Monday, April 26, 2010

Hola all!
How are you? So I don’t know what I really have to say about this week besides it BUGGED! Literally though.... Almost everything that happened there were bugs involved! So I have been eaten alive by mosquitoes, by companion said she thinks that I have about 40 bites, mostly on my legs, but surprisingly a lot on my hands too...It happens at night because we don’t have fans to keep them away, because our electricity plugs still don’t work, But I think that’s just how it is here, people just get around to fixing things if they want to or have the time, they just live with it. Its been hard for me to try and be patient with that, I always want to be so organized and fix things, and they just say "Dominicans don’t do things that way, so you just need to get used to it” So I’m trying. Can I just tell you that I am so grateful that we don’t have cockroaches in Utah! I LOVE UTAH! So the other day I was going to put my running shoes on and my poncho was on top of them, lifted it up and 2 cockroaches come running at me! Yeah I screamed and ran out onto the porch! They were living in my shoes!!! I never want to wear them, in fact I haven’t since! It is so gross they were HUGE!! Everyone just started making fun of me, and I’m sure it was funny for them, and it is now, but in the moment I was sooooo upset because there were just bugs everywhere and my whole body was itching from the mosquitoes...So I was angry and I was like whatever I am just gonna go pack my stuff and go home! (Jokingly to my companion) yeah well don’t worry that wont happen because I opened up my luggage, oh and guess what is living in there??? Cockroaches! Am I going to survive here? I just want to cry! I don’t think I can get used to them! Whatever, I got over that, life went on, until this morning.... we were cleaning and I was taking my sheets off my bed, and I flipped off the corner of the fitted sheet and a HUGE cockroach flies out and lands in my hand! I think I’ve had it! (I really am not coming home.... :) promise!) I have really bad luck with bugs I guess! Whatever!
Anyways, I promise I’m not really that depressed; I just REALLY dislike bugs (funny story real quick this morning after my bug incident my companion and I had our study and we practiced teaching the plan of salvation, she tied loving all of God’s creatures, including cockroaches, into every principle...haha its was pretty funny!)
So besides having my mind preoccupied with my new neice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This week, we had some good experiences! We decided to put our all into working with the members, It has worked out really well, we taught 3 times as many lessons with a member present than without, and here in the city that is really hard because everyone works! We were proud of ourselves. But the Lord really blessed us because they are trusting us more and we are receiving really good references! Its great! The people here are so strong, when they are active members; the church is their whole life! I think most of them work for the church and they have activities almost every night! I love it! Oh and remember Jose and Mercedes? Well they came to church and everything but don’t want us to teach them anymore, but one of the greatest things happened, we were walking and Jose stopped us when we passed and he told us that even though he is not going to continue investigating the church, that we changed his life for the better, and that he learned some things that he knows are right and he is going to live his life in a better way, and he said we are such good examples to him, and he loves how our church is so centered on families. He also asked us if we could get him a hymnbook because he LOVES the words. We aren’t able to do anything much for him now, but we planted a seed, and if it sprouts one day, it will make some sweet fruit!
One funny story really quick, just to let you in a little bit on how the people are we went to a new members house and her daughter was talking to us, she kept staring at me, and then finally she looks and me and says "me gusta el color de su pelo, pero que fea la corta." (I like your hair color but the cut is really ugly) haha it was up in a ponytail of course and she like touches it and asked me where I got it done! hahaha she was so serious and so I just had to be like, uhhh thanks??? haha but you just have to love the people, they tell you how it is!
Well I have to go, but I love you all so much!
Hermana Reay
Write me!!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hello hello!
OH MY GOODNESS!!! Tomorrow I am going to have a niece! Guaranteed she will be the cutest one in the world! I wish that I could be there! (I keep telling myself that she really isn’t coming until next week, because I know I will just be thinking about it all day tomorrow!) So this week was a little bit weird! We got really down and depressed because our baptisms fell through and none of our appointments were working out. We would call and no answer... we would stop by...and they were busy or they wouldn’t be there, it gets really discouraging. And it made our attitude not the greatest... So one day we got home a little early because we were just so depressed. That night in my prayers, I just decided to exercise some faith...I prayed really specifically and asked God for things that I knew would happen, specific types of investigators that we would find and things like that! The next morning, I found out that Hermana White had done the exact same! So we both were in a good mood and just knew that the day would be great! We headed out to knock on doors, FOR MY FIRST TIME! And Hermana White says she hasn’t done that for 3 transfers or more because we are always so busy here. Well we found a lot of really good contacts! And we received some miracles for sure! We set up about 5 appointments with contacts. And our one appointment that we had, members agreed to come with us, which is always amazing! So while we were waiting for the members, it starts pouring rain.... we had to find shelter right? So we go to this corner store that was a little ways away, and in walks Winston. He is a member, but hasn’t been to church for about 30 years, and we have been tying to get a hold of him all week! We would call; we knocked on all the doors around where we thought his house was, and nothing. No one knew who he was! Well we found him! We had the number wrong and the apartment number wrong! But he is going to be such an asset! I am sure you will be hearing about him. He is a friend with a lot of other investigators and the reason none of them want to join is because of the succor games they play on Sundays! So we are thinking of starting up some kind of succor game at the church, I’ll let you know how it goes! I’m excited! Well anyway, then on our way home, we found our golden investigators that we both prayed for!!!! A husband and wife, Jose and Mercedes! They are the cutest, and they came to church! God answered all of our prayers and I know that just from the 3 miracles that we received in one day that many other things will come of them! I can’t wait!
On another quick note, we went to the salon last week! And we are going again right after this! It is like 2 dollars and they wash your hair and do it for you! I LOVE IT!! I think that I am going to go every week! Because did I tell you? I have to wash my hair in the Kitchen sink...its pretty horrible, but oh well! haha also I swept up 2 cockroaches this week! YAY such an accomplishment for me! I usually don’t get anywhere near them, and everyone makes fun of me because I always scream! I don’t think that I will ever get used to them! (We might move apartments soon though, hopefully the new one will have less!!! oh thanks mom for the bag clips, now I wont have bugs in my food, because we have serious ant problems too!) Oh also I attempted to make cookies this week! So I was so excited, I got all the ingredients, bought a cookie sheet, and got home and made the dough (which was so weird, the climate really makes a difference!) And put them on the sheet, well guess what, it was too small for the oven!! haha this place, gotta love it! so we ended up making pie cookies, in a pie tin! haha they were still good though, now the Dominican hermanas think that I’m like a chef or something! haha I love it here, I love the miracles of faith, I love having the spirit with me always, and having such great support back home!
Love you all!
Hermana Reay

Monday, April 12, 2010

I hope you like my picture of my washing machine! It is definitely an experience!
Can anyone say humidity?
I CAN!!!
It is so hot here, and it has been raining, which brings on more humidity, but it does hide the sun so it hasn’t been too bad! How is everyone? I hope well! We are just working away here in Gascue...and I love it! We don’t really have time for ourselves at all, but I think that that’s the way it is supposed to be! Yesterday we had church and it was normal....(because of conference...) and it was fast Sunday! I bore my testimony and I felt so lame because I don’t know if it even really made sense, but I think that it was fine because the spirit was guiding me! But everyone here speaks so fast; I didn’t understand any of theirs! But it will come; I talk more and more every day! One of our investigators, Juan Pablo, is getting baptized on Saturday and I am sooo happy for him! He is great! The other investigator Magdalena isn’t though :( her husband said that he would leave her if she joined the church, she wants to anyway because she said that she doesn’t care, but we don’t want her to make the step yet if they really aren’t ready! So please keep her in your prayers! Her family is my favorite! Her son is having a really hard time progressing though because he doesn’t believe the Jesus is the Christ...well if you cant believe that, then really nothing else works, so we have been doing serious studies and focusing a lot on him to try and help him! He is one of the smartest people I have met; he just wants logic and wont go with answers from the spirit! So pray for him too! Our other investigators! Amelia’s family! They are wonderful, I really feel like they are going to get baptized, they will always be special for me because we found them together my first day!
Dad oh my gosh, I got your dearelder the other day about the killing of our little mouse friend! HAHAHA I have never laughed so hard! We were on our way back from a Zone conference in a Gwa Gwa (van/bus thing....CRAZY!) and I was reading it and it was hilarious! You need to like write a book or something! I didn’t know you had such a way with words! I felt like I was there! haha thanks for that! I’m glad you finally got him! And send me pictures of the basement I would love to see it!!! Ok one more know my Russian ring? I always wore it on my thumb because at home I wore another ring on my middle finger and it was too big for all of my other fingers...anyway, I just got used to having it on my thumb, so I kept it there and I have a tan line from it and everything....well we were talking to this lady the other day, and she was giving US a big lesson about the importance of a man being with a woman! We were just like ok....then the next day we taught this other guy and he kept looking at us funny, and then he finally asked me about my thumb ring, I took it off and started explaining about it and where I got it and stuff, and then he was just like, why is it there? And apparently if you wear a ring there it means you are a lesbian (sorry if I am offending anyone!) so apparently people have been thinking that about my companion and I this week! I immediately took it off and have it on my middle finger, but I feel bad, I hope no one thinks that about missionary companionships! ooops! haha
Oh jk one more story! The other day we met with Wendy...she has been an investigator for a while and she is kinda flaky but she loves institute and comes to church. Well this was the first time that I had met her...I wasn’t really talking much, but I just got this really strong impression in my mind and it was the baptismal commitment sentence over and over and so finally I just stopped them in the middle of their conversation and said "sorry I don’t really know you and you don’t know me but the spirit is just telling me that I need to ask you to be baptized..." and I explained that my heart was pounding and I just couldn’t deny it, and I knew that she knew this was the next step that she needed to take! Awkward! She just stared at me for a minute and then said that she felt the same pounding in her heart! AHHHHHHHH so she is having a baptismal interview this week! We don’t have a date set yet, but we will! The mission is soooo amazing! I love it here! Things have been hard, the living conditions and the Spanish, but I think that that just all takes some getting used to and when you remember your real purpose, those things don’t matter. And if it is really hard, take it to God and He will always help you to become stronger! That is something that I love about Him! I love this work, I am so thankful for all the things that I have because of my membership in this church! I love you all so much!
Hermana Reay

Ether 12:27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble: and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

Monday, April 5, 2010

What in the world....I didn´t even know anything about Weston! Send my love to him, I will keep him in my prayers and I hope that all is well! :( I need his email! Real quick before I forget to tell you, Gabriella didn’t show up to our appointment :( I was super sad especially because I was by myself with my teacher! (And she’s pregnant; I’m probably the only missionary in the world that can say she’s had a pregnant companion!) But I guess its ok, I need to get used to people not showing! I hope that she can find some other missionaries soon! So I am in the Dominican Republic, like the actual part with the people! I can’t even believe that it finally happened! I am so happy! I have a companion! Can you believe it? And...She’s from UTAH!!! YAY! Her name is Hermana White and she is from Tooele! She is the greatest, she goes home in June and I am her first American companion that she’s had, and she is sooooo ecstatic, because I guess there are just so many things that the Dominicans don’t understand about our weird Utah ways, and we are going to cook food instead of just beans and rice every day! So that will be good! Its so much fun! We live 2 blocks away from the Ocean, and in the morning we go jogging at a little park there. The ocean is gorgeous, and if we go early enough we see the sun rise! It’s my favorite time of day because as soon as the sun is up, and you feel the humidity mixed with the heat, its pretty much torture...IT IS SOOO HOT HERE! Our apartment is pretty nice, we live with 2 other Dominican Hermanas, and they are loud and LOVE to cook, and the kitchen is about the size of a bathroom so its tiny. But its fun getting into the culture, part of the house is outside, and we have a balcony and stuff, I will have to take some pictures and send them to you next week! Especially of our washer! It is soooo weird, you have to put your own water in and then drain it and take out the clothes and put them into a spinner? I don’t know. I have yet to attempt that! Also can I just tell you how much I hate cockroaches? I got up to go to the bathroom the other night and I turned the light on and then about 10 of them, HUGE ones, scattered! EWWW. They have all kinds of weird things here! We were once teaching this lady outside of her house, which is pretty much a shack behind another house and there is garbage everywhere and bushes and trees. Well I couldn’t really pay attention because I kept hearing something in the bushes, yeah a huge Rat came out later! Its crazy here! But I love it! We got to the Mission office on Monday and met the Pres. and then our companions, and guess what happened next? Scott Kitchen called! haha he is so funny, he has called me a few times, just to make sure that I am doing ok, Hopefully I will get to see him before he goes home because he is in an area that is pretty far from here I guess, but he was hilarious he said, "Oh my gosh Edna! I can’t ever call you Hermana Reay, you will always be Edna!" He just cracks me up. Oh I didn’t even tell you about where I am... They kept me in the city; our church is the same place as the mission office. So I am really close to the temple and the tourist attractions, and everything. Its safer and busier, we get a lot of contacts and its gorgeous. Our area is called Gascue (pronounced like gaskway) and there are only Hermana´s here. We live in the Colonial Zone which is the oldest part of the country so all of the buildings are old and there are a lot of ruins and things. Its cool! Oh everyone that we meet is super nice! Everyone wants to hear about the gospel, they are totally open; I am so lucky to be in a mission like this! Everyone thinks that I am Latino...they don’t believe me when I say I’m not, and if they don’t think that then they think that I am Chinese! What is that? Do I really look Chinese? haha its funny what people call us on the street! We’ve had some crazy experiences because we are both American, some inappropriate people, but we just ignore them! One of the weirdest experiences, we contacted this lady and then ended up teaching her the first lesson, and then asked if we could end with a prayer, so she said sure come inside. So we went inside her house and sat down, but her and her friend didn’t. then we asked whom she would like to say it and she said oh my friend will. Then they both started chanting! SO LOUD and breathing really loud between sentences and she put her hands on our heads and started shaking them and oh my gosh soooo weird! She was asking the demons to leave and the Holy Ghost to come, I don´t know sooo weird, and it lasted for 5 minutes! My neck hurt! haha my companion said that’s never happened to her before! well I don´t have that much more time but I will just tell you about a couple families. One of them the mom committed to baptism on the 17th and now we are just working with her kids, they are really hard; one of them doesn’t believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?? But they came to Conference!!!! And he really liked it and we have an appointment with him tonight! They would be such an asset to the church because they are amazing! I don’t know what is going on a lot of the time, but then something will just come out of my mouth when I need to get a point across, and we have really connected! He is progressing so much! I love being able to help these people. Another, the Rodriguez family, they were a reference and we went and taught them 2 times and they came to conference too! They liked it as well.... I think I will always remember them because they are the first people that I actually taught a lot of the first lesson and shared the story of Joseph Smith! My Spanish is already improving and I love it here! Conference was WONDERFUL!! I can’t wait to get the Ensign of it! I can’t pick a favorite talk, but what is cool is that 2 people spoke that I recently met, Elder Anderson and ViƱas they are both presidents of this area and they spoke to us in the CCM! So that was cool and did you see the program on the Dominican Republic between sessions on Sunday? Yeah well that was my home where I lived for 6 weeks, the temple is so pretty! Well I love you all so much, and think of you often! Read D&C 58:3-6 those really helped me out this week when I wasn’t feeling a little frustrated. I love the scriptures, there is always some comfort and direction in them. Have a great week. Adios