Monday, June 20, 2011

Thanks for sharing this wonderful experience with me.

Sorry this week I am not going to be writing much, and I don’t really know if I will be able to again until I am HOME!!!
I can’t believe it, but don’t worry I am taking in and enjoying every moment! My family will be here tomorrow which just blows me away! We are going to have a fun time, and I am going to be ending my mission with a baptism! (Two hopefully!) This week just went by so fast I don’t even know what to tell you all, but I know that I have realized how much I love the mission! I am so grateful for the time that I have been able to spend here and the people that I have been able to meet, really I have changed, for the better. My knowledge and love for the gospel has grown immensely and especially my love for my family, Heavenly and Earthly! I am so grateful for the Plan of Salvation and that I will be with all of my family forever if I strive to do my part here. I know that true happiness is only found in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, and that He will give us the peace that we need when we need it, if we ask Him. I love you all so much, and will be seeing you SOON!
Thanks for sharing this wonderful experience with me. See you on at my Homecoming on July 10th, 2011. Same church as before at 1:00 pm. Con Amor,
Hermana Reay

Monday, June 13, 2011

I am having so much fun!

Wow, I can't believe that another week has passed! Time is just flying by! People say that your last transfer is the longest, that is such a lie, because I don't know where the time is going. It's probably because I am having so much fun! In 2 weeks I will see my family! Yay! This past week we had a conference with the President,(Because he is leaving the mission at the end of the month too) and it was so weird because they were telling us bye and just giving us advice for the rest of our lives, and it hit me that this is really the end! That was the last time that I will see some of those missionaries and the last time that we will all be together listening to our President! But it was great, I learned a lot of good things, and I really am feeling bittersweet about finishing! There is still so much work to do here, but I know that I will be leaving the area in good hands with Hermana Kamisese! Weston wrote me, and he always makes me feel like I am the best person in the world (even though I am sure that he is a better missionary than I am) and he told me to always remember my purpose until the end so I don't look back with regrets, and that is what I am going to do. We have another baptismal date, I am just hoping that it happens so that I can end my mission with a baptism! I am so happy for this work and really it is the MOST REWARDING thing that you can do, serving a mission. We are helping others to know the truth, but really I am the one recieving the blessings. I know that this is the true church and that we have a loving Heavenly Father who is always thinking of us and helping us to face our trials! With the Gospel, anything is possible! Love you all so much, see ya soon!
Con amor,
Hermana Reay

Monday, June 6, 2011

one month from today!

I cant believe that in one month from today I will step off of an airplane and breath in fresh mountain air in UTAH!!! yay!!
Well it has been a good week. We have worked really hard and gotten REALLY wet! But it's ok because everyone keeps telling us that as many times as we wet our plaques the more handsome our husbands will be! We had a surprise visit with some Jehovas Witnesses that just want to contend with us, we had a inactive family come to church on Sunday, and we also had a baptism.
Oliver was baptized and he was so excited about it. We passed by his house earlier in the day and he was sad, we asked him why and he told us it was because he wanted to be baptized already and that it was way to long for him to have to wait. When we finally got to the church there was no electricity,so we couldnt fill the font because the water couldn't be pumped into it. So it was an ordeal and we almost had to changed the baptism to the next weekent. But after a lot of trials the baptism went through. He even shared his testimony and it was great. God knew that one of His children was going to enter into His fold and so He made it happen. We also recieved a reference yesterday of a man that wants to be baptized so we made the date with him first thing and we are now just going to prepare him and teach him.
There are so many blessings that we are receiving. I bore my testimony yesterday in my last fast and testimony meeting in this ward and it was so weird. I got really sad because I can't believe that this is all coming to a close. But all things have their ending and I am just going to make the best of the time that I have.
I think that I have the worst luck with houses as well,because the rain is now leaking through the ceiling and everywhere, in my new appartment, so I am wet when I wake up and it isn't a dream, but hey what can you do? They dont really make the best houses here, it's really kinda funny!
I love you all and cant wait to see you soon. Keep the faith!
Con amor,
Hermana Reay

Monday, May 30, 2011


First off I have to make a special shout out to my young mother who is turning 30 this week! Can you all believe it! jk. Happy Birthday Mom, sorry that I have now missed 3 birthdays in a row! Still love you!
I started my last transfer this week and It has been a great week, I can't believe how fast the time has gone. It's crazy! We are having a short transfer because my group is going home with our president, and the new one then comes in. 4 weeks left! It really just blows my mind.
I am so grateful that I get to be serving with my new companion Hermana Kamisese, we really are having a good time and working really hard. We have already found a lot of new people this week, and we are setting apart time every day to just contact and find new people. I know that the area has a lot of potential, we just have to find it. And she has the excitement so it helps me to have it as well.
Yesterday, 'Dominican Mother's Day', was wonderful. I thought a lot about the wonderful women in my life! My Mom, and my grandmothers, even my aunts! You are all amazing! I really enjoyed church. They just had a lot of people go up and share their testimonies about their mothers and wives. It was special. And a few of them were emotional, the spirit was really strong. They even sang a song by Janice Kapp Perry about mothers and daughters, and it was really pretty.
Hermana Kamisese is loving the ward and the people. so we are having a good time. I am happy because I really wanted to enjoy every minute of my last transfer and so far I am, I know that it will be great. We have made our new goal; to just serve the ward. We really have seen that it pays off. So we have done whatever we can. We just offered to do one thing with the Relief Society President, and then she just invited us to her house, and told us that she wants to show us around to get to know the members, and everything. Really I know that this ward can be amazing we just need to help show them their potential. I really miss you all and I am so happy that I will be seeing you soon! Love you
Con amor,
Hermana Reay

Monday, May 23, 2011

"Sunday Mormons"

Can you all believe that in 35 days I will see my family?=??????!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t! I am really excited because oh how I have missed them. Dylan continues to crack me up from across the waters and I always can find the love that I need in their comforting words. Family really is so important.
This week we have shared a lot from Moses 6 where it talks about how we need to teach the Doctrine to our children, about faith, repentance, baptism, the importance of the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. I am so grateful that I was taught these things as a child and that the Gospel has always been a part of my life.
I was talking with my companion about how that is one of the biggest things that they struggle with here in the DR. The people are "Sunday Mormons" you could say. They have all converted, but have only given up their old ways on Sunday. Yesterday was really sad because it was raining all morning and less than half of the ward showed up for church. The Stake Presidency was sharing in our ward and the President expressed his sadness to know that only because there was a little rain, the people weren’t willing to put Christ first. I am so grateful for the example of my parents and that no matter what, we went to church. I always remember that Dad would wake up in the winter especially early to snow blow the path so people could walk to church, and the start the neighbors driveways. I was reading from the conference issue and I really liked the talk by Elder Richard J. Maynes : “Recognizing that we have a Heavenly family helps us understand the eternal nature of our earthly families....true happiness in this life and in the eternities is found in the form of family." That is one of the things that I have learned most about in the mission. Family is what brings you true happiness and I want to be with mine forever. So now I just have to do my part, and endure to the end. I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to share about eternal families to people here in the Dominican Republic. I hope that they can all come to appreciate their families the way that I do. Maybe we can help them all come to realize as well the importance of living the gospel EVERY day and not just on Sundays!
Well there is also a lot of other news. My companion Hermana Bradley is going to be leaving me for another area, and I am going to be companions here in the same area, with Hermana Kamisese. She is a Tongan from California, and is SOOO fun!! I am excited! I have a picture that I took with her a while ago that I will attach. She is a great person and I know that we will have a good time. Also, INES WAS BAPTIZED!!! Both of the transfers that I have in this area, we have been working really hard with Ines, and she finally was baptized and it was amazing. Her son baptized her (and yesterday was called as the young mens president!!!!) and it was such a spiritual baptism and she shared her testimony and everything. I love being able to see the fruits of our labor because we are working really hard, but the people have their agency to choose whether or not they want to accept the gospel in their lives.
I know that everything is worth it and that God loves us no matter what. We just always need to do our part, and put him first. I know that through the example of all of you, I am a better person. Thank you for your love and example.
Con amor,
Hermana Reay

Monday, May 16, 2011

We are still loving, LOVING the new house.

Well today I am a little sad, because I know that this is going to be my last week with Hermana Bradley. She is going to be leaving Los Frailes, and who knows I might be too. It is a really hard area, and we are working sooo hard. (sometimes it seems to no avail) We are finally going to see the fruits of our labors though. Inez is going to be baptized. We both said from the beginning that if we could choose any one of our investigators that we would love to see thier baptism, that it would be hers. She is wonderful. I don’t know if I have told you much about her, but she is the mother of a new member, and we have been teaching her for the last 2 and a half months. She is so ready but has an obstacle in her way because she works for another church. But she finally made the decision that she is going to be baptized anyway. We couldn’t be happier.
We are still loving, LOVING the new house. With it’s wonderful breeze and never-ending supply of water. :) I also have my hammock on the porch and that is my favorite spot! If I leave this area, it will be sad to leave the house that we worked soooo hard to get. But you really do learn something from every trial. This has definitely been one of the hardest weeks of my mission and not for any of the reasons that you would think. Helping others overcome their trials really does have an affect on you, emotionally, spiritually and physically. But it’s all worth it because you know that you are serving one of Gods children. I really do love you all and am sooo happy that I will be seeing you soon! Dave I heard that you are home and I want you to write me! Please. Love you all!
Hermana Reay

Monday, May 9, 2011

We are sooo happy!!!!

WE HAVE RUNNING WATER! (it's been 9 weeks but who's counting?)

Wow it was so great to talk to the fam yesterday! I really miss all of your voices, and it seems like it’s been forever but then when I hear you all again, it’s like I talk to you all the time. I love hearing about all the things that are going on at home, and the exciting plans for the trip to the DR. We are going to have a blast. The craziest news that I heard is that Nathan and Sarah are getting married, and NO ONE TOLD ME!!! And that it is going to be before I get home... :( oh well I am super happy for you guys!
Well...I FINALLY MOVED!!! WE HAVE RUNNING WATER! Can you believe it? I almost can’t! It’s so great. And the house is clean and bug free as of now. It’s brand new and we are the first to be in it! This last week, not much has happened because we have been a bit sick. (Welcome to my mission) But we have been pushing through it. There isn’t really time to take a sick day. But the great news is that we have been able to find A LOT of new investigators. We have some great ones, they just can’t get baptized for marriage problems, but the Lord has really blessed us. It’s fun to teach lessons when you know that the people can progress. We went to an appointment the other day and we started talking about blessings, and I asked her, Leslie, what the greatest blessing in her life has been, and she explained a story to us about her grandma, and her death and how it was really hard for her. She got really sick, and she still doesn’t remember what happened in those days, it was just too much of a shock for her to know that her grandma wasn’t here anymore, and she didn’t know where she was. So I changed the whole lesson and we taught the plan of Salvation, and she just loved it. It was fun to see her excitement to know that she could be with her grandma again. I love that lesson because above all others it has helped me the most in my mission. Life isn’t easy. We pass through so many trials, and sometimes we just don’t want to deal with them, but it’s all worth it because if we do our part, we will receive the greatest reward: eternal life, with our families and loved ones.
I know that this is the true gospel, and the only true happiness that we can have in this life. We need to stay strong and faithful, because the Lord is always with us.
Love you all so much!
Hermana Reay

Monday, May 2, 2011

It's May!!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PORTER! I can’t believe my favorite nephew in the world is turning 4! Wow! How time flies! Well today has already been such a wonderful day! We came to Gazcue so we could go to the mission office for some things that we need. And I was able to see a lot of people from the ward. They were having an activity at the church! I got to see the Bishop! He was an amazing Bishop, and....JUAN PABLO!!! It seriously made my day. (I´ll send a pic) He was soooo happy, and it just really helped me to remember that I have made such wonderful friends here on the mission that have changed their lives around so much for the Savior. Juan Pablo was there early because he had an interview with the stake president, because they just called him to be the President of the Single Adults in the stake! Can you believe it? I love to here when the people I taught and saw baptized are still strong and happy. Also I was able to talk to Caterin and Luis last night. Hermana Garcia called me to tell me that they are doing so great. That Luis is still changing and that you can see it in his face. He is participating a lot in the classes at church and he paid his tithing’s and fast offerings and he is just awesome. And Brian, he blessed the sacrament yesterday! I love that they are all still progressing. I really do love this work.
This last week was a little hard, but we made it through. And we really did receive a lot of blessings. In church we had 5 new investigators that had never been before. We have decided to clean our investigator pool again, because the people just aren’t showing us their desires to change. But we have already found 12 new investigators so we will keep working with them and keep finding new people. We taught the mom of a member, and she pretty much just yelled at us the whole time, and she said that we weren’t aloud to say anything about the Book of Mormom because she isn’t having that in her house. But then she would ask us questions, and I know that she was feeling the spirit and knew that it was starting to make sense to her, so then she would freak out and tell us that we could only talk about the Bible. It was interesting, and I was just grateful that she´s not my mom! I hope that one day she will understand and gain a testimony because her daughter is the best!
I have been reading in my Journal from the beginning of my mission and it really has been helping me because in the beginning I was sooo excited to be a missionary and everything was so spiritual to me, and I don’t know if it’s that now I am just more used to everything, but I have felt that I am not as excited. So it has really helped me to change my perspective to how I was in the beginning. We are FINALLY going to move this week, which has us really excited. I am telling the truth this time for reals! We even have the keys to the new house. We just have to wait for them to connect the lights. I am so happy that they finally got Bin Laden I think that a lot of people will be able to sleep better at night. I just have to say that I am SOOOOOOOOO excited to talk to my family this week! It is going to be the best! Oh and Dave is coming home so soon! Ahhh! Give him a big hug for me! Love you all. I hope that all is well on your end. Thanks for everything.
Con amor,
Hermana Reay

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hello from the dripping hot Dominican Republic!!!

Hello from the dripping hot Dominican Republic!!!
How are you all? Well I had an interesting week. Holy Week like I told you . And instead of remembering Christ here, they like to drench the streets in beer. It smelled really good. Haha JK. But it was good. I started it out by having a root canal. That was my first one! It HURT!!! And it made me have some serious head pains. But we made it through and now I feel soooo much better. But it did worry me because all of the people I told about my tooth told me that they too had had a root canal before and they all ended up having to just get the tooth pulled because it was too painful! Uhhhhh.....I hope that doesn’t happen to me. Oh Dominican dentistry!
This week I read a really good talk by Quentin L. Cook that I really liked. It helped me to focus a little better because being the Semana Santa it was a little hard. Everyone was drinking and swimming in their blow up pools, and almost all of the appointments that we had fell through. But we didn’t loose the spirit. I want to share a few quotes from the talk... "Our obligation is to love and teach and never give up." "Even though our journey may be fraught with tribulation, the destination is truly glorious." It was a really good talk, and I so conveniently forgot the name of it, but I know that although sometimes it is hard to press forward, it’s worth it because the Lord truly blesses you.
We received our blessing for having such a hard week yesterday. On Tuesday we contacted a lady that said that we could come back to her house Sunday, so we passed by and she wasn’t there but her 2 daughters were. They are twins, and they said that they had been waiting for us all week, and were so excited as soon as their mom told them that the Mormon Missionaries were going to be passing by. They have 2 LDS friends at school and have always wanted to learn more. They said that their dad has always wanted to go to the church but they have never known the schedule and whenever they pass by it’s always locked. So they were really excited. I know that it was a blessing because they have such a thirst for the knowledge, and that is where it truly starts. I know that I am where I am supposed to be, and that I can never give up. I love you all so much!
Con Amor,
Hermana Reay

Monday, April 18, 2011

This week is Holy week!! Enjoy?

Hello to all who read my blog,
This week is Holy week, or Semana Santa, here in the DR. Although we were talking to a member yesterday, and he was telling us that the people here just use it as vacation time. They really don’t do anything that applies the Savior more in their lives because they either put out their swimming pools in the street, sleep, go to the beach, or DRINK! Yeah it’s kinda interesting. But maybe with our special message we can help some of that to change. I am so grateful that I have had commandments in my life that keep me grounded and that I know that this is a time of year to think of Jesus Christ. Really the sacrifice that he made for us, we can’t even understand. I know that He has an infinite Love, and that everything that He did in the last week of His life is so significant, and teaches us things that we need to apply in our lives today. I have such a testimony of Him and know that if we always put Him first in our lives, and follow in His path we will always have happiness, peace, and joy.
We are teaching a boy named Jeeter, he is really great. He is 11 years old, his sister and his grandpa are members. Well he goes to church every week and we thought that he was a member, but he isn’t. He loves primary and he has so many friends at church. We have shared with him at his house just a couple times now, but last Sunday he came up to us with his "Faith in God" booklet, and told us that he wanted to invite us over for a Family Home Evening so that he could pass a few things off in his booklet to finish it before he turns 12. He is adorable, so we went over there, and he taught the whole lesson, and he really has such a strong testimony. I know that he will be a great member, and definitely a future missionary. I gave him a sticker that says "future missionary" and he put it in his Book of Mormon, (which he is already reading like crazy) and he was so excited. His sister lives with his grandpa in a different ward, but he comes every week on his bike by himself. I wish that everyone could exercise the faith and show the dedication that Jeeter shows, and he is only 11.
I am so grateful for all of the examples that I have in the people here that I am meeting. I know that if they continue to be great examples for those around them, they can help in the growing of the Church here in the Dominican Republic.
I am still freaking out a little bit, that I only have one more transfer after this, but we are living it up every minute! I love you all so much and hope that you are happy! Oh and happy birthday to Lois Lee this week! 1 years old, and I haven’t known one minute of it! But I´ll be there soon!
Con Amor,
Hermana Reay

Monday, April 11, 2011

I had to take one by the swan because this IS my idea of fun! ;)

I absolutely loved it!!!!

Hello Everyone!
Today we had transfers again, I can’t believe how fast the time is going, this last transfer seemed like it lasted a day, and I absolutely loved it. Well I am going to be staying in the same area with the same companion. I couldn’t be happier to be staying with Hermana Bradley for the next transfer, she is such a wonderful missionary and I am learning so much from her every day. Today was hard because she lost her camera card from the whole first part of her mission, I feel really bad, but she will get over it and have a really positive attitude I just know it.
Well something that made me really happy was that yesterday at church we had a lot of investigators and the reason why was because we had two families there. It was great. We are teaching 2 families of 5 and they are both wonderful. Yaritza and her husband Suare need to get married and at first it was really hard to teach him. But the Lord has given us a lot of blessings with him. He is now home every time that we pass by, and he went to general conference and loved it. Now he has an excitement for the gospel and it makes us so happy because Yaritza couldn’t be more ready for baptism. She is always bearing her testimony and she just reads and reads. They are great. We are just hoping that they will be able to get married soon, so that in a year’s time they will be able to go to the temple and have their family sealed. They have 3 beautiful children, and I know that the gospel would just bless their lives immensely.
Well on another note, we are preparing Evelyn for her baptism, she is excited. AND oh my goodness there are just soooo many people that we are teaching we just don’t even have time. And yesterday we recieved 6 references, it’s crazy. I am hoping that all of our hard work and the seeds that we planted last transfer, will all blossom during this transfer and we can see more people come to the waters of baptism. We just want to make sure that they are ready, and that they understand the blessings that baptism will bring to their lives. I have changed my teachings a lot these last couple weeks, because I want the people to realize the blessings that they can receive from the gospel, and that this is the only way to have eternal life so we are putting that into our lessons a lot.
I am so grateful for the gospel. I don’t know what I would do without it in my life. I just know that the greatest gifts all come from God, and the only true happiness that we can find is in the Restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I love it and I love Him. I love you all as well and am thankful for you all! Thanks for all that you do.
Con amor,
Hermana Reay
(p.s. Today we went to the beach!!!! Well we didn’t really go there, we just saw it and snapped a quick pic or 2, I had to take one by the swan because this IS my idea of fun! ;) (it didn’[t work) Oh an there is one from when we went to the caves last week. Sorry the computer is SO SLOW, so I am not going to upload more. Love you)

Monday, April 4, 2011

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SEAN!!! Love you so much!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SEAN!!! Love you so much!
Today for your birthday we went to the 3 ojos as a Zone. They are caves that are in the ground that are really cool. We totally felt like we were in Harry Potter! Ha ha. We had a really good time, and it was fun because I think that we were able to grow closer as a Zone as well. We really have great Zone Leaders, and our District Leader is great as well. The bus also let us out on the side of the ocean today so we snapped a few pics and were able to smell the salt in the breeze!
Well I loved conference. We were running around for a lot of it trying to get it in French for some of our investigators, and then when we sat down to watch it in English it didn't work either, but in the end we got it all figured out and we were able to watch the afternoon sessions for both days. I am excited to get the Liahona to read the talks over again. I felt that I was really able to apply a lot of their teachings in my own life, and to apply them to our investigators. I was glad that they talked a lot about marriage and the importance of it, because a lot of our investigators need to get married. I hope that they were thinking of those things as well, and that the talks will help them to accept the Gospel in their lives. I especially liked when Elder Holland said, "For all of you who are members, and all of you who will be..." Because if they were listening with open hearts, There is no way that they didnt feel the spirit.
I also wanted to tell you about a cool experience that we had. Last week we taught Evelyn. She is a reference from a member, and when we first met her, she wasn't really receptive, but now she is amazing, and a lot of it has to do with when we taught her the Plan of Salvation. This lesson was definitely guided by the spirit because in the beginning, I asked her one simple question about a picture frame that I saw on the wall, and then she started into the story of her family. Her mother and Father were killed in a car accident when she was 21 and she is the oldest in the family with 5 kids, and she is the only girl. Her youngest brother was 9. She had a really hard time, and within that first year, 4 other people from her family passed away. She got really emotional, and we could tell that she is still struggling with this. so we taught her the Plan of Salvation and she just ate it right up. She loved it and she was asking all the perfect questions, and she told us that she knew right then that this has to be true. She is great. She accepted a date to be baptized and she came to church and she is just happy, her life is changing a lot, and I know that she will be a wonderful sister in the church. She is going to invite all of her family as well to listen to us, and I know that it will be the start of something wonderful.
I love being able to teach all of the gospel doctrines and principles to the people who really need them and that have a hard life without them. I am just so grateful to my family and for the knowledge of the gospel that I have always had because I couldnt imagine living all this time like she has without knowing of the possiblity of being able to see her family again. Time seems to be flying and I can't believe that this transfer will end next week, this exact day in 2 transfers I will see my family. It blows my mind. But I do want you all to know I love my mission. I love the missionary things that I get to do. I love teaching the people and I love being able to talk of Christ, and invite others to come unto Him. I love that I am learning so much, not only about the Gospel but about myself as well. I know that I will forever be grateful that I served a mission. Love you all!
Con Amor,
Hermana Reay

Monday, March 28, 2011


Hello all!
Well I just finished writing a whole email to you all and it got erased, so sorry that this one might be a little bit shorter. I hope that this email finds you all happy! Well we still live in our house without water but we are hoping to move this week. But now we are just used to it. Ha ha it’s like we are out in the campo or something. Well it rained once last week and with it came the humidity. It feels like July again! But hey I am sweating up a storm and loving the mission. We are teaching some wonderful people. I love being in this area too because there are a lot of Haitians and they are just so humble and wonderful. We teach an English class every Saturday as well and that’s fun. So there are a lot of things going on. The ward here is a little more difficult though. They aren’t as into the work or into any activities for that matter so we are trying to help the bishop to change a few things.
On a different note, I AM SOOOOO EXCITED FOR CONFERENCE I CAN’T EVEN EXPRESS MYSELF. I hope that it will always be this way! Ha ha next conference I want to go! It is going to be a blast and I just know that we are going to hear a lot about the conditions of the world and maybe something about preparing ourselves a lot. I am excited to know what the Lord has to tell us about all of these crisis’s that are happening.
Well today was special because we went to Gazcue and all of the Hermana´s (except 2) from our mission got together and we made 2 big cards for the Whitaker’s .(they work in the mission home.) We all wanted to say our goodbyes because they are leaving soon. They are going home the 7th of April. We are all going to miss them sooo much, the mission won’t be the same. I am including a picture. I miss you all and I am sorry that I can’t write more. Next week I will definitely be better.
Hermana Reay

Monday, March 21, 2011

I take pleasure in infirmities!

Is today really the 21st? In 3 months from today my family will arrive here to the heat and humidity that is the DR!!! Yay!
This last week has been very trying. ( But also great.) There are so many wonderful investigators that we have in this area, they all just eat up the gospel. I know that it is just what they need and they will always stay firm. They just have obstacles and can’t be baptized. It’s difficult. Almost all of them can’t be baptized because they need to get married but for odd reasons they can’t. But I know that they all will get there, they are wonderful and help my testimony to grow. It’s amazing when you are in Relief Society and the people that are commenting are your investigators, that are smarter than the members! Haha I love it!
Our baptism that we had on Saturday fell through and it was really sad. My companion was REALLY sad, but afterwards we decided that all things happen for a reason and that we need to love all the moments that we have because they are the moments that make us strong. Just like it says in 2 Corinthians 12:10; "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." I know that I have a bigger purpose here than I can see at times, and I am grateful for all of the lessons that we have because I think that sometimes I learn more than the investigators do. I learn so much from them as well and I know that through teaching them and hearing their comments, my testimony is strengthened every day!
I can’t believe about all of the disasters that are going on. I was really sad to hear that a lot of the missionaries were sent home that were serving in Japan. It would be weird to just have the last couple months of your mission randomly end. We know that it was for a reason and I am just glad that they are all ok. But it would be harder to just have to leave your mission because it was literally dissolved.
I love being with Hermana Bradley. I love being able to express myself completely and we are working hard! There is a lot of work here to do and I just hope that we can help to make a difference. We are just hoping that we can move this week because we are a little tired of living without water. 5 weeks have already passed in this house without water, and now the apartment building started robbing light from the apartment building across the street. It’s all a little sketchy. But we will survive.
I love you all so much. I am so grateful for you and for your prayers, I am so grateful that I am from Utah where the church is strong and that I learned the things I did from all of you to make me who I am. Thanks for everything.
Con Amor,
Hermana Reay

Monday, March 14, 2011

I always love reading Ether 12:27.

Dear Friends and Family,
This week was a lot better than last week. We still haven’t resolved the problem in the house with the water and all. But we are going to see what we can do this week. Elder Marte (the elder in the office) is really helping us out. It is really uncomfortable to live without water, but we are managing. We still have to go take buckets of water and get them filled out of the ground. It’s super weird. (and it always have bugs and floaties in it). But that is the mission.
We had a Conference this last week and it was really great. I always get a boost from conferences. We learned a lot about using the spirit in all of our lessons because really the Holy Ghost is the teacher and not us. We also learned about how we need to focus more of the people and think about their feelings. If they feel comfortable with us and if they feel loved, that their Heavenly Father loves them even more. It was funny because this is something that is really hard for some of the Elders. They can’t open up with the people, it’s just a get in and get out lesson. As opposed to the sisters, just becoming everyone’s best friend. Haha.
Things are great with Hermana Bradley, sometimes I think that we have too much fun together. It’s nice to have someone to relate to, that is from the same country and understands why the trials aren’t easy to deal with. We had an activity with the Whitakers, where we make the sea shell frames and it was great. The people absolutely love doing those frames, and I know that the Whitakers really are going to be missed when they leave. They leave on April 7th and I think that the mission might fall apart for that month while we wait for their replacements. What are we going to do without them.?
I don’t really have much else to say other than this mission is really, really hard. Right now I can’t believe at all that it is the best two years (or 18 months) but I know that after I get home, I will always look back with a smile and a lot of love for the DR. I know that I will be grateful for the hard things that I had to go through and the hard people that I had to deal with. They are all shaping me into the person I am and will be. But I know that there are blessings when we endure and when we put all of our trust in the Lord. I always love reading Ether 12:27. He will make our weaknesses our strengths, if we have faith and humble ourselves before Him. He really understands all that we are going through and he understands all of our pains, and sufferings, and trials. I really know that He is always with me and than I can turn to Him at any time- I know that this message is one of the most important and that is why it’s so important to be steadfast and endure and share it with all the people you meet, so they can have the opportunity to enjoy the blessings that come from the atonement of Christ. I really am grateful to be a missionary and to be here in the DR. I am also really grateful that I have people like you rooting for me back home and that I have a lot of open arms to come home to. Thanks for your love and your prayers, they are very much needed. I love you all.
Con Amor,
Hermana Reay

Monday, March 7, 2011

It has been an interesting week!

Hey, hey,
How are you all? It has been an interesting week, it feels like I haven’t written in 2 weeks because so much has happened. First of all I am in a new area with a new companion. I love her; Hermana Bradley. She is from SLC so that’s fun, I get to speak English again. And we have a lot in common. I think that it makes me a little bit trunkier. The best part is that we have a great area. It’s HUGE. And there is so much potential. I think that we are going to have a lot of baptisms this transfer. I am hoping that she stays with me for at least two. I think that I will end my mission here. Another interesting tidbit is that when you all come here you will be stayin in my stake and it’s really not that far away from me! Ahhhhh, oh well I guess I might just have to see a few of you roaming the streets. Haha well I got really sick as well and that put a little bit of a damper on the work, but I am fine again and this next week we are going to put all of our efforts into the work. < I just wanted to tell you a funny story....(I don’t have much inspiration today) we went to teach a reference that a member gave us, and the lady was super nice. So we sit there and she was like where are you two from? My companion tells her that we are from the same country and that she should guess...well do you want to know what she said? JAPAN...uhhhh, haha. Then her next guess was Spain, and a few other random places. I don’t understand. But oh well, apparently we are Japanese! Gotta love Dominicans. I miss you all and I am sorry I didn’t have anything to share this week. Keep me in your prayers.
Love you
Hermana Reay

Thursday, March 3, 2011

So many wonderful moments!!!

I really don’t know how to describe how I feel right now. SO MANY things have happened over the last week, so many wonderful moments, difficult moments, and spiritual moments. First of all I want to tell you about the baptism. It really was special. The President and his wife came... and Caterin shared her testimony at the end which was amazing! I think that she has a stronger testimony than most members; the President was so impressed that he recorded it and said that he is going to put it on a video that he is making. Caterin and Luis are going to build a great family in the gospel. I know that they will be strong and hopefully in a year I can return and see them go through the temple. They had a lot of help from the ward, they threw them a small reception on Friday, and it was great. They were so happy. Everything was white and pink and Caterin was in heaven, she kept telling us that we have helped make her dreams come true.
Well we were completely exhausted after everything, and yesterday I found out that I am getting transferred. I am so happy that I get to end my time here in Mendoza with them married and baptized. I will really miss my companion and the people here in this area, they are such great people. Hermana Garcia is really having a hard time. We got really close, and she is really sentimental, so I hope that she will be ok, because she hasn’t stopped crying. I will always be so grateful for the 3 transfers that I have had with her because I have learned so much and I have felt really loved. But I am happy for the change of area and really excited to be with Hermana Bradley. She is American! She is so funny, I know her a little bit and we are excited to be companions! I hear that her area is great, so I am excited to see how it goes. I am pretty sure that I will end my mission there, in Los Frailes. It’s right on the beach and in Santo Domingo still. I know that I need this change to help me to endure and be a better missionary. Sometimes we get so accustomed to the area and the people that we get a little lazy. So I know that I need this. I am happy to be here and I cant believe that I only have 3 transfers left, it really blows my mind. I am so happy to be here, and to be able to meet all of these wonderful people. Caterin is like a sister to me and so is Hermana Garcia. I know that they are people that I will always hold close to my heart. I love you all and hope that you are happy!
Con Amor,
Hermana Reay
(I will send pictures of the wedding and baptism to come next week. Sorry)

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Happy Couple!

Here are some pictures of Santo Domingo, the temple and things. Then here is the happy married almost baptised couple, I loved it! And afterward they danced where he works. Haha it was cute! Dena also sent a great letter this week so check out the older posts, please.

A very Special Week!!

Hello all!
Another P day here in the DR. And it really was a wonderful one; we did so many fun things! First I just wanted to tell you all about something really special that happened, well a few things! First of all we had the Conference with Elder Nelson, it was so special. He shook all of our hands, and he called me by name. "Good Morning, Sister Reay" It was awesome. The talks were so good. It was so different from the normal meetings that we have because usually we just hear about obedience, obedience and more obedience. But they talked about how amazing we are and how they can just feel the spirit being in the room with us, it was awesome. It was definitely a really spiritual meeting and he left us all with a blessing and told us that he could feel that a lot of us are worried about our families at home and that we needn’t be worried because they will be fine and that we are receiving a lot of blessings. Ahhh, soo many more things, but not enough time to share them all.
The next thing that happened, was Sunday morning the President called me and told me that the Coleman´s (from the 70) would be speaking in our Sacrament meeting that day and that Sister Coleman had called him and wanted me to be her translator. AHHHH can you believe it? I was sooooo nervous all during church. But it was such a great experience, and things went fine. I think that they all understood. And the members all said the nicest things to me afterwards. The Coleman´s are wonderful. Definitely called of God. Well we had a really special experience.
Caterin and Luis finally got married. Yayyyyy!!! There was a little trouble with their papers but everything is fine now, and they are so happy and married! We were so happy, I know that God had his hand in it all because it gave us time to teach Luis and now he is ready for baptism as well. They will both be baptized Thursday the 24th at 7:00pm. Yesterday, Luis had to work after church, and when we passed by he told us that it is the last Sunday that he will be working, he said that he doesn’t want to break the commandments more. They really are so special. Sister Coleman talked about Luis yesterday in her talk and I know that it really made him feel special, and Elder Coleman left the stand right after the meeting and gave Luis a big hug. It was so funny too because Caterin just blurted right out and asked him if he could baptize them! Haha he had the funniest face of regret and told her sorry but he wouldn’t be able to! It’s wonderful to see the changes and the happiness that these people have in their lives with the Gospel. Caterin shared her testimony with us after the wedding and it really was amazing. She will be a strong member. They have a new goal: the Temple in one year! I am so happy for them. This is such a great way to end the transfer because I really thought that it wasn’t going to happen, because with papers you never know.
Well today we went to the Faro de Colon, which is where supposedly the body of Christopher Columbus is. It was really cool and the museum was great. We had a really good tour guide, and we went to another Park that was really cool too! I will try to send some pictures! I love you all so much, the gospel is true and it really is the one thing that can change lives for the better and bring happiness to the lives of anyone!
Con Amor,
Hermana Reay

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Elder Nelson

Today was a great day. We went to the Temple, and that is always wonderful. I love the spirit that is felt there. The workers are so nice, and I learn something new every time. We also went to the Zoo afterward. Let me tell ya, I am so thankful that we have Hogle Zoo, because the Zoo that they have here, well I don't know if they can really call it that. We entered with our eyes opened and left with them still opened, amazed. Ha ha it was so funny. I know that they have a lot of potential here in the DR and that in the coming years this country is going to grow a lot. It was fun to go, even though its really interesting, its really fun to see how other countries have their attractions.
I have been really stressed about a lot of things that have been weighing on my mind but let me just tell you that I know that our Heavenly Father answers prayers. We were so happy this week and we really have been blessed because we have found many many families that are ready to listen to us. We are now teaching at least six families. The work is progressing in Mendoza. For a while it seemed dead, because we were still trying to learn the new area, but now we are more comfortable and there are a lot of blessings that we are receiving.
We had Zone conference last week and the President taught us a lot of great things. He said that we can never loose our excitement because they leads to loosing our hope and our faith. And if I want to endure to the end of my mission, I have to apply that counsel. Sometimes i think, wow I have been in this area FOREVER, but there is a purpose, and i know that there is someone that i need to meet. So now I have a new boost to help me endure.
Another thing that helps me is knowing that on Saturday an Apostle is coming here to speak to us! Elder Nelson will be coming here and I know that I am going to learn a lot. I love you all so much and am so grateful that so many people are cheering me on and praying for me!
Con Amor,
Hermana Reay

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

One of the busiest weeks of my mission.

Really quickly I just wanted to say that next week we are going to the Temple! YAY so I won't be writing on Monday, but on Wednesday the 16th! I think that we are going to go to the zoo too! yay! I am excited! We are really busy here helping to plan a wedding and getting all of our other work done: I had one of the busiest weeks of my mission, we had 35 lessons! That is only others, not including teaching the new members and less actives, and that isn't including the lessons with members either! Wow, it's was great, I cant believe that we are working so much, no wonder I am exhausted! So I know that it is possible to reach my goals. We also had such an amazing Sunday, one of the most spiritual that I have had here in the mission. One of our new members is having a really hard time, she has confided in us as the missionaries but hasn't told anyone else her problems. It's really hard for us because there is nothing much that we can do other than read some inspirational scriptures and tell her that she is loved. She hasn't seen her family in almost 7 years and hasn't talked to her mom since Mothers Day. She feels really alone. Well I guess she has been praying a lot and she had the strongest feeling to share her testimony and she spilled out all of her problems, and told the ward how much she loved them and how she gained her testimony and that with the gospel she doesn't feel so alone. Well the ward responded and they all talked to her after, an Hermano brought over at least a months worth of food to her house, and they are all willing to help her out now. She said she was so scared and she felt bad saying anything to anyone but she needed it, and now she is happier and she knows she is loved. I hope that they can all help her to see her family again soon. Time is passing by really quickly and I cant believe that I almost have 6 months here in Mendoza. I think that I am ready for a change, but I know that I will enjoy my time here while I have it. I also can't believe that in about 140 days I will be seeing my family! Yay!! I am ready for that! I hope that you are all happy and healthy!
Con amor,
Hermana Reay

Monday, January 31, 2011

They are getting married!

I wanted to tell you about our day in church yesterday. We ended up having 13 investigators! (And it’s funny because this week in district meeting the zone leader asked us what is our secret of always having so many in church, and the number grew even more! But really it’s the members!) It was a miracle and I was so happy! More and more people just kept coming. Including new people that we have never met. We have a lot of appointments with them. It was wonderful!
The plans for the wedding of Caterin are coming right along, she is so happy, and we started to teach her fiancĂ© this week, and he is really interested. I am not sure that they will get baptized together, but I know that somewhere in the near future he will be baptized as well. Caterin´s goal is temple marriage; she keeps saying that in a year from March they will be planning their real wedding! It really is special to be a part of this all. We have seen such a change in them, and they are completely happy, they picked out rings today! We also got a few things to help her make a few invitations; they are going to be so cute! Its fun to be able to help her plan her small wedding, especially when I can’t help with the weddings back home! Our ward is going to help us out a lot, including they are going to buy a legit wedding cake, and decorate the church to have a small reception with just family and the leaders in the church.
We couldn’t be happier with this great area, we know that they really love the people here, and that the ward is always willing to help out! This past week I completed a year in the mission, can you believe it? It was a good day, a lot of the members somehow they all congratulated me, and my comp made me a sign! She is so cute, I love her more and more each day! We also had the wonderful opportunity to MOVE AGAIN!!! Because the are went from 4 hermana´s to us 2. We moved into the other house. I have only had 2 areas my whole mission and this is my 5th house! It is crazy; I think that I am done moving. But we had a lot of help and we got it done really fast! Well I can’t believe that February is here, only 5 more months and I will see all of your beautiful faces! Love you all!
Hermana Reay

Monday, January 24, 2011

I can’t wait for JUNE!!!

I am sooooo happy to hear that the plans are moving right along for the big trip to the DR, I love hearing about all of the different people that are coming! I can’t wait to see you all! You are all going to love it here! The DR is heating up again, and it is
reminding me a lot of my Gazcue days, when I lived in true heat, sweat, and humidity.
Today was amazing because I got to see Susan! She is my favorite thing about the DR I am pretty sure. I can’t wait for some of you to meet her. She is an inspiration to all who know her. I was telling my companion today that if I had to end my mission right now, I would be fine because I know that Susan was the reason I was sent to this mission. She is preparing for her mission, and she hits her year mark as a member the day before you all get here! I can’t wait for JUNE!!!
I am so happy that I am still with Hermana Garcia, we learn so much from each other every day. She is really special to me. We have been trying to contact a lot in the other area, and we realized how much area we actually have. It’s exciting, we are going to get to work and contact street by street. We have to leave a lot of investigators and get a new investigator pool anyways so it’s perfect timing. We have a really amazing investigator, Caterin. (I think that I have told you a lot about her...) She is amazing. She is going to be baptized in February after her wedding. She told her "husband" the other day that if they didn’t get married at least a week before the 25th of February that she was going to leave and live with her Mom because she is done living in sin. She said that she would just wait for him to decide when he wants to marry her, but she is getting baptized on the 25th whether he is ready or not. She is great. He thinks it’s really soon, but then she just said, "yeah Luis, but if Jesus Christ comes tomorrow, what are we gonna do?" It was great, she has such a strong testimony, and she shares it with everyone. I just love it. She is really helping me to grow and realize the important things in life. I am so glad that I will be able to be here to help her and to start teaching Luis so that together they can grow in the gospel and reach the goal of temple marriage. She is one of the people I would love to come back and see her wedding in the Temple someday. She is amazing. I love that really in the mission you can make friends that will always be special. And I love that our connections started with the gospel.
I love doing this work, the mission isn’t easy and for other reasons sometimes I feel like giving up, life would be easier and happier sometimes at home, but I know that I am not here for fun, not here for my mission president, not here to be sad, not here to be lazy, I am only here to serve the Lord and all of the people that come in my path. Sometimes I feel like I am not doing much, but I know that all of the little things add up, serving my companion, making a contact, or even singing an uplifting hymn. These things all affect people’s lives, and mine as well. I know that the gospel even just a small part, brings so much happiness to my life, I know my purpose, I know that I am a child of God and that He loves me, I know that the Gospel was restored and through the restoration we can make sacred ordinances with God and be a part of His kingdom here on the earth. Most importantly I know that I can have an eternal family, and be with all of the people I love so much in the life to come. I am so grateful to have this knowledge and to share it with the people here in Santo Domingo. This is a small part of my testimony that I am happy to share in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Love you all,
Hermana Reay

Monday, January 17, 2011

¡Buenas Dias todos ustedes!

¡Buenas Dias todos ustedes!
How are you? I hope that all is well, it has been a really interesting week. My best friend in the mission had to go home because she was so sick she couldn't even sleep. Hermana Haggard :( I now have no American friends in the mission, so I am ONLY speaking Spanish ALL THE TIME!!! ahhhh but it is so good for me. We had interviews with the I President on Saturday and my interview even was in Spanish the whole time. But I am happy. I am going to be staying in the same area with Hermana Garcia for another transfer! I reallly am happy because we get along really well, and when something is good, why not enjoy it!? We have the whole area of Mendoza, so there are some new streets and new places we can go to work. We are planning on working really,really hard, because with all the holidays, it was hard to teach and have investigators progressing. Because Hermana Haggard left, there was an extra Hermana, and the Pres put her with us. She left today to go home because she finished her mission. Wow it was a LONG 3 days. at the end of the mission the missionaries are just dead and they are done working. I made a goal that I am going to work until the last minute and enjoy it all, because this is the only time that I have to do the work of the Lord full time. We also had a special conference yesterday. It's was for the Caribbean only. Elder Uchtdorf spoke and Elder Oaks, and Sister Thompson. It was really good. The people here really needed to hear it. They talked a lot about how in the Gospel we have a culture, it's very different from all other cultures and especially the culture here. And that they need to learn how to live only the culture of the gospel and not both. It was good. I always love hearing from the Apostles. I love you all so much and you are in my prayers!
Hermana Reay

Monday, January 10, 2011

ten contacts every day!

How are you all?
Well the heat has returned to the DR. We tried to make cookies the other day for my companion’s birthday and it didn't work at all, it was so humid that we couldn't get any type of dough to form. Oh well, what a blessing that we made all of our Christmas cookies when we did and that the people were able to enjoy them when they could. I guess that the only month for baking here is December. haha but I am sooooo excited because I keep hearing such good news about many of you that are going to be coming here to do service! yay! I can’t wait. It sounds like it is going to be so much fun! This week was a little bit difficult because there are a lot of sicknesses going around, especially with the return of the humidity. But we pushed through and Sunday was a really productive day! We are so happy to be together as companions, Hermana Garcia really is amazing, I learn something new from her every day and we are always laughing, so we must be doing something right. We had a lot of lessons yesterday, and I am proud to say that the three months that we have been companions we have always had at least ten contacts every day! Sickness or no! yay! When I can really get into the work, I remember why I love it so much. Katherine yesterday told us that she is so sick of waiting and that she just wants to get baptized already! Hash and another one of our investigators interrupted our lesson when we were teaching about faith and asked us when he could be baptized. It really is wonderful. I am so happy to be here and to be learning and growing and realizing the most important things in life. I love you all!
Hermana Reay

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year!!

I can’t believe we are in 2011, and that I am going to complete one year in the mission this month! CRAZY!!
Well this week was a little hard, I will just be honest. The way that the Dominicans celebrate the holidays is probably 100% different than the way that we celebrate in Utah! But it has been an adventure. Almost everyone is out of town, but we have surprisingly taught a lot of lessons. This week we taught a special lesson to all of the members, and investigators about goals. It was really fun actually. We read them all a quote from Preach my Gospel and we made bookmarks where they can write down their goals and put it in their scriptures so they never forget. It was fun, I hope that they all make their goals and really try to be better and get closer to our Heavenly Father. I really hope that they write their goals too, because its like my Dad always says, "A goal not written is just a wish!" I shared that with them all. But anyway that is most of what we did this week.
Yesterday was a wonderful fast and testimony meeting in church. There are 4 Hermana´s in our ward, and we all bore our testimonies, a lot of people did. The spirit was so strong, and then at the end we sang "The Spirit of God" so it fit really perfectly. I bore my testimony and it was horrible. Because I used to cry so much when I was younger that I never wanted to bear my testimony because I knew that I wouldn’t be able to talk. I have changed a lot, I don’t cry anymore.- I feel that I am stronger. Well I have been proven wrong. I cried really hard, and tried to speak still, IN SPANISH!!! Ahhh but I got out all that I wanted to say and it was fine. ut then after they all came up to me to hug me and tell me they loved me and then the tears just started all over again, oh well, I felt really close to my mom because we are the same in this aspect, she always cries too! Love you mom! haha but anyways, We didnt do anything for new years, just wrote our goals and resolutions, and had some brownies! haha I miss and love you all and hope that you are all happy and making your goals too! A really wise person that I love so much told me that we all need to make the most of every minute because we dont know what tomorrow will bring. so i hope that we all can live life to the fullest so that when we look back on 2011 we will be happy of ALL that we did, and have no regrets! (plus i will be there when you are looking back, we will together! yay!) i love you
Hermana Reay