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