So...dis week. I'm sooooooooo tired. With transfers being on Thursday and pday getting moved to Thursday...it made for a long week. Anyways...I got transferred! I totally was not expecting that. Now I'm in Mesa with Sister Christensen and I'm the sister training leader over her. Yep, we are the only sisters in our zone! Talk about a bro-fest! Haha. Mesa has been completely different than I had expected. Over here we are definitely in finding mode, our teaching pool is pretty dry right now but...not for long. It's been fun getting to serve around some of the elders that I started my mission with. Love Ashley Hey this is my new address 1001 S. Lagoon Dr
Ashley sent a great email this week, but I feel it is pretty private - possibly because she taught me a lesson I needed to learn - and by sharing that, it would expose some pretty big character flaws I'm dealing with right now. I will share what I can - because she just amazes me with her thoughts.
And I wanted to include a picture she sent that made me laugh out loud, which is something I haven't done too often lately.
Here's the scripture mixed in with the lesson taught:
Mom, God has given you the ability to be happy wherever you are. In Mosiah 24 there is a perfect example of this principle. The people of Alma...weren't in a good situation, they were afflicted, burdened down and enslaved...all by some wicked guy that just had it out for Alma. But against all that, they were able to be happy - they found a way.
And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.
Buying and selling houses, moving across the country, and finding..."sunshine" aren't going to last. Something that I have learned on my mission is that the "happiness" that comes from the outside never lasts. The only thing that lasts is what comes from within. We can keep chasing that happiness, that sunshine, or whatever it is, but we will never be able to catch it. We might be able to feel the warmth for a bit but it will fade. It'll be something to keep us busy, but to quote Mick Jagger, "I can't get no...(lasting)...satisfaction." Pretty sure thats a direct quote. Anyways, we can keep chasing the light or we can be the light. Mom, learn how to be the light. There is a way. That much I know, but we all have our own and we all have to find our way on our own. To sum up this rant into a sentence or two...Don't let your happiness be dependent on external circumstances, we have the capacity to be happy all the time.
Well, my mission has finally come to an end. It has been the hardest but most worthwhile thing that I have done. I am so grateful for every moment of it. I am headed to the mission home in a few minutes for final exit interviews and then to Manila to catch a flight but I just want to share my testimony as I go.
Alam ko po na buhay ang Diyos. Alam ko po na nararamdaman nya at alam niya ang nararamdaman natin. I know that God lives. I know that he feels and understands perfectly what we feel.
Alam ko po na tagapagligtas natin si Cristo. Alam ko na siya lang ang paraan para sa atin na makabalik sa kanya. Nagpapasalamat po ako para sa kanyang pagbabayad-sala. Mahal ko po si Cristo. I know that Christ is our Savior. He is the only way for us to be able to return to Him. I am so grateful for Him and I love Him.
Alam ko po na dahil mahal tayo ng Diyos, ipinanumbalik niya ang ebanghelyo ni Jesucristo sa pamamagitan ni Joseph Smith. Ang Salita ng Diyos ang Aklat ni Mormon. Totoo talaga ang aklat ni mormon. I know that because God loves us, He restored the Gospel of Jesus Christ here on earth through Joseph Smith. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. It is so true.
Alam ko po na buhay propeta si Thomas S Monson at tumatanggap siya ng paghahayag para sa bawat isa ng mga anak ng Diyos. I know that Thomas S. Monson is our living prophet who receives revelation for each one of God's children.
Alam ko po na Ang Simbahan ni Jesucristo ng Mga banal sa Mga Huling Araw ay kaharain ng Diyos dito sa mundo. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is God's kingdom here on Earth.
I am so grateful for my time here in the Philippines Olongapo Mission. I am grateful for all that I have learned and for the people that I have met and loved here. I know that the relationships that I have formed here will continue. I will forever be grateful for the blessing of the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life.
I love you all. Love, Sister Raynor
Final farewell parties--every night. The baptism of the Alvarez family. Great way to end my mission.
So this week...it was a crazy one. We had zone conference (happens once a quarter, we receive training by President Toone) up in northern Phoenix. There they told us that we are all getting brand new iPads, and they told us about how all of North America (excluding Mexico and South America) are getting iPads and most of Europe too. The church is buying so many iPads that they have bought and now own an Apple outlet. It's CRAZY. They also told us that we are going to have this big BIG meeting with a member of the Seventy and someone from the Missionary Department. My mission was an iPad "pilot mission," so they are going to give us our official training (even though we've already had iPads for a year and a half.) All interesting stuff don't you think?
We also got to go to the Visitor's Center twice this week to see Meet the Mormons. That has been an amazing, huge blessing. It is such a powerful movie. Have you gotten to see it yet? If not, repent! I know you're gonna love it. I also had an exchange this week. It was a good way to mix things up.
Let me just start by saying that I am SO SO excited to be able to see and talk to you all! Sister Hart woke me up at around midnight and informed me that I will be seeing my family next week. We probably annoyed the other sisters by talking about it for a good hour. I love you all and I am excited to see you so soon.
As for this week, it was so slow but fast at the same time. It feels like I was just emailing yesterday. But it was a week ago. THIS WEEK:
Monday- After I emailed, we all went home and slept. It was actually pretty boring. But while listening to Glorious by David Archuleta, Sister Hart and I decided that we wanted to give a final workshop together for the zone. So we texted the zone leaders and district leaders and offered to give the workshop the next day. It was basically a testimony meeting. But it was very cool and fun. Then we all went and had a family home evening with the Perfecto Family.
Tuesday- We went to Olongapo with the elders. It was a super fun car ride because President Dahle recently gave the elders permission to listen to Josh Groban. Party. Then we went and did our workshop. After the Zone Meeting, Elder and SIster Gorringe took us out for a goodbye lunch. They invited Sister Hart and I to stay the night with them at their apartment before we go to Manila. I am going to miss those two so much. The have really become like parents to me.
Wednesday- We had a huge family home evening with the Quijano family. The games involved getting lipstick drawn on your face if you lost. We looked like Lamanites.
Thursday- I taught my new favorite investigator Troy. It is super hard to teach him because its in English and my companion isn't completely comfortable with her English. But it was still super fun. He kept offering to let me drive one of his motorcycles.It was so funny. But boy, he sure loves to curse. We will work on that :)
Friday- We spent a lot of time working on the branch directory. We are trying to clean up the membership records in order to help the branch here to become a ward. So we (the missionaries) are visiting every member on the directory to verify addresses. We are having a lot of success with it. In just one morning, we were able to contact three lost members and meet 14 New Investigators. It was inspiring to see how the Lord truly finds and puts people in your path if we are willing to just put out trust in Him and be obedient to His commandments.
Saturday- Baptisms! Sister Khate Stephanie and Jovelle Tacuyan.
Sunday- We had a really great day that ended with a HUGE birthday party.
This upcoming week is going to fly by. We have tons of appointments planned out. Every night. The members are throwing farewell parties for Sister Hart and me.
I should be able to email next Monday from the mission home. But I love you all!