Thursday, November 28, 2013

Week 1--CCM (MTC)

wow. i can not believe that it has already been one week since i left! But it has been so great.. Last thursday was like the longest day of my entire life... I thought I used to be busy.. no. they pack so much into one day it is insane. 

But lets start with first things first- the food. Uhhhhmmm well... the comedor[dining room] is good some days. But, it tears me up some days and if the food is gross there is always a whole station full of nutella and peanut butter and bread as well as fruit loops. So i have had to resort to that a few times. I just cant handle it some days tho...ugh.

Next- my companions. I have 2 companions! Trio woo! haha.. Sister Bingham and Sister Miller. bingham is from new mexico and going to anehiem california and miller is from utah going to washington. They are very different than me. but i have come to love them.
This week we actually started teaching an investigator ... 
It was really hard. The very first lesson was a disaster. We didnt really know what to do, so then the next day the lesson was much better. Then our third lesson we taught was pretty dang good.. I felt like my spanish was kinda coming together in actual fluid sentences instead of hola... uhhhh....umm. 

We taught him about faith, repentance, baptism, the holy ghost and enduring to the end...the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We then invited him to come unto Christ and be baptized, he said only if he felt the Book of Mormon is true. So, he was going to continue reading and praying. I memorized the invitation in Spanish again and he said yes! But, yesterday he revealed to us that he is our new teacher! Haha...he wouldve been baptized Dec. 5 if it was a real investigator! haha.. that was a really cool experience because as a companionship we had to figure it all out on our own what worked and what didnt to get the spirit there. We realized after the first couple lessons that just having a memorized script that we went off of was not the way to go. We realized that we had to understand the lesson for ourselves have a testimony about that specific topic before we could share it in spanish.. the lesson and true meaning of things have to come before the language.

Thats the thing that has been interesting is that they literally this first week give you so much time to just kind of figure it out for yourself. it is so hard to do it that way. I just sit there some days staring at the book of spanish and i dont know what to do to actually get it to stick. I have been praying so much to be able to retain the things i study and to be able to understand others better and I can definitely see it coming.. In one week I can now pray and bear my testimony (very basically) in spanish. How incredible is that? 
Through the Lord we are able to do this. He called me to speak spanish for some reason and I know that because of that He will help me get there if I am obedient and I put forth the effort to learn. 

ok...Lets see.. 
Oh yeah! my district is the most amazing people ever. On saturday night I kinda started talking to some of the elders in our classroom about before the mish what they were doing with their lives and stuff and then it just started a whole big discussion of everyone for like an hour about who we are haha. so it was nice it definitely broke the ice. And ever since then we kinda have a problem re-focusing... oops.. its good though haha. Theres a guy in my district who played baseball at BYU last year so he knows Keaton [a high school friend], kinda crazy! but he is so cool. But last night we had a little spontaneous district devotional where we all were just supposed to share why we are here. Why we came out on a mission. And it was SOOOOOO spiritual. It was awesome. it was so good, it really brought us together even more. they are literally like my family. we all were crying. it is so cool because we were able to hear other peoples' struggles they had in their lives before coming out, and yet we all are here ready to help each other and build each other's testimony before we head out to the field. All the guys are either going to Ecuador or Orsorno Chile! (shout out to Trent!) 
Anyway... how are things going back at home?? I miss you a ton but it actually hasnt been too bad.. I am so busy that i dont think a lot about home. but its only been a week haha.. Today we went to the temple and it was beautiful!!!! it was such a good experience too. I really got something out of it today which was so nice and needed. 
Welp. I will try and send some pictures. 
OH! and please dear elder me at i get those i think on tuesdays.. they are printed out. i would love to get some love...from anyone!! you can also send like donuts or cinnamon rolls on there to me too haha:] 

my district is so funny though. and my zone is awesome too. OH yeah! we play ultimate frisbee every other day during our gym hour. so the other day we got challenged by another district to play soccer in this caged basketball court thing that has goals too haha. so then i was like oh im so down!! and the guys were like...ehhh? ok.... so they didnt start me that day when we played and i was like really?? 
just cuz im a girl. grr... but then i subbed in and i killed it haha.. we were down one and I SCORED. hahahah I was like well.."you might say its what i do''. and then i got mad respect from everyone. So we might play again today if we have time. 
ok well i love you so much and i miss you. 
[Raini's testimony in Spanish]
yo sé que jesucristo es mi salvador. yo sé que somos los hijos de nuestro padre celestial. yo sé que tenemos un profeta que habla con Dios. 
[I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior. I know that we are children of our Heavenly Father. I know that we have a prophet who speaks with God.]

Con amor, 
Hermana Weller

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Whew! I was getting worried...

but they let her at least send a quick email home notifying us that she made it there safely!

Let me preface her email below with a few explanations, especially for all our loved ones who aren't that familiar with the LDS mission experience:

Typically, missionaries get 2 calls home per year, Christmas and Mother's Day. So, we knew to not expect a call from her today...but I didn't know what to expect as far as from someone at the mission training center. And, it IS Mexico, and this MTC there is brand-spanking I really didn't know what to expect! But, it's all good!

We took Raini to the airport this morning and arrived around 8:30am--2 hours before departure. We took our sweet time checking in, (the flight wasn't even showing up yet on the monitors), eating breakfast at the airport with her, etc. So, after about 45 mins. we got up to see the monitors. There is was, flight 503 to Mexico City...boarding NOWWWWWW!! ?? what?? yup, it was pushed ahead an hour! So, we had to book it to security and say our goodbyes really fast. There was a Polynesian family saying goodbye near us with 3 or 4 times as many people...and hugging their elder wayyyy longer than us...we felt rushed and stressed that Raini might miss her boarding if the lines were long. So, we took a few pics, shed a few tears, and sent her on her way.

Here's her report in her very first email!

Dear mom and dad, 

i got here safely!! there was actually 7 other missionaries on my flight so that was pretty awesome. two of them were from hawaii so they had leis-- it was kinda funny, they gave all of us one! and then the other 3 were from washington and then one was from idaho. so there was two other sisters so we talked quite a bit. the flight was fine.. didnt have any real problems with my sinuses! woo. then when we landed we had a guy from the MTC there to meet all of us.. one of the girls luggage got lost.. i am so glad that that wasnt me haha i felt so bad for her! but then the driver guy drove us on over the the MTC through the city.. we havent gotten a chance to see the whole campus yet but it is really pretty from what i saw when we drove in. I just got my name tag!!! it feels so awesome to have it on. 
THURSDAY IS MY P-DAY. So be prepared for me to write you at some point thursday and try to email me right back so we can have a little chat sesh:) i will go to the temple first thing on thursday though so it will probably be a little later in the afternoon or something.
the other sisters are really cool, and we have been having a good time so far! its been fun. one of them has never been out of the country and shes never lived away from home because she just graduated high school in june so she is just having a hay day! haha. but yeah! tomorrow we start right into it! i have two companions. their names are sister bingham and sister miller. i am sure i will have some more to tell you about them next week because i havent even met them yet! welp. I hope you guys are doing okay.. i think it was better we had a quick goodbye this morning or else i would have had a lot harder of a time. But i love you guys so much and I am so happy to finally be out here. I cant wait to start learning spanish so i can actually communicate with all the people that are taking us places and helping us haha. 
ok i will talk to you again soon. LOVE YOU!!!!!!
-Hermana Raini Weller

I'm so relieved that her flight was uneventful and she's safe and sound on Church property. Like I said this morning as she waved goodbye..."she's in God's hands now", and I know He will watch over her and protect her.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The first of many blog posts to come from Raini's mom, Shauna. :)

There's a lump in my throat and I'm fighting the tears. It always happens this way with me...I'm all fine and dandy--not sad, not emotional, not stressed, not freaking out--UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE!!!
It's a matter of hours at this point. Her bags are packed and sitting at the front door.
We will drive her to the airport tomorrow morning where she will fly directly to Mexico City.
This is my last day with her for a long time--18 months to be exact.
I find myself just watching her. She is standing at the kitchen sink, cleaning up after her bagel and ham sandwich she just made. I just took a snapshopt of her in my mind. Long, soft curls cascading the top half of a grey UofA sweatshirt, dark jeans, fuzzy socks, and that beautiful smirky smile.
But, to be honest, more than anything, we are so excited for her missionary adventure. She is so ready, so prepared by the Lord for this mission. If you were at her farewell, you know what I mean. I had a special experience toward the end of Raini's talk on Sunday, I want to share...
My mom said to her cousin, Judi, last October before she died: "Look at Shauna. She is my reward." Although that was humbling for me to hear about myself coming from my mom, I didn't fully feel the impact of that statement until it hit me as a mom looking at my own daughter who had just given the most wonderful talk at her farewell, Sunday.
As I watched my little girl change almost instantly into this strong, spiritual giant standing at the podium in front of 300 people, an indescribable sense of humble honor swept over me, and that same phrase came almost audible into my ears as I heard the words: "She is YOUR reward."
I thank the Lord for these tender mercy moments that remind me that my mother is not far from me, ever helping me keep proper perspectives.
Being Raini's mom is truly rewarding. I can't express how proud of her we are. She has been such a great example to us and I thank the Lord daily for her in our family. Thank you, everyone who has supported her during this wonderful time of her life. We had over 60 people come over and enjoy in our celebration. And, there are countless others who are sending love and support from afar.
I will be posting her weekly missionary letters and sharing her experiences on her blog site and via email, for those who prefer that. If you haven't already "signed up" for the weekly email, and you'd like to receive the email, please either post your email below, email me your email, or P.M. me with your email.
I will be posting photos, excerpts from her letters, and any other inspiring or interesting information from her experiences in Mexico and North Carolina.
Also, here is her contact information.
Sister Natalie Rainier Weller 
North Carolina Raleigh Mission
Mexico Missionary Training Center
Charretera Tenayuca-Chalmita #828
Colonia Zona Escolar, Gustavo A. Madero
07230 Mexico, Distrito Federal 

Or you can email her direactly at:

You may write good 'ole fashion letters to the Mexico Missionary Training Center address above, or you can email her directly. Her physical address will change as she gets transferred from area to area beginning in January. That will be updated on the blog and emails, too.

p.s. if you see more and more Spanish in these posts, bear with me, I'm just so excited to be able to speak with her "en español"!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Last Few Days!

Tomorrow is my farewell. It is finally starting to set in that this is real. I am LEAVING! Its hard to believe that after waiting this long to go, its finally here haha..
Recently I have just been so excited to go. For a while I was extremely nervous about going, and those feelings recently have been replaced with more excitement than nerves. I went to Tucson a few weekends ago and I got to see my old friends! It was amazing to see one of my very good friends there who joined the church last year and see her progressing more and more in the gospel. To see her so happy still going to church and now she is bringing other people into the church and helping them improve their lives solidified why I am going on a mission. Its contagious. Once you know how wonderful it is to know where you are going after this life, where you came from, and why we are here.. then how we actually CAN return to live with our Heavenly Father through our Savior Jesus Christ.. it changes your life. and you want to share it with everyone. And that's where I am at right now.
I am pretty nervous about my talk tomorrow but I am going to rely on the spirit a lot haha. Then I probably wont post on here again before I head out on Wednesday so my mom will then have to take over the posts on here with my weekly emails.
I am extremely grateful for everything that I have been blessed with leading up to my mission.. a great job, good friends, and having time to spend with my family. I cant wait to see what the Lord has in store for me and to meet the wonderful people in North Carolina who have been prepared and are eager to learn more about the plan God has for them.