Monday, May 25, 2015

Week 75 Arizona

Hey mamma!

So this week...big stuff that happened: I hit my 18 month mark on Wednesday, we had our Sister Training Leader Conference, and the picture reenactment. Actually, those are the three most exciting things that happened this week...and they all happened on the same day...and it was a rough day.

Background: my mission is ending very quickly (11 days.)

Tuesday: Last week I received the most feared thing in every missionaries life...their trunky packet. It is the infamous manila envelope that contains all the information that you could ever want about going home - your travel itinerary, your "it's time to send home your bike" papers and lots, lots more. I got mine a week ago and on Tuesday night...I finally opened mine. At that opportune moment, Sister Clemens starts talking to me about marriage and families and mother/father roles.

Wednesday: we had a Sister Training Leader Conference and it was not at all what I thought it was going to be. There are 10 Sister Training Leaders in the mission so we got to have our meeting in the mission home. I was thinking that we'd be talking about how to have more effective exchanges and how to give more powerful trainings...but it was not any of that. We (Sister Clemens and I) arrived at the mission home at 1. The first thing that President Toone said was "we are not going to be talking about missionary work at all today, we are going to talk about marriage, family, and dating..." So the first hour was Sister Toone talking about the joy of motherhood and the next half hour was President talking about how grateful he is that Sister Toone knows and understands her role and his role in the family and that she has held him accountable to his duties. After that we got to go to the Gilbert Temple to participate in an endowment session...its such a beautiful temple. After the session, the Temple President and his wife talked to us all about...the joys of marriage and why we need to keep the temple always in our sights as a couple. After that...we all went out to dinner and we got to know President and Sister Toone on a whole new level. We talked about...mission gossip - well, it was gossip about missionaries who have already finished their missions...all in all it was a fun day, but SOOOOOOOOOOOO much marriage talk. 

The Last thing on the list is the photo reenactment. Sister Clemens and I decided to try and reenact one of my favorite pictures of Sister Smuin and was pretty fun.

That's about it for this week. Love you 
Sister Raynor

Week 74 Arizona

Hey mama!!

So...this week. Well, we moved. The member that we lived with just had knee surgery so her son came to help. Then something happened and he had to get his toe amputated. So he started staying at Sister Barnes' house...not to bad, totally kosher with president and Sister Toone because of a ratio rule. But then he started taking some serious pain it was totally fine to have him stay there with us, but then he started making weird noises and tripping out on drugs so we felt...a bit uncomfortable so we called Sister Toone and they moved us in with 4 other sisters!! It is SOOO fun living with other sisters!!! It's a party everyday! One of the Sister's speaks Mandarin and one speaks Portuguese from Brazil and we speak Spanish and two speak English...we're so diverse! Its just been really fun, because now we live with 2 of my very favorite missionaries ever. Its awesome. 

So the big thing that happened!!! I got to translate at the Mission President's Devotional!! This time it was legit!! The last time I just kind of did it because the real translators were 15 minutes late so I did the prayer and the opening addresses and all that stuff, but since that MPD the normal translator guy has ended his mission so...I got called!! My name was in the program and everything!! It was a lot harder this time and a lot longer... I  am glad though, that they can never ask me to do it again.

Another cool thing, there is this awesome charity that just opened up in Mesa, it's called "Feed My Starving Children." Its super fun, we just go in and pack food and its just a party. All the missionaries go to it so it can get competitive. Its super fun.

Well that's about it for this week.

Also, this is our new address: 
146 W Dublin St. Gilbert, AZ 85233

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Week 73 Arizona

Oh man… This week. This week we had at least a two hour long event every day. Monday was p-day, Tuesday was district meeting, Wednesday we did service, Thursday he had zone conference, Friday we had weekly planning Saturday we had a ward Mother's Day party, and Sunday we had church meetings. So, I'm going to jump to Wednesday because that was the most exciting thing that happened… Monday and Tuesday were slow. So on Wednesday we did service  with an organization called "Feed My Starving Children." It was so fun. We packed food into boxes for two hours. There were more missionaries there than there were normal people. It was so fun.

Thursday, was my last zone conference. I had to get up in front of everyone and bare my testimony. It was a bit harder than I thought it would be. While at zone conference, I got some awesome news, I get to translate at the Mission President's Devotional!! I'm so excited and soooooo nervous, but mostly excited. 

Friday, we had the coolest experience ever! We ate dinner with our relief society president and hna Kiel gave the spiritual thought and she did awesome. While we were heading back to our area, she just had a little break down. Nothing to out of the ordinary, just not feeling like she is learning Spanish as quickly as she should and that she feels like there is no way that she will ever be fluent and all that stuff. About five minutes into my pep talk...we got a message from God. We are still driving at this point, and what turns in front of me? A vanity license plate that said 1NEPH37 aka 1 Nephi 3:7 aka the Lord will provide a way for us to accomplish what he has asked us to do. Pep talk over. 

Saturday we had our Ward Mother's Day party. We arrived 30 minutes late only to be told that we were going to be singing in 10 minutes. Lets just say that it all worked wasn't English Ward good, but it was definitely Spanish Ward good. 

Sunday, we had an awesome surprise. This lady just showed up at church and said that she wants to get baptized...that doesn't happen everyday. The highlight of the day was getting to talk to you all. I miss you all so much, but I'll see you again soon. 

Monday, today. This morning we got up at 4:30 to drive down to Maricopa (1hour away) to go hike a part of the Mormon Battalion Trail as a mission! President Toone is a huge church history addict and so he pulled some strings and we all got to hike it (minus Yuma). Yuma is going to get to go to the San Diego Temple and they are going to do a part of the trail down there. It was sooooo early, but it was really fun just getting to see everyone. Also we got to see President and Sister Toone in their normal was really really weird. 

That's about it for this week. Love you

The Last Raynor 

Week 72 Arizona

So this week...well...Tuesday.... The best day of my mission! I know, that's quite the claim, but I'll try to explain. So last Sunday night (I think I told you about this, but here's the recap either way.)  This last Sunday night: Tuesday Hna Kiel and I were going to go down to Maricopa (her last area) for a baptism. But as we were pulling up to the house on Sunday night 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 meant that I got to go work in Tempe, in my old/favorite/ best/ most beloved area for 5 hours!!!!! Everybody won! I got to go back to the area that I love and see the people that I taught and Sisters Keil and Sullivan got to go to the baptism for their investigator family from Maricopa. 

From what I'm told, the baptism was amazing...but what happened in Tempe was 10 billion times more amazing. The sisters had 4 appointments set up that night and all I really wanted was to see Brenda (perhaps my favorite recent convert) and her Family (Gustavo, Katy, and the new baby) but I had made the resolve...appointments first. Anyways, I got to eat dinner at the Marina's house- hno Marina is the Elders Quorum president and a total boss. He wrote the book on magnifying you calling. We went by some people and mainly talked about the area. There was this guy that Hna Smuin and I found named Everardo, everardo and his family got baptized. This less active lady that we found named Charito is active and her son got baptized and she is getting ready to go to the temple. Brenda's little sisters, Paola and Andrea are getting baptized at the end of the month. It was all just so awesome to see. 

Anyways we went and taught a whole bunch of lessons and talked to a ton of people and by the time we had gotten out of our last lesson it was 8:45...almost time to go home, but we were super close to where Brenda lived so we ran by and...they weren't home. So Hermana Poirier called Brenda and asked her where she was and she told her that we had a surprise for her. So Brenda said that they were at the laundromat by Food City so we ran over. We got there at 8:52. We kinda snuck up on them and I just tapped Brenda on the shoulder and she turned around and I gave her the longest hug ever and while we were hugging, Katy comes up and says "I missed you Hermana Raynor!" It was like it came from a movie.  I got to talk to her for a little bit and I got to meet their new little girl it was awesome. 

That isn't even the best part. After that I started talking to Gustavo and I just felt like I need to just be bold with him. So I asked him why he still isn't baptized, and he said that he's still been trying to get work off on Sunday's. Then I said that he's been trying to get Sunday's off for 8 months and he said that he knows. So then I asked him if he thought that God could help him get the money he needed for his family if he (Gustavo) stopped working on Sunday's, he said that he knows God can. So I asked him what is still in his way...then he said nothing. So I asked him what he was waiting for and he said nothing. Then I asked him when he was going to get baptized because I told him that I wanted to be there for him. He said that if he still can't get Sunday's off by May 25, that he is going to quit his job. Then he told me that if I didn't believe him, that I could call the Hermanas on the 26th and that they will testify. This is the best part. After that, he said, "...y después de eso, el 30 de mayo, voy a bautizarme, y quiero que estés allí, sentada con Brenda y Katy." (He said that after that, on May 30 he is going to get baptized, and that he wants me there, sitting next to Brenda and Katy.) I almost cried. I wanted to hug them so much (I didn't). Gustavo has never had a baptismal goal. This is huge!!!

After that high...well...the rest of the week couldn't really compare. We had our MLC on Thursday, and that was awesome was awesome. That was pretty much it for this week. 

I love you!!! XOXOxoXoO
Sister Raynor