a rough one. But it'll get better soon. Cool thing that happened this week, I got to see my trainer! There is this couple that missionaries have been working with forever, and they just got married, and so she came down for the wedding, and so I got to see her! It was really awesome. I miss her, she was a super good missionary. 

Sister Raynor

Philippines Week 50

I have five months left on my mission.
I remember back in February when I still had 13 months left on my mission. It felt like forever. I was so excited for those months to pass.
Now, many of those months have passed. I am still a little bit excited to see my family…(that might be an understatement.) I am very excited to see my family but now the thought of going home is exciting but that thought also contains a little bit of sadness and dissatisfaction. 
I love my mission. Sure, there are many, many ups and downs but it is all so worth it. I worry that time will continue to go by too fast! I still feel like I have so much to do. There are so many more people that I need to talk to here! (We did the math- if I talk to 30 people a day each day of my 18 months, that’s about 16,200+ people!) 
For the next five months, I am going to actively be talking to those 16,000 (plus some).  President Dahle once told me “I don’t care what you say but say something.” I have decided to have that become my new motto. We don’t have time to not share.
I know that 16,000 people is not all the people in the Philippines. But I know that “what we do is one drop in the ocean but if we didn’t do it, the ocean would be one drop less.” (Elder Holland quoting Mother Teresa)
  • I got to watch General Conference--it was the best.
  • There was a full red moon eclipse in the Philippines. Interesting. The end is near :)
  • I'm sending a TON of pictures because my camera broke and so I made my first "big" purchase of my mission and bought a new camera. SO you should expect 20+ pictures every week. I am going to use it a ton to make sure that it was worth buying :)
I love you all! I hope everyone is having a great week. 
Love, Sister Raynor

baha. (flood)

Cooking fish for lunch!  

The calagos kids.  The mom, dad, and three of the kids were just baptized last week. The grandmother and aunt and uncle will be baptized next month. 

Also, if anyone wants a little Asian baby, I could probably buy one in the market. I'm just kidding, that is totally racist and inappropriate but they are pretty cute...

Me and my housemates last week.
There is a white guy in the background... that's a thing here--old white men come here and marry super young pretty Filipina women.

One of the mountains that we climb everyday. 
Cooking pancit bihon with Sister Colina (one of my housemates).  Its like the ultimate filipino party dish-- I'll make it for you when i get home.

Lesson with the Calagos family.
The beautiful philippines.

Housemates and me.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Week 44 Arizona




The first scripture of this email is what I like to call my "TRANSFER SCRIPTURE."  I found it sometime last transfer and it just jumped out to me. Our Heavenly Father really does have so much wisdom. He has prepared us far in advance and now all we have to do is trust in His great wisdom. (Ether 2:23-24) He, through his wisdom, prepares us, directs us, helps us grow, and gives us what we need. So why is it so hard to trust him sometimes? This is a thought I have been pondering for quite awhile. Why? We know that He knows all things, has all power, and loves us deeper and more fully then we could ever comprehend. So what is it that we lack yet?

In the General Women's meeting, I loved all that was said about temples. When you watch, listen, or read those inspired talks you get to learn what Father wants you to know. Here are a few things that He wanted to teach me.

1Corinthians 6 we learn that WE ARE TEMPLES. The Spirit is in us, just as it is in the temple. But we must be pure and holy. So with this in mind look at all we learned from our leaders.

From Sister Marriott (who was my favorite from the night) we learned how with every temple built the influence of Satan is lessened. So as each of us make it a goal to fulfill the scripture in 1Corinthians 6 we are helping to rid this world of Satan's influence. What power we have. We really do have a HUGE circle of influence around us. So how are we going to use that influence? If there are things you could be doing better (and there always are) to make yourself more like a temple, I invite you to make a goal and a game plan.

THE BEST TIME TO PLANT A TREE WAS 40 YEARS AGO, THE 2ND BEST TIME IS NOW. I know that you can do it because you have the power of Christ to make those changes. HE WILL HELP YOU. When we change to be better we change through the atonement. We are changing through Christ. So it only makes sense that He would be there to help us through the whole process. We've all heard the saying that it may not be easy, but it will always be worth it.

So I invite you all to close your umbrellas and soak in the blessings that Father has pouring down on you. I know that you will never regret it (Luke 9:62). Put your hand to the plow and don't look back. Look toward the temple. Keep the temple ever in you sights. There is so much power in this. You can't get to the temple if you are looking at the world. I know that to be true.

I know that God lives. I know that He is my Father and your Father. I know that Christ is His only Begotten Son who died for us but who now lives for us. I know that He Loves YOU/US with every imperfection, defect, or flaw. He loves us so much that He made a way for us to over come this world. We can do it now! I love this work. I love this gospel. And I know it to be true.

Sister Raynor

Monday, October 6, 2014

Philippines Week 49

This week was pretty stressful for many reasons. The main reason is because we were informed of some potential danger in our area. This prevented us from proselyting in most of our area and not being able to go visit our baptism goal dates. We had two investigators that should have been baptized on Saturday. As we called them to tell them that their baptism would have to be pushed back, they expressed their excitement for their upcoming baptism and their goal of making it to the temple in a year. We really felt that we needed to work really hard and find another way to teach them so that they could be ready for October 4. As we were thinking about this, we got a text from a branch member that informed us that it was safe to go through the area on a jeepney. We were so excited! That day, the Calagos family had their interviews and were able to be baptized on October 4. I love this area so much.  The branch is so willing to do their part. As we hurriedly prepared for the baptism, members started to really respond. On Saturday night as we walked into the church, I was amazed. The Spirit in the room seemed to just “whoosh” around us. It was by far the most “rushed” baptism that I have had on my mission but because of the love of the members here it was the most spiritual and beautiful baptism that I have been to on my mission. We were able to complete the Calagos family (the wife and two daughters were baptized in September),
Quick share from my scripture reading: 1 Corinthians 2:9à “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him”
I know that eternal and everlasting blessings are prepared for is if we but love God enough to keep His commandments and make sacred covenants with Him. 
  • MLC--Missionary Leadership Correlation-- At the mission home. I got to see Elder Jarvis, Sister Udall Sister Hart from my batch. It was super good to see them. Its crazy to see the changes that each of us have made in the last 12 months.
  • It[s October! I am so excited for Halloween!
  • We had a breakout in my apartment of lice and flees... that is all that I'm going to say about that.
  • I got to hang out with Elder and Sister Gorringe at a zone meeting. I love them. They made my day.
  • We got stuck in a rainstorm so we went to the nearest members house. It was a less active, tatay Perpecto. He is my favorite. As we were waiting for the rain to stop, he had the news on. A big warning popped up about a volcano spewing ash in another part of the Philippines. It was a warning for all pregnant women to evacuate. It then showed a room with 656 pregnant women. As all of this is happening, tatay goes " patay! No self control...Nope. None."
  • This morning, we were able to wake up early and go play Frisbee at the mission home with the Assistants to the President, office elders and Sister Dahle (mission president's wife). It was super fun.
  • We were also taught a lot about the importance of family history. I am not converted to family history. There is literally no other church and no other way to provide salvation for our deceased. They need ordinances performed on their behalf. If you have questions about this please visit:
I love you all! Until next week, Sister Raynor.

 Me and my batch at MLC (missionay leadership conference) Elder Jarvis and Sister Udall and Elder C and Sister Hart.