Monday, August 28, 2017



             Sister Mackay, Sister Rendon, Sister Burnside

missionary puns eh. 

specifically to missionaries who serve in the CFM. 

the actual vineyard of the Lord. 

Here are some really important things

-Reuben is changing his life. 
Literally. He is investigator shaped gold. We love him. We were going over the baptismal interview questions and we hadn't taught all of the commandments yet-so we just explained them as we go. He was just accepting them all and kept saying 'I just want to hand my life over to God.' 
He had a meeting to get to know our Bishop and then we started making guesses about where he would serve his mission. 
Just in the few weeks we've known him so much has changed. He was telling us about how he was talking to his friend (who we are also teaching) and his friend was saying that his life was boring. AND THESE ARE SOME REAL QUOTES FROM REUBEN. "Well if you're bored, why don't you go to church? or you could read the Book of Mormon?" Which is so true. There is no time to be bored when you're trying to learn about the restored gospel. 

Which brings me to Claudia, who is living proof of that last statement. 
-We met Claudia right after a dinner one day and she asked us to come back and talk to her daughter about God. Which of course we said yes. So we went back and taught her daughter who is so cute and then set a return appointment. When we went back she wasn't there because she had missed the bus. So we taught Claudia. It was a great lesson on the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and then we pulled out the Book of Mormon and wow her eyes lit up. Then her daughter got home and she said a cute prayer that went like this...."thanks for letting my friends....I sisters come over and teach me today!" So tender. Then we went over like two days later and the daughter was there but Claudia wasn't. When we asked if she had seen her mom reading the Book of went kind of like this. ''YA. that is all that she has done. She reads it all day and then all night. I think I saw her at five in the morning reading it with the light on her phone. She can't put it down. I think she is almost done with it." We are super pumped to go back tonight. See no time to waste when you are learning about the restored gospel. 

-We also teach this cute man named Ben Lack. Ben lack will be 85 next month. Ben Lack is also 85% blind and 85% deaf. So teaching him reallyyyyy means teaching with short, powerful, statements of truth. He also tells a really great Ben Lack'ified version of Jacob and Esau. Where Jacob is a 'coward and a momma's boy' and Rachel is a 'foxy little thing'. Sister Burnside and I are convinced we could have a hit youtube channel called....SCRIPTURE STORIES AS TOLD BY BEN LACK. 

Which I've probably explained a little bit but also probably not nearly well enough. 
In the California Fresno Mission they have a church owned vineyard. Huge, vast amounts of grapes. And because the Lord is all about service. It requires huge, vasts amounts of latter-day saints spending Saturday hunting for grapes. Which are laid out to turn into raisins. Which are taken all over this place we call Earth to feed the hungry. It literally feels like Zion out in the vineyard. 

-Transfers happened. 
Sister Burnside and I are staying together in Tulare. Which we are super excited about. A genuinely true fact. The Elders in the area are both leaving and that is a wee bit intimidating because we are teaching so many people we feel like we can't give them the attention they deserve and now we are taking on the Elders investigators as well. But hey if you are going to have a problem as a missionary this is a good one to have. 

Once upon a time quite a long while ago I was reading an email Jace Iverson had sent home about his mission. He said something like..............''My life has become the life of my investigators." I've remembered that and as a full time missionary I've experienced that. 
When my investigators have good days, I have good days. 
When my investigators have hard, I have hard days. 
It's all about them, It's all about Jesus Christ and it's not even a little bit about me. 

71 And the Lord of the vineyard said unto them: Go to, and labor in the vineyard, with your might

Monday, August 21, 2017

This week in the CFM:

-Our tiwi is back

- We crashed a meeting for the district leaders at the mission office and got to have lunch with the Mackay's. We even got to take home some of Sister Mackay's homemade raspberry jam.

-We celebrated Brycen's birthday. He is moving back to North Carolina tomorrow- where his dad is. Brycen is incredible he'll be getting baptized in the next few months by his dad whom Brycen helped reactivate in the church. We spent a lot of time reviewing the eleventh commandment with Brycen this week. "Thou shalt e-mail the Tulare sisters pictures of your baptism."

-Aaron moved to Washington sort of out of nowhere. Good thing the gospel is more universal than this solar eclipse. The Book of Mormon works no matter where you live.

-Rudy had a baptismal interview. Good news- Rudy Perez is going to be baptized one day. Bad news- That day isn't going to be quite as soon as we thought. Good thing the gospel is more eternal than this solar eclipse. Baptism works no matter how far away the baptismal date is.

On that note I hope everyone enjoyed the solar eclipse. 
but I REALLY hope you all take some time to learn about and to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. 
after quite some time struggling over words and trying to find the right sentences to teach with...I've found myself teaching this simple fact: 

I can not say to you how much the gospel means to me, but I can help you to experience it and help it mean that much to you. 

Coming soon: 
-Sister Rendon travels back to Dakota ward for a really cool baptism. 
-GRAPE HUNTING THIS WEEK. (which is serving literally in the Lords vineyard)
- SISTER ryanne saunders gets home from her mission and everyone who see's her gives her a hug and says...''this is from Sister Rendon."

Monday, August 14, 2017

hey, have you tried the Book of Mormon?

         Zone Conference - 8-8-17 Porterville, Visalia, Hanford

I have asked myself at least 26 times this week why the Lord is choosing to bless us so much. I could go on and on and on 
in fact I'll just go ahead and do that. 

We had a lesson with Reuben this week who is incredible. He came to church last week-he had biked there and literally there was only ten minutes left of church when he ran into Brother Hernandez in the parking lot. So instead of having him go to class we had a super fast, super not planned lesson, but it was a good one and obviously the spirit was there because this is how our lesson began this week.....

Me: So Reuben, have you been thinking about what we taught last week?
Reuben: Ya. I'm going to do it. 
Me: Do what?
Reuben: Be baptized, it'll be on the 26th right? 

YES. Reuben is technically ysa (young single adult) but is not interested in attending ysa. Plus we are teaching his best friend Dakota who is fifteen. Plus Reuben just happened to be fellow shipped by literally the best family in the whole entire planet. The Hernandez family.....who you will hear more about. 

Also Reuben called us last night and we asked him what he learned at church and he said, "I learned you should ask people....hey, have you tried the Book of Mormon?"

So that was a great blessing. 

More about the Hernandez family. They introduced us to one of their close family friends who we have been teaching. We had our second lesson with her this week. We taught the Plan of Salvation. She was getting kind of emotional when we taught about Christ's atonement and the power it can have. We left thinking it was a great lesson...then we got a phone call from Brother Hernandez..and now we know it was a miracle. After we left their house he asked her what she was feeling when she was reading the scriptures we gave her. And she shared with them that she had received a letter from Brother Hernandez's son (who is currently in jail) and he shared his testimony and some of the scriptures he really, really wanted her to read. They just so happened to be teaching the same thing as the scriptures that we really, really wanted her to read, and obviously that was the thing that Heavenly Father really, really wanted Aaron to know. We tried the Book of Mormon with Aaron- it worked! 

Also...Brother Hernandez told us that he is sending copies of the Book of Mormon to his son in jail who is being the ultimate missionary. Apparently when he first started sharing the Book of Mormon with people and everyone kept asking what it was he came up with this killer line....."Well it's called the Book of Mormon- because it's more men testifying of Jesus Christ." and then he teaches them about prophets. Golden. 

So that was a great blessing. 

Still a little bit more about the Hernandez family. We went over to teach Dakota- normally we teach him and Reuben together at Reubens house. Reuben wasn't we had to teach Dakota at his own house...which he was super hesitant about because he had never introduced us to his family before. We got there and Brother Hernandez was with us and we had SUCH A GOOD LESSON. We taught about the gospel of Jesus Christ and his mom kept looking at Dakota and saying- "I have taught you all of this before- they are saying the same things that I've always told you. Why are you listening to them and not me?" BUT THEN Dakota says. "Mom. You have never taught me about the restoration. You have never taught me about the spirit world." It was so cool to hear Dakota bear his testimony of the RESTORED gospel to his mother. We also started talking about baptism and Brother Hernandez was there and shared...
Isiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
One of His favorite scriptures and shared this cute little thing. He said..."there are no pink people. We are either covered in the scarlet sins or we are as white as snow. There are no in-betweens. So as we kept talking about baptism..Dakota seemed a little nervous and unsure. So I said well let's make a pro/con list about baptism. THEN AUGUSTINE Dakota's little brother....who we have only taught once said. "PRO: You get cleansed from sin. CON: There are no con's. You should get baptized Dakota. Wow. 

Another thing about Dakota. We taught him about the Plan of Salvation first because he had a ton of Plan of Salvation questions and asked him to read the Book of Mormon. The next time we went back and he hadn't read but we taught him the restoration and shared moroni's promise. After we did that he said. "You know last time I said I'd read the Book...but now that I know all of this....I'm definitely going to read the Book." Dakota tried the Book of Mormon. AND IT WORKED. He was totally bearing testimony to his family when we came back.

So that was a great blessing. 

We taught an investigator that we haven't seen in weeks. We didn't know where she was at because we hadn't seen her in so long....we took a member with us....and basically we sat down with Cindy and she just bore her testimony of the first three lessons she's had and she remembered it all soooooo well. Which was so refreshing I walked out of that lesson so happy because it finally felt like someone was getting what I was saying. (I probably felt this way because we've taught Rudy the restoration a million times) Not only did she get it all, but she wants to do it! She came to church on Sunday and that was huge for her. She's been wanting to come but gets anxious around a lot of people. We figured spanish would be best for her so she went....and brought her cute little son! 

So that was a great blessing. 

Also RUDY. 
Rudy finally gets it. 
He is having an interview to prepare for baptism this week. 

so that is a great blessing. 

I swear I could go on. In fact I am going to (for just a little bit longer) 
-we had zone conference. I loved it. Our district destroyed in the keeping the balloons of the floor game we won. 
-We had four people at church yesterday!!!!!!!! Loved it. 
-Sister Burnside is still funny. #realquotesfromSisterBurnside "if i were celebrating Halloween this year....I'd be a multitude of fishes." 
-Fasting works. Last week I included in my fast just a desire to feel more satisfaction from my service and boy I felt that this week. I'm so blessed. 
-the Book of Mormon works. 
-tulare, Ca is the coolest place on planet earth and also the hottest. 
-I love my mission. 
-missions are the best.
-the california fresno mission. 
-everyone go on a mission. 


Monday, August 7, 2017

Once upon a time in a land not so far away, Sister Rendon fell in love with missionary work and lived happily ever after. 

That's really the whole story...but here are some details from this particular week. 

Teaching Rudy:
I talked about him last week-I called him a mix between the Lord's elect and tulare's most frustrating investigator and that most definitely still applies. We had an appointment with him on Tuesday and we decided that maybe having some visuals would help Rudy out so we taught him with a whiteboard. I am being 100% honest when I say someone from the outside looking in would have assumed 100 times over that I was coaching the most intense superbowl game that has ever occurred rather than assume I was teaching the restored gospel. Which yes..there was a little bit more running and jumping than the average missionary lesson but also the SPIRIT WAS THERE. Rudy is finally beginning to understand things. That being said on another occasion this week. We were teaching a lesson and at one point Sister Burnside and Rudy and the member that was there for the lesson all looked at me...assuming I would say something because I tend to say a lot-and all I could get out was......"Rudy. I do not know what to do with you." Everyone kind of gasped and then the member assured me about 12 times after the lesson that it's okay to feel frustrated as a missionary. All is well though because when you know come to know what your working for as a missionary........It's all worth it and also I love Rudy. 

Here is one more conversation we had with Rudy this week over text to help ya'll feel like you know him. 
us: Hey! Are you still going to be available to meet tonight?
Rudy: Yes. Never forsake the gathering. 

Teaching the Harris family: 
The grandma of this family is an amazing woman who joined the church about three years ago. Her daughter just started investigating and the three kids are little jungle babies that I love. Important facts about the Harris family. THEY LOVE FEEDING MISSIONARIES. We ate with the grandma on Thursday and literally we showed up to dinner and they were only planning on the two of us eating and yet there where two whole entire chickens being served and this kool-aid that tasted like liquid jolly rancher (which I enjoyed), and a long list of other foods that were very tasty. We also had an awesome lesson with the daughter. I really, really feel as though she is committed to start moving closer to the Savior. They live in Pixley which is this minuscule little town at the very southern border of the mission. They've taken to calling us 'the utahn's' and we call them our 'little pixlies.' They both have a long past that they've shared with us prison...drugs...and most importantly REPENTANCE. It's truly amazing to see what Jesus Christ can do for a person-if we let Him in. I look at this family and I see disciples. JUST ONE EXAMPLE OF FAITH AND REPENTANCE. 
I can not ever say how important the first principles of the gospel pray that we can start moving towards the ordinances (baptism) with the daughter! 

Teaching a witch: 
We had an investigator tell us he was a witch this week. He also told us he felt like he was getting closer to God and that he loves our message....and I figure if God is no respector of persons than I certainly shouldn't be either. We are going to keep teaching him but also we are definitely going to have to teach repentance in a very unique way. I've never witnessed someone change from a witch to not a witch.....but I'm prepared to do that in this area! 

teaching Sister Rendon: 
After walking away from a lesson with someone who is living a particularly difficult life in particularly different circumstances. I was thinking a loud to Sister Burnside and asked a simple question....."What would it take to change his life." It didn't take us long to recognize the simple answer....making and keeping covenants. Before my mission I saw a range of different qualities of life.....barely. Now I see a far grander spectrum. Life is hard for a lot of people. Really, really hard. It's surprising the suffering you can see in Tulare California and I'm sure the suffering you can't see would be even more surprising but it is a miracle to see what life can become when people become disciples of Jesus Christ. What that takes is making and keeping covenants. So I invite you all to think about the covenants you've made- or could make. You can find them in Mosiah 18. Read the chapter. Apply the teachings. Change your life. 

I love you, I love my mission, I love my Savior. 
Have a great week. 

-Love Sister Rendon 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

                                                                                              July 31, 2017

A list of less than important, but more than mundane things that have happened in Sister Rendon's life this week: 

-Sister Burnside pointed out that I had callouses on my knees from praying. Turns out they have been there for a while and for that same while I've been wondering why my knees looked especially weird, but I just thought it was because I wasn't used to seeing them anymore. 

-For quite some time a long list of black items I own have been missing and I honestly, truly thought that Elders were trying to prank us by stealing all my black tags, water bottles, shoes. Turns out Sister Rendon still just misplaces everything and this week I found nearly all of my missing black things. So HOORAY. 

-they announced over the pulpit yesterday in Sacrament meeting to 'please excuse a member of our bishopric, he eloped to Las Vegas this weekend'

-I went on exchanges and had a dinner with five other missionaries and three members and out all nine of us there I was the only one not speaking spanish. I was really anxious when an Elder looked at me and said..."your turn." I thought I was supposed to talk......but good news it was just turn for me to put some mexican spices on my watermelon. 

-I received one of the best birthday presents in the whole world of my face along with my three best friends plastered on an oversized t-shirt. So I spend a couple of extra seconds looking at myself in the mirror at night. 

-Sister Burnside and I are going rouge. Our tiwi (which is the little box in missionary cars that yells at you) is broken so there is no vocal reminder to check your speed or to show some frustration with you when your driving gets aggressive. Which would be fine but then you consider this real quote from Sister Burnside last week, "Am I touching the brake or the gas right now?"

That list was the weekly e-mail equivalent of starting a talk with a joke so I can make sure ya'll are paying attention when I get to the actually good stuff...


-here a miracle, there a miracle, everywhere a miracle on Thursday. 

fun fact about missionary work: you record daily how many miles you travel in the car. you also only have a certain amount of miles you can go each month. this week is the last week of the month. 

So Thursday we didn't have a ton of set appointments so we decided we would just walk all the day long. WE MET SO MANY PEOPLE....and they were all so prepared. Literally after about three hours I was getting worried and I looked at Sister Burnside and said..."An Elder once said if you aren't getting rejected at least once a day than you aren't doing your job right." Which is 100% valid. Seconds after expressing my concern....we were rejected. Which left me at ease and then we went on to find some more of the elect. Here is a real quote from one of the people we met on Thursday so you can truly understand the magnitude of these miracle's....

-"Is your church accepting member's right now....I've been looking for a church." Well if Jesus Christ is accepting followers than we are accepting members. so yes a million times over. 

We were so blessed on Thursday. We had so many people placed in our path and the secret was we were just trying to walk the Lord's path. By the time we got home we had seven new investigators. (I apologize if my picture with all the teaching records looks prideful...we were just super happy)

Also on Thursday night we had an appointment with Rudy....WHO HAS FINISHED THE ENTIRE BOOK OF MORMON. 
Which makes Rudy a mix between the elect and Tulare's most frustrating investigator because he accepts it to be the word of God, loves it, literally feasts upon it, and yet doesn't want to be baptized. He is afraid to make a promise he can't on Thursday night we were teaching him and explaining to him the justice and mercy of our Heavenly Father and I had a moment I really loved....and during that moment a lot of things were happening at once. Sister Burnside was testifying of the perfect character of our Heavenly Father, Jacob (who Rudy had invited to 'save his life') was muttering about how Adam ate the fruit and that's why men have Adam's apples, gears were turning in Rudy's brain and he was beginning to understand some true doctrine, and I could feel my sunburned face and my tired feet. Sister Burnside and I were sweaty and gross....and as I took in all these things at once I also just felt this overwhelming love for the work. I can't think of any place I'd rather be on a Thursday night then in a cluttered yard on a half broken porch swing teaching about the gospel. Or any other night of the week for that matter. It's hard work, it's the greatest work, it's the truest work, and most importantly it's the Lord's work. 

Also another person who finished the Book of Mormon this week: YOURS TRULY. 

All I can say is that I've never been more fully aware of how great it is to be partnered with the Savior. Not only in bringing to pass the salvation of other's souls, but working out your own. He came to this earth... He fulfilled His purpose...which is centered in us and now on this earth we are to fulfill our purpose which is centered in Him. Our salvation most definitely requires a Savior (for whom I am so grateful for), but it also requires a willing heart on our part. We can't get there without Him, and He can't take us there without us allowing Him to. Please do something this week to take you closer to Jesus Christ. Please consider this a personal invitation. I love you all. 

-Sister Rendon

ALSO: This week as we were coming to talk with ya'll Sister Burnside asked why I was taking my scriptures and I I can send some good ones home......and she said...."They want to hear from you not from the prophet Moroni." So in an effort to prove her wrong someone please take strength in the scripture from the great prophet Moroni: 

Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.