Monday, February 24, 2014

This Week's Email/Letter: WOW big changes!!

Raini's first TRANSFER!

Hola Familia:) (y amigos)

I am now in Fayetteville! (pronounced by country people "fait-vull") Well I'm in the "Raeford" covers a ton of English and Spanish areas, too! The majority of our area is in Fayetteville. It's the Fayetteville Stake.

This week has been tough. But luckily not for the same reasons as the past few weeks.. We went the ER on Monday evening with Sister Moore because I just couldn't handle that nothing was being done and she was in so much pain. So the ____ family took us down there and we were there literally all night.. we got home at about 2:30am. And nothing was even really done with her there:( They just referred her to a specialist and filled her up with fluids. So we went to the specialist and they wanted to do some exploratory surgeries. Since the Missionary Medical insurance wouldn't pay for it, she talked to President and Sister Bernhisel all about it. She had been having some spiritual experiences that made her feel like it was ok for her to go home and get this all taken care of. So then when they told us Thursday that she was going to go home.. we had a bit of a panic attack haha. But, it was all good.

We went to the Relief Society activity that night and got to see a bunch of the sisters.. but at that point we weren't telling anyone we were going to be moved out of the area or that she was leaving.. Friday we tried to just see everyone we possibly could see before we left because at this point we then knew she was going home Monday and I was being moved into a trio with other Spanish sisters somewhere else. So we met with our investigator, ____. We had a really good lesson with her, and then we went and packed. Then we went and saw ____, the 13-yr old! AND SHE IS GETTING BAPTIZED IN MARCH NO DOUBTS. But when we told her I would coming back to the area..but not until March 25 she was really happy, but then really sad.. I think she will get baptized the 29th because she really wanted us to be there.. So that is amazing. I am so excited. But it makes me really sad that Sister Moore isn't able to be there:/

Then Sister _____ and her non-member husband called us and invited us for dinner.. but we had an appointment already set up... soooo we had two dinners that night because we LOVE them so much and we didn't want to miss meeting with them. It was at their non-member in-law's house who speak only Spanish! It was just so much fun. We took pictures and just played with the girls some after we ate delish Cuban food! The night before though we had had a lesson with them and it was a really powerful. We were just telling them how much the gospel WILL bless their family and their marriage.. and then the husband told us that he wants his girls to grow up to be like us. He said he wants his girls to grow up to be missionaries. I was literally taken aback so much. That is one of the best compliments ever. I just love that family so much. I hope they do grow up to be missionaries!! He will get baptized one day.. I know it.

We drove up to the Raleigh to the mission home on Saturday and then hung out at some sisters' apartment there. Then Pres. and Sis. Bernhisel brought me down here to my new area yesterday.

I'm in a 3-some! My new companions are Sister Bluth and Sister Lopez-Hun. Sister Bluth goes home at the end of this transfer! I will go back to Wallace at that point as well, with a new comp. But it is amazing so far. SO good here. I am going to learn Spanish SOOOOOOOOOO fast. But, I will probably gain weight just as fast because the members here feed us GOOOOOOD and they are offended if we don't eat more than one plate! hahaha. Oh well. We also get to actually run outside here for exercise so it will be ok.

I feel so good about being here. It was really really sad to leave wallace and see sister Moore go home. But i feel like i am supposed to be here for some reason.. there is some one here for me. My new comps told me that same thing last night. So I am just excited to see what the Lord has in store for me here!!:) I know after this I am actually going to be able to speak Spanish. the Lord has heard my cries:)

That is all for today.. I love you all <3

HERMANA Weller:)

Last Week's Letter

Sorry, folks...I totally forgot to post last week's letter!! So, I will post it now. 


Well this week.. ok so on Monday evening after p-day was over and we had appointments set up we went and met a media referral investigator! and she is solid. She is super religous and she wanted to talk to us after looking on because she says "if someone is gonna talk about the word, I am gonna talk about the word with them" haha. The only real issue we see with her right now is the fact that she works Sundays pretty often. We have to get her to come to Sacrament Meeting at least 2 times before she can be baptized. But we haven't been able to meet with her again unfortunately since then. 

Then after that appointment we went to go check on our investigator, _____.. the elders had met her and taught her the first lesson and then since she is a single woman they gave her to us to teach from there. So we had visited with her the week before and set up this appointment to come see her and actually teach something. When she opened the door we could tell something was NOT right... So then we tried saying we would just come back a different time but then she demanded that we stay and teach her something!! So I just busted out a scripture.. the one about the mothers of the army of Helaman.. and then she was almost crying. When we got home and sister Moore was NOT good. She was completely and totally exerted of all energy.. and then it just got worse from there with her sickness still.. 

Tuesday morning it started snowing!! It was great:) (btw- i dont have a cord to my camera.. it didn't come with one. So I can't upload the pix on here unless I am on a specific computer here at the library and I am not on it today unfortunately) It was literally like blizzarding!! It wasn't just sprinkling snow. It was SNOWING. That was cool.. except that Sister Moore slept in really late that day because she was just NOT healthy and had NO energy. So I just enjoyed the snow a bit by myself.. and my head was killing me.. I have now caught a cold or something this week, so I have been dealing with that. BUT! I pretty much got to study all day that day, Wednesday, and then we got to the doctor on Thursday for her finally (because everything was closed from the bad weather and the roads were icy). But all that was open and available her in Wallace was the urgent care. so they didn't do a whole lot for her.. they took some blood samples and we are still waiting to hear. She is so pale.. and she can't even take a shower without needing to lay back down for a while afterwards. her stomach is constantly SERIOUS pain.. It's hard to explain just how bad of shape she is in.

But, the good news of all of this is that I FINISHED THE BOOK OF MORMON yesterday!! haha. we went to church and she thought she was going to be able to make it through.. but after the first hour I thought she was going to pass out. she laid down in the library of the building and then the Bishop's wife came in and said she needed to just go home. So her daughter took her home and I stayed at church.. so at this point I am a little frustrated because she has to wait for everything to get approved to go to the doctor since she only has missionary medical insurance. It's hard to see my companion in such bad shape and I haven't been able to do much except study.. so hopefully this week we will get it all figured out. She is having a really really hard time with it all because she thinks she is going to have to go home from it. We think it is a problem with her gall bladder and they might need to remove it :/ 

I went on an exchange on Friday with a member of our branch to see our investigator, _____. She told me that she has now been having this feeling like she should get baptized in MARCH. and I almost cried right then and there because I was so happy. WOOOO!! I came home and told Sister Moore about it and I was like jumping on the bed (because we moved them into the living room on the floor so we could be in the same room while studying and then we just slept there too hahaha I felt like I was in college again or something. Sleepover!) We can't wait tho. ___ is such an amazing girl and I am so excited for her:) 

Ok so I finished the Book of Mormon. I started it January 1st and I finished it yesterday! that took me 47 days. haha thats a definite record.. for me at least. But I am so grateful I got to read it all so quickly because now I really feel like my testimony is so much stronger of the Book of Mormon and I know the story line better! I was so excited and just really filled with the Spirit when I was in the last few chapters of Moroni. He is definitely one of my favorites. He is so good! I know for sure now that the Book of Mormon is truly the word of God through prophets that were called of God. I know it was written for our day.. and I love it. 

Where do scholars and stuff think that the Jaredites lived geographically? and I just kept thinking while I was reading it about Tulum and Chichenitza...if those places we went and saw when we were down in Mexico were really some of the civilizations from the BoM, who would it have been there?? I kept thinking about Tulum.. when they talk about the battles on the seashore and stuff like that. So amazing!! 

Well. I think that is all for this week. I hope we can get back to the work this next week.. we need to get Sister Moore taken care of and then we will get back to tearing it up;) One thing I think I'm learning through all of this with her is that I'm getting a glimpse of what it will be like to be a mother..I'm taking care of her so much..checking on her, bringing her food, helping her...thank you,Mom for being such a great mom to me! It has reminded me of something one of our speakers at the MTC said, "You will be serving 2 missions..1 for your investigators, and 1 for your companion". It's so true. I love the things I'm learning out here.

Well, I love you all so much...even tho I still haven't gotten any letters from ya'll! :P
-Hermana Weller

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

This Week in NC (A Little Late)

Sorry, folks, I was really slacking this week in getting Raini's letter posted. But, here it is :)

Hola Familia,

Well this week was a very fast week and a slightly strange one as well haha.

So our investigator, _____, had a lesson at a member's home the beginning of this week and it was really really good. The husband gave her a blessing and she committed to stop smoking! So, she has been good for the past 5 days now! Her new baptismal date is March 8th, and we are confident that this will remain her date! She is going to finally make that step. We are SO excited! It was a very powerful lesson.

Then, we had a zone training meeting this week. It was so awesome.. because at the beginning of every thing we do including all meetings, we are supposed to write down a question we are seeking inspiration about. So, at the beginning of that meeting I wrote down "How can I love the people with more charity? and How can I follow the Spirit more when extending invitations?" ...These questions came because at the beginning of the week I was really down. I wanted to give up and not invite people to be baptized anymore.. because it seems every time I do, they just freak out and get nervous and want to quit meeting with us! So, I just got kind of discouraged.. But.. I realized I need to follow the Holy Spirit more and make sure that it is the right moment that I am inviting people to make these big commitments and not just extending the invitation because we think they could be baptized by then.. Anyway, the meeting was about TEACHING WITH CHARITY AND TEACHING BY THE SPIRIT. Seriously!? When they introduced the topic, I was like OH MY GOSH!! These are exactly my two questions. It was weird. But it was soo good and exactly what I needed to focus on! I realized that I really need to put more weight and importance on my personal study in the mornings, first. It is hard some days to be fully awake by 8 a.m. scripture time. But that is what sets the foundation for the day in being able to teach by the Spirit and attain inspiration about our investigators before we go and teach them that day.

So my companion has not been feeling super well. Last Monday she got a heating pack from our branch president's wife because her stomach was hurting really badly. But then it got worse on Thursday when she threw up when we got home that night.. she was not doing well. :( Then on Friday she slept in, then we went out and did a few visits. But she told me she was NOT feeling good at all.. so we went back home for the night and ate dinner at home and she threw it up again! Then on Saturday when she woke up she said she couldn't do anything.. she couldn't get up and do anything that day. So she stayed in bed all day and I just studied all day basically! I am now in Helaman! Haha..It was SO good to just study the scriptures all day. I love reading The Book of Mormon. Then for an hour I went out with _____, a member from our branch. We contacted a couple of former investigators and set up appointments with them which was good, while my comp was being babysat by our branch president's wife.. haha.

Then yesterday again she couldn't get up and do anything!
So we didn't go to church.. I have been trying to feed her and keep her hydrated as much as I can.. and shes doing well with the little bit of food we have. But I am nervous it is something more than just a flu or "roto virus" as they call it here..?? haha... She has had stomach problems a lot since she has been out on her mission, I guess. So idk.

Anyway, so when I was home from church yesterday I read some of the Ensigns we have in Spanish and decorated some of the walls with some of the pictures and stuff. So I livened it up in our house a bit :) Then I read from the Joseph Fielding Smith manual that Relief Society had their lesson on that day. I learned something very interesting:

it says, "This life is the most vital period in our eternal existence.." It just hit me..that combined with whatever was in that same chapter about how "we were created before this life.." I teach people about this all the time. But what I realized is that ..before we came here to earth we prepared so much. We tried learning all we could, getting ready for our debut on earth. And then when God presented his plan to us, that's why we celebrated and rejoiced! Because we were so excited that He finally gave us The explained how we could become like Him. This is what we were preparing for! {{{Also-- in my Patriarchal blessing it talks some about how I was a valiant daughter in the pre-existence and that I earned the "privilege" of being able to come to the earth during this time when the fullness of the Gospel was on the earth. And that just hit me even more. ..That I had really tried to be prepared as much as possible to come here to this earth!!}}} And then based on our time in this life.. that is what determines we get in the life to come:) So exciting. I love the Plan of Salvation!!!

I also looked up a bunch of scriptures about LOVE, since it is Valentine's Day this week! There are some REALLY good ones in the Bible about Christ's love for us and God's love for us through His son. Like, Proverbs 3:12, "For whom the Lord loveth, He correcteth; even as the father, the Son in whom he delighteth." Or, Proverbs 9:9, "Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest." And, John 14:15, "If ye love me, keep my commandments."..there are SO many more...look them up in the index under, "LOVE"...especially on Friday this week! haha.

I have learned a lot this week ..from my own studying and also in watching some of the families we have visited this week. I realized just how important the Gospel is in the family unit and what I want my family to be one day. I want to always be on the same page with my husband with the Gospel and making it a priority... doing family home evening, going to church every single week, teaching my children well, etc. I just have been thinking a lot about this and it's interesting that my setting apart blessing said I would learn some of these things while out here on my mission..and it is very apparent already!!

We got to make homemade tortillas with one of my favorite Hispanic families the other night! it was SO good!:) I seriously LOVE that family so much- the _______ family:) they are so great. You will see a pic of Sis. Moore and the ______ girls at their house that night.

Anyway, that's about it this week..I love being out here. It is great. I was also really discouraged this week at one point because I just feel like my Spanish is not good..and I started feeling like I am not doing what I was called to do here because I am not teaching in Spanish. But I just have to work harder at truly loving the people and we need to find more situations to teach in Spanish. That is the only way it is going to improve..

I love you so much and I pray for you every night!

Thanks again so much for the package too:)) it made my day:))

Happy valentines day! and yes, Lincoln, I will be your Valentine ;)

Sister Weller

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Zone Meeting

This is the Mt. Zion District @ zone meeting

This is the Wilmington Zone @ zone meeting

Tuesday, February 4, 2014's starting to snow!

What? Has the kid never seen snow before? Is she from Arizona or Hawaii or something?

                                       I think this might be their little brick house where they live?

                                           Raini, in front of the church building in Wallace, NC

Her frost-bitten toe! Yikes!

Hermana Weller and Hermana Moore

Looks like Superbowl that allowed? Haha..

This Week in NC...SNOW!!


Well. This week was crazy! So Monday was a BEAUTIFUL day.. we went running on our P-day and then just sat at the park after we emailed because it was so nice outside. Then we go over to the branch president's house that night and then he begins to inform us about this STORM that is coming, that the temps are going to drop below freezing and there is going to be snow!!.. So, we start freaking out about how we need to go back to Walmart and buy more food because no one will probably have us over in this weather! So, we go to the store with their daughter (She's married and so funny! We love her! Her husband is the one that knows Taylor Swift!) We go into Walmart and it is complete and total INSANITY!.. there is NO bread in the bread aisle. None. Nada. We started freaking out...What is going on here?!?! Is the world ending?! Then people were staring at us because we were kinda freaking out..haha So Sister ____ starts apologizing for us to people, "Sorry they're not from around here." hahahaha!!.. It was so funny. Seriously, tho, there was like no water, no bread, no canned soups, no soda! The store was sold out of everything by the end of the day. People literally don't know what to do when there is snow here. So we stocked up on some canned fruit and pop tarts and stuff and a couple gallons of water...(which have now turned into our weights for working out in the mornings lol.)

Anyways.. the next day it wasn't even that bad! We were completely doubting that there was really going to be snow at all because they said it was going to be like 10 inches! But, later that evening it got crazy.. it started raining, then sleet came, and then SNOW!!! It snowed all night long! We woke up and it was so pretty! It was completely white! But, as you know, this also meant it was really dangerous for us to drive since there was a few inches of ice underneath the snow.. So, we didn't really know what to do. Pretty much everyone we had appointments with cancelled on us. :( So then we were invited to have dinner with the _____'s (that's when we sent you the text, Mom!) After that, we literally had to just go home and do nothing! Oh...and my toe almost fell off! See picture. Haha...My feet were FROZEN even in my boots! It was NOT good. I was scared.

So, come Wednesday we were supposed to have a district meeting about 45 mins away. We told the district leader that it was too dangerous to drive out there. Then it was this whole ordeal because the elders all think they are really good at driving and they wanted to just drive anyways.. yada yada haha. Long story short, they ended up coming to us here and we had a good meeting. But the roads were really bad, like really bad. There were cars sliding into the ditches on the side of the road because it is just straight up ice!

So, it was a rough beginning of the week in terms of doing missionary work! No one wanted to have us come because it was too dangerous. So it was so great when we finally did get out of the house for a few lessons!

Four other sisters in our zone had a leadership meeting on Friday, so they came and stayed with us that evening before. It was like a big sleep over!! haha. So funny. One of them is not a sister/leader though because she is a visa waiter. So she came out teaching with us that day! So we had a trio for a day! It was funny because we told her don't worry, you wont have to speak Spanish...all of our people speak English today. But then we ended up speaking Spanish most of the time! We used more Spanish than we have in a while! lol. We went to The ____'s house and Sister ____ drove us out to the Rose Hill area to find some former investigators. We ended up just contacting a few new people there, but also knocked on some doors...they ended up all being Spanish speaking! Ha! So cool!

Then we had a lesson with our 13-yr. old, ____. She is just my favorite. She is so great!! I love her. She is still progressing, but it's hard because she is resistant to getting baptized soon. She thinks she needs to be 15 because the whole Mexican culture/coming of age-thing. Luckily this time we had Sister ____ with us and she made a great point to her, "Well if you got baptized now you could go to the temple when you are 15 and that is such a special experience..." We hadn't even thought of that, so it was such a good thing to have her there. ____'s dad who is less-active came into the room and we got to talk to him a little bit about church, too! Also, _____ has been bringing her little 5-yr-old brother to church the past two weeks and he LOVES it. So we are hoping to just get the whole family together for a lesson some time soon. But, her dad back into the Gospel, her mom to get baptized with her and then it would just be a big happy family! Her little brother is so cute. Even though he's too young to be baptized, he can be a great strength to the family right now!

Ummm...what else..

We are kinda worried about our investigator, ____. We weren't able to meet with her all week. She did come to church yesterday, but she just seems like she isn't doing well. We need to re-invite her to baptism. We are worried about her. :( Please continue to pray for her.

_____ is a member in our ward who I think I told you about. She is 25 and wants to go on a mission. She literally has given us 5 referrals of her friends and we have taught 3 of them already. She is so great. Her friends names are _____, _____, ______, _____ and _____. They are so awesome! _____ is SOOOOO ready for the Gospel! He told us that he knows that the story of Joseph Smith is true. what?!?! He has so much faith! He is a really good guy. We think that _____ and him kinda like each other.. they are too cute. So we hope he joins the church and that they will go on missions and eventually get married.. :) or something. who knows:)

We were able to do some service this week which was really good. We went and helped Sister _____ move from one home to different one just down the road a few doors.. and we helped her clean and stuff.. It was really nice to just be able to get out and wear some sweats and clean and move stuff haha! We also got to talk to her about some of her trials with sharing the Gospel with her friends. We encouraged her to not be frustrated or get discouraged because I guess when she tried sharing the Gospel with her friend, it went no where. The friend is just not interested.. and so we had to just keep encouraging her that no efforts are wasted in missionary work! Everything is to plant a seed or give them a chance to accept it or not. It is hard though when people you love don't want it when its right there for them if only they would give Him a chance.

Again, we felt some definite direction by the Spirit this week in knowing who to contact or who to visit and where to go... I love it when we can recognize that He is helping us out and guiding us so much. :)

This week we have been trying to figure out what we need to do to be the change or help spark a change here in Wallace because everyone is just complacent with the tiny little branch here. We have been focused on hope and believing there is something better ahead if we work together as much as we can as a branch. So we made little "save the date" cards to give to members to pray about a date they want to have a missionary experience by and we will help them best we can with their goal. It has been cool to see the members get excited to do that.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE CAMERA. I just got it today!!!!!

My companion took some pix for me this week with her camera, so I will send them right now.

Okay, well, I want you all to know that this church really is the true church of Jesus Christ on the earth, and I love being able to study the Book of Mormon and the Bible every single day and teach about it. I love having the knowledge that I can be together with my family forever and that the relationships I have with people here on earth aren't the end. I am so glad to hear about the wonderful experiences y'all have been having. That's incredible. You are the best. I love you so much.

I hope everything is going well.. I am doing good, personally! I love it here as always:) This is the last week of this transfer. Time has gone sooo fast here in the field I can't even believe it!!

Love you.
con amor,
Hermana Weller

Side Note: I've had a couple people ask questions about Raini's "title"...the word "hermana" is Spanish for "sister". As missionaries, girls are called "Sister ____" (their last name) and boys are "Elder _____.