Monday, October 23, 2017


My heart is so happy. 

I've really loved being a part of the Lord's work this week. (I always do.)

I've smiled a lot, 
I've loved a lot, 
and I've tried to serve my best. 
It has been so good. 

Here are some bullet no particular order...(except probably they will end up in the order that makes the least amount of sense because that's how Sister Rendon's brain works)

-Based off of the amount of times I've lost my planner it's incredibly inspired they didn't send me to an iPad mission or anything of that sort. Also even if one day they force us to get electronic around here Fresno, California is still my favorite place to serve a mission. 

-I went on exchanges with Sister Kelly and it was so fun. haha. It felt just like old annoying her by attempting to self-crush my ice.....her stopping mid-word to notify me the millisecond the stoplight turned green. SHE IS SUCH A BLESSING TO ME....and such a hard worker. We taught some awesome lessons together. 

-We taught Dianne....(she's the one we took a selfie with). I love Dianne, she is sooo funny. We taught her about closing prayers and asked her to say one and it went like this....."Heavenly Father.....we finna depart from here. Now shoo angels go....." Then she started shooing us out of her house mid-prayer. 

-This bullet point features a little story....I learned a lot from it though. We went and visited an investigator who should have been at church on Sunday afternoon. She welcomed us in her home and as we sat down she told us how her morning had gone. She woke up feeling like she needed comfort...she'd had a long night. As she sat down she saw The Book of Mormon that we had left her, picked it up, realized she didn't have her reading glasses on, set the Book of Mormon down, then started drinking the Vodka that was right next to it. CHOICES ARE SO IMPORTANT. I'm absolutely positive that we've all had moments like this. In a place where we needed comfort.....seeing ultimately only two options for comfort. 1. The Lord's way. Honestly probably more inconvenient at first, but far more eternal and 2. The World's way. Initially the easier choice but one that wears of quickly and leaves you worse than you began. I promise that when you are looking for comfort....both choices will always be there, and they will always lead to something. I invite you all to be aware of where your choices are leading you....WITH AN ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE. This little story reminded me of talking to an investigator my last area. She had a history-it included drugs. She told us that she turned to them to numb her pain but when she met missionaries and started turning to the Lord and he took away her pain. The ATONEMENT OF JESUS CHRIST IS SO MUCH MORE THAN THE NUMBING EFFECT OF THE WORLD BUT IT IS THE HEALING EFFECT OF THE LORD. 

-WE HAD A BAPTISM. Wow it was so powerful. 
Background on the Domantay family: They are from the Philippines and had a very successful life there.  The parents were doctors and lawyers and Yang -the daughter said that in the Philippines she didn't really know what trials were. They moved to America so they could give Yang an even better life, and here they found trials. They didn't have a car and didn't have a house. Here the parents work as care takers and so they stayed at the homes of those they took care of- moving up to three times a week. In yang's testimony she shared her memories of walking four miles to get to the store with her mom and then four miles back carrying all of the groceries. Now that the family is settled all three of them live in one room and the parents continue to work as care-takers. Yang said that her trials taught her to be grateful.....that when she was walking miles with arms full of groceries...she was grateful she had legs to walk. When she and her parents stay in one room together she was grateful to have a roof over their head. She felt that even though these trials seemed to be dragging her back and it was in reality only to be able to launch her an arrow. Through it all they have relied on their faith in Christ. Their faith is so strong. Their family is preparing to go to the temple for baptisms for the dead next month, they've started with family history, and they just want to give back to the church by serving everyone. As we were sitting at the baptism and singing the closing song I could not help but wonder why the Lord was choosing to bless me this much. The truth is I have worked hard everyday of my mission, I've always tried to do my best, but despite that I HAVE NEVER FELT that I have worked hard enough to deserve to experience the fullness of joy that I have. I never could work that hard, but the Lord in his infinite mercy has magnified the work that I have done and blessed me in abundance. I love Him for that. 

to my very well loved ones. 
I wish, I wish, I wish, words could say what I feel about this work, but they don't. 
I wish I could say everything that I wanted to, but I can't. I wish you all could experience the joy that I feel, and the good news is you can. 

I need you all to know that 
-I am here for you
-Jesus Christ is there for you
psalms 56:9 When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know.; for God is for me

Monday, October 16, 2017

Fresno State, great, great, great.

                                           Sister Tatakamotonga & Sister Rendon

I would keep up with those local church billboards as subject lines........
but it seems as though my entire area is basically Fresno State University.....and student housing. 

More fun facts about my area....

-A member herself welcomed me into the area by'll find it's one of those newly weds and nearly dead wards you hear about. She definitely isn't wrong. 

-My companion is Sister Tatakamotonga....but if you run out of breath too quickly you can shorten it to Sister T. 

-We live in apartment complexes that have a great view of the fireworks post Fresno State win of their homecoming football game. (Fresno State is playing BYU this that is going to be a grand old time...)


Monday, October 9, 2017

       "We're not baskin robbins, but we have good Sundays."

David Hernandez, Matt Demp, Manuel Pompa, Ruben Gonzales, Petra Hernandez, Sister Rendon, Sister Burnside

                           Elder Jones , Sister Burnside, Sister Rendon, and Elder Lilly's forehead.

Well, well, well. What a week. 

It ended with transfer calls. 
I'm leaving and I'm sad about it. 

but of course Ruben came along and made it better.

This is him after we broke the news that I was leaving right before sacrament meeting began......

Brother Hernandez: *shares 'the news'
Ruben: deuces *accompanied by a peace sign. 
Ruben 1/2 a second later: Just kidding we are going to miss you. 
Ruben a little bit later: Sister Rendon what town are you from again.....?
Sister Rendon: Hooper 
Ruben: That's a good name for a son. I could name my son that. (Also Sister Burnside is from highland and he thinks that is a really good name for a girl)
Ruben even more later: Sister Rendon I just wanted to call and say thank you and bear my testimony. 

He did both of those things and it was so incredible. Honestly watching Ruben's conversion has changed my life. If there were words to put it in, I would try but honestly there just isn't . Ruben is walking, breathing, talking, proof that miracles do exist, that the atonement of Christ is real, and that anything is possible with faith in the Lord. 

proof that fasting works: 
This Sunday I had already found out where I was being transferred and President Mackay had told me a little bit about the area. With that information and the extra boost of a new transfer I decided to fast for the focus on BAPTISM. We were in the church parking lot after church and President Cox came out. Tulare ward member. Also former mission president. Also former MTC president. also current member of the Fresno temple presidency. Because of his current calling he doesn't normally attend the tulare ward...which just adds more to this miracle. As I shook his hand I asked just one simple question.....which was..."What is the best advice you have for a missionary." Which led to basically zone conference in the church parking lot. My goodness he got excited about missionary work and wow you can tell he is incredible. When he arrived to Mexico as a mission president his mission was 17th lowest baptizing mission out of 21 missions in Mexico. When he left it was number 1. 

He said so many incredible things and gave us lots of great advice like. 

"When you kneel down to pray you say, 'Heavenly Father we are here to baptize.' "
"You write baptism on a paper and you put it above your bed. You put it in front of your study desk." 
"Sisters you commit to a baptismal date on the 2nd lesson. When I see your investigators I won't be afraid to ask them what their date is." 

honestly I could go on and on and on about the advice he gave us, because he went on and on and on while he was giving it to us. It was honestly so enjoyable though. I left the parking lot with a wildfire going on in my bones. It was incredible as he was talking to us he taught us about all phases of missionary work...finding, teaching, baptizing, retaining. 

leaving tulare is going to be hard. just like leaving any other area....but I'm excited to see what the future holds. plus I got a lot of invitations to find people on facebook so that was a blessing. 

thanks for everything. 
if you have any problems, read the Book of Mormon. 
I love you!!! 

Monday, October 2, 2017

"Hey fiendstien dogma lives loudly here."

In staying loyal to my subject lines plagiarized from the local church buildings here....the only way this one that Sister Burnside and I are both at a loss for what it means...and we talk about it sometimes. So if anyone has any insight...please share. 


-We spent an awful lot of time in Visailia this week on account of our car being worked on. We did our weekly planning in Blaze pizza...which was actually wayyy more effective than I thought it could be. Here is a fun story featuring the busiest street in Visailia.....So we had dropped off our car at pep boys (for an oil change....and then a surprise set of new tires) and we were walking to blaze pizza for lunch. We started talking to a man at the crosswalk....having what I thought to be a genuinely pleasant conversation...when he looks at us and says 'I'm going to go now." and proceeds to jaywalk across literally the busiest street in Visailia because apparently that was more bearable than the thought of waiting at the cross walk with us. Sister Burnside and I were just in total shock about the whole thing....and then when he made it across safely we laughed a whole lot. Sometimes I wonder if I'm a persistent enough I know. haha  

-We asked Ruben if we could watch general conference with him on Saturday. He told us he had made some plans for all day on Saturday with an old friend. We were a little bit upset until the next day when the YSA sisters texted us and told us that Ruben was with all the young single adult's watching conference. Apparently the old friend was a member bishop sent to go meet Ruben and the plans were watching general conference. He used to hate the idea of YSA but now he is super excited about it. Sister Burnside and I a little bit feel like a mom sending a son off to college.....but good thing the church is true no matter what ward you visit it in. ALSO WE ARE TEACHING RUBEN'S PARENTS NOW. WE ARE SO EXCITED.  

These are things I had in my I really can't be sure if they are direct quotes....or personal revelation....but take it for what you will. 

-It is not only the character of God that is revealed in the restored gospel, but also our divine potential. 

-The cost of getting better is giving your best. 

-Although not everything that happens to us is a choice- how we respond to it is. 


-the knowledge of the restoration is the most shareable blessing of the gospel 

-God's fingerprints are all over The Book of Mormon


-It is often through our extremities that we come to know God

-Love without service is like faith without works. It is there, and it is dead. 

-The most perfect Man experienced the most painful suffering 

-seeking Holiness in our day to day life, will bring a wholeness to our day to day life. 


-Although it feels like we are millions of miles from the stature of the fulness of Christ- It is important to remember that the LOVE OF CHRIST stretches every inch of every one of those miles. 

(there was so so so so so so so so so so much more to be learned. do me a solid and go back and WATCH/READ THEM ALL AGAIN

Monday, September 25, 2017

exercise daily, walk with God. (and if you're feeling extra motivated TRItulare)

                                                             Photo credit- Manuel

Hey there dearest family and friends.
I hope all is going well at home but from the tidbits of information I get about the world, it sounds like things are pretty crazy outside the bubble of full-time missionary work.

an example tidbit of information.
Us: Hey Don can we meet with you Tuesday at three?
Don: Ya. Hopefully a nuclear war hasn't started by then.

also a less active member informed us that we were supposed to find a cellar and stay there all day on Thursday due to the planet that was going to collide with the earth.

Really makes a missionary wonder what is happening in the outside world, but also makes a missionary really grateful that they don't know. (and a little bit makes a missionary think their investigators are wild but what's new.)

SO. Last week I told you Ruben got baptized and THIS week I tell you that He is legitimately considering serving a mission. Seriously every time we go over there we spend the next ten years talking about how amazing he is. I want to tell you all his conversion story, but I also want to do it justice. but basically he has changed EVERYTHING about his life.

Being with Cindy was this week was incredible too. We taught her on Thursday and then said, "Hey you should come to the ward party tomorrow, and then the women's broadcast the next day, and then church the next day." and then she did all those we basically spent all weekend with her.

The ward party was a fun time. The Spanish group in Tulare put it on. They certainly know how to throw a party. I'm considering majoring in latino dancing now. We had five non-members at the ward party and Ruben laughed at us for not knowing the names of all the different Spanish foods.

There was also zone conference. I laughed. I cried. (mostly due to the fact that it was Sister Murray's last zone conference and I've only experienced one zone conference without her.) I felt the spirit.

Our service hours this week were used at the big-deal scout fundraiser the ward put on. Which happens to be an entire triathlon called the tritulare triathlon. (hence the subject line.) 

Monday, September 18, 2017





After quite some time in the field, I finally decided how to creatively caption my emails. 
There is no shortage of religious puns on all the local church billboards in these parts. 
I decided I'd take advantage of them... 

Well let's talk about Ruben giving his heart to Jesus this week. 
Doesn't he look so happy?? 😊

Well, I'll just go ahead and tell you about how he felt he looked. 

These #realquotesfromRuben all feature his baptismal attire...

Us: You'll be dressed in white from head to toe. 

*Ruben looking through the rack of baptismal jumpsuits. 
Ruben: It's looks like I'm about to be married....except I'M GOING TO BE THE BRIDE. 

*Ruben coming out of the restroom after changing

Well as far as I know whatever else he may look like.....a q-tip, a bride, a ghost. He looks happy and he looks pure. Even more than that he IS happy and he IS PURE. 
During the talk on baptism we looked over and saw a couple of tears fall from his face. He told us that it was just hitting him that he really was going to be cleansed. It was such a sweet week. He had his mom and step-dad come to the baptism and they came to all three hours of church yesterday too with his brother! We are super hoping that we can start teaching them too. 

some more quotes from Ruben for some more fun. 

*explaining what a mission president is
Me: He just helps us out and teaches us how to be good missionaries. 
Ruben: You are good missionaries. You don't need to be teached to be good missionaries. 

*on the phone
Ruben: I'm a fan now. I'm a BYU fan now. You sisters have got me hooked. 
Which is funny because neither of us ever mentioned BYU to him and now he loves BYU. He calls at lets us know how the football team is doing. 

One of the recent converts in the ward baptized him. It was SO GOOD. 

Well Ruben's conversion was a miracle. (every conversion is a miracle)

but we also saw some other miracles this week too. 

We had an incredible experience last night. 

We haven't been finding new investigators very well these last few weeks and last night I was getting a little bit flustered and wee bit restless because I just wanted to find. We had just stopped by a potential investigators house but he wasn't home. So Sister Burnside and I decided to pray about where we should go to open our mouths. Almost right after I had prayed and we opened the map a specific neighborhood came to mind. It was literally on the complete opposite side of Tulare but we both felt that we should go there. Once we got there and prayed some more we went to the very first house. It was Amelia...she has been missing church, wanting to go back, and she has been looking for peace. It was super cool and we have a return appointment with her next week! We also found another sweet potential, he and his wife have been looking for a church. ISN'T IT SO COOL. Jesus Christ has a church, and missionaries. Long story short. Prayer works. 

P.s. on exchanges this week we had a family treat us to a Chinese buffet. I was on exchanges and Sister Matua and I feasted. We were literally walking out at 6:00 and still finishing up our last bites. 

so many blessings this week. 
love you all!!!

Monday, September 11, 2017


Let's skip right to the good stuff. 

Ruben last week: *praying* I know that I'm going to ace my baptismal interview questions. 
Ruben this week: *aced baptismal interview questions*
Ruben next week: *get's baptized*

Ruben Saturday night at the ward luau: "I feel like I'm married to the church." "I was here this morning. I'm here right now. I'll be here tomorrow." 
He's literally so incredible. He went and worked at the vineyard at 5:30 in the morning on saturday, went to the ward party early to help. and he's no bump on a log investigator at church. 

Side note: Sister Burnside and I have been pretty present in the tulare ward lately. Last week we prayed in sacrament meeting, Sister Burnside conducted the music, and then we taught relief society, this week we prayed in gospel principles and then taught gospel principles, and apparently next week we are doing a musical number in sacrament meeting with the relief society president and two young women. Which is going to be a new experience considering the only musical numbers I've done on my mission are the times where basically everyone sings because it's President and Sister Clark's last zone conference and how can you not participate in the choir that sings God be with you till' we meet again. and at that point there isn't a ton of singing and just a lot of crying that happens to match the tune of the song. And that other time where Sister Murray and I and a couple of Elder's rapped about how cool missionary work is in front of a bunch of youth. 

Anyway the whole reason I brought that up was to emphasis the point that Ruben is no bump on a log investigator at church. 
We taught in gospel principles about missionary work. 
At one point we asked the class how they had benefited from missionary work in their own lives. 

Ruben raised his hand.....
he talked about the first day he met us and where he was in life. It wasn't a good place. He talked about meeting us, hearing our message, meeting the Hernandez family and He simply said...."You saved me." 
The truth is of course it was Jesus Christ. 
He is our only hope. 
Our only savior. 
He is not the only servant in the work of salvation. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again. 
Salvation requires not only a Savior, but also a willing heart. 
Ruben had a willing heart. He wanted to change. He wanted to put his life in God's hands. 

There was a quote I heard in sacrament meeting that went something like this...."God cannot translate good intentions and good desires into good works, only you can do that."

I mention that because not only did Ruben DESIRE to place his life in God's hands, but Ruben DID place his life in God's hands and he continues to do so. 
Ruben's salvation, and mine, and yours. Does not simply require Jesus Christ, although it does and has to....
but Ruben's salvation, and mine, and yours also requires Ruben, and me, and you. 


Sister Burnside and also exchanged with some Sisters and Sister Frazier and I got to be companions for the day again, so that was a fun time. 

Which let me tell you
Porterville zone strengths: baptizing

Porterville zone weaknesses: taking a zone picture