Thursday, April 30, 2015

Arizona: LOST EMAIL from April this week. So this week was different than most weeks. We went to the temple on Wednesday as a zone and that was really awesome. We saw the presentation from the 70s. All I'm gonna say about it is poofy hair and bad acting.

On Friday we had something different. We had a mission wide conference for all Spanish-speaking missionaries. It was an all day thing. We focused on applying different trainings to Spanish wards, because the majority of the time they lack the same structure that English wards have, so we have to adjust. It was really fun, but at the same time the majority of my friends have finished their mission. It was a little sad. The conference ended on Saturday by us all going to the temple in the Spanish session. It was crazy president and sister Toone were "the couple" and it was just really cool to see how we don't need to understand a language to be able to feel the spirit. President and sister Toone don't speak Spanish, but they were still crying during certain parts and it was really cool to see how the spirit was working with them. 

On Saturday, well the rest of Saturday, was a little bit rough. I got really frustrated with Sister Christensen. We were walking through a trailer park and she refused to talk to people, so we went back to the car and I drove us to a church building and made her do role plays of talking to strangers (me) for an hour until she was ready to go back and work.

Today… We ran a 5K. In December President and Sister Toone decided that they want to focus on missionary health. So they gave all of us a training plan and told us all that we were going to run a 5K in April. I hated it. It's getting hot and so it was not fun but, we did it!

Well, that's all for this week. Love you,
The Last Sister Raynor Standing 

PS I found this in our area email...I thought you'd appreciate it 


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Week 71 Arizona

So this week

Transfer calls came on Tuesday...our zone got nuked! Every companionship was affected except one. Sister Christensen is finally leaving Mesa. She has been here for a third of her mission. She was definitely sad, but I think it'll be good for her. 

Wednesday night Sister Christensen and I taught an amazing lesson to this lady named Liliana. She is so prepared. She brought up the subject of baptism and so we challenged her to prepare herself to be baptized on the 23 of May. She was so excited. It was so awesome. Liliana is so prepared. 

Thursday: New Companion! Her name is Hna Kiel! She is the first companion that I've had that is taller than me. She is from Washington and seriously the coolest. She is so chill, it's awesome. I'd say that she was definitely a blessing sent to me for my last transfer. Now I'm not worried about getting trunky. Also, my most favorite elder in the whole mission is now in our Ward too for his last transfer. Elder Allen is so funny...we have a similar sense of humor...

Saturday: A little bit of a rough day in the lessons sense. Hna Kiel and I didn't teach a single lesson that day...nobody was really  home :( but it's okay, because that night we had a ward party thing/ fundraiser for the young women's girls camp. When we got there it looked like it was going to be really really boring, but then a mariachi band came out and played a few songs, and then our incredible young women's president got a Catholic schools Latin dance group to come and they did traditional Latin dances. It was awesome. There were some little little kids there in some huge sombreros. It was so cute!

Sunday: This was the weirdest Sunday of my mission. Elder Vorkink was a missionary who just finished his mission. He is from Anaheim. Our ward was the last one he served in before going home.  Anyways, his parents came to pick him up from the mission so that they could all do a "mission tour" of sorts. He and his family came to church on Sunday and we all got to meet his parents. 
          So...this is the absolutely strangest encounter that I have ever had. This is all going to be direct quotes...I remember them because Hermana Kiel and I quoted it all day yesterday. So, Elder Vorkink's mom came up to me and when she saw my name tag she asked, "do you have any family in Anaheim?" I said I thought we did at one point. She said, "is there a Cynthia Raynor in your family?" I said yes. Then she asked if I had any more aunts and so I said that we had a Nina and a Sabrina. She was just sooooooo excited about all of it. Then she said, "that makes Thales your dad then." I said yes. Now just imagine someone following "that makes Thales your dad then" with something like "he's married, right?" Do you have that tone of voice in your head? Now substitute married for dead! "that makes Thales your dad then." Me: "yeah." Sister Vorkink: "he's dead." Me: "yeah."
           It was super awkward. Then she left for sacrament meeting. Weird weird weird encounter. After that we went into the Bishop's office for Ward counsel and right after we finished, the other wards sacrament meeting ended. So then....she came back. Then I got a little bit more of the story. I guess she grew up with dad and was in the same primary classes with him and the same classes at school. She said how Cindy would always be there with dad because there were a lot of girls in dad's age group. She also told me how Papa Wally would always come up to her and ask her, "so, how's Thalesy doing in school?" And she would always say "good," because she didn't know what else to say. She said when she was 9 she had the biggest crush on dad. Those were sweet memories. Then she started to get teary eyed as she told me how she had lost contact, but that she still remembers the day that her parents called her and told her that dad had passed away. She asked a lot about all of us and missions and stuff and when I told her that we had all served missions, she called you one of the mothers of the stripling warriors... mothers that raised their children to be strong and to serve God, mothers that did it all on heir own. Really awkward experience at the beginning... really sweet at the end. Her maiden name is Gudmundsen, Joanne Gudmundsen. 

Sunday night Hermana Kiel and I finally got to teach a lesson together! It was awesome. We were so stoked! That was like the official start to our companionship.  

The very end of Sunday night: This Tuesday Hna Kiel and I were going to go down to Maricopa (her last area) for a baptism. we were pulling up to the house we got a call from an unknown number 623 261 2771...I knew that number. We answered it and as I expected, it was Sister Sullivan! Sister Sullivan is the sister that came into Tempe when I left and she was also Hermana Kiels trainer. She got permission to go on an exchange so that she can go to the baptism! Which means that I get to go work in Tempe, in my old area for 5 hours!!!!! Everybody wins! I get to go back to the area that I love and see the people that I taught and Sisters Keil and Sullivan get to go to the baptism for their investigator family from Maricopa. When we got the call we were both screaming and jumping up and down (mainly Hna Kiel) and just ecstatic. It was sooooooo awesome. I am sooooooo excited!

Love you
Sister Raynor

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Week 70 Arizona

So this week....well...the highlight of it was conference. I think my favorite was elder Hollands, the rock climbing story...I know what that feeling is right before your arms give out and you are about to fall. It felt real. Hijole! I loved it.  I heard that Elder Packers talk was really good...but I couldn't understand him. 

So, have y'all heard about the Church's new initiative? It's called "Because He Lives." It's really cool and they want us to show it to everyone so...we went tracting! Funny thing that happened while we were tracting/street contacting, we were looking for an apartment in this huge confusing complex. We saw a guy putting stuff into his car so we asked him if he knew where building 8 was (also this was at 7:45.) He didn't understand us so as we got closer we realized that he was from China...only been here a month. He asked us what we asked him and so we asked about building 8 and he pointed and said, "I tink its sumwhere ova der." We said thanks and as were about to start talking church with him he said, " dark...I'll walk you." So for the next 20 minutes we went all over the complex with our fresh off the boat Chinese guide. He is super cool and he will probably get baptized. We sent him off as a referral to the Mandarin speaking missionaries. 

Well that was about it for the week. Love you.

Sister Raynor 

Week 69 Arizona

So, This week...if I could give it a title it would be something like "The Week of Trunky." We had an all sisters mission conference in Tempe on Saturday and all that they talked about was covenants and marriage and being wives and mothers and all that jazz. Hijole!! Then we had the General Women's session aka more families and marriage and covenants, and not to mention the fact that President Toone went off about family traditions and let all of us send a text message home...week of trunky.

But...this is something cool I got from the sisters mission conference. When you think baptisimal covenant, what do you think? For me it  was take the name of Christ upon us, always remember Him, and to keep His commandments. The point was made that if that is the covenant that we make a baptism then we have all broken that covenant 1000's of times. Lucky for us...that's not the covenant that we made. We covenanted to be WILLING to keep His commandments, WILLING to take His name upon us, and WILLING to always remember Him. I loved this because it brings a lot of hope. It makes keeping our covenants seem a lot more possible.That's my thought for the week.

I love you