August is a month of birthdays so first I have to wish my dear daddy Happy Birthday this Saturday! Everyone treat him real nice and be good to him! I love you so much dad! Hope you get to golf! Also a happy birthday to my awesome brother-in-law, Ryan Rudd! You are amazing and my sister is super lucky and I hope I get just as lucky as I earn all my "hot husband" points out here on my mission! ; ) Ha ha...and "honorable priesthood holder who loves God and adores me points!" ; ) That's who you are to my sister and I thank you for taking such good care of her! Eat a bite of Cold Stone for me on your big day!
OK so...I have a really funny story for you all this week! I went on my first exchange (where I trade companions and areas for a day with another set of sisters) and I was sent to a Spanish area with a Spanish speaking companion. I was thinking, "Welp, this will be interesting! How on earth am I gonna help anyone when I don't speak Spanish!" The day actually turned out to be really fun for me but here's the best part: We were teaching this sweet sweet woman named Yuri. My companion told her I was a singer and they wanted to hear me sing and they of course didn't know any American singers so I asked if they knew Selena. So I sang a Selena song and they were blown away...really...they were so cute and she was so sweet and wants a CD ha ha...Now, I don't speak Spanish but I grew up around it and took French and Italian so I can follow a conversation pretty well...actually way better than I ever knew I could! So Yuri was so confused when I would respond to her questions or comments and laugh and nod along. She looked at me like, "I thought you didn't speak Spanish???" We read from the Spanish Book of Mormon and I read verses in Spanish, I felt like I was saying it all wrong but was doing my best. I asked a question about the story and Yuri just looked at me and said, "How can you read and pronounce Spanish perfectly but you can't speak it?!! Your Spanish is really good! I understand your sentences as you read them!" Ha ha...she was just so shocked and so impressed with how well I was doing and at how hard I was trying to communicate with her as much as I could. I told her why I knew a little bit and how, because of majoring in vocal performance, I had many classes on diction and foreign language courses so I could sing in different languages if I had to. So I can usually read and pronounce well even if I have no idea what I am saying. But for all the rest of the lesson my companion translated for me my testimony I bore and questions I asked and things so we got along pretty well...but at the end of the lesson I was bearing my testimony in English while she translated....she speaks Spanish but has struggles with it still and at the end I was saying something like, "I know Jesus Christ truly is my Savior and that He can heal every hurt. I know that His gospel is true. If it weren't I would be here, embarrassing myself trying to speak Spanish!" (You know...just letting her know how much I wanted her to know for herself this was all true....) So my companion was talking and she came to a point and said, "I don't know what the word embarrassing is in Spanish....so questioningly she said, "ebmbarrasado?? embarrassido??" And Yuri's face lit up with some shock kind of like, "Oh! Really? You?!" And she started speaking really fast and I heard somewhere in there "bebe" and I looked at her like, "What? Did she just say baby?" And then she made the motion with her hands of a pregnant belly....she pointed at me. I was like, "NO NO NO NOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Ha ha....come to find out embarrassido means pregnant...Seriously???!!!!! What are the odds?! Ha ha...oh we laughed so hard and I think I laughed for an hour after...."If the gospel of Jesus Christ weren't true I wouldn't be here....pregnant..." Ha hahahahahah oohhhhh heeee hehehe...man....just to funny...she must have been very confused! We cleared that up though! Don't worry ; ) But my first thought was, "Can't wait to tell my family that one!" I always wanted one of those funny language barrier stories from my mission! Didn't think I'd get one speaking English! ; ) It was too funny though...but it was amazing though. I was in another lesson that day and the lady was dropping the missionaries and I just listened intently and knew pretty much what she was saying....and although I didn't know 100%...I knew what I needed to say to her and bear my testimony of...and I felt the spirit sooo strongly....tears welled in my eyes and I didn't even know why really...but I knew the spirit was there testifying, and after we left my companion said I asked the perfect questions and said exactly what she needed to hear....I was just stunned really...they didn't accept the gospel but we knew we had done all we could...we both bore testimony and the spirit touched their hearts....that is all we can do!
I had the opportunity to go inside the San Diego Temple today and do a session for the very first time. It was so beautiful and I couldn't believe my eyes. I sat and cried as I felt of such peace and literally felt like I ascended the stairway to heaven...as I walked down the grand staircase the thought crossed my mind, "You truly are my Princess Ralynne...and I am teaching you how to become a Queen." I will never forget my first experience there....and long for and look forward to the day I will stand hand in hand with my sweetheart there and be sealed together for time and all eternity....I stepped into a sealing room and looked in the mirror and tried to picture it...I have faith that wonderful blessing will come....in the Lord's most perfect timing it will. What a happy day that will be!
I have another baptism on Saturday (my dad's birthday, how perfect!) Sierra and Cheyenne...the two 9 year old twins! We helped them clean their house yesterday and one said, "I am so glad you Sisters are here. You're just the best!" = ) They are the sweetest and I am so happy to be part of such a special day with them!
Love you all and pray for your most desired blessings to come!
Have a wonderful week!