Monday, March 31, 2014


Well this letter is coming to you dictated by Sis Rae, artistically typed by Sis Arnold (excuse and misspelled words).  So, I may have broken my finger playing football this past week.  I'm never going to have a functioning hand :(  But other than that this week has been great!  
It was transfers this week.  And surprise, surprise they are kicking me out of Eagle Canyon finally AND...Sending me BACK to Sparks 2nd ward as a Sister Training Leader :0  It was something I definitely was not expecting!  It's going to be weird being so close still to Eagle Canyon and even going back for exchanges; and then being in my old ward again, but it being different.  My new companion is Sis. Whipple AND I AM SO STOKED ABOUT THAT!!!  She is a fantastic missionary and we get along well.  We're gonna rock this ward!!!  Yesterday at church though, was the worst day of my life!  Almost harder than leaving home.  There's just a difference when you've been serving the people 24/7 for 9 months being in their homes, talking with them, feeling the spirit together, and talking about the gospel.  But maybe it's a good thing it's so hard to leave because it means that I did my job.  NO REGRETS!  I've met so many wonderful people that have really changed my life and made me grow so much.  But new adventures await!!
I don't know what I did this week...that last little bit of news just kinda took over.  But it was good.  The area is flourishing which makes me a little more comfortable leaving it.  We did go to see women's conference.  It was sooooo good and a great way to end a week.  I loved the music especially! I've decided that that's how I feel the spirit most and how I receive answers to my prayers.  Great speakers though and a good reminder of the importance of families and what we have as an eternal family. (Made me so stinken baby HUNGERY!!!! and Sis Arnold too.)  What else happened this week...Sis Arnold threw a book at Sis Irwin and made her bleed on "accident"...don't worry she repented.
Sorry no more stories this week.  I really can't remember them...but everyone enjoy conference this weekend!  And we'll talk to ya next week (without Sis Arnold - she's getting banished to ELKO :( but really it's good.)
Sis. Rae  

Obviously Sis. Irwin thought I smelt a little funny…


Monday, March 24, 2014

Sacrifice Brings Blessings

To start off this weeks letter, I have a quote that President Hermansen told us this week at the temple;  "You will never come to the alter of sacrifice and leave with less than you brought."
It's been something that has really been on my mind because of some experiences I've had this week.  And plus I think it's just really good.  Missions and even just living the gospel requires sacrifice.  But we are always rewarded for it.  One of those blessings that I have really received this week is a testimony of God's love for each of us individually.  So, I'll quit being so cryptic and tell you a couple little stories.
Number one.  We have been meeting with this lady for a while who has a husband who is a severe alcoholic (and was raised LDS) and has been in and out of treatment centers for the past two years but nothing has helped.  We have never actually met him, until this week.  We hadn't hear from her for a while so we decided to just stop by and see how she was doing.  Well, come to find out, her husband was back home, and stone drunk.  My first experience really talking/teaching a drunk person!  He had had a lot to drink but could still hold a normal conversation so we go in and start talking to both of them.  He was in a very bad state and very depressed; had just lost hope in himself, the world, and God.  After a couple minutes he just breaks down and starts sobbing and starts pleading with us to pray for him.  He actually grabs my hand and asks me to say a prayer for him.  People think that missionaries have all the answers but I was so at a loss what to even say or what he expected us to do!!!  But he really wanted a prayer so I started saying one.  It was honestly the most amazing prayer I have ever said.  I didn't say it.  I have no idea what I said but all I remember is the spirit that was in the room.  Pure love.  No other way to describe it.  I felt, just a little bit, what God feels/felt for each of us in the room.  It was amazing!  I wish I had words to describe it.  And then when the prayer ended, the best part was the change in both of them.  He actually started smiling and talking about having hope again and she looked like a little bit of her load was taken off her shoulders. It is amazing what God's love can do for a person!  It really offers hope and peace when we know that we are loved by the most Supreme Being in the universe.  And we feel that by just offering a little bit of ourselves to Him.  That in and of itself shows how much He cares about us!
Number two.  We got to go to the temple this week!!  Ah.  I love that place.  Even though I feel like you get to be very spiritually fed everyday of a mission, going to the temple is like being able to get a nice drink of cold water even when you didn't know you were extremely thirsty.  Well that first experience was still very fresh in my mind and I wanted to know how I could share that more with all those people that we go visit that really really need to feel that kind of love in their lives.  Well, there was a time that it was just missionaries sitting inside the temple and we were all thinking and praying and I had the coolest experience.  I felt the power that was in the room that came with being representatives of Jesus Christ.  It's like the air changed and you could feel a charge and you could feel the excitement from the people on the other side that I am sure were in there with us.  Like we were unifying to go again out to the world to everyone to share the joy that comes from coming closer to Christ.  It made me think again of the love God has for each one of us and as we sacrifice to help others feel of that love, then we can feel His love stronger in our lives as well.  And are better able to use the Atonement to lift and strengthen those that stand in need of it.  It was again another amazing spiritual feeling of just God's awareness of each of us.
Those were the big ones.  But it really helped me feel the spirit more every other day and be able to express just a little bit of God's love to others who have a harder time feeling that in their lives.  Sorry if it is kind of scattered this week...but it was really really good!  I love being a missionary!!!!  Pretty much the best thing ever :)  
Oh, also, we gutted our apartment this week, first time it's been deep cleaned since Elders moved in about a year ago.  Man, was that an adventure!  We found more nerf guns, some random scary stuff that I never want to see again, and some food that expired about 10 months ago.  It was great.  But anywho!  I hope everyone has a great week and enjoy the incoming SPRING!
Sis Rae

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Runnin' Round like a Chicken

Well, this week was kind of stressful!  Very good, but stressful.  Why was it stressful do you ask?  We had something big going on almost every single day including Zone Conference, a Mini-Mission and my first ever talk on the mission (in TWO meetings). 
Zone Conference was super good this transfer.  Zone Conference is when all the missionaries in the area get together and get training from President and others of our leaders and lasts all day long.  It happens only every other transfer so it's something we always look forward too.  This one was really good though, our focus for the past two transfers have been Christ-like attributes.  Not only what we are doing, but who we are becoming.  So we talked a lot about Christ and how we personally can become more like Him.  It's always good to have that reminded of who we are and who we represent.  We aren't out here just to baptize people or get them to church, we are here to invite others to come unto Christ.  Those others is everyone we meet, member or not, and includes ourselves as well.  Chapter 6 in Preach My Gospel talks more about them and it has become a focus in my personal study each day.  If you have some down time (and even if you don't ;)), you should check it out and read through it.  It's pretty amazing.  And if you don't have a PMG, you can find it on, it's a pretty legit book.  But even though Zone Conference is so good, it wears you out.  It's a long time and a lot to take in!
And no time to recover.  The next morning we had to wake up even earlier than usual to to go take part in the mini-mission that the stake was putting on.  All the youth ages 16 and up went out with us on splits.  Can I just say, it was SO weird not being with my companion all day?  Once, the girl I was with didn't let me know she was using the restroom and just disappeared.  I had a mini-panic attack before I realized where she had gone.  Oh, the things that happen to you once you become a missionary.  Anyway.  It was great fun though.  Sis Irwin and I split up and each took a girl with us so we were able to get twice the work done in our area.  It was a bugger planning for two plans plus backups x, y and z but we had a super busy day!  I of course, took her to see all the crazy people we have in our area, it was lots of fun.  I am used to their eccentrics by now but she was definitely taken back by many people we went to visit!  haha  I love people.  One lady told us about alien abductions and government conspiracies.  We got into lots of houses that we have never been able to get into before so that was a miracle in and of itself but made for a long, long day.  I was pooped.  More than usual.  I told President he should start allowing siestas, but he didn't really like that idea too much.  Unfortunately. 
I also had the GREAT opportunity to speak in church this Sunday, not once but twice.  We also go to the nursing home every Sunday for the service they hold there in addition to regular church.  And they happened to ask me to speak the same Sunday that I did in regular church.  On a different topic.  So I gave a talk on prayer and a talk on the miracles that happen in missionary work.  Both twenty minutes.  It was great.  Learned a lot though!  It was really sad though, it felt like I was giving a farewell again, pretty sure it was God giving me a heads-up with what will happen in two weeks.  We can always hope not!  Also, the bishopric gave me a hard time because apparently I was shaking bad enough that they could see it (at least my voice wasn't shaky!) but they all told me that they didn't have me pinned as someone who got nervous about speaking in front of people.  Man, I had them fooled! Haha.  Nice end to the week and at least I don't have to worry about it again for another several weeks!  Another plus though, is that it got people to church!!  It was so exciting and made me so happy to see some people that we have been trying to get to church forever walk into the building.  Maybe we should made Sis Irwin give a talk soon ;)
It was a very spirit-filled week though, which was much needed.  Sometimes you just need a little bit of a jump to life!  Missions are not a cake-walk but I have seen my relationship with my Savior grow so much, it's been one of the greatest experiences ever.  And I just wanted to sign off today with a quote I found this week by Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley:  "Do you want to be happy?  Forget yourself and get lost in this great cause.  Lend your efforts to helping people...stand higher, lift those with feeble knees, hold up the arms of those that hang down.  Live the gospel of Jesus Christ." 
And with that thought, I hope you all have an amazing, happy week and go find someone to serve! :)

Sis Rae

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Another Week, Another E-mail

Sorry, I am just not creative with these things.  Life is very much the same, we wake up now, thanks to Daylight Savings, to a dark outside, work out, study, make lunch, eat lunch, then hit the pavement until 9, come home, plan and then crash into bed.  Pretty exciting, huh?  
Well, that's it!  Nothing more to tell, hope everyone has a great week!!
Just kidding.  Pretty sure Mom would kill me if that was all.  In other news!  I had my first "bible bash" experience this week.  This guy we met while visiting some people in the nursing home invited us to come talk to him when he was off work.  He seemed pretty knowledgeable about the church and grew up with some friends that were Mormon.  So we were pretty excited!  Turns out though, he just wanted to rip us apart and prove to us that there was no God.  He knew the Bible AND the Book of Mormon forward and backward and just kept throwing scripture/philosophy at us.  I tried that for a while (poor Sis Irwin had no idea what was going on or how to respond) and then realized that the Spirit was NOT there and I was just getting more and more frustrated.  I had to take a step back, deep breath and then just started bearing testimony of how I know there is a God and that He loves us.  It didn't phase him one bit; it's the first time that I have really had someone attack my testimony.  Needless to say, we didn't stay there too long  But it really made me reflect and maybe even question what I believe to be true and how I knew it.  I thought about it for a while but came to the same conclusion.  I KNOW that there is a God and that He loves us and that Christ came down and is the Savior of the world.  I know because I have studied and prayed to know if it is true and the answer is undeniable.  God doesn't want to keep us in darkness, He WANTS us to learn about Him because that is the way that we find true happiness in this life.  It was a great testimony strengthener for me to really solidify to myself that I have a testimony about the truthfulness of the gospel.  Introspection does a lot for a person!  
So that's my crazy story for the week!  The rest of the week was spirit filled, with amazing people, those everyday miracles and just plain awesome-sauce.  And no bed bugs.  It was great!
Sorry this is kind of short, running out of time!  But don't worry, I will write again next week ;)  I hope everyone has an amazing week and the church is true!

Sis Rae

Monday, March 3, 2014

What A Week!

So this week, we had the highest amount of lessons that I have ever had on my mission (which means basically in this area).  It was SUCH a good week!  It's so nice when you're running from appointment to appointment and don't have to think about what to do or where to go because people actually let you in the door.  I've also had the best sleep I've had in a very long time.  It was great.
It has also been beautiful out so we were able to do some walking and talk to people that were also outside enjoying the beautiful weather.  That's when you get the most interesting contacts.  One guy started lecturing us on the difference between faith and evidence and how you can't have both (he was atheist) but it turned into a really good conversation about what evidences we DO have that there is a God.  We get to go back tomorrow and talk to him more, I am actually super excited, I love those kinds of discussions.  Especially with the Book of Mormon to back you up.  That book is AMAZING.  Another person started telling us about the horror movie they were watching.  Not sure what it was called but it gave me the hebbie geebies just listening about it; we ended that conversation pretty quick.  We also ran into a 7th Day Adventist who really, really liked to talk and was more intent on converting us than listening to what we have to say.  She was a medical missionary though and had some amazing stories about how she was able to use God and medicine to help people through difficult times.  It was really inspiring and she invited us back so that should be fun!
Yesterday, most of our recent converts got callings.  It was one of the coolest things ever to see all of these new members stand and accept a calling to participate and serve in the ward.  I felt like a proud parent haha  Most of them got called as primary teachers which I think will be awesome.  Be surrounded by sweet kids that are full of the spirit and get to teach the gospel in simple terms.  Also, in the next week or two, all 10 of our recent converts are going to be going to the temple to do baptisms together.  I'm kind of bummed that we don't get to go but it's so exciting to see that many people progressing in the gospel and becoming more involved.  Miracles happening everyday!
I have also decided that people shouldn't watch Soap Operas anymore.  They should just go talk to their neighbor down the street and you can get enough drama from people's lives that who needs TV?  Although it's been a good week, we have had several difficult situations that actually a lot of the people we go visit are going through.  It's super emotionally taxing!  But it's helped me realize something about how much God cares about us.  I get so attached to people that it just kills me to see them hurting, but I am human.  Can you imagine how much God feels when we are hurting?!  Even the little things, the little disappointments we have in life.  He aches for us when we are hurting and is there just waiting for us to turn to Him for comfort.  And He knows how to comfort us perfectly!  I was reading in the scriptures when Christ comes to visit the Nephites in the Americas.  He mentions to the people He has to leave and they don't want Him too.  It says that His bowls are moved with compassion toward them and then, instead of immediately taking the hurt away, He weeps with them.  So profound.  He felt their sorrow and longing and cries with them.  And it is not till after that, that He gathers the children around and blesses them and heals their sick and afflicted.  Christ is there to comfort us and to stand next to us, support us in our trials.  I know that without a shadow of a doubt.  I have seen how His Atonement covers us and works within each of us to bless us, and those moments have been the most tender to see; to see someone (especially me) accept that Atoning power into their lives and hope for that brighter future ahead.  It's a marvelous gift!
Well, on that note, I hope everyone has a fantastic week and share some of that fantasticness with others!
Sis Rae