Monday, October 16, 2017

To the Moon & Back

Well it’s been quite a minute

I have been home now for more than a month

I have been through some of the stages of the average RM

Also, I have felt and experienced things uniquely personal to me

Just like everyone else does

The last time I updated this I was sitting in a library in the cute small town of Brewton Alabama

Today I am sitting in my bed at home

Saying goodbye to everyone in brewton was heart breaking and reminded me how grateful I am that I only had to leave areas three times

But I know it was extra hard each time because of the deep connections I was able to make with these people, having served so long in each

Something miraculous and beautiful happened on Tuesday, the day before I left Brewton

Curtis was baptized

What a sweet sweet experience that was

He bore powerful testimony, and I felt afterwards that feeling of

“I have done all I was meant to do on this the Lords mission for me”

If I could have heard about that feeling from other missionaries going home a million times over, it would never have prepared me enough for just how exquisite and priceless that feeling of joy is

There is not much else to be said about it

The next day was “meet everyone at transfer spots get on a van and tour the mission one last time” day

In the FTM transfers work like this:

Everyone meets at a certain place

called Transfer Spots

There are four of these transfer spots throughout our mission

The furthest west is the one in Pensacola where we met

The transfer van/cars if necessary start in Tally

They make these three other stops, dropping off and picking up missionaries that need to go further west

After the Pensacola stop, they head back to each spot

Again picking up and dropping off missionaries who need to go further east

So one fun thing, is that me being able to take stops all the way to Tally, I was able to say goodbye to some precious mission friends of mine if they were going somewhere

That was so fun and tearful

because I knew I wouldn’t be seeing them for quite a while

The sad thing is that because Sister Fast was not being transferred she had to stay in her area so I could not give her one last hug

But I am okay with that because she is my sister forever

We arrived in Tallahassee, tender mercy of the trip was that I got to ride with Sis. Jensen the whole way who also came home with me. We started this journey together and now here we were ending it together. 

I love her.

We reminisced by the fire pit, and took our bags to the garage to get weighed at the mission home


Don’t take home crap you don’t need

Actually don’t pack stuff you don’t need to begin with when going on a mission

At least in the ftm here is something you need to know: they have plenty of hangers

Don’t bring your own

They will give you sheets there

Don’t bring your own


My bags ended up being each 49 lbs which is just one short of 50 which is the limit before they make you pay ridiculous prices for extra weight in your bag.

Shout out to Sister Law who took my cake flour in her bag for me because my bag was too heavy

That night we ate dinner as a group of over 20 returning missionaries 

had a devotional

and a QA session with President and Sister Smith about Life, Love, and the pursuit of Happiness after the mission

It was wonderful and spiritual

Then we all bore our testimonies

Brothers and sisters of all genders, races, cultures, countries, religions, and preferences of ice cream

If you have never been in a room full of missionaries that have served the Lord for 18 to 24 months, going home the next day having only spoken to family members on the phone twice a year, and undergoing the miracles, trials, joys, tears, pains, and honors of being a full time representative of 

Jesus Christ

Bearing testimony of Him and of the great work they have been a part of to build Gods kingdom 

Than that’s probably normal because the only people who have had this unique opportunity are mission presidents and their wives

But let me assure you

There is only one feeling that comes close

And that is being in a room full of recently set apart full time missionaries singing called to serve in the MTC shoulder to shoulder having just said goodbye to families for that amount of time to love the Lord and His people in an unknown place in an unknown way with unknown people

It. Was. Powerful.

There is one difference between the mtc called to serve experience and the bearing of final testimonies in the mission home

The first is filled with uncertainties unknowns and blind faith

The second is filled with





In Jesus Christ

After all was said and done, we ate brownies, the elders left to stay in a hotel

And the sisters that came out with me gathered around the piano in the mission home

and we sang hymns 

just as we had, about 19 months before the very first day when we came to Florida.

We went to bed

Got up to a delicious breakfast 

Went to the airport

I hugged President Smith and Sister Smith until I’m sure they couldn’t breathe

My heart broke to leave them

We held our breath because

In the air port








Went through security, I’m pretty sure I made friends with a billionaire behind me

Sis. Jackson and I saw the cutest older man who worked there

We gave him the Book of Mormon I had brought to place in the airport

We bore a final missionary testimony of it’s truthfulness 
The man with literal tears thanked us and told us that we had made his day, and gave us huge hugs

And walked back to our terminal where

No one was.

That’s right.

We had left around a corner to find this man and upon our return, we found that the missionaries had boarded along with everyone else

And the plane was gone.

I’m joking.

Everyone was boarded, but the plane was still there thank goodness 

Hahaha you should’ve seen your face when you read that



We were bundles of nerves 

Irrational thoughts crept in as we awaited to land in Atlanta, got on our flight to Utah, and saw mountains for the first time in a long time

What if my family doesn’t like me

What if they forgot I was coming home and they aren’t there

What if they think I’m morbidly obese now

What if this plane never lands

What if someone saw me while I was sleeping with my mouth open

What if when I reach up to hug my tall cousins my dress rips because it’s a little constricting

What if it’s so dry my uvula cracks and bleeds 

What if I get a bloody nose when I’m crying on my mom

What if I have a southern accent






And finally


*tears because I haven’t seen a temple in a while and I finally understand their importance 

We were all shouting for joy. 

As we landed

The flight attendant 

Announced us and said

“We would like to thank the returning missionaries for their service as they see their homes and their families today again”

We stepped out

Went to the restroom to freshen up

Took some silly videos of us freaking out because we were so excited

And went for it

Going down the elevator I spotted my family

Instantly brought my hands to my mouth

And hugged my mom

I just cried and cried

It was a blur from there

Hugging people

Feeling like I’m drowning


In slow motion

I couldn’t process anything very well

I held baby beckham

I was picked up by ben and hugged so tight because it was over three years before that he had left on his mission and I left before he came home

We finally made it out and to a Mexican restaurant 

Word to the wise number two: the south does not know how to

Mexican Food

So if you see a place and your like


Just don’t

But Utah

Sweet mother of moses

It was amazing

I missed that delicious food

Afterwards my mom, dad, and I went to the temple while my brothers and sister went with my grandma home

We did a session in the slc temple 

It was beautiful and wonderful

That night I was given advice and released by my stake president, Robbins

My heart.

I cannot accurately do that feeling justice

So I won’t even try

The next day was terrible

Being honest

The first three weeks were very hard on me

Many ups and downs

Good and bad

I was and am happy to be here

To be with my family

Play settlers of catan again

Go back to the cabin

Hug my grandparents

Go to family parties

Start school

Get a job

Go to my cousins wedding

Organize a flash mob for it

Go to the chiropractors

Read books

SLOWLY start listening to music that I like

Call my family to repentance

Call myself to repentance 

Feel useless

Feel useful

Feel unproductive

In the first month I slept past 6:30

 3 times

I really don’t want to get rid of that habbit of getting up early 

I have gone to the temple with friends

With my mom

Got some new clothes

Ate at my favorite restaurants

Celebrated my brothers birthday 

And facetimed everyone you can imagine

All. The. Time.


Bcause I have Lackofompanion Syndrome

I need to be with someone when I drive, when alone, it’s getting better but still bad

I watched the lego batman movie, moana, beauty and the beast, and recently my family and I have been having a marathon of Avatar the Last Airbender


and I had my homecoming

easiest talk I ever gave because I had so much to share about what I have learned

and the spirit was able to testify to my friends and family that I know Jesus Christ

Johnny and Rhoda are doing so well

Johnny blessed the sacrament a few weeks ago and gave the prayer in Sunday school, I was so happy and amazed at this because the first and only time I have ever heard him pray was saying goodbye to them the day I left to go to Tallahassee

My cup runneth over

Rhoda has been sharing with me some of her revelation from God that has guided her and uplifted me as we have been going through some similar questions and heart aches. She has been so incredible to share things that I needed to hear. 

Diane is doing great, she went to the temple for the first time last week and was baptized for her mother, her grandmother, and her great grandmother. She bore her testimony about it in church on Sunday, and to my family and I over facetime for which we were all and are blessed.

Lexi is doing so great, she actually told me her sister who lives around here had a friend that she had introduced to the gospel getting baptized. I was able to go to that baptism and meet lexis sister, see her mom again, and meet her grandma. It was so fun. Oh how I love the Raspberry family.

I have enjoyed facetiming vicki who is having a baby soon, then moving here for a while while her husband is deployed. I’m so excited to help her with her newborn and her adorable two boys.

The Baxters are doing great and still perfect as ever. Everyone who meets Jen wants to join this club: being like Jennifer Baxter when you grow up

Ashley and her husband are preparing to be sealed in the temple, I could not be more happy for them. She also gives me boy advice which is needed because I am an AWKO TACO OVER HERE PPL

Paul and Paula are great, I love talking to them on the phone, and sometimes they even let me talk to sweetie on the phone. Hahahaha. I love it. I love them.

I have talked to many more and have yet to contact some more of these people whom I love and miss.

Here, I have been doing my best to stay a missionary. Keep strengthening my faith in and through Jesus Christ, and trust that my goals are His goals

Even if my timing is not always His timing.


The best part about being home is my family

I love them

I am so blessed to be with them forever

Helping my brother prepare for a mission is a joy

Sharing with my sister my frustrations and joys has been such a blessing

Snuggling with my brother during the “scary” episodes of avatar melts my heart

My dads sense of humor and my moms constant support

I love these people

I went to the General Womens Conference with my mom, sister, Allie, my best friend and her mom and sister.

I was so spiritually fed and overjoyed at the opportunity to be right there at the conference center

Afterwards making lava cakes with Miki was priceless to me

Facetiming walli every waking moment of the day when I feel alone, or need a laugh. She asked me to send her a picture from my mission with a story about it once a week. Which is a tender mercy because to all you future rms out there



It’s sad but really

Understandable at the same time

They werent’ there

They want to tell you about everything they’ve been up to

And they don’t care as much about your specific mission stories

So tell God, tell your journal, tell your best friend walli each week with a picture describing a story or a family

It helps.

Also.. read your journals.

What good are those profound lessons written if we forget them and never look at them again?

Have family council by a firepit because it will bless your lives

And shorten them because smores are definitely not meant to be consumed that extremely

Take institute because it’s the best

Go to the temple because it’s the only place that makes you feel that at peace about life

Keep listening to KLUV and email your friends on missions

Get out there and force yourself to be social for crying out loud

Give a talk in every ward in your stake :/ but if you can somehow get out of that 

Probably do that instead ;)

Pray for Dax my cousin and his mission in Puerto Rico. They are had to evacuate because of the awful hurricane that just wrecked the island.

He will be reassigned to California for a while.

Congrats to Keaton and Charley 


Your sealing was one of the strongest times I have ever felt the spirit. I know that what that sealer said is true because I felt it so strong

“Baptism is an ordinance of salvation. Sealing is an ordinance of Exaltation”


That’s just about all I have for you today

I will leave you with my third and final 

Word to the wise for the day


If at all possible

Avoid bachelorette parties when you are recently returned

Especially if they are just a couple of weeks after

Because they will talk about honeymoons

And mooning your honey

And the clothing in which you accomplish the tasks aforementioned

And you will feel like melting into the floor, evaporating into the sky, and living forever as a peaceful fluffy cloud

Much love peace and blessings to ya’ll

-Sis. Ryanne

Make it a great day

And know this


I love you to the moon and back and around the world twice and even all the way from Utah

Monday, August 21, 2017

& So She Did

& So She Did

Well this is it

the last Monday on my mission!

{My sweet friends at the old folks home gave me going away gifts}

Next Monday I have an Institute class in the AM in Ogden, Utah

I wish I had some profound way to express my feelings

a beautiful poem, or lyrics from a song

I wish I could just let my heart jump out and tell you itself how it feels.

I would love to be able to switch brains with all of you reading this, just for a moment, so that you can understand what exactly this mission has brought to me-

-to remember everything that I have felt, experienced,

and to see how much I love these people!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words

there is no picture I can think of that would help me at this moment

and even ten thousand of the most creative, unique, and beautiful words strung together could not convey 

just exactly 

how I feel
what I have learned
who  I Love
Where I've been
why I am eternally grateful for this gift to me from the Lord, that is my mission

but I will try

I know that Yoda says there is no try, only do

but Elder Holland says that we get credit for trying

so as much as I love Yoda, I'm going to have to go with Elder Holland on this subject :)

How I Feel

Well, I feel like there are quite a few feelings that are playing tug of war with my brain and heart

I'm just as curious as the next person as to which will win, or if they will all settle down, 

or if I just feel everything and nothing all at once

sometimees it's:



I feel at peace.


I feel Hope

I feel the Spirit of God testifying to me that I have indeed done a great work

that it is not mine that I did, but the Lords, and that He helped me to accomplish all that He had in store for me and those I have served at this time.

I feel that these things are going to make all the difference in the rest of my life, that the mission truly has been my MTC (training) for life

that I am always going to remember the feelings of the Spirit, His rescues from my storms, the times I have felt alone, burdened, saddened, depressed, and He turned those to joy, peace, love, assurance, and comfort.

I feel grattitude that I have had the physical, mental, and emotional ability to serve, that the service I have rendered with strength, was not my strength alone, but my strength in the Lords.

It is a blessing that I have been accounted as one worthy to represent my Savior Jesus Christ the Redeemer of the world

that in spite of past feelings of regret remorse of sin and being harrowed up

through repentance made possible by Jesus Himself, I have been not only worthy but I have felt comfortable to be His servant and to follow His footsteps more closely than ever before in my life.

I feel the strength of the atonement of Jesus Christ and have every single day in my life and the lives of all who heard His voice through me.

I feel joy at the prospect of sharing my increased desire to follow the Savior, to serve my family, to love my neighbor, to be a friend, to magnify my calling, and repent when I fall short in all of those categories

because I know I will

but I know how to recommit and to begin again and change through Him!

I feel JOY

I am so beyond blessed. I feel I could explode at any given moment. I feel the words
 "Well done thou good and faithful servant."
Matthew 25:21

Not because I was perfect, but because I know it was worth it. 

The "sacrifice"

 the tears and the heart ache, to be honest:

 outnumbered the good happy feelings.

but the JOY so far outweighed the bad that I feel I can do nothing more at this point but look to my God in praise and look to my future in testimony as I continue to share this light to all I can. 


What I've Learned

I suspect that this question can't be accurately answered

first because I don't think I have the capability to evaluate just every nook and cranny of my being, or recognize how each has benefited from these many months

and also because

the things I have learned from my missionary experience do not have a cap when I am released.

I will continue to learn things from these days for the rest of my life.

There are so many lessons to be learned each day on a mission, that I have learned each day, that my flesh could not have possibly retained all of it

but line upon line

I will continue to reflect and build using current experiences and the many lessons I have yet to learn from my mission.

Of the lessons that I have retained and learned 

these are priceless to me and can be summed up into one sentance

I learned what I taught

Doctrine and Covenants chapter 50
17 Verily I say unto you, he that is ordained of me and sent forth to preach the word of truth by the Comforter, in the Spirit of truth, doth he preach it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?
18 And if it be by some other way it is not of God.
19 And again, he that receiveth the word of truth, doth he receive it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?
20 If it be some other way it is not of God.
21 Therefore, why is it that ye cannot understand and know, that he that receiveth the word by the Spirit of truth receiveth it as it is preached by the Spirit of truth?
22 Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together.

This might be cliche 

but some of the most important spiritual truths the Lord has taught me are the very truths He has taught through me to his children here in the Florida Tallahassee mission.

 I have learned by the words I have spoken and thoughts I have thought from the Spirit, that God truly is our loving Heavenly Father.  

That He desires to speak with us, and listen to our deepest desires through prayer and study. That study is made possible because of prophets who received revelation to write the holy scriptures, and the prophets today that continue to reveal our preparedness plan for the coming of the Savior, this plan of preparedness is known because of the on going restoration that began this dispensation through Joseph Smith.  

 It began out of Gods own mouth to Joseph with the words, "Joseph, this is my beloved Son. Hear Him." The Book of Mormon is true. God's plan for us to obtain all His knowledge and abilities is real. That plan would not be possible if not for our Savior who loved us enough to sacrifice Himself for our sins to satisfy the demands of justice, and overcome the grave for us to obtain Immortality and Eternal life. He still loves us. 

We cannot even fathom the joy that we will feel as we are received into the Celestial Kingdom someday to live with God the Father, Jesus Christ, and our families for eternity to increase forever. Not in knowledge, but in the continued purpose of bringing to pass immortality and eternal life to our own children forever and ever.  Oh how grateful I am to have learned these truths by the feelings of His Spirit. 

More than that, I have learned that my relationship with Him offers the sweetest kind of solace to my heartaches, loneliness, and weaknesses.

 The song of redeeming love, I have sang it, and each time it is just as sweet and pure.

 I cherish the sacred moments, often tearful and on my knees, that I have been able to submit to the will of the Father. A peace washes over me, and I become more whole.

  I know that there must be opposition, but that every time I choose to have faith, my faith is strengthened to overcome and I learn and grow. The adversary wants us to falter just as badly as Christ wants us to succeed, they both work hard, but I have learned to navigate the many voices, and better listen and act on the promptings that are of God. 

I know that HE LIVES

that He died for us!

It was Jesus Christ who was slain

 the First and the last





Son of Man of Holiness 

and that knowledge of His great atoning sacrifice, 
is the beginning, middle, end, and everywhere in between of everything I am 
and everything I can become.


Who I Love




that can sum up pretty much everyone I love, but do you think I am satisfied with that?

of course not

in no special order 
these first few groups are the people that I love that I did not even know I loved until I came here because the veil made it next to impossible to remember most of them


Bishop Moss and his wife
Sis. Wheeler
Hannah/Jer Bear


Ashley + Fam
Cherry and Johnny
Marry and Von


Johnny and Rhoda and the fam
Kat and Peggy and Aidan
Curtis and Rachel
Brenda and Roland
Sis. Field
Bel-"Ding Dongs" 
Wade aka brother Hyrum and Danielle the eye expert
Christy and Chloe and Mary
President Sumrall
MoM and DoD
The librarian and her assistant
Mr. Hodges
The lady that offered to let me milk her cow 

MISSIONARIES (past and current)

President and Sister Smith the 1st
President and Sister Smith the 2nd
Elder and Sister Wilde, Judy was a tender mercy from God
Elder and Sister Mangum who were my MTC buds and are now in my stake (see you soon;)
Sister Wright, and Elder Labrum who kept me healthy and bug bite poison free

Sis. Christiansen (trainer, taught me the Christlike attribute of knowledge)
Sis. Pyper (Trainee, taught me the Christlike attribute of Patience)
Sis. Housel (future roommate and bestie for restie)
Sis. White (White washed comp, taught me the Christlike attribute of Hope)
Sis. Baker (Comp taught me the Christlike attribute of Obedience)
Sis. Jamison (Comp taught me the Christlike attribute of Virtue)
Sis. Petersen (comp for 4 days, taught me the Christlike attribute of Humility)
Sis. Fast (Sister trainee comp taught me the Christlike attribute of Charity)
Sis. Palmer (Comp taught me the Christlike attribute of Diligence)
Sis. Jensen (basically comps, and my saving grace)
Sis. Delgado (my favorite Mexican that teaches me how to fight)

(There are many more sisters this is just top of my head)



Mom. You're a saint. I think you might be perfect. That is my educated guess. You wrote me every single week sent me goodies in the mail and prayed for me and my people everyday.

Dad. You gave me a lot of advice, prayers, and you provided me a vision by sharing your mission stories and legacy with me all my life.

Siblings, thanks for writing me and loving me.

Grandparents thank you for your prayers for the people I've served, and letters and emails have strengthened me and others. Thank you for the packages too:)

cousins, aunts, and uncles 
(the ones I have left bc uncle rob is "excommunicating" them left and right) --inside joke
thank you for taking the chastisement and improving;) lol I love ya'll so much, and your examples of stellar missionary service has helped me to "stay green" 

other cousins aunts and uncles
your letters emails treats in the mail and words of encouragement/putting names on the temple prayer roll made/make a world of a difference, I love you!


Wallace #nunaddition
Sis. Curtis 
Sister Rendon 
TRP esp. the Pansy

Thank Ya'll For your prayers, advice, scriptures, testimonies, and love. 

Jesus Christ

Thank you for carrying me, and inviting me to walk in your foot steps. Even the hard ones.


Where I've Been

MTC= 13 days Provo Ut. Start: FEB 03 2016

The Deep Suthurnest Part of The South The Florida Tallahassee Mission Start: Feb 16 2016

"You have been called to preach the gospel in the southern drawl language. There are many different dialects, but the only proper noun is:

Pensacola Stake=12 months

Fort Walton Stkte= 7.5


Gulf Breeze FL= 6 Mos

Crestview (Crestucky) FL= 7.5 Mos

Brewton (Brew-Town) AL= 6 Mos

TCC, Tally, mlc, exchanges etc

and the end is nigh

Thursday August 24th= Beginning a new chapter in the life story of Sister Ryanne Saunders

grits gators grease deep fried chicken crawfish boils fish fry nanner pudding mac n cheese sweet tea, but not for me, funeral processions hurricanes tornados rainstorms heat lightening fire ants bugs upon bugs upon bugs roaches termites blisters callouses more churches than people beautiful sunsets and sunrises humidity summer from March to December beautiful beaches swamps Spanish moss church bells trains pound cake collard greens fried okra catfish cole slaw boats roll tide roll 

it would also be important to note this sacred place I have been that can be described in the hymn "Where can I turn for peace":

He answers privately,
Reaches my reaching
In my Gethsemane, Savior and Friend.
Gentle the peace He finds for my beseeching.
Constant He is and kind,
Love without end."

Where Can I Turn For Peace/Be Still My Soul

Why I'm Eternally Grateful

If all of that above doesn't answer this question, maybe this will.

I am grateful because I have learned about creation. That my greatest creation is me. That if I am to create myself, I must allow God to do it through me and my will.

I have learned that helping others create themselves through Christ is the most rewarding, wonderful thing in the world. A work that will not end Thursday, or ever.

I will build on Christ my foundation, and I will help others to build themselves too. 

I am also extremely grateful for the note in which I have been so blessed to end on and that is:

The baptism of Rhoda and Johnny last Tuesday, they were so happy and filled with light. Yesterday was also especially memorable as they recieved the Gift of The Holy Ghost.


Brenda the investigator whom I taught a year ago in Gulf Breeze, who gave us facials in her spa, was also baptized, on Saturday, and confirmed yesterday. I got to talk to her on the phone.

Chloe was baptized yesterday after church and confirmed, and her mother has started listening to our lessons/teaching them herself. She has decided to come back to the church after leaving so many years ago. So has Chloes grandma. They were all aglow yesterday. 

Curtis is getting baptized tomorrow and I couldn't be happier for him and his new wife Rachel.


This has been a huge blessing to be part of.

I am so grateful for my Father above.

He called me to His work

I promised to do the best I could and I feel that He has accepted my offering

Happy birthday to our beloved prophet, seer, and revelator 

"There are lives to brighten, hearts to touch, and souls to save" -President Monson

"And So She Did"

Sister Saunders, The MissionaRy