Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Week 8

Hey everyone, this one's gonna be a little short. Sorry it's so much later than usual, today's schedule has been a little funky with being in a new district and all. Whoops. Cat's out of the bag. I might as well just tell you now... ;)

I've received a permanent reassignment to serve in the FLORIDA ORLANDO MISSION!!!!!!!I'm so excited! I will leave the MTC this next Monday, July 11th (the same day I would have left for Brazil). This decision was prompted by my issues with depression and anxiety, but I know that the Lord needs me in Orlando. I already feel so connected to that wonderful place. Yes, I will get to go to Disney World on my last P-day, and you're welcome for saving you all the cost of international postage.

I've been moved transferred into a new district of 11 other missionaries (7 elders and 4 other sisters), all of whom are going to Orlando too. Cool, huh? I've also moved into a new room with the other sisters in my district. My new companions are Sister Wilks and Sister Poulson, they're the greatest!

In all seriousness, though, I know that everything that has happened here has led be to go to Florida. The Lord has pieced together this perfect path for me that has led me where He wants me to be. It was in His plans for me to go to Orlando all along, but I needed to be here, and meet the people I met, and learn the things I learned (especially Portuguese) for a reason. His plan is ALWAYS perfect. ALWAYS better.

I love you all!



Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Week 7

This week has been sooooo busy, as I have been practicing and singing with the special choir I told you all about last week. Thursday we sang for the First Presidency and 9 of the Quorum of the 12. The General RS presidency was there too, right on the front row. I got a massive smile from Sister Allred (who has FABULOUS taste in shoes), and I made Sister Thompson cry. Friday I don't remember who all was there, but it was gorgeous, and many of the mission presidents (along with most of the wives) were crying. So cool. Saturday, we sang "I'm Trying to be Like Jesus,' and after we left the room, Elder Holland got up, and said something to the effect of, "Those missionaries are succeeding in the message they are singing." SO cool :)
Sunday morning, while we were practicing, Elder and Sister Bednar came in to the room and spoke to us for a little bit. It was so cool that he took the time to do that. Then we went into their meeting and sang, "This is the Christ." It was really beautiful. We were supposed to sing and they sacrament meeting at 10:30. We were all lined up, ready to walk in, but Elder Nelson forgot to announce us. We went back into the practice room and watched a streaming of their meeting. President Eyring spoke, and did a magnificent job, as always. After the meeting, we made a big circle around the room, and decided to sing Joseph Smith's First Prayer (the song we were supposed to sing in their sacrament meeting. on of the doors was open, and mission presidents and their wifes started filing in to listen. It was such a neat experience to share my testimony of the Restoration of the gospel in this way.
After that, the choir all went out into the hallway, and mingled with the guests there. I met Elder Kearon, Elder Clayton (who knows Brother Akers, and who is also HILARIOUS) many mission presidents, andddddd...... WAIT FOR IT.
No joke. They both give wonderful hugs. :)
Well, I think that's all for now. I love you all. Please keep the letters coming, and most especially the prayers too. I've got a lot of decisions to make this week.
The Church is True, and Christ loves you!!!!
Love, Sister Reynolds

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Week 6

Hey there everyone! This week has been CRAZY!
This week is the conference and training fro new mission presidents. I have been invited to sing in a special choir of about 36-38 missionaries that will be singing at most of their meetings. Are you ready for the CRAZY PART??? Sit down.
PRESIDENT MONSON IS COMING THURSDAY MORNING, AND I'LL BE SINGING FOR HIM. I get to sing for the Prophet of God. I can't tell you how excited I am!!!!! Also, a little freaked out, because all of our parts need to be memorized, but I can do it :)
Thursday Morning-President Monson
Friday Morning- President Uchtdorf
Friday Night- A big fireside with a lot of General Authorities, including Elder Packer
Sunday Morning-Elder Holland and Elder Nelson, I think.
Sunday Afternoon-President Eyring.
Now that I've told you all this, don't come down to Provo, and bust down the doors. I would love to see you all, but I'm pretty sure I'd get majorly fired.
Sunday was kind of a hard day. First, in Sacrament meeting, I accompanied 2 districts of Elders in my branch. They sang the words to Joseph's Smith First Prayer to the tune of Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. The arrangement was pretty easy, until the last 2 pages when the key changed into 5 flats, with 3 note chords in each hand. AND they gave the music to me on Tuesday night. UGH. So, needless to say, I adapted it a little bit, but it all turned out okay. The spirit was really strong while they sang.
Then, in that same meeting,my branch president, President Whetton was released, and President Crosby was called to replace him. I'm sure President C. will be wonderful, and I know he was called for a reason, but we all know how much I love change. And by love, I mean not at all. One of the brance presidency counselors interviewed me Sunday afternoon, to see how I'm doing, and I totally fell apart. That poor man. He has 5 sons. I don't think he knows how to handle sobbing girls. Nonetheless, he was very sweet. He said, (THIS IS THE QUOTE OF THE WEEK) "They say change is a good thing. But I think the only people who say that are people that have never experienced change." Isn't that great?
I want you all to know that I know that the work I'm doing is the Lord's work. I can't do it with His help. I know that Joseph Smith was and is the Prophet of the Restoration. I know that he was called, like me, in his weakness. What a wonderful, powerful tool he became in the Lord's hands.
I love you all!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Week 5

Hey everyone!

This week has been an interesting one for sure. Sister Chatwin and I LOVE our new district. The elders are all so wonderful, and so sweet to us. We've become a family very quickly.

Last Tuesday night, Elder Kikuchi of the First Quorum of the Seventy came and spoke to us. He spoke about a lot of things, but my favorite part was when he taught us how to better teach the First Vision.

Sisters Ratigan and Chatwin say thanks for the candy. We've been chowing this week. Also, Sister Nelson and Sister Thompson left today, and left us 5 cans of Coke. Elder Keck says hi, and he would love treats. He loves all things that don't have coconut.

I can't tell you how much I appreciate everyone's letters and encouragement. No one can serve a mission without the Lord at the helm, and I know that He is working through all of you by your letters and love.

MY BIG DEAL THIS WEEK: I memorized the First Vision in Portuguese!!!! And I got to teach it to 2 of our pseudo-investigators. The Spirit was SO strong. No one can ever tell me that the First Vision didn't happen.

Sorry this is so short, today's been nuts and I have less than 2 minutes left. LOVE LOVE LOVE,

Love, ginger.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Week 4

Erin with the wives of the branch presidency

Hey there!

Sister Chatwin has been so wonderful, I'm so blessed to have her as a companion. Keep your prayers coming!

Other news, the other sisters and the elders in our district all got their visas and left for the Brazil MTC this morning. It was sad to see them go, but we are so excited for them! I know that I need to be here, and I'm blessed to be.

Since the other 2 sisters moved out of our room, another sister moved in. Her name's Sister Ratigan, and she'll leave in a few weeks for Brazil. The 5 of us have decided to implement "quarta-feira festas" (Wednesday parties).Every Wednesday night, we have a mini-slumber party, and giggle like little girls. That's not to say we never giggle like little girls any other time :)Since the other 2 sisters moved out of our room, another sister moved in. Her name's Sister Ratigan, and she'll leave in a few weeks for Brazil. The 5 of us have decided to implement "quarta-feira festas" (Wednesday parties).Every Wednesday night, we have a mini-slumber party, and giggle like little girls. That's not to say we never giggle like little girls any other time :)
Since our district shrank quite a bit, we've been absorbed into another district of 7 elders in our branch. They're all going to Mozambique. We meet with them on Sunday for District Meeting (pretty much Sunday School), and Tuesday nights for Devotional Review. And sometimes throughout the week. But our regular classes are just Sister Chatwin and I. It's actually really great. I can already tell that we're learning way quicker.

My audition went....well... not as well as it could have gone. I had played it SO well in sacrament meeting, but I totally butchered it in the audition. Piano solos=not for me.

And a moment of comedic relief- for the first few weeks, I spent most of my gym time playing volleyball. About a week ago, we had a pretty good rally going on.I was positioned in the spot in front of the server. He did a pretty good dig, and hit it up. Right into my face. My nose had a little bump on it, but no bruising, and I don't think anything's broken. He felt SO bad.

I play kickball outside now. The last time we played, I had 2 runs, and nearly bulldozed the elder at first base. STONE COLD.

My daily schedule varies from day to day. I don't have my calendar on me today. but I always have an hour of gym, two 3-hour blocks of class, 1 hour of language study, 30 minutes of planning, 3 meals, and 8 hours of sleep each day :) I'll send your a more specific breakdown next week.

I want you all to know that I have a testimony that Jesus Christ lives, and he guides this church today. His Atonement blesses my life everyday in ways that I can't often see. I know that Heavenly Father can see all, and has a perfectly perfect plan for each of us. I've tried many many times to argue that plan, and it never works. Ever. I know that I'm where I'm supposed to be, doing the work I need to be doing. I know that it's God's work, and He has called me, my simple, weak, imperfect self, to spread His gospel to all of His children.

The Church is true, and I love you all!

Con amor,

Sister Reynolds

Week 3

Erin and her companion, Sister Chatwin.

"Our first night at the MTC. We were so happy then. We're happier now. "

Hey all! First of all, the weather is AMAZING today. I'm not used to it being this warm ever, and surprise! I'm loving it :)

This week was definitely an adventure. There were some struggles, but I got a priesthood blessing from 3 of the elders in my branch, and I'm doing way better.

Tuesday night, our devotional speakers were Elder Russell M Nelson and his wife, Wendy. They spoke to us about the importance of exact obedience, and about bearing pure testimonies of Jesus Christ. It was an AMAZING meeting.

Wednesday we got a new district of missionaries, 4 new elders and 2 new sisters. The sisters are both in our bedroom, so there's 6 of us in there now. Thank heavens for bunkbeds, eh? :) One of the sisters is a month and a half older than me, and she is a HUGE Harry Potter fan. She shared a scripture in 1 Corinthians 15:26. Read it right now, and tell me that's not awesome? Disclaimer: if you haven't read Harry Potter 7, nevermind.)

Sunday I played a piano solo in Sacrament Meeting. It's the first time I've played a piano solo in I don't know how long. I feel like it went pretty well, though. Saturday I practiced for so long that my fingers were sore. I know, I'm majorly hardcore. I played an arrangement of Come Thou Fount of Ev'ry Blessing, arranged by Sister Nally, whose husband is in the MTC mission presidency. After Relief Society, I let her know that I had played it in my branch's Sacrament meeting, and I thanked her for arranging it. She was super excited, and asked me to audition to play in a larger meeting. YIKES! I'm way nervous. The auditions are Thursday, 10am-12pm. Say a prayer for me that I won't make a complete and total fool of myself? Kthx.

Thank you all for your prayers, letters, support and love. I feel them everyday, and I love you all right back!!

Sister Reynolds

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Week 2

We've got some pictures. I'll be scanning them soon! -Rachael

OlĂ !!! This week was a blast. It flew by!

Way cool story. When I said my prayers on Thursday, I prayed that I would see a face I know. On our way to gym, I ran into Ben Miles, a guy I went to seminary with! He teaches here at the MTC. I was so great to run into him, even though it was a bit weird calling him Brother Miles. PRAYERS ARE ANSWERED.

I love gym time. Yes, you read that right. I actually really look forward to it. Even on the days that it's first thing in the morning. :) I always play volleyball, because there's nothing else I like doing. There's a really fun group of regulars. Mostly elders, as everything around here seems to be. I've made some really awesome friends so far.

Sunday was awesome! I'm kind of the unofficial Sacrament Meeting pianist, now. I also accompanied the 3 elders in my district as they sang "Be Thou Humble," the first verse in English and the second half in Portguese. They did a great job. sacrament meeting was just pretty dang awesome in general. Our branch president, President Whetton, spoke to us on forgiveness and loving people more. It was definitely something that I needed to hear. Also, a member of the Relief Society Board spoke to us in Relief Society.

Sister Chatwin and I decided to go to choir practice on Sunday, it was AMAZING. I'm never missing a practice again. We're singing "This Is The Christ" at the devotional tonight.

My Portuguese is coming along slowly, but surely. I can feel the gift of tongues working, and that's a HUGE blessing.

Also, I bought a new scripture bag. It's purple.

Nothing else super exciting has happened. This week has been much less emotional that last, which I think means I'm settling in.

I love you all! Keep those letters and prayers coming my way. I need every one :)

Love, Sister Reynolds