Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hello all!
Greeting from the CCM in Santo Domingo! I love it here! It is so nice, and I love the weather. I don't know if I will in August, but right now its so refreshing! This place is starting to grow on me, I like the Elders and guess what? The Lord sent me a blessing...Hermana Vasquez! She came 2 days ago. She lives here in Santo Domingo and was coming in 2 weeks with the group of Latino's. Well they called her up and she said that she would come early so I could have a companion, she dropped everything and came that very same day! I almost cried when I found out! I switched rooms and she was there that afternoon! It was awesome! It makes me love the people here so much more; they are just amazing and willing to help out with anything. Her dad isn't a member and her mom is inactive, she's only been a member for 2 years in March. So she's amazing, her parents aren't supporting her, so we went shopping to get her some clothes and things, it was fun! I didn't realize how fast the Spanish is here until I got out into the store! I couldn't understand anyone! It will come though. Now my comp only speaks Spanish and my teachers only speak Spanish so it will probably be sooner than later! We got the go to the University on Tuesday; it’s really close to here, so we just walked. Our teacher gave each of us a Book Of Mormon, and about 10 pamphlets. We had to try to talk to everyone and pass them all out! It was insane, and I LOVED it! We met a bible basher....I didn't really know what he was saying though?!? It was crazy how much love I felt for him as I was listening to him, I just wanted him to know the real truth...oh well, we also met this man that wants to talk to us next week when we go again, and a girl that we gave a Book Of Mormon to, was crying when we were talking to her. Its such a neat experience to be here and doing the Lords work, I am so excited to meet the Dominican people that will be placed in my path! I love you all!
And Aubrey I am SOOOO happy for you! I expect a full report and some pictures soon! ;)
Te amo,
Hermana Reay

Sunday, February 21, 2010

This is the 1st letter I received from our little hermana in the DR,

They are giving us 10 minutes to write and tell you that we are here and we made it safely! This place is BEAUTIFUL!!! I can't believe how great it is...I definitely found my new favorite Temple as well! It’s crazy because there are 13 other missionaries ALL ELDERS! I am the only girl here learning Spanish! Yesterday 11 Haitians came, 3 of them are girls, so they are my roommates, but they all speak this is definitely going to be interesting! I think I'm excited???!!!??? We are on the same grounds as the temple and we can see the beach from here, there are Palm trees everywhere and boginvillas (sp?) It is really pretty! I'm excited to make this my new home! I miss my district in the MTC; I hope I will grow to love my new district family as well as my old district! This is going to be an adventure! I love you all, keep the letters coming because I think I'll need the comfort when I have NO ONE to talk to besides 19 year old boys! :) Love you!
Hermana Reay

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tomorrow I will have been here 3 weeks! Its crazy how time flies! How is everyone? Well all is well here at the MTC, I leave in 2 days!!! It is sooo bittersweet because I really LOVE my district! They are the best, they all bring so much to our class. I have learned so much from them! And I'm really gonna miss my teachers! I have no idea what to expect from the CCM in the DR. I know that everything is in the same building and they only have one floor...and there are 50 missionaries tops! So it should be a good experience!
The spanish is starting to come, I understand pretty much everything, but its just harder to form your own sentences. Plus its great being in this fast track program, we know more than most missionaries that have been here 5 or 6 weeks! :) Super Bien! haha Its fun, but i just need to practice, practice, practice! Plus our teachers are really helping us to learn by the spirit, so we are really getting blessed!
Funny the other day we were coming out of the Cafeteria building and this companionship was walking out of the girls restroom, well one of them was SO happy, and she was holding a paper toilet seat cover... ??????? I know right, weird! So I was like why do you have that? and she said she gets one everytime she goes in the bathroom because its the only bathroom in the MTC that has them. (so i figured she was like a germophobe and is going somewhere foreign or something) So then I asked her where she was going, and she said "Mesa, Arizona" hahaha why in the world is she collecting paper toilet seat covers? Who knows? Some people here are very interesting, but maybe she'll touch someone's life because of her interesting collection....
One of the Elders in my district (I know I'm not supposed to have favorites, but he's mine...oops!) his name is Elder James (or Santiago because that's James in Spanish! hehe) and he's from Salem, anyway he is so great! He plays the Piano soooo good! He can read music, but not extremely well, he just mostly hears something and can play it, but in his own rendition! Its amazing! He plays the piano for all of us all the time, and he just sits there are makes up songs! For real, I don't know how he does it! But we'll just bring our study materials with us into the Piano rooms and he'll play! Its really fun!
We had a really good devotional on Sunday night! A Brother Heaton, spoke and we learned all about Losing ourselves and really putting ALL our focus into our investigators! Everything that we do should be focused on them...It was really good, and he is like a big wig in the mission department of the church. He goes to a new mission every other week just to see how they are doing! It was good! I'm excited to see who will come tonight! I hope it's a General Authority, that would be a good going away present right? :)
Well I'm really gonna miss it here...I love my companions and my district and being able to see the mountains every day. Its even kinda nice knowing that my family is only 15 minutes away! I miss you all so much... Absence definitely makes the heart grow fonder... :) But I'm off to smaller and hotter places! A place where I wont understand a word probably, but I have faith that it will come! I love the spirit that is always here with me, its a constant companion! I love this gospel sooo much, I'm realizing more and more how many great scriptures I have been missing out on! I love the bible! (I said it mom!...) There are some great verses in there that just make you want to scream it from the roof tops! I know that this is where I'm supposed to be and that if I ever get discouraged or sad, there are 2,000+ people around me that would be willing to help out in a heartbeat! The MTC is a wonderful place! You're gonna love it Wes! I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior and all of you! Thanks for the prayers, love, and support that you show me! Don't forget about me because I'm still gonna need it for the next little while! Till next time...adios!
Hermana Reay

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hola!!! Como le va?
Oh my goodness I can't believe that I am going on week three! It is so true that the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days in the MTC! It has been crazy! So much has happened! So last week at our at our fireside we had Elder Hinckley... He is President Hinckley's son! It was so amazing because he looks like him, talks like him, and tells amazing stories like him! It was so fun to listen to him. There is soooo much that goes on here, so much that they put into the MTC to help us learn and grow and have a good experience. Kent Garfield finally got his Visa and left yesterday. I'm so happy for him because being here for that long would be crazy! I see people I know all the time! I see Elder Whiting, and a couple other people that know me and I don’t know them (oops) and whenever I tell anyone that I'm really from Springville they ask me if I know someone. There are connections with almost everyone! Its great! Oh and today I saw Doug drive by, I waved but I don't think he saw me! Speaking of the Jackson's did Nathan leave yet? I wish I knew, he hasn't written me the little stinker! So my Spanish is coming! I can now tell the story of Joseph Smith, recite the first vision, share my testimony, pray, and have basic conversation. We learn SO much every day; I think that we learn in one day, what you would learn in 6 months of a regular Spanish class! But it’s so good because the Lord is definitely blessing us! Plus we are so cool because we are in a trial thing right now...They are going to come out with new Spanish books to help the missionaries learn better and we are the first ones to get them. Last week we were filmed being taught and everything, it’s a really big deal. And they are amazing! We learn so much faster because the book helps everything make soooo much sense. We were talking to some Elders that have been here for 5 weeks and we speak better than them. Sad day... but good for us! Especially because I will probably get a native companion in the DR because I am the only sister here going to the DR.... So I'm trying to learn all that I can!
I LOVE my district! We have so much fun together; we laugh probably half the day! One of the Elders is from Salem and he is Hilarious! He is so talented to... one of them is from Mesa and he reminds me of Dylan because he can quote almost any movie off the top of his head and impersonate the character perfectly (not that we are supposed to be doing that, but hey they are mostly Disney movies and characters!) Anyway, there is never a dull moment in the MTC.
I love it here and I love you all!
Keep the letters and packages coming, it’s a sad day when everyone else gets something and you don’t! I love you and keep you in my prayers!
Con Amor,
Hermana Reay

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

How in the world are you? And everyone else?
I am sooooooooo good! I love the MTC and everything about it! Sorry that it took me so long to send you a letter, I seriously didn't have the time, when they say lights out at 10:30, they mean it. It is pitch dark and you cant do anything! The first day was crazy! We had something going on every minute and I seriously barely had time to put my pajamas on before the lights were out! My companions are so sweet! We have a lot of fun together, one is from Louisianan and the other is from Georgia! hehe They are both going to Sin City (Las Vegas) Spanish speaking! As far as I know, I am the only sister in the whole Provo MTC that is going to the Dominican Republic.... So I am sorta nervous to go the the CCM (MTC) there because I will probably have a Native companion (if any) there, and let me tell you, it is soooo hard to speak spanish! But I am sure that the Lord will help me and I will be able to do it faster than I can even imagine! SO wes, be glad that you are going English speaking because this is sooooo overwhelming! PS there is an elder in my district from Texas and I think of you every time he talks :) haha you better come home with an accent! I love it! So we have been going going going non stop since Wednesday, it honestly feels like a month has already passed! And I leave in 2 weeks! CRAZY! So we wake up early in the morning for a 6am exercise class, its really fun and gets you going for the day, today we had Yoga. :) Surprisingly, waking up for me hasn't been hard at all... I'm always ready to get up when 5:45 rolls around! My companions on the other hand... Well we have 3 AMAZING teachers! The more and more they teach us the happier I am that I decided to serve a mission, I know that it is going to change my life in almost every respect and I am gonna be SO happy! They are awesome, they have so much spirit! I wanna cry whenever they are talking about their missions, I hope that I can be like them! I already told you, but let me just say again... President Uchdorf welcomed us to the MTC!!!! It was soooo awesome! Every time another missionary or teacher hears about it they're like, "that never happens" "are you serious" "I'm soooo jealous" So yeah, we are the coolest! :) We have had a lot of really good talks given to us and a really good fireside on Sunday that was all about feeling the spirit through Music. I loved it! Missionaries would line up at the microphone and tell their favorite Hymn and why, and then we would sing one verse of it! There were some really good stories and the Elders have so much power when they sing! They seriously leave their "I'm too cool" attitudes at home and they give their mission their all! And I love that! This one guy was singing so loud and strong, he was opening his mouth HUGE I seriously thought that it was going to rip open at the ends! WOW! But the power from singing really is soooo strong! My whole district decided that we would be in the Choir together! So we will be singing on Tuesday (I mean today), dont know who's coming but I'm really excited and when you are in the Choir you are guaranteed good seats! So that is muy bien! I don't really know what else to tell you about! Except you ALL I mean ALL should definitely write me through because then I don't have to waste my 30 minutes on the computer to read your emails and I can write you more, and I get it the day you write it and its free, how great is that? The first one I got was from My Dear dear Aubrey! (Whitaker :) ) gotta love that girl! It really makes a missionary's day when they get a letter or a package (hint hint- ps mom I you should buy one of those tin pans and cook brownies and then send them over here so I can share with my district! that would be SUPER nice of you :) hehe) Well How is everyone? Sean is home? And everyone existing? hehe I will try to write you letters today as well! Although sorry to say but I'm not going to tell you exactly what my schedule is, I had a feeling I would be this way, but now that I am here, I really want to follow the rules the best that I can, so...that being said, 18 months isn't very long and we will see each other before we know it! I am so happy to finally have a P day! (you think it would be like a relaxing fun day, but actually no, there is SO much that needs to be done and you still have to study and stuff) I needed to do Landry and I get to write you! I am going to write Thank you cards finally and all that fun stuff, plus catch up in my journal! There is barely time to write its ridiculous! Well I love Utah and I know that I am going to miss it! Every day we walk out of our building and the beautiful mountains are there with the snow on them and I just love it here! I think that I'm going to miss the cold, weird eh? But I am SO excited to be going to serve on my Island Paradise! It is going to be beautiful! And the one thing that they stress the most now in the MTC is learning to love the people that you will serve and meet their needs by teaching what they need to know through the spirit! I LOVE it, and I really already love the Dominican people, I know that they need me and I need them! I already believed the church IS true before I came to the MTC, but my faith and testimony grows by the minute! Everything just makes sense to me, and I learning a language in one week (more than I ever learned in 2 years of Spanish class) can only happen if the Lord has a hand in it! And my feelings and the overwhelming power of the spirit is ALWAYS SIEMPRE present! I love the feeling and I love you! I love this gospel and I am so happy that I live in this dispensation and can be part of this great work!
Hasta Luego!
Dios ama a Usted!

Hermana Reay
p.s. I can only write immediate family! But I love you friends!