Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Mom's note: Look! It's us! Raquel took a screen shot of us during our Christmas Facetime. Notice Alli's pic is on point. My generation struggles with selfies. 

Christmas Eve we went to a member's house and helped them build a little
Nativity set for the nativity that they put together every year. The
Lymans are seriously amazing! They remind me so much of the Nicholson
family (her aunt, uncle and cousins family) and it was a lot of fun to help them 
that morning. We then went caroling at the nursing home that's close by 
and were able to talk to some of the residents. It was just so amazing to see 
them light up when we talked and sang to them. After that, we went to our 
recent convert's, the Slovak's for their open house. They were so sweet and
generous to invite the whole ward over! They really wanted to give back for all
that the ward members have done for them since they were baptized!
For Christmas Eve dinner we went to the Kemp's-- it was pretty crazy,
but really fun! We ended the night at the Lyman's and saw their little
nativity. It was so cute!
The stable the missionaries helped build for a family in their ward.

Christmas Morning!
Christmas day we got to sleep in a bit, which was sooo nice! One of
the best Christmas presents a mission president could ever give a
missionary! We then opened presents which was a blast! After that we
got ready and went to the bishop's house to face time our families!!! It was
AMAZING to see and talk to them! That was definitely the highlight of
Christmas for me:) I just love my family so much! I'm so blessed to
have so much support from home! When we finished there we went home
and made a poster for the Elders for Christmas and went to an early
dinner at the Erler's! Sister Erler has been through a lot this year
and it was a big deal to have all five of us missionaries over, plus
her family! She made SO much food, and we pigged out! Then we went and
visited a few families in the ward and played games with them! 

This whole month leading up to Christmas has just been so amazing! As I've
really focused my thoughts on the Savior I've felt my relationship
with Him grow. I think of that simple moment in time that changed the
world, and I'm so grateful for the knowledge I have of a living Savior
who loves me and each of His children!. I hope you all had an amazing
Christmas and were able to reflect on Christ's birth and what that
means to you!

Love you all! Stay warm:)

💕LOVE Sister Douglas

Guess who came to visit!!!!? The HANDLEY's!
seriously just love this cute family!!!

De-stressing with the masks Mom put in their stockings. Transfers happened this week! More info in next week's blog. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Mom, I love my mission!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This week was SOOO great!!!! Mom I love my mission!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
I just love being a missionary during the christmas season,
and I feel like my attitude towards the mission has changed and it's
just been great.

I'm so thankful for the incredible opportunities I've been given to
Me and my new alpaca friends

grow and learn and help others grow and learn!
The nativity was AWESOME:) There were 600-1,000 people there, and the
majority of them were non-members! We had a lot of Mennonites there
and I loved talking to them! The first night was super nice it was
probably 50 degrees but super humid and foggy! President and
Sister Johnson came all the way from Pittsburgh to see the nativity.

By the end of that first night we had it down. The second night it was sooo cold. It
was in the 30's that night and the humidity with that cold air went
straight through our cloths! It was so fun though! Sister Sears and I
hung out most of that night and after each presentation we would run
into the building and hand our pass a long cards to people! Everyone
would take them because they just saw us in the performance, so that
was awesome. This random guy came up to us freaking out and so excited
to see missionaries! He was like, …never go home form your mission,
I've been home for three days and I'm going crazy! So we gave him a
handful of pass along cards to hand out and we saw him giving them
out to everyone hahaha!!! 

It was so fun hanging our with the alpaca,goats, and sheep! 
We took some sweet selfies with the alpaca:)
The nativity really set the tone for this Christmas season for me. The
spirit was so strong every time we performed it! This experience
really put the Saviors birth into perspective for me. Thinking about
how a humble shepherd would feel as we walked into a stable with
nothing to offer, but our physical presence was truly eye opening.
That's really all that the Lord requires of us. He want's us to come
to him with humility and thanksgiving in our hearts. The spirit
testified to many of the reality of the Saviors birth those two
nights. This was an experience I will never forget!

Saturday was truly the highlight of my mission so far! We got to go to
the Washington D.C. temple with our recent converts who have been
preparing for this day for two years. I can't even begin to express in
words the joy I had for them and the incredible peace that was felt in
the temple that day! I know that as we make those sacred covenants
with our Heavenly Father and we keep them that we can find true and
everlasting joy here on earth and in the life to come. Before going to
the temple session, we went to the visiter center and is was amazing!
There was a room full of nativities from around the world and it was
incredible to see how different each of them were, and yet delivered
the same message that, A Savior was born so we can find joy, hope, and
peace!  There was a missionary room where they had the stories of all
the missionaries that were in the Preach My Gospel training videos,
The District! There was a wall that was completely covered with
missionary tags from Elders and Sisters serving around the world. I
thought about how each of those missionaries had to go through many
trials and experiences on their missions and how they were part of
moving this incredible work forward. They had a monitor that counted
The beautiful Washington DC temple
the missionaries that have served since 1830 and the numbers just kept
gradually going up. There were more than a million missionaries and I
felt so honored to be one of them!
The D.C. temple is so majestic and absolutely breath taking! The whole
time we were there I just had this giant smile on my face, and by the
end of the day my cheeks hurt from smiling so much! I just felt so at
home and at peace being there!
After the temple we went to the only Cafe Rio in the east coast! We
were all sooo hungry, having not eaten since that morning! It was sooo

I love you all and I hope yinz have a very Merry Christmas!!!

LOVE Sister Raquel Douglas

p.s. The whether here has been super weird and it is going to be 70

degrees on Christmas eve, can you believe that!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Beautiful Christmas Season

I just LOVE being a missionary! What an incredible week it's been, full of miracles and joy:)

This past fast Sunday I was fasting that we would be able to find someone new to teach, someone that would be ready for the gospel. I prayed all day and the very next day we got a Church Headquarters referral! WOW can you say blessed! He was a student at the University and he had requested a Book of Mormon online! We went and delivered it, but his roommate answered and said that Blake was sleeping. His roommate asked if we had the Book of Mormon that Blake requested and we were pretty shocked that he knew about it! We gave it to him and then yesterday we texted Blake and asked if he got it. He thanked us and said he did. We asked if he had started reading it, and he said no, but that he had time to read it that day. We told him to call or text if he had any questions and he was so grateful! It was amazing:) I can't wait to see what happens!

I had my first lesson with our eternal investigator, Charlotte on Wednesday that went pretty well! We had a couple form the ward come to fellowship them and it was a perfect match up! They bore their powerful testimonies and talked about their conversion. It was really good for Charlotte to hear. I can't tell you how grateful I am for amazing members who are willing to go out of their comfort zone to come teach with us. It makes such a difference in how the lesson goes, and by the end they have another friend in the church! 

Our stake president is putting together a live nativity and it's going to be so AWESOME!!! He bought llama's and sheep for it and everything... haha going all out! He wants all of the missionaries to be a part of it so we went over and the sisters sewed for a few hours while the elders were outside building a stable. It all looks really good and it was so much fun to be with the missionaries in my zone! We are having the nativity this upcoming week and I'm so excited! We have been going around inviting everyone! The other night we were tracting and inviting people and we ran into a family that knew this amazing family in our ward and they said they would come:)

Check out the sweet costumes we made and the manger the elders made!
We are so excited for this weekend! President Johnson is even coming!
I'm so grateful for this time I have to devote my everything in hastening the work. The Church is growing and hope is being spread to all who are willing to accept it! 

I'm so excited for this Christmas season and I really wish it lasted longer! So many hearts are softened and ready for the gospel. Pray for and find ways to spread this great message that a Savior has been born. We can find joy in this crazy world, and there is hope!

After zone conference I went on exchanges with my STL Sister Sears, who is amazing. I just love the missionaries in the PPM:) I went to Hanover and it was just so much fun  to work with Sister Sears, who is a Spanish speaking sister! We had a lesson that night with a couple who are both from Mexico and have the cutest little kids! Sister Sears is such an incredible missionary and had to do the lesson all by herself and then translated my testimony at the end. The spirit was so strong as we talked to this humble, so ready to learn, kind family! It's truly remarkable how the spirit is understood by all who are willing to listen.

The next day we were trying to decide on where exactly we needed to be that day, because we've all been trying to share the Christmas initiative like crazy. Sister Sears felt really impressed that we needed to see a man they had met previously on accident. He had just lost his wife and when we came to the door we asked if we could set up a time to talk about what we believed about the afterlife. He broke down and just started sobbing and said that he was heartbroken at the loss of his wife who he loved. We both felt impressed to talk about the power of temple sealing and how marriage can last for the eternities! The spirit was so strong and I was filled with so much love and compassion for this complete stranger, yet familiar brother in Christ!

Yesterday I gave a talk in church and it went pretty well! The spirit was so strong yesterday in church and Sister Jex and I both kept tearing up through out the day. This time of the year, when our thoughts are turned to Christ, it brings such a special spirit that truly is amazing. In my talk I focused a lot on the two articles form this Decembers Ensign. The first was A Savior is Born, by Elder Oaks, and the second was Be At Peace, by Elder Christopherson! If you haven't read them yet, I totally recommend you do! One quote I loved by Elder Christopherson was, "Take time to relax, be at peace, and see this little child in your mind. Do not be too concerned or overwhelmed with what is coming in His life or in yours. Instead, take a peaceful moment to contemplate perhaps the most serene moment in the history of the world—when all of heaven rejoiced with the message “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14)."

I love you all so very much and you are always in my prayers!
I hope you're enjoying this beautiful Christmas season:)

❤LOVE Sister Raquel Douglas


We drove through Gettysburg on the way home
from exchanges. It is soooooo Cool!! It a weird feeling there, but you
can tell that it is sacred ground.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Lord Qualifies Those With a Willing Heart

Me and Sis Jex at the ward Christmas party with Santa! 
We had a pretty good week over here! Poor Sister Jex has been sick
with a cold this whole week, so that wasn't fun. I washed my hands
like a million times, because getting sick on the mission is like the
worst thing ever. :(

Tuesday morning we helped at SPO (a food kitchen for the homeless)
and a Mennonite lady who was helping too, and is hilarious, made us a cherry pie!! Haha! We see Mennonite carriages all over town. 
It’s so cool!

Later that day at the university we had a fun time handing out the
#ASaviorIsBorn pass along cards. There was one guy that Elder Duffy and I talked to for 30 minutes. He had a TON of really good
questions. I kept telling him that we could plan a time to teach him,
but he wasn't interested...yet! We had a lot of success at the
university though and have a few people we get to contact! Yay!!

On Thursday we met with a less-active lady and her nine
year old son who isn't a member yet. They were so sweet and she
has such a sweet testimony. Since sister Jex was sick I did most of
the teaching that night and I was amazed at how naturally the lesson
went and the spirit was defiantly there. I've noticed in this area that
I've felt much more comfortable with teaching. It's incredible how the
spirit can work with us if we just allow him to. When talking to
people on the street or in lessons, there are times when I'm not even
thinking and the words to say just come and I know it's the spirit! I
love the talk by Elder Renlund, Through God's Eyes, from last
conference. He talks about how inadequate he felt in being called as
an apostle, but that the Lord qualifies those he calls. I've felt this
many times these past few weeks. I've seen countless tender mercies
and answers to my prayers. I know Heavenly Father truly does want us
to have joy and what I've found most joy in this week has been
teaching and talking to people! A few weeks ago I wouldn't have said
that. But as I've prayed for opportunities to share the gospel I've
seen how the Lord truly will qualify us when he sees a willing heart!

We had our ward Christmas party this week too which was pretty fun! 
We were there for almost five hours helping them decorate! Speaking of 
decorating … We've already decorated four Christmas tree, I'm a little 
Christmas treed out! It was fun to see everyone at the party though and it
looked like everyone had a really good time! We also got to watch the
Christmas Devotional last night at the Creagers! I love Elder
Uchtdorf's talk on contemplating the many gifts that God has given us!
We are incredibly blessed to have the knowledge of a Savior and what
he's done for us. Without him I'm nothing. I loved how he invited us
to take time to think about what that really means to us and how we
can change and become better through Christ!

It's going to be such a fun month!!! This week we have Zone
Training, and we get to watch the mission video! Next week we're
going to the DC temple with some recent converts Then of corse Christmas!
Oh and our awesome stake president is having all
missionaries in the stake help with a live nativity and choir that he's
putting together! I Love Christmas time!!!
I love you all and you're always in my prayers!
Have a fabulous week ;)

Sister Douglas

Baby it's cold hasn't snowed yet, but when it does, I'll be ready! 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Thanksgiving Turkey Bowl and A Foot Tall Christmas Tree

So I got your package!!!!!!! Ahhhh I wish you could have seen how excited I was! I got it on Friday and it totally made my week/month :) Hahahahaha I LOVED it, and I still have the box sitting in our study room with the little torn apart turkey!  We had a pretty fun Thanksgiving day though! We went to a turkey bowl and that was my first time playing football... Haha that was an adventure! It was a ton of the elders quorum and then us sisters. Haha it was two hand touch except if we (the sisters) had the football they would just say "touch" haha!

We went to the Smith family's house for thanksgiving lunch Haha! We went over at 12 and they were so sweet and had everything all ready and decorated. Sister Smith's husband isn't a member, but he comes to church every week. At the end we asked what everyone was grateful for and he said he was grateful for the church in his life, and for us missionaries! It was so cool! Their daughter was there with her two kids and and it was just so much fun being there with them and having the spirit so strong in their home!

Ha! Sorry for the bad selfie, but this is the only one with their family in it!

After dinner we played frisbee in the backyard for a few hours and their daughter showed us her fire baton skills! I'll have to send you a video of it, because it was sweet!! Then that night we went to the Slovak's, who are recent converts since June, and we hung out and kept them company because they were sick and didn't have thanksgiving. It was a good day and the Smith family made us feel at home!

I'm so excited to go to the DC temple:)! We are planning on going with a family who got baptized two years ago. They are going to and get sealed together as a family in mid December and they invited us to go!!! Ahhhhhhhhh I can't wait, honestly that will be such an amazing day!!

On Wednesday we had a pretty good lesson with our investigators! It felt really natural teaching them and during studies we both had an impression to ask them if they have a testimony of the Book of Mormon, and to be super bold with them. We found out they are confused on the spiritual aspect of the gospel... So now we know what we need to work on. I guess when the elders found them they were going really fast through the lessons... So now they are confused. They are so sweet and I hope we can help prepare them and help them gain a testimony!

We also went and worked at the food bank that the Lutheran church puts together! It was so cool:)

Oh man I'm crazy EXCITED for CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I put our foot tall tree up haha :) The Christmas initiative is so cool this year! Yesterday they opened the page for it and all of us missionaries were freaking out! You have to check it out it's! The video A Savior is Born is amazing! I've already watched it like 10x! We are getting some sweet pass along cards and we can just show people the video on the street without iPads!!!!!! Ahhh so exciting! I love that video though, because they took everything secular out of it and just focus on the simplicity of this season. I loved how they used children throughout the video to show the innocence of Christ's birth! I've heard Christmas on the mission is so amazing because people are more willing to listen to our message of Christ!

Well this email is crazy long... Haha but there was so many good things I had to tell you about!

I couldn't do this with out you and the support and love and prayers I feel from you everyday!

LOVE Sister Douglas

Sisters P-day out!

Goodbye Cranberry

Goodbye Cranberry. Goodbye Sis. Beutler.
So this week was pretty crazy! Haha I'll give you the run down:

Tuesday we had transfers and elder Ross and I shoved all our stuff
into our car. It was so weird to leave Cranberry and leave our
apartment! We went to the strip district and went to this Pittsburg
Sub sandwiches place that was pretty good! There were a ton of
missionaries there before the transfer meeting, so we went with a few
of them! At transfer meeting President said something that stuck with me, he said "There are two kinds of
Our Classy apartment
people in this world, people you love and people you don't know yet". He also talked about how the Lord calls us to where we need to be and will help us fulfill our calling! He's so great!
Then we went to Harrisburg stake center and I drove with three other Sisters who are all going to be STL's in this area. It was like a 4 hour drive! Then we got there around 9:30 and I met Sister Jex! We then drove to Shippensburg which took another hour!
It's pretty sweet though, because our Zone is really tight and
everyone here is great! Also we are close enough to go to the
Washington DC TEMPLE!!!!!! Ahhhh I'm so excited!!!!!!!! We'll probably go in December!

Wednesday we went to Shippensburg University where we set up a booth
and handed out pass along cards and talked a little bit to the
students. We were there with the Zone Leaders who are also serving in
our ward! I like going to the University haha it reminds me of UVU!
Then we had our ward correlation, where we met the ward mission
leader and the Bishop! They are both amazing and this whole ward is
super missionary minded! They even have a Book of Mormon class that we
get to go to and we are going to try and bring our investigators.  So we are going to be doing a lot of finding here too! At least Cranberry taught me how to do that:)

Thursday was a weird day! Sister Jex and I went on 
splits with some members and so I was with a member and sister Jex was
with another member! It was so weird not being with my companion and
it was the first time in almost five weeks, but it was fun! It was so
foggy that night and crazy humid! We got lost so many times!
On our way to a fireside in Landcaster. 
We were with some members Julie and Keith! Middle: me and Sis. Jex. 
Then in the back is Elder
Schofield, Edler Duffy, and Elder Baker.
Oh weird thing about the east part of the mission is that it's
actually flat roads and there aren't hills! Haha it's so weird!

Friday I met this really sweet family that was baptized two years ago 
and now they are going to the temple in December!!! Ahh so cool :) They
are just living proof of how the gospel changes lives! They told us a
little bit about their past and how they both used to be super into
drugs and he was in a gang, etc! They said that the gospel has changed
their lives in more ways than they ever imagined. They have incredible
testimonies and are so excited to go through the temple!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Sis. Douglas

At transfer meeting:I love my Sis. Schofield!