Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas in the DR






Well I will have to admit, that this was the most different Christmas that I have had in my 22 years. But we still made it count. Thanks to my wonderful grandparents and family, we were able to do some service projects that kept our minds and our strengths completely occupied. We made sugar cookies for all of our investigators and a lot of the members of our ward, it was more than 250 cookies and it took sooooo much time, but we really had a blast. We also helped with the dinner of an inactive family, and gave some clothes and a game to a few families! It was fun. We took the plates of cookies to them and sang and read scriptures of Christ’s birth. I really, really enjoyed it! I think that my companion did too and she now has a new tradition and is going to teach her brothers to make cookies and they are going to do the same every Christmas. The people here have never tried anything like these cookies and yesterday at church at least 10 people asked me for the recipe. I really had fun and it reminded me of home, except I needed my Santa hat! haha !
Last week we had a Christmas party with half of the mission. It was really fun, we had a really spiritual program and we sang and read from the scriptures and watched a video of Christ. Then we had a lunch. The Dominicans hated it, oops. Because it was American food! Ham and potatoes and carrots and they threw in some rice with chili on top. I enjoyed it! Santa and Mrs. Clause came! (aka the Whitakers!) And they brought us goodies if we were good! We had a good time. It definitely wasn’t like the cooking of my family, but it was better than what I can do here. But of course the best part of my Christmas was hearing the voices of all of those I love the most.
I wanted to tell you a few stories of things that have happened.... first of all in about three lessons this week when we asked the question "what is a prophet?" They all said that we were. Haha and then we had to explain for about 10 minutes that we aren’t prophets, and tell them what one is. So I think that from now on we are just going to tell them what a prophet is and then ask them at the end. Also today was really great! (We watched Johnny Lingo!!!) In the morning my favorite investigator right now named Katherine, called us and I answered. She asked me if we could pass by later. She already has a date to be baptized but she needs to get married first, and she is great, really smart, and has a strong testimony already. She said that she had a dream last night, and she said that she doesn’t want to wait longer. She doesn’t want to live in her sins, and she wants to repent now and be baptized as soon as she can! I don’ exactly know what that means, but we were really excited so we are heading over there after this to see what’s up, I will keep you updated.
I will just tell you that the mission is hard, there are days when you feel like you are at the end of your rope, but that is just when you need to tie a knot and hold on. It really is worth it though! I love you all and miss you so much!
Hermana Reay

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Navidad, Navidad, Es Felicidad...

Navidad, Navidad, Es Felicidad...
I think that that is the only Christmas related song that exists here in the DR. I really don’t feel like I am in the Christmas season at all. Sometimes I think that we (in the US), are the only ones that know how to celebrate! :) I hope that you are all in the Christmas spirit and are as happy as I am for the 25th! I get to call home! I can’t wait! It is what is keeping me going. The meaning of Christmas here is to go to your town in the country with your family, or to be drunk all the time! It’s pretty crazy, but somehow we are still working and finding people. We are getting all of our contacts done and still having a lot of lessons. God is watching us....from a distance. Haha anyways! Yesterday we passed by all of our investigators houses to bring them to church but no one answered their doors, it was sad, so we ended up going alone, but we received huge blessings. We had more than 7 in church, because our new members invited their friends and neighbors. Including a family! I was so excited! So now we have some new people to teach and we are happy. This week we also have some fun events coming up! We have a big activity with all the missionaries tomorrow, I am excited and Hermana Antivilo (my old comp) is going to be there, she called me last night and I was so happy. We also are doing a lot of fun service projects! I can’t wait! I love and miss you all and wish you the best this holiday season!
Love,
Hermana Reay

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

This is our Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. We did our best. It just makes it better if we have a tree no matter what it looks like. I love you all and hope you have the best Christmas EVER!!!


This is the Dad of our mission!

This is the Dad of our mission! He is about 89 years old and this is the tree we decorated for him. Things are just not the same as back home. But he was happy. Check out my cute 'little' companion. I am the giant.


Brian's Baptism

This is a picture of us at Brian's Baptism.


Monday, December 13, 2010

SUPER HARD!!

Hello all!
First of all I just want to say thank you to the Davis family and the Hawks family! I love to read letters from anyone and I felt a piece of home when I heard from you!
This week has been super hard, SUPER HARD!! I feel like I heard bad news, after bad news.... but we made it through. When you go through trials, you really learn a lot about yourself, and your testimony grows, because sometimes there is no one else you can turn to other than the Lord. Hermana Batty, she is like my sister, she had to go home because she lost the use of her arms. I was so heart broken, but I know that she will get better! Pray for her.... also Eva, she is so special to me. She is one of my investigators... Her whole family is members, but we have been waiting for her papers so she can get married. We finally got them this week, and it was final, we set the date and everything, and her "husband" finally knew that it was really going to happen so he decided to tell her that he has another family that she never knew about, 2 children with another woman! It was heartbreaking. She told us today through tears, and I just didn’t know what to do. So now it’s all off, but she can’t live without him because she doesn’t have any money. Her children are the cutest things! It kills me.... her sons are the ones that helped us with Hermana Digna, and she gained her testimony from theirs! Anyways, through the trials, I am also learning how much I love the people. Charity really is the hardest attribute of Christ to have, but I am realizing the importance of it. If we could all just love everyone and treat them so special, the world would be such a happier place.
Other happier news! Brian was baptized yesterday and it was great! He is so wonderful. I hope that he will serve a mission! I really have been so blessed with the people I have come to know here in the DR and I know that by helping to change their lives mine has changed as well! Love you all!
Hermana Reay

Monday, December 6, 2010

19 Days!!!

Can you believe that in 19 days I will be calling home? That is such WONDERFUL news! I just can't express right now how happy I am! I am staying in my area with Hermana Garcia!! This is the first time that I havent changed companions, and I am sooooo happy! We still have so much work to do here, and we have the best baptism coming up on Sunday! Today I got to spend part of the day with Hermana Haggard as well because her companion went home, so she needed someone to be with! It was great!
The best part about my week was that we completed all of our goals. I learned this week the importance of goals and that you really can reach them if you put the effort into it and try and try so hard. If you do your part, the Lord will do His to help you complete your goals. We set goals every week, and a lot of times it´s just like they are numbers, but they really arent. They really are to help us progress. So every week we have a goal to find 10 new investigators...so on Saturday morning we reviewed our day and our goals and we only had 4 new investigators so far, so we decided that we were going to either come back to the house that night with 6 new investigators or we were going to come back with 6 new investigators. We totally did it, and it was amazing! Because the whole day we were searching for new people, we completed 2 other goals that we had, we had lessons with members, and recieved references. It was great! So now we have a new drive to look at our goals every day and to have a special drive to really reach them! I loved learning all of that because not only does it apply to me right now in the mission, but I can use it for the rest of my life!
I really am so happy right where I am and I know this is where I need to be, this time of the year is really hard, especially with a few things that are going on at home, but just know that I love you all and you are all in my prayers! Never take for granted the things that you have, and especially your family! Your parents and your grandparents, because they are the foundation and where we learn everything. Without them we wouldnt be anywhere, I love you all so much!
Hermana Reay

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Feliz Navidad!!!!

Feliz Navidad!!!!
Well the people here have been celebrating Christmas since before Halloween, but I know that really it should start after Thanksgiving! (Because it makes me miss home!) I hope that you all had a wonderful thanksgiving, and that you found many things to be grateful for, and also that you all did a lot of shopping on black Friday! Haha before I forget shout out to my 2 birthday girls, BRANDA AND HOLLY!!! Love you guys, sorry I am not there to throw you a wicked surprise party again, haha that was the best ever! Well this week was not really exciting at all, so I don’t have much to tell you.... We didn´t really do anything for Thanksgiving, we have just been working and working, a lot of walking because for some reason almost all of our appointments fell through this week, but it was great because we had a lot of opportunities to find new people. My companion and I also grew a new love for sugar cane! Haha, I was always afraid to try it because it looks so weird, and who wants to eat sugar only? But it’s actually really refreshing in the hot sun! We are soon going to have some baptisms (hopefully). I am praying for a Christmas miracle. One of our investigators, that is already a member but needs to be married, we are trying to get her papers this week! I am praying and praying for this, and another investigator Bryan that is completely ready but just is scared. So we are just trying to help them both! I have been reading a lot from the Bible because I wanted to read John before Christmas. (I am already done) So now I am reading Jesus the Christ, it is intense, but I am learning so much, like that Mary and Joseph were cousins, yeah I didn’t know that, eww. It is great to learn more and more every day, I love that we can read all of these books in the mission because you are more spiritual and enjoy them so much, and they really do help to teach our investigators. Sorry I don’t have anything more exciting to share with you! I love you all! I really miss you in the season of the year, but I know that I need to enjoy my time as a missionary because it is passing by so fast. I only have 7 months left in the beginning of December! But just know that I love you all!
Hermana Reay

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

THANKSGIVING dinner!

So last night was a little interesting, all of the people around us were drunk, we didn’t end up teaching 3 of our appointments because the smell of alcohol was really strong, Then we got home and our neighbors were just wasted. They were singing horribly at the top of their lungs! Wow, if they only knew when they were sober, what their actions were. Its’ kinda sad. All that I can say is that I am so glad to have the gospel in my life and to have grown up in a family that has rules, and high standards, and that I have never had a desire to do those horribly worldly things. Anyway....Today I just want to tell you all that birthdays in the mission, really are normal days. A little disappointing, but we did have a baptism! That was the best part because Saulo was so ready and so happy! That was a great present for me. The ward wasn’t there though, no one showed up, there were only women there (It was the only time in my life that I wished that I could have the priesthood) we had to wait for two hours, 3 for Saulo to be baptized! I felt so bad, but luckily we have great zone leaders, that just ran over to our chapel to help us out! Haha But it’s all good, he was baptized and it ended up to be a good day! Today was great, we had THANKSGIVING dinner! Minus the turkey and the gravy and a lot of things, but it was fun, we even had pumpkin pie! I made most of the food, I needed to do something to feel the Thanksgiving spirit. We did it as a zone, but only a few showed up, so we have LOTS of leftovers, but I loved it, I was thankful that we got to do it, and have a little of home here in the DR. We didn’t go around and say what we are thankful for though; so I am expecting all of you to email me what you are thankful for ok? haha I love you and miss you all, thanks for the birthday wishes and the wonderful packages I got, I love you all.
Sarah, or Sister Christensen, if you are reading this I love you and you are in my prayers, I hope that all goes well with your hands! I love you Cohen!
Hermana Reay

Monday, November 15, 2010

Gotta love the DR!!!

Hello!
Can I just start out by saying that I am totally going to have a baptism on my birthday!!! That is such a great gift! We have been teaching Saulo for a while, and he actually works for a member family, so he has known about the church for a while, but like Digna, it wasn’t his time yet! But now is, I am so happy for him! He is going to get baptized on my birthday, and then leave that night for a camp that the single adults are having! I am so happy for him! Digna´s baptism was amazing. I spoke, and was so nervous, but it was good, and I loved that I got to be a part of it, there were soooooo many people there though! Her family came from all over, and it was really special, a lot of tears were shed! And Sunday was ward conference and they asked her to share her testimony! It was great! I wish you could all see the huge change that we have seen in her, when I first met her she never smiled, and was always cranky, and now she is just soooo happy and already sharing the gospel with others! I love it! We also finally moved this week. I love our new place! It always has water!!!! yay!!! One thing though, is that I thought that I was getting away from all the dogs howling at 5am but I was a little mistaken, here we have roosters, that start around 4am and then the dogs howl because of the roosters....haha. Gotta love the DR, but my comp has ear plugs that she gave me, and they work like a dream! I am loving it here, and can’t believe that the transfer is already half way over! Time is going by soooo fast! But it’s all good, as long as I live up every minute! I also can’t believe that I am going to be 22 this week, soooo weird! Hopefully we will do something fun! (Probably some fun contacts or something!) I love you all so much, and want to tell you how grateful I am for you in this Thanksgiving season!
Con amor,
Hermana Reay
P.S. The ward had such a great activity on Friday. They had a dance and karaoke party and it was so fun! We went for just a few minutes to see how it was. I loved it; I am so coming back here after my mission to learn to dance like them! The best was the bishop and his wife, and one of my favorite members, Delia that is like 70! They were tearing up the dance floor!

Monday, November 8, 2010

It's my Birthday!!! I am ...old!!!




Buenas!
¿Como estan ustedes? Wow, quite the week! Did I tell you that we are moving? I get to do that again, but I am so excited because we got to pick the new house, and I like it a lot, and it is way better than our house because it ALWAYS has water! I have a few experiences to tell you about! But first, I can’t believe that I am going to say this, but this week I have actually been cold....yep COLD! It’s all because of the hurricane, it has been super windy and rainy but apart from that we didn’t get anything. We have just heard that Haiti is getting hit hard again. I feel so bad for them. Especially now that I know some Haitians that are really special to me....anyways we have been wet all week, but its been fun! And the other day we went to a members house and we were asking for an address, and her son comes out and he has a drinkable yogurt and he’s just squeezing it (and it is totally facing me) we were all just looking at him, like what are you doing? Just then the lid pops off and yogurt goes flying all over me. Everyone looked at him and then they looked at me. It was awkward silence, I just busted up laughing, and the kid takes off running! They felt so bad, but I just thought that it was hilarious! It was fine because then we just went out in the rain and it washed it all off anyway! DIGNA!!! Our miracle! She is for real getting baptized on Thursday! We are still waiting for her to have her interview but I know that she will pass! No one believed her at first and now they do. Half of the testimonies on Sunday were about her, and a lot of the other people got up and talked about how the missionaries are angels sent here to help the people, and I was just crying! Her daughter is so happy, she is putting together the whole baptism and all of her family, from all over are coming to baptize her, speak, sing, play instruments, and everything! It is going to be huge! I am so excited. I will take lots of pictures! I love to be a part of this work; I can see the biggest change in her! Tonight we are going to watch the Testaments with her, and I know that she will love it! One other thing that I wanted to tell you about, was after fast and testimony meeting, one of the members comes up to me freaking out, and she just keeps saying "Reay, Reay come with me, your mom is here" and I was just like WHAT? So I followed her, and it wasn’t my mom of course, but it was Flavia and her Kids! My baptisms! My first family! They came to my ward today to see me and brought me pictures of the baptism day and everything, I was sooooo happy! Flavia, and Yole, and Bryan, and Mario, and Patricio (by the way did I tell you that he got baptized when I left!?) The whole family! I love them, I will never forget these people here, and the changes made in their lives and mine! Love you all!
Hermana Reay

Monday, November 1, 2010

I LOVE my new companion!

Hello all,
It was really weird to receive my emails this week and find out that Weston is home. I am a little heart broken for him, because I know how much he loves being out in the field and working hard. At least we all know how hard he actually worked, he wore his knee completely out. Love you Wes! Shout out to Hermana White and her FiancĂ©. I wish I could be at the wedding! Love you! Oh my goodness, I LOVE my new companion! She is soooooo tiny! I will send a picture soon, but just warning you now, I sorta look like a GIANT next to her, she weighs like 85 lbs. But she is great, from Guatemala, and I love her Spanish because I understand it even better and it’s more correct, it is so true that the Dominicans speak like a ghetto Spanish. Haha but we are getting so much work done, we have so many contacts every day, we are talking to everyone, we have a lot of new investigators and I have to tell you one of the most amazing stories!!!! So Eva, (she is the one that is waiting for her papers to be married) her 2 boys wanted to have a missionary experience and go out with us to teach. They are 9 and 10 and adorable. Well we just decided to visit their neighbor with them, so that it would be close. Her name is Digna. She is the mother of one of the most faithful members in the ward. Her son is also a member. Her kids were baptized 25+ years ago, but she never was. Her parents were Catholics, so apparently she can’t change religions. But she knows that the church is true and she loves everything about it. When the church started in this area, it was in their house. Anyway, there have been COUNTLESS missionary companionships that have tried to get her to be baptized. When I got here and found out that she wasn’t a member, I told the bishop that one of my goals was to get her to the waters of baptism.... well we went to pick up the boys and they were all dressed up in their pants, white shirts and ties. They were so cute and I put some stickers on their shirts that say "future missionary". They loved it. Well we shared with Digna, and sang "Called to Serve" and she cried, because she just loves these boys, and they bore their testimonies about baptism and I cried, we were all crying! (So adorable.) When we left she said that she would pray about baptism.. Well we went back 2 days later, and she was still stubborn, but........she said she felt really good in her prayers, and that it’s time to take this step! She is still iffy and I am praying so hard and putting all my faith that she will be baptized November 12!!! I was so happy I couldn’t believe it! Well that is my message for the week, we just need to always have faith and keep praying for the people that haven’t accepted because you never know when their time will come! I love you all so much!
Hermana Reay

Monday, October 25, 2010



TRANSFERS!!!

AHHHHHHHH Happy Birthday Aubrey Reay!!! (you are sooooo old!) haha. Today is a good day! Quick funny story, we were in a lesson on Saturday and I was sitting there talking about the Restoration and this little girl comes up from behind me and just whacks me on the head with a broom stick, it was the most random thing ever, and I couldn’t help it but just laugh...Crazy things happen here in Mendoza. This weeks I complete 9 months away from home, and you know what else is this week? TRANSFERS!!! I am getting a new companion and she is from Guatemala, Hermana Garcia. I am really excited, I don’t know her well, but I have met her a few times, she is tiny, 4 foot something... but I think that we will work well together. I am excited to talk to her all about Guatemala, and we are going to make tortillas and yummy food! YAY!!! Guess what else? Best news ever....Hermana Haggard is coming to my zone!!! That means we will see each other every week, and Hermana Batty is staying too... We are going to have a Thanksgiving dinner together and show them all here the wonderfulness of Thanksgiving, and of course a birthday party for someone that is going to be OLD!!!! (Apart from my sister...) I am excited to stay here in Mendoza, because we are teaching some good people and I know that I can help them a lot to progress. Dani came to church and brought more people :) We also had a family home evening at her house and there were about 15 people there!!! We watched ‘Together Forever’, and they were all crying, it was really spiritual! (I really think that that movie is a great conversion tool!) We starting teaching an old investigator this week, Danuvio... he is an interesting guy. His "wife" (that he isn’t married to yet) is a member, but inactive. He had a date to be baptized a longtime ago, but he never got married... well we were teaching him, and can I just say that I know exactly what I DONT want in my future husband. His wife works full time, goes to school, takes care of their child, and she cleans and cooks every meal. She wakes up at 5am to start her day and doesn’t go to bed until 2 am because she is doing her homework...you know what he is doing? Sitting on the couch or in front of the computer, or out with friends!! SERIOUSLY? Wow, so we made a schedule with him and what he has to do every day of every week to help her out. Thank you to all the men out there that actually love their wives and help them around the house so that there can be unity!! Anyways, you can probably tell that I was a little frustrated, but also excited because we are going to help him change! It reminds me of the Joseph Smith movie when the guy from Ireland won’t help his wife, and then Joseph asks him something like "if you can make your wife happy here on earth, do you think she´ll want to be with you for eternity" something like that, and then later in the movie he is beating the rug....anyway there is my little lesson for the week. Have unity in the home and help each other out! I love you all, and am so grateful for the people I have in my life...YOU!
Hermana Reay

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Another week!!!!

Hello!!!
Can I just tell you how much I love you all? Every time I open up my emails on Mondays I feel so much love because I have so many emails. I am so happy that I can print them off and read them otherwise I wouldn’t have time to write. How have you all been? I hope well. Things have been better here. We have a FHE planned tonight with the Bishop and his family, which I am excited about. I really do want to get to know the people better here. On Sunday we had 9 people in church which really makes me happy because I didn’t think that we were going to have hardly any. We really are receiving blessings. And do you know why? Because we have been doing our contacts. For some reason it was really hard for us to do our contacts before but now we always have more than 10 every day and we really are seeing the results from it. One of the people in Church was Dani. She came with 2 of her little girls. Her husband didn’t come because he had to go somewhere but she did and she loved it so much, and her little girls had so much fun in Primary. She is even going to go the Relief Society activity that they are having on Friday night. So we are starting to see some of the progress here. I am happy for that because for a while I felt like we weren’t doing anything and that can really get you down as a missionary. But can I just tell you what a blessing it is to be able to read the scriptures and pray out loud? For real it has helped me so much. I am almost done with the Book of Mormon in Spanish, reading it out loud and I understand it, which is great. I am learning so much here in the mission, mostly patience and love. I just want you to know that I love all of you and think of you often and pray that you are happy.
Love
Hermana Reay

Monday, October 11, 2010

push on a large boulder

Hello all,
I am just going to apologize right now because the keyboard that I am using is sooooo hard so I am going to try to make this a little shorter. Sorry or I will have carpal tunnel... I miss you all, I want you to know that. This week I had an intercambio and got to be companions with Hermana Batty, it was the best day ever here. I loved it we got soooo much work done and twenty two contacts. I also am down to my last Jody dress because when we have water we don’t have electricity and when we have electricity there is no water, a little bit impossible to wash your clothes. But it’s the mission and I love it. It is extremely hot right now. Today we had a Zone activity and we played volleyball and it was so much fun but I got sooo sunburnt. I look like a lobster...Hermana Batty shared a story with me that I want to share...
There was a man who was asked of the Lord to push on a large boulder. So, wanting to be obedient, he pushed, everyday. Some days he pushed a little harder, some days he didn’t push very strongly. But every day he consistently pushed. Day after day. He tried to mark his progress one day only to realize that the boulder hadn’t moved at all. Not even a centimeter. A little discouraged, but not disheartened he pushed with all his might. It didn’t budge. Finally he started wondering and thought, I have been pushing as hard as I could and doing what the Lord asked me to do. Why isn’t it moving? He asked the Lord, Why isn’t it moving? You asked me to push everyday and I am. The Lord responded, I never asked you to move the rock. I just asked you to push. But now look at how strong your arms have become. I just asked you to push.
I loved this story when she told it to me. Sometimes we feel like we aren’t going anywhere or helping anyone, but the thing is, that we need to push through and be obedient, because really we are the ones being changed. Can I just tell you that right now is really difficult, but I am trying to endure, and I know that I will be the one who learns from this time. If I rely on the Lord and do what he has asked of me. I love you all, please keep me in your prayers.
Hermana Reay

Monday, October 4, 2010

I love, love, LOVED conference!!

Hey Everyone,
I love, love, LOVED conference, the only bad part is that we have to wait 6 months for the next one! It was a great party for us missionaries here in the Oriental Zone. We made treats and I made salsa and it was so fun. I love that we get to watch it in English and at the exact same time as you guys! The translators are really that good that they do it right away! I can’t pick a favorite talk, but there were so many that just applied to my life right now! We also had 2 baptisms on Saturday night and it was great! I was really happy for them! I love to see that change in the lives of these people. We are teaching a family right now; they are really putting an emphasis on teaching families. Well their names are Dani and Rafael and they have 3 little girls. They are wonderful but we were just about to leave them because they haven’t come to church and they hadnt’ been reading. So we thought that we would give them a few days, and then pass by to remind them about the conference. When we passed by Dani was so happy so told us that she had been reading and she got her Book of Mormon and showed us. She has read so much and it was all marked! We were so happy. So we are going to start to focus more on them. I hope that I have really good news about there family next week! I hope that you are all enjoying the fall and the beautifulness that is inUtah right now, with its mountains and cool breeze. Soak it in for me! I love you all, and remember what President Monson said, that “we need to show gratitude for EVERYTHING!!” Love you all!
Hermana Reay

Monday, September 27, 2010

I am STOKED for conference!

Hello all,
Can I just tell you I am STOKED for conference! I don’t know if I will be able to wait until Saturday! There are only 5 Americans in our Zone so we are going to have a party! haha, it will be fun, and I am still with Hermana Batty so we are going to have fun together, also Susan called me and told me that she is going to come to our building to watch it with us in English!
It is really hard to whitewash an area... there are a lot of empty spaces in our day and we don’t know the times the people are in their houses, and we don’t even have a map to know what the streets are. But can I tell you something great? We have 3 baptismal dates! I am so happy! A recent convert, Mercedes, her granddaughter lives with her, (Keysi) and she would never go to church before when the elders are here, or even listen to them. But we just invited her to sit in our lesson and to church and she really REALLY wants to be baptized now! She is so excited! Keysi is getting baptized on Saturday night after conference, and so is another little boy that has been going to church for 3 months, he is soooo excited too! We also starting teaching the niece of a member and she really wants to be baptized too, it really pays off to work with members! The people in this ward are great! Its really really big! The sad things though, are that there are about 600 members in this ward and over half of them are inactive! So we made it our goal to work with the inactives a lot and try to reactivate them! The hard part also though is that a big chunk (hehe to those of you that get it) of those people are Haitian and they don’t speak Spanish. Its hard, I want to talk to someone about setting up a branch or something in French because there are enough members that only speak it! Oh well we’ll work our hardest!
This area is still in the "city" but it is soooo different. I don’t even want to imagine what the country is like, because I have already seen some really sad things. There are a lot of shacks with tin roofs, and almost every child that I see is just running around naked with dirt all over them. It’s sad, and they don’t have showers and it’s just a hard life. I really look up to these people for ALWAYS living like this. We are so spoiled in the US.
Speaking of the US, its pretty funny because almost every Dominican thinks that the US consists of New York and that’s about it. They all think that I am from New York! haha it’s pretty funny! Well I am thinking of you all and I love you all! Pray for me!
Hermana Reay

Monday, September 20, 2010

MENDOZA WILL BE GREAT!!!

Hello all,
I don’t have as much time this week because we are running late, so we have to cut down on our internet time! But wow!!! I am totally, I mean TOTALLY in a new area. It is so different to be out of the city. People actually live in houses here! And I can see the stars at night because there isn’t as much air pollution! But I already love it! My area is a lot smaller, and I swear half of the people are members! And the thing that I love the most is that they are all so willing to go out with the missionaries. They love us and they all want to go! We have whitewashed the area from Elders, so it has been funny to see the look on the people’s faces when Hermana´s show up at their door. We already have a baptismal date and we are going to set a couple more tonight. It has been wonderful! I love it when there are people that are just so ready to receive the gospel! Oh and the Elders that are in my old area called me and told me the Daniel is getting baptized on the 25th!!!! I was so happy! Really if I don’t baptize anyone else for the rest of my mission I am fine! Susan also wrote to me today and told me that the kids were confirmed, and Mario and Brian received the priesthood! They are so cute. I really don’t miss my old area at all.... (Sniffle...)
Ok my comp, Hermana Polanco. She is wonderful and always really happy, and chill about everything. Can I just say something though....she speaks SO FAST!!! I know that I am going to learn so much from her, and my understanding is definitely going to skyrocket! I am excited for that! She really wants to learn English too so we are helping each other! It will be really fun, we are going to work hard and dig into the work here in Mendoza!
Today was really fun; all of the missionaries that could, got together at a big park and played games! IT was soooo hot, I am totally sunburned, but there was soccer and football and we played Frisbee, and just had a good time! And I am sooooooooooo excited for conference! I cant believe that I am going to have my second conference here in the DR, it really shows me how fast time is passing and I just cant believe it, I am just going to try to enjoy every second and show as much love as I can for every person that I come in contact with! That really is my purpose here I decided because if they can see the love and feel it, the rest will fall into place! I love you all so much! You are the best!
Hermana Reay

Monday, September 13, 2010


I am leaving my home!

Helloooooo,
Well last night we received transfer calls. It was horrible. We are all being split up and I am leaving my home! I am going to an area called Mendoza. Don’t worry I am fine now and have accepted it because I know that it is what the Lord needs me to do. And I am going to have a Dominican companion. I have never met here before but her name is Hermana Polanko. I saw a picture and she looks really cute. My wonderful, wonderful companion is leaving me for La Romana, which is the farthest away they can send her, I am heartbroken about that, but I know that I will see her again, especially because she lives only 15 minutes away in Utah! Haha! They also whitewashed my area (because they took both of us out) and they are putting Elders in there.... I know I couldn’t believe it either, the city hasn’t had Elders in 3 years! But they will be great!
We definitely left the transfer with a bang! Mario, Yolanda and Brian were all baptized yesterday and it was absolutely amazing! If it wouldn’t have happened, it would be really hard to leave right now. The oldest brother, Patricio wasn’t baptized, but its ok, because he really isn’t ready yet. Also Daniel, our golden investigator, is going to be baptized in a couple of weeks! He asked us, and he is so ready, He came to stake conference and he loved it! I am really excited for the Elders to get in and work hard, and I am glad that we have some good people to leave them!
I already started to say goodbye to people and it was hard. Last week I told Ulda and Domingo that I might be leaving because I have so much time here, and Domingo told me that he wouldn’t go back to church if that happens. Then I shared with him some scriptures and told him that it isn’t the church of Hermana Reay of Latter Day Saints, and I think that he got the picture, so today when I told him, he was ready and he accepted it! Ulda had a really hard cry and it broke my heart but I know that they will be fine and I will be with them at their wedding and their baptism in spirit. They are such wonderful people, wonderful examples.
All wish me luck as I leave to say goodbye to the rest of my Dominican family, and endure some tears. I just pray that they all really know that they joined this, the true church, for Jesus Christ and to better themselves, and be truly happy, and that the absence of the American Hermana’s wont inactivate them!
But I will always be thankful for Gazcue, I have had 4 wonderful companions here, a WONDERFUL bishop and ward here, 11 baptisms, and countless numbers of people who have changed my life for the better! The opportunity to serve a mission has been the best!
I love you all so much, thanks for your love and support! You are amazing!
Hermana Reay
(P.S.. Aunt Fanny I love you and thank you for all your help with everything and for calling my mom! You are wonderful!)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It was SO wonderful!!!!

Hello all,

I just love Pday and being able to hear the stories from back home and the things that are going on. Especially that my cute little brother bore his testimony and that my Dad is now installing closets for Kobe Bryant. That’s pretty cool. It really just makes me happy, when I hear about all the people that ask about me and care about my brother and me. Thank you.
Well we didn’t get the big hurricane. Earl just decided to go somewhere else. We had some rain and lots of winds for a couple days but that was about it. I didn’t complain about the cold breeze though. It was definitely a breath of fresh air here in this heat! Today we went to the Temple. It was SO wonderful, I wish that you could all come to the Santo Domingo Temple, I think that it will forever be one of my favorites. I went through in Spanish for the first time! It was so crazy how much I understood (although I was still translating in my head) I loved it! After us 4 Hermana's that are in this area went to lunch at a beautiful restaurant that is on the beach, and it hangs over the Ocean! (Doug it was a different one than the one we went to, but I definitely got Mofongu!) I loved it, we just sat there with the ocean breeze looking out at the Palm Trees on the sandy beach and laughing and talking. Sometimes I really don’t feel like a missionary because I realize that I am in Paradise!
Anyway, yesterday was probably one of my favorite days in the mission! I love to have a day like that because you really learn what the work is all about. We are teaching a family right now and they are all going to be baptized on Sunday! It was just a goal, but yesterday they told us that they are all going to get baptized for sure and they are ready. We were so happy because just a little while before Satan was just working and working on them. They had the dumbest little doubts and it made me so worried because I just knew that if they made this step, they wouldn’t ever regret it and that the Holy Ghost would just help them and confirm to them that they made the right decision. So finally I think that they just felt the spirit really strongly and they all said yes! We were so happy. They are all having their interviews tonight!
We also had a wonderful contact last week named Daniel. I will never forget him for the rest of my life. He was amazing. So there he was sitting on the corner reading from his Bible. So of course we go over and contact him. We just start talking about the Bible and we could see that he is really religious. But then he tells us he doesn’t have a religion. So we gave him the pamphlet of the Restoration and set up and appointment to return. So we taught him yesterday too. You guys just can’t believe how incredibly amazing he is. He pretty much has the pamphlet memorized. He starts telling us a little about his religious background and how he has been investigating a lot of different churches and everything, and how he just doesn’t feel anything at any of them. So we get further in the lesson, we are now teaching about Joseph Smith, reading from his history and Daniel was like "this is just like me, I have all the same questions" anyways, he ate it all up, says he believes in it all and that he is just going to pray about it to get a confirmation. Then I told him our purpose as missionaries and he asked us when he could be baptized! HE ASKED US! But then after he sorta laughed and second-guessed himself and says "well I should probably go to church first!" But he will for sure be there and I know that he will be baptized! He is golden! He is a fish! ;)
Hermana Haggard and I have been working really hard, we have been working all week and we are going to start an English class every Thursday, we have a huge list of people that are going to come, and we also are having an activity in the church this Friday and we are going to be making picture frames that are covered in sea shells from here, they are really pretty! I know that it will be a great turnout! We are definitely working with the ward, and they are getting more and more into the work with us every day! I just love it all!
I am really sad because I don’t know if I will be leaving this area, staying, getting a new comp, or what? We have transfers next week, and I have already been here for 6 months can you believe it? But I feel like I could have 6 more! But I will go where the Lord needs me!
I miss you all and love you so much! Thanks for your love and support!
Hermana Reay
(p.s. this weekend is stake conference and guess who is speaking? SUSAN!)

Monday, August 30, 2010

A visit from Hurricane Earl.

Hello all!
So today we heard that in 48 hours we will be receiving a visit from Hurricane Earl. I am excited! Is that weird? Kinda...but oh well. The wind has already started picking up, I might need to go buy some spandex because my skirt keeps blowing up, and that is soooo missionary inappropriate. Well I can’t believe this week it is going to be September, I have already completed 7 months, and time is just flying! Next week we are going to the Temple, and I couldn’t be more excited! (But that also means that I will be writing you all on Wednesday!) Afterward, our district might be going to the Botanical Gardens, which are in the West Mission, and I hear that they are amazing! Today I felt like a tourist because we walked around the Colonial Zone and looked at the sights that the tourists are here to see, w e took pictures by the oldest Cathedral in the America's and saw Columbus' house. It was fun! I love all of the Hermana's that I am living with!
Well Hermana Haggard and I had a really interesting week. A lot of the appointments fell through, but we still tried to work our hardest. One day, Juan Pablo came out with us and some creepy things happened, but the Lord was with us and I know that the spirit was guiding us. We contacted this guy named Munchy about 3 weeks ago, he was really nice and he was with his sister. So we tried to get in contact with him to visit him and teach him but it never worked out. So when we were with Juan Pablo we figured that it would be a good time to go there because then it wouldn’t just be us and Munchy. So we called him and surprisingly he was home and we were able to go over. We got to his house and he greeted us in his super nice way and then Juan Pablo walks in and he sorta tenses up... and Juan Pablo was acting strange too, but I didn’t really think anything of it. So we taught the Restoration, and half way through one of his friends, Elaine came over; she was great, way more into it than Munchy and asking us questions. Juan Pablo shared his testimony (which almost made me cry, he is so amazing) and we got Elaine’s info and left. Nothing happened that night, except for the reference that we gave to our district leader because turns out Elaine lives in their area. But the next night we taught with Justo, Juan Pablo's grandpa, and he told us after the appointment that we went to that he really needed to talk to us. We went back to his house and he told us that we were never to go back to Munchy's house. Apparently the reason why they both tensed up is because they knew each other, so Juan Pablo knows Munchy's story... Apparently a few months back, Munchy stole some money from big wigs and now they are looking for him to kill him. He has already moved 3 times to hide from them. We were so scared when he was telling us. But we promised that we would never go back. We were so bummed. Then we were sorta on edge the rest of that night. We got home and called the district leader that night, we told him what had happened, and we said we at least hope that Elaine is good. Well guess what he told us? Elaine is getting baptized! The Lord really does work in mysterious ways to guide His lost sheep back to His fold. I know that we weren’t ever able to meet with Munchy before Juan Pablo could go with us, so we could learn that we shouldn’t be at his house, and that that specific night Elaine could be there! I love it!
We are also still teaching the large family and they will be baptized either this Sunday or the next! We are so excited for them! I miss and love you all, thanks for you love and support and prayers, especially while I was sick, I really felt it!
Hermana Reay

Monday, August 23, 2010

10 days with the Dengue!!

Hey all!
The happiness level is a lot higher here in Santo Domingo because I get to go back to work! Yay!!! I have been stuck in the house for the past 10 days, and have been really weak, and sick with Dengue, but it is pretty much over, I am just gaining back my strength and taking it easy! We are going to dive head first into the work and change some people’s lives here! I am excited! But really being in the house has been really good for me. It was so hard and I had too much time to think, too much time to get home sick, and get angry at my sickness, and think of things that I shouldn’t. So I learned a lot, and learned how to change my attitude around. A lot of that comes from the gospel. Especially the scriptures. I have a lot of uplifting scriptures marked in my Quad and I was going through them and wanted to share one with you guys!
D&C 78:18 says "And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours."
It really made me so happy, I realized that I can’t bear everything, that is why I had dengue, but I can still have cheer through my trials, and use this time to learn about myself and learn about how I can be a better person! I learned of some qualities that I want to change and qualities that I want to have, it was hard, but worth it! And I have the most amazing companion that helped me through it all, she was amazing, always right by my side ready to help me with whatever I needed! I just love Hermana Haggard.
I also wanted to tell you guys that I am SOOOOO proud of Weston! Isn’t he just amazing!? I am so glad that he had his first baptism! I received a letter from his trainer, Elder Haynie, and he told me that before Weston came he was in that area just dragging his feet, and then Weston came and everything changed, and now they actually have potentials! And they have 4 people preparing for baptism, well one is baptized now! But I am so happy for him; I know that God knows exactly where to put us and the people that we can touch! He is doing such a great job, and always gives me such a boost when I hear from him!
I love missionary work, and it is changing my life, and it’s definitely for the better! I love you all and am so happy to know you!
Love,
Hermana Reay

Monday, August 16, 2010

WEIRD week!!!

So I dont really have much to report this week..... On thursday we had district meeting and I pretty much left in tears because the pain in my eyes and head was so bad, that i had to leave. From there it all went down hill and I am sorry to say, but I haven´t left the house since thursday! It is SOOOO hard, and its killing me! I now have a rash covering my whole body and it just keeps getting worse by the day, but really no need to worry about me because I know that the Lord is looking out for me! A funny thing happened though... The Bishop called us during district meeting and asked if we could all give talks in church! YAY so the only reason that I went to church was to give my talk. So there I was sitting and waiting for him to call my name, well he never did. Then he comes up to me after and tells me that I just didn´t look well enough to stand up there and speak and that I can give my talk another week! It was so cute how worried the ward was for me, the Bishop wanted to take me to the Hospital right then, finally i talked him out of it, but he did bring me over medication. They are just so worried and so cute about it! One really great thing did happen this week! I wasnt able to go, but Hermana Antivilo went out with Hermana Haggard, while I stayed with Susan. But they visited a family that want to be baptized! I am so excited! Did I tell you guys about the lady that is a member, but has been inactive for 20 years, well she came to church, bore her testimony and they have been coming ever since, and now we are going to get them all baptized, there are about 5 kids, possibly 6 that are ready! Its great! well i dont really have much else to write! I love you all!
Hermana Reay

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

NO WATER !!!

Hola,
Well first of all I just want to say that I hope Weston had an amazing birthday, We had to run into the store on Saturday to get something for my companion that she really needed, and I saw this awesome tie just sitting where it shouldn´t be, and I just had to get it for him, now i just have to figure out how to send it! Well this week has definitely been a week full of interesting, great events. Julien and Victor were confirmed on Sunday and we had FIFTEEN investigators at church! Yeah my mouth dropped! It is amazing how much work we have to do here and now I am doing it with my new greenie! She is absolutely adorable and we get along so well! We have so many connections and we are just always talking about life stories!! I just love her, and know that we are going to do a lot here, its a tad bit hard because I am teaching a lot by myself, but, Hermana Haggard shares her testimony or a scripture or something. She is just so cute! The Lord really is blessing me, especially with the gift of tongues and understanding! I don't know how I have been doing it, but we get by on my little bit that I know, and the people still feel the spirit and know that these things are true! I just love the gospel and being able to teach it here, I really know that I am so blessed to be in a place where the people are so ready to just love you and the gospel! Definitely a white field here in the Dominican Republic!
As for some of the crazy things that happened this week, the stores around our house that bring us the water, yeah they ALL ran out! So we didn´t have water for a bit and were sooooo thirsty, but when they got it back we totally stocked up. Then the next day, we didn´t have water in the house! I felt so gross, we all did, because we couldn´t shower. Then the next day was Saturday when we have planning, and we stay in the house all morning, and the power was out, AND we didn´t have water! So we couldn´t shower to cool off, and we didn´t have fans, we were all literally sitting in our sweat and it was just so disgusting! We got back that night though and the water was back on, and guess how we knew? Oh yeah, there was a flood in the apartment because one of the faucets had been left on! AHHHHHH so we spent a good 45 minutes cleaning that up, and by the time we finished the water was off again! Yeah we totally had to go to church smelly, and unshowered! I am afraid that the ward is going to shun us! Oh well, but my poor companion, its her first week! But we have water now, all is fine!
Today we went to a missionary activity, and there were so many people there! I got SOOOOO sunburned! but it was really fun because we just got to chat with a bunch of missionaries and I talked with my favorite companion from the CCM, Elder Winter! It was great! It was a good little change! (although I think I will always miss my days in the Presidents house, being spoiled!) Oh well I LOVE it here, I love my comp and I love our investigators! We are off to FHE! I cant wait, we are going to get a whole family baptized, at least 5 people! YAY!!! Love you all, thanks for your love and prayers!
Hermana Reay

Monday, August 2, 2010

I AM GOING TO BE A TRAINER!!

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
I finished my third transfer, and am soo sad to see it go. I really am going to miss Hermana Antivilo! She has become one of my best friends! I have learned so much from her, but it’s ok because now I can apply that all to myself and use it the rest of my mission. I can also teach it to my new companion because guess what???
I AM GOING TO BE A TRAINER, TO SISTER HAGGARD!!!!! (A girl I met when I was younger in my cousins ward in Provo.) Ah when I found out I almost had a heart attack! I really don’t feel ready for this, but I guess we never truly feel ready for the tasks that the Lord has for us! I am going to be super busy this transfer and I know that I am going to learn so much, I am still practicing understanding all of the stories that the people are telling! It’s ok, I know I can do it with a lot of personal prayers, and prayers from you guys right? I am excited to see the blessings, and we have a lot of great investigators, because yeah I am staying here in Gazcue and couldn't be happier! I love it here! The ward is blossoming and I love it all! I am sorry this week is so short, I just don’t even know what else to say because my fingers are shaking! I am going to be a trainer! ahhhhh (I promise I wont let it get to my head!) Love you all!
Hermana Reay
(p.s. Victor and Julien were baptized on Sunday and it was amazing! I am so blessed with such wonderful investigators!)

Monday, July 26, 2010

I can't believe July is almost over, where did it go?

Hello everyone!
I cant believe that this is the last time I will be writing to you in the month of July! It is sooooo crazy! Well of course we had a wonderful week, I just might cry all week next week to see my companion go, I don't have a clue what is going to happen, but we will deal with it, and no that it is what is supposed to happen! Kayla was baptized yesterday, she is such a cutie and I am so happy for her, she is already a part of the ward. She is going to girls camp with them and they had a stake dance Friday, and her and her brother went. Victor wasn't baptized yesterday because he didn't make it back from a basketball camp in time, but him and his brother David will hopefully be this weekend! We also have another baptism this weekend. JULIEN! I couldn't be happier, he is so ready! We introduced him to Susan and she shared so many things with him that he needed to hear, and he is convinced on so many things, and he now has a goal to marry in the temple. He is so great and I am so happy that Susan is helping us so much, she is always coming with us and helping our investigators so much, she will be such an amazing missionary!
We are working SO hard because it is our last week! Ulda and Domingo (they are the ones that we gave the Washer to) still haven't received their birth certificates, so they aren't married yet :( But Ulda left today to go back to her birth place and his, she is going to get them, and as soon as she has them we are taking them over to the government offices and they are getting married and if that can all happen this week, and we have faith that it will, she will be baptized this week too! (everyone pray for them!!) If all of that happens our goal will be met, of 7 baptisms this month! It has been such an amazing month!
A few funny and great things happened last night! We had a fireside that the bishop put on, "In search for happiness". It was great and there were a couple speakers and the President and his Wife came and spoke as well, they all talked about the Plan of Salvation. And how we can truly be happy in this life, and the gospel has everything to do with that! It was so spiritual and amazing, I even cried in the talk our Relief society pres gave! It was great, and we had quite a few investigators show up, and some investigators of surrounding wards also, because we invited the elders from the wards that are close by because we sang a special musical number. We sang the EFY Medley that they sang at my farewell, but a little different because we had to do it in Spanish and change a few parts! It was crazy because we only practiced it twice before! :( I didn't think that we did very good, and I guess neither did a lady in our ward, she comes up to me after "the Elders sang really beautifully, but you Sisters just don't know how to sing" and then she just starts laughing... they are so blunt here, haha oh well. There were 6 Elders and 3 Sisters and Hermana Fuentes was sick. But the spirit was really strong and it was good! Afterward one of our investigators came up to us and said "OK what do i have to do to start my journey?" he is great! I am excited for all the wonderful people that God is preparing for this area, the Dominican Republic is just flourishing and I couldn't be happier to be here and to be a part of it! the work is amazing!
We have also been contacting VERY inactive families, some of them just don't really want to talk to us anymore, but there have been a few to have the church back in their lives! By us talking with them, showing love, and sharing about the restoration, they realized why they became members in the first place, and I am so happy! We are trying our best to be so obedient and work with everyone we can, we see the blessings and feel the love! I hope I can keep it up my whole mission! Thanks for all your support! i love you all!
Hermana Reay

Monday, July 19, 2010

BUENAS!!!!!!

Buenas!
How are you all!? I can’t believe that it has been another week, it seems like yesterday I was just writing you! But I am glad to have the opportunity to again so soon! It has cooled down here for the last few days (knock on wood). But that also means that the rain is back, but I am totally ok with that because I would rather be rain-wet than sweat-wet! Anyway…we had a really great, really fast week! Our days seem like they are 1 hour long! But we have so much to do and we are doing a lot of walking! We were both sick this week, but we kept working despite that and we really received some blessings! We have 4 baptismal dates! And we couldn’t be happier; we are hoping to have at least 2 more! These people are just so ready to receive the Gospel! Kayla and Victor are a couple of kids we have been teaching this transfer, and they just love everything about the gospel, they are brother and sister. They love the Book of Mormon and mark in it all the time and they both told us yesterday that they have been praying for a date for their baptism and they both think that this month is good, so we set it for Sunday! They absolutely LOVE church and they always invite all of their friends! Every time that we go to their house to teach them there is someone new there! The best part was what happened yesterday, so they have a lot of people that live close to them, so we said, “We will just come pick you guys up before church,” and their dad told us, “no you just all meet here and I will drive you in my gwa-gwa (which is like a little van-taxi thing)” so we were like OK whatever, so we met at 8:30 and he takes us all out to the street and right there is a HUGE, yellow, school bus! Ha ha it was great! He uses that because more people fit into it than a van, so anyway we totally went to church in a school bus! It was a lot of fun! We had 11 investigators in church and now I think that if I ever get below double digits I will cry, because we have had that for the last 3 weeks! It is so exciting! I just love all the people that we are teaching right now, I don’t have enough time to tell you about all of them, we don’t even have enough time in a day to visit them all, but they are all just accepting everything that we are teaching! I will quickly tell you about one, his name is Julien, and he is from New York! We teach him in English, well because that is all he speaks, but he is great. He was sent here by his mom, because he was getting into bad things and she couldn’t deal with it anymore. So when we (well Hermana White and Hermana Antivilo contacted him) first met him he was 100% gangster, and he had earrings and chains, and necklaces, and a doo-rag, and big, baggy clothes… they gave him a “For the Strength of the Youth” pamphlet and he read it 6 times, took out his earrings and doesn’t wear anything on his head anymore and no more chains. His clothes are getting less and less baggy as well. He loves the teachings of the church and says that this is what he has been waiting for, and he already feels the blessings. He got a job the week after he started praying and reading the Book of Mormon and he said it’s the first one he’s had in his whole life, he knows that God is blessing him and he wants to be baptized! He came to church and loved it (even though he didn’t understand everything) and he also wants to serve a mission, although he said he doesn’t know if he’s allowed because he has a tattoo on his shoulder, he was SO worried about that! I just love it! He is so happy and I see a change every time we meet with him! Well I gotta be going, I love you all and love your support! Thanks for your example and all that you do!
Hermana Reay

Monday, July 12, 2010

July is HOT!!!




July is HOT!!!
The mission president’s wife said that July is the hottest month here, but I have also heard that August and September are worse...we'll see! I think that I can handle it! I am just enjoying myself amidst the heat though! We are working really hard and our work is paying off! We had 12 investigators in church yesterday! I hope the numbers just keep getting higher, its so amazing to see all of the people there that mean so much to you, you cant help but smile and be happy the whole day! We also had another baptism, Esleiter, he is 11 and he has been going to the church for 2 years on and off with his cousins. But neither of his parents are members, but he REALLY wanted to be baptized, so we taught him all the lessons in the last couple of weeks, and he was baptized on Sunday, it was sweet. He will be a good member, and hopefully a really good example to his other siblings and his parents.
A few awful things happened this week, that I am not going to go into, but I just want to say that really through trials you do become stronger, and sometimes I think that the lord is just testing you to see how you will handle it. All in all things are fine, one of our investigators broke a commandment that shouldn’t be broken and another one we had to leave. But we are making it through.
The Lord is blessing us, we are right now teaching a new family. The parents are great and I know that one day they will all be members, but for right now, their 2 children are the ones ready to be baptized! Kayla and Victor. They both came to church and they loved it, and they both have friends there that they didn't know were members. It really helps when they know someone in the ward. Well they have both been praying and reading the Book of Mormon, Kayla has even been marking A LOT of verses. We think that they will be baptized within the next couple weeks. They are really special and every time that we go there the spirit is really strong and really is teaching through us! I love that feeling!
We also have Ulda and Domingo....let me just tell you a tad about them, Domingo was so against the missionaries and the Church (he didn't understand why he had to be married if he didn't even attend the Mormon church and it made him angry!), but Ulda no...Until Hermana White and Antivilo taught him the first lesson, then he started to understand it. Then I came into the area and we have been teaching them ever since. This is Ulda's second time hearing all of the lessons, but she loves them more and more, and her testimony is really growing! Domingo can't read, and Ulda reads really slow (she reads A LOT better now then she did before she read the Book of Mormon) anyway, he cried when we shared the plan of salvation because they had a baby that died. And then he was just sold, he is accepting everything and he comes to church and he loves the bishop and everything. So we asked them to be married again, he didn't reject but told us that he would give us his answer after all the paper work is ready! (Ulda says that it’s an answer we'll like :)) anyway I just love them. Pretty much we are going to be having a wedding, with baptisms soon to follow! I love to meet people that you just have so much love for and you watch their lives change for the better right in front of your eyes and they are receiving all of these blessings from God because they are doing what he wants. They are so happy! And I can’t help but soak in their happiness and have it with me for the whole day! Remember Ulda did, all the laundry by hand on Saturdays so she could keep the Sabbath day holy! She is so cute, we brought the washing machine over to them this week and they were just so happy and crying! They live in the poorest of situations out off all the investigators that we have, but they are probably the happiest! I just love the humble. I learn so much from them! There are so many things to say, but I just don’t have the time, just know that I love it here in the Dominican Republic, I am dealing with the Heat and we are finding so many souls that are White and ready to Harvest! I love you all and am so thankful for your love and support!
Love, Hermana Reay
P.S. My miracle baptism, Susan, she is just ceasing to amaze me every day! She has been going out with us and she is just wonderful, she always shares great stories and she is taking our inactives and investigators under her wing and making sure they are happy in the church and going to the activities! She already signed up for 4 institute classes and...............she decided she is going to go on a mission!!!!!!! I couldn't be happier for her; she is definitely an Angel and a Sweet gift that I had the opportunity to teach! I love God's tender mercies!

Monday, July 5, 2010

ONLY ONE MORE YEAR!!! WOW, TIME FLIES!!!

Hola!
How was the 4th of July??? Did you all celebrate? I hope so, I missed it last year, and when you aren’t in the States its just not the same! I hope you all had a BBQ and some fire works! Can I just tell you that it is so amazing here? We are having so much success in our area that we don’t even have time to teach everyone! At church we had 11 investigators! Before that the highest number I had had was 6…almost double! And we are receiving so much help from the ward and especially our bishop because they can see the hard work that we are doing! He bore his testimony all about how grateful he is for the missionaries in the ward and that the members should all open their doors to us and do whatever they can to help us. It was really touching and special! And especially because we had a baptism too! I want to tell you about 2 investigators…The first is the one that was baptized on Sunday, Federico! He is just hilarious! We are so happy for him because the ward just welcomed him with open arms and the Bishop made him feel really special! He was and is so accepting of EVERYTHING about the church and the gospel. Did I tell you that he thinks that all the rain that we have been having is a sign from God that he needed to be baptized! We had such a good time teaching him and we always had a lot of good laughs because he has a great sense of humor. Something I will never forget…. He walks into church on Sunday and asks us, “where is the storehouse?” we were like, “huh?” “in the bible it says to bring all the tithes to the storehouse, I have my tithing so where is the storehouse? Is it here?” haha it was hilarious, so we just had to explain to him about how to pay tithing! He loves everything and I know that he will always be a strong, active member! His baptism was really special and the spirit was really strong! I also want to tell you about Ulda and her partner, Domingo. They are just amazing. I met them my first week in the mission field when I was with Hermana White. And there were rats and everything in their little shack of a house behind an abandoned building. Well back then we didn’t think that there was much potential with them but now there is! Ulda wants to be baptized so bad, but they need to be married first, and Domingo didn’t want to be (I think its because he cant pay for the marriage) so we started to teach him all of the lessons and he was crying in the Plan of Salvation and everything and he has come to church 2 times now and they are just so special! Seriously, Ulda is one of the biggest examples here, she never used to come to church because that was the day that she would do laundry, everything by hand for about 10 people. And it takes her all day… Well she changed and does it all on Saturday so that she can come to church on Sunday. She is so faithful and diligent. Well Hermana Antivilo wrote her boyfriend about Ulda and he was really touched by her obedience to keeping the Sabbath day holy…so he asked everyone in his office if they would chip in a bit of money, and they all did, now we have enough money to buy her a washing machine and we will probably have a little bit left over to help pay for their marriage! The Lord works in mysterious ways, but it was seriously an answer to her prayers because she was so, so sore when she came to church and she said her hands just hurt for days, she is just amazing and when we told her she just cried and said that God had answered her prayers. There are so many other things I could tell you but I just don’t have the time. Just know that we are teaching a lot of Golden families and that the Gospel really does bless families and I love this work, I am so grateful to be a park of this Marvelous work and wonder!
Love you all,
Hermana Reay

Friday, July 2, 2010

The weeks are just getting better and better!

Hello!
Can I just say that the weeks are just getting better and better! I absolutely love it here! A lot of it has to do with the fact that I have a new companion and a new area, not that the old ones were bad, but we are just having sooooo much success. There is so much work to be done! We are getting a lot of references and working with the members and contacting really great people! It’s like everyone is ready to listen to the gospel! We made a goal to have 7 baptisms in July and we can totally do it, we just have to have faith and exact obedience! We are having one this weekend, and I know there will be more to come! We are even going to try to prepare Juan Pablo to go on a mission! :) hehe Well I don’t know if I told you that I am back in my other area, and I am the senior companion to the President’s daughter! I love it! We are both growing together and she has great Spanish and I have already learned so much from her! We teach really well together and the spirit is really strong in the lessons! 4 other people have committed to baptism we just haven't picked the dates and it is only our first week together! I am going to be sad to see her go at the end of this transfer!
I want to tell you about Federico, he is the one that is getting baptized this week! He was a contact of Hermana White and my comp before and he came to church twice, but they never had the time to meet with him. Well we did, and we taught him the first lesson! It was amazing and he was just like, oh I already believe all of this! We convinced him that he still needed to pray about it and get that confirmation! Haha. He did, and then we taught him the 3rd lesson about the steps we need to take....while we started teaching, it started pouring rain (we were teaching him in the park) and we stayed there for a while under our umbrellas, but that just wasn’t cuttin it, so he's like ‘come in my car’....uh what? So we taught him in his car that was parked in front of the park! Haha and the window next to where I was sitting wouldn’t roll up all the way, so I was completely drenched on one side, but it was worth it! At the end of the lesson I asked him to be baptized! He was so willing that Hermana Antivilo just jumped on it and said "next Saturday?", and he accepted, I think that he would have been baptized that day if he could! Haha and then he looked out the window and said "I think that all this rain is a sign from God that I need to be baptized anyway, a little wet now, and fully wet later!" Haha I just love him, he has so much excitement for the church!
Another amazing thing was that Susan talked in church on Sunday! She is just my favorite! She talked about how two angels knocked on her door and that God really knows our needs and helps us when we need it, in many different ways! She is so special! I was sitting on the front row and she was just looking at me and we were smiling and crying, and it’s just so special, I wish you guys could all have that feeling, true happiness, and to know that you have helped someone else to have a better, happier life!
We also got an inactive family to come to church that the ward has been trying to get to come for three years! The Lord is truly blessing us!
I love you all!
Hermana Reay

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Dominican Republic Sunset

MUCHO BAPTISMS!!!! SENIOR COMPANION!!!!


Hello!
I don’t even know where to start! So much has happened that it is crazy! I hope I can tell you all that I want to! So I told you all about Susan last week and how I feel like I knew her before. I feel like we have been friends forever. Crazy thing....So I had just finished sending you guys that email when...guess who calls? Susan! She told us that she wanted to be baptized! So we were of course freaking out and I couldn't even really breathe and my heart was just pounding and I couldn't even type my letter to my Dad! (sorry dad) But I was SOOOO happy! That had us in such a good mood all week! So we went to her house on Wednesday and we were there for 5 hours! All through our lunch break just teaching her all of the lessons at once, she had a few questions and we answered them and she understood and accepted everything! She didn't have any problems with anything! She is so special, we all cried again. I have never born my testimony as much as when I am with her, teaching her has been really spiritual because it is in English! She is just amazing! Well, she was interviewed Thursday and of course she passed, and then we had the baptism on Sunday! Her mom couldn't have been happier, and the whole ward as well! They were like "how did you guys do it! ? We have been trying to get her for 8 years!" And her Mom spoke at the baptism and talked about how she has been praying for all the years that she has been a member, for the right missionaries to show up and teach Susan and get her to be baptized and it finally happened! I cried of course (there wasn’t a dry eye in the room, even the bishop was crying!) It was amazing, and I felt sort of embarrassed because we were getting so much attention for how amazing we are and everything, when really we didn't even do anything! Her and I just hit it off from the start and she received her answer! After we taught her on Sunday night (what I wrote about last week), she prayed and prayed all night and then she woke up in the morning and started to pray again and she fell asleep during her prayer :) and she had a dream and envisioned her whole baptism! It was amazing to hear her tell the story! She knew right then that that was her answer! She also said that she has been receiving little answers for a while! For example she is planning on moving to the states and she said that she kept thinking about how she needs to move close to a chapel and just little things like that. Then she would think, "why are you even thinking that, you're not even a member?". But God knew that she would be! This past transfer was SOOOO hard for me, so many things happened that had me asking why? a lot! But I tried my hardest to endure, and look at the blessings that we received! I will never ever forget her!
This transfer (today) has definitely ended with a BANG! We had Susan baptized, but also Miguelina! She is amazing, a real example to me! She gave up smoking, coffee, and drinking all in these 6 weeks, and she was baptized on Saturday, along with.....JUAN PABLO! and it was so special, in church on Sunday he bore his testimony in the class about how all the Hermana's helped him so much! I just think he is wonderful! Thank you all so much for all of your prayers for him, I know that they helped and he just decided to be baptized and I can already see the difference it has made in his life, and he has already given us 4 references! :)
Another reason that I now know why I was supposed to endure this hard transfer and do so much in my companionship is because guess what....guess who is the Senior companion...yeah, me! AHHHH I am so nervous! It is my 3rd transfer! My spanish isn't perfect yet, but it will be fine, because my new companion is the Presidents Daughter. So Hermana Antivilo and I will be back in the area that I started in and I know that we will work really well together and we will exercise our faith, and we are going to try our hardest to work with the members! I can’t believe that I already moved up! But now I just have to work my hardest because the Lord is putting a lot of trust and faith in me, the President too with his daughter! I love it here though and I am so happy that I get to stay in Gazcue again! I love you all! Thank you for all that you do! You mean the world to me, and to our Heavenly Father! Make Him proud always!
Hermana Reay
P.S.. I don’t know what the purple stuff is yet, I haven't received the results! I will tell you when I know!
(This is a picture of our baptism, President Antivilo and his wife, his daughter (my new comp) my 1st comp and my 2nd, me and Juan Pablos family, and Miguelina. It was a wonderful day.)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Purple Stuff?

Hello!
How is everything going? All is well here in the DR!! It is incredibly hot, but what's new? Anyway....this week was really great! We had a baptism! Karina was finally baptized and she has been an investigator for almost 1 year! She is so cute, and I know that she will be an amazing member (when I first came here, I thought she was a member)
Well really quick I have to tell you about our family home evening that we had last week with Jean Claude, and the other Haitians...It was really great and a we had it at a family in the wards home. At the end we provided the game, and I dont even know how to explain it but Jean Claude was laughing so hard that he fell backwards and his chair toppled over, he whacked his head on the wall but he didn´t even care because he was laughing so hard! haha I think that it was a success!
Also I think that I met one of the people that I was meant to come here for! We just connected right from the start! Her name is Susan and I just absolutely love her! We spent a lot of time with her yesterday, laughing and crying and talking about the plan of salvation. Her mom has been a member for 10 years, but she has never been interested! Then she met us three weeks ago and her and I just clicked! And she has come to church the last two weeks, and she hasn´t been for like 7 years! And she told me that now she is looking forward to going and she is planning her future and she finds herself planning it around the church! She is amazing and I know that she will soon be baptized, she just needs her for sure answer! I just absolutely love sharing with her, and I feel like we´ve known each other for years!
Well the biggest adventure of the week was pretty grand! Friday Hermana Antivilo made an appointment for me to go to the Hospital because I have, well had, this weird bump on my finger...and it was turning purple and whatnot. super gross. So we went and the doctor was just squeezing it and mumbling and then she was just like "well lets cut it off" and I wasnt really having that because I didnt even understand what she was thinking, so she had us leave, but then come back in. She takes me to this exam table and says she just wants to take a sample...ok....so she starts squeezing and picking at it with a needle and man did it hurt. She was starting to get so curious because the purple thing, whatever it is, wouldn't move. She she then deadened my finger and picks at it even harder with her needle! So then her needle bent, and wouldn´t work anymore, so she got this little spoon thing and starts spooning out my bump! but the purple thing still wouldn´t move, she said it was like hooked on something. ??? She kept mumbling too, "maybe its a virus....did you touch any plants....maybe she worked with metal" I have no idea but I was starting to feel it again, uh it hurt! So she finally got a little piece of the purple stuff off and it is to be tested now! So we will see what I have embedded in my finger??? Please pray for me that I dont have to have it amputated! Haha I love and miss you all!
I know that this work is the greatest work and I am so happy to be a part of it and growing and learning by the minute! I know that for the rest of my life, I will use the things that I am learning here, and love the people that I am meeting!
Love,
Hermana Reay

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Pioneer Children Walked and Walked!

BUENAS!!!
Oh my goodness it’s Pday again...so first off, I just have to say that this week (one day in particular), I understood why in the primary song "Pioneer Children Sang As They Walked" says walked and walked and walked and walked.....really we walked to every single part of our area in one day and all of our appointments fell through. So we just walked some more and more and more, (Did I mention that its like 150 degrees here plus humidity?) I had that song in my head! Haha but hey singing really does help. I am really growing to love the Hymns here, and I even have some memorized in Spanish, crazy huh? Anywho Mom how was your birthday? I hope you received a lot of calls from my announcement! Haha!
Well there were 4 highlights this week!
One; was that we had baptisms! They technically belong to the other Hermana's but both of them are people that I started teaching with Hermana White! So I was there and it was wonderful! They were so happy! Carlos is the Husband of Santa and she is an amazing new member, he gave up smoking and drinking and they are so cute! Their daughter is the one that I sent pictures of with the princess stuff! I just love them! And the other one is Justin, he is 9 and from Peru, his mom is also a very special new member, and they are wonderful! I was so happy for all of them, Santa was just crying! It was amazing, and practically the whole ward was there!
Two; We were teaching our Haitian investigators, Kenzy and Maggie, and I felt really strongly to asked them to be baptized, and guess what? They accepted! We are having family home evening with them tonight and they are just wonderful, really spiritual and sweet! (Now we have 4 people planned to be baptized this month!)
Three; Since the President’s daughter lives in our house, we get special privileges :) We got to go to their house for Sunday dinner and it was SO GOOD! They have a real kitchen and it was just paradise. They are the most loving, amazing family and they showed us their wedding pictures and made us Chuck Norris (Molten) cake! It was awesome! Haha!
OK… Four: Guess who I saw in church on Sunday? Bishop Burr! I didn't even know he would be there. All of a sudden, I look over and like 6 white people walk in and I was like they HAVE to be American, so I shook all their hands, and then turned around, and there he was! I was soooo happy! And he had two packages for me! It was amazing! Seeing people that you love really does lift your spirits!
This week I also decided to be a cook (I'm sick of just eating cereal and sandwiches and things that are fast...) So I cooked chicken and broccoli casserole and Broccoli cheese soup (yeah I had a lot of broccoli) Are you proud Mom? I was...haha, but it was really good, and the girls liked it! One last story that I have to tell you.....I was proposed to this week! This man was sitting in the back of a truck, oh he was probably about 40 by the way, and he stood up and just asked me to marry him like 3 times, it was really hilarious!
My message to all of you this week is to ENDURE!!! Most of you have already made it through the first four steps that we teach out here, having faith, repenting, being baptized, receiving the holy ghost....and ENDURING to the end. Sometimes times are REALLY tough, but have you ever known anyone with a perfect life? Not even in the fairytales were things perfect! But we can make it, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel and with the Lord on our sides and when we look to Him, we can never go wrong! I love you all so much!
Hermana Reay
P.S. .I can’t believe there are only 2 more weeks in the second transfer! Ahhhh!

Pioneer

BUENAS!!!
Oh my goodness it’s Pday again...so first off, I just have to say that this week (one day in particular), I understood why in the primary song "Pioneer Children Sang As They Walked" says walked and walked and walked and walked.....really we walked to every single part of our area in one day and all of our appointments fell through. So we just walked some more and more and more, (Did I mention that its like 150 degrees here plus humidity?) I had that song in my head! Haha but hey singing really does help. I am really growing to love the Hymns here, and I even have some memorized in Spanish, crazy huh? Anywho Mom how was your birthday? I hope you received a lot of calls from my announcement! Haha!
Well there were 4 highlights this week!
One; was that we had baptisms! They technically belong to the other Hermana's but both of them are people that I started teaching with Hermana White! So I was there and it was wonderful! They were so happy! Carlos is the Husband of Santa and she is an amazing new member, he gave up smoking and drinking and they are so cute! Their daughter is the one that I sent pictures of with the princess stuff! I just love them! And the other one is Justin, he is 9 and from Peru, his mom is also a very special new member, and they are wonderful! I was so happy for all of them, Santa was just crying! It was amazing, and practically the whole ward was there!
Two; We were teaching our Haitian investigators, Kenzy and Maggie, and I felt really strongly to asked them to be baptized, and guess what? They accepted! We are having family home evening with them tonight and they are just wonderful, really spiritual and sweet! (Now we have 4 people planned to be baptized this month!)
Three; Since the President’s daughter lives in our house, we get special privileges :) We got to go to their house for Sunday dinner and it was SO GOOD! They have a real kitchen and it was just paradise. They are the most loving, amazing family and they showed us their wedding pictures and made us Chuck Norris (Molten) cake! It was awesome! Haha!
OK… Four: Guess who I saw in church on Sunday? Bishop Burr! I didn't even know he would be there. All of a sudden, I look over and like 6 white people walk in and I was like they HAVE to be American, so I shook all their hands, and then turned around, and there he was! I was soooo happy! And he had two packages for me! It was amazing! Seeing people that you love really does lift your spirits!
This week I also decided to be a cook (I'm sick of just eating cereal and sandwiches and things that are fast...) So I cooked chicken and broccoli casserole and Broccoli cheese soup (yeah I had a lot of broccoli) Are you proud Mom? I was...haha, but it was really good, and the girls liked it! One last story that I have to tell you.....I was proposed to this week! This man was sitting in the back of a truck, oh he was probably about 40 by the way, and he stood up and just asked me to marry him like 3 times, it was really hilarious!
My message to all of you this week is to ENDURE!!! Most of you have already made it through the first four steps that we teach out here, having faith, repenting, being baptized, receiving the holy ghost....and ENDURING to the end. Sometimes times are REALLY tough, but have you ever known anyone with a perfect life? Not even in the fairytales were things perfect! But we can make it, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel and with the Lord on our sides and when we look to Him, we can never go wrong! I love you all so much!
Hermana Reay
P.S. .I can’t believe there are only 2 more weeks in the second transfer! Ahhhh!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Look who came to church today!


Our old Bishop a man I truly admire and love came to the DR and I got to spend some time with him at church. It was great! Now he can go home and tell everyone that I am not exaggerating when I say it is Hot and Humid! Thanks for the visit Bishop Burr, I will never forget it. Hermana Reay