Contacting Elder Rainock:


Address: Elder Cordell B. Rainock
Mission Argentina Mendoza
Cabildo Abierto 161
5501 Godoy Cruz
Mendoza, Argentina

Sending Elder Rainock packages: It´d be best if any packages are sent in the large padded envelopes instead of boxes and contain very little value. (time frame: letters - 3 weeks, packages - around 1 month)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

"Before we even broke our fast we started seeing miracles"

written March 17th

I am not really sure where to start this week because there are a number of things I want to share and some things that I just won´t be able to get to. I guess I will start by mentioning the fast we did as a mission and the miracles we have seen from that. 

We get an email from President Ávila two weeks ago saying that we would be fasting as a mission last weekend (or what was the weekend to come). It was a fast he called for after receiving a letter from the area seventy in concern of the quantity of church attendance. That is church attendance of investigators, recent converts, less-active members, and just members in general. As well as a fast conerning our ability to reach our goals as a mission for baptisms. Before we even broke our fast we started seeing miracles. 

On saturday night we received a message from one of our best investigators saying that he would not be able to come to church or listen to us anymore. He didn´t say why that night but we assumed it was lack of support that he was receiving from his family. His wife was being hard on him for listening to us and would refuse to listen when he would invite her. We were able to make him agree to an appointment on tuesday. 

Fast forward to sunday after church. For a bunch of little reasons we were held up in church and ended up leaving a little later than usual. As we were heading back to our pensión before going to lunch we ran into him which was unusual because I had never seen him before in the street. But the miracle wasn´t just running into him - he was with his wife and his daughter. We were able to greet them, small-talked for a minute, and as we parted he said, "see you on tuesday." I was ecstatic to have seen him and to have met his wife but didn´t realize the signifigance of that moment until he told us on tuesday.

On tuesday during our lesson with him he mentioned what happened after. As they were walking to his father´s house she said, "why don´t you continue meeting with those boys, they seem nice." He said he tried to "play it cool" on the outside but deep down he was filled with joy. As were we when we heard him tell the story. It might not seem like a lot but that was a big step for us and him. This gospel is for families and that was the first step towards softening her heart. We want, he wants, and the Lords wants this for their whole family. 

I won´t be able to tell about the rest of the experiences this week but let me just say that we had a number of really cool things happen that opened new doors, re-opened old doors, and helped us keep some doors open... haha. 

To finish off the great week our Sunday was phenomenal; we were able to see the fruits of our fast. Church attendance tripled from the week before and was the highest that I had ever seen since being in Argentina. We had a number of people that came for the first time and quite a few recent converts and less-actives that we have been working with come as well. As well as some people that hadn´t come to church in a long time that we didn´t even know about.

Great week and all is well is Zion :) Hope you all are doing well!

- Elder Rainock

Some pictures from our zone meeting last week. My comp, Elder Gibbons, is the blond headed one :)

Also, there are a number of pictures that I am in on the Mendoza mission blog if you want to go look at those. Some of them you have to look for me in the background but I am there :)


"My heart was filled"

written March 10th

Sorry for missing last week! It was a holiday here in Argentina and everything was closed down. Only one ciber was open and all of the missionaries in Villa Mercedes were there trying to get on the computer so I signed off early to give some time to them.
Anyways, we had a baptism last weekend!!! One of the guys that we have been working with for a while got married last month and was baptized Friday and confirmed on Sunday. His wife has been bringing him to church as she has been in the process of re-activating. They have already talked to the Bishop and are on a plan to go to the temple in a year. It was a beautiful baptism because it wasn´t just focused on him getting baptized, it was focused on them as a family and how this is their first step in making it to the temple to be sealed. My heart was filled, as was everyones.
I haven´t really shared anything about this man before but here´s a cool experience that he had a couple of weeks ago - When they got married they went off on a honeymoon to the beach. He described to me that it seemed like they had the whole beach to themselves because in each direction he could only see people in the far distance. It was peaceful and serene. As he was swimming in the water he had the thought of baptism come into his mind. He had a strong impression that although he already knew that he wanted to get baptized he needed to pray about it because he had never really honestly done it. He kneeled down on the beach with his wife and prayed. Afterwards they returned to the hotel and as soon as they walked in the door his cell phone rang saying that he had a new text message. He saw the message and it was from us, the missionaries. He said that he took that as the answer to his prayers.
I felt a strong peace as he said that part of the story. I had just been studying that morning about following the guidance of the Spirit. I can honestly say I have never received very strong impressions to do something. I just pray for the guidance of the Spirit and do what I think needs to be done.  I just try to trust in a phrase from Elder Bednar that says to not worry about not receiving impressions of the Spirit. To just work hard and be obedient and the Lord´s work will be done.  That text message confirmed that principle to me because I don´t remember receiving an impression to do it. I just decided to do it and it ended up being sent in the precise moment.
So that is one of the stand-out experiences I have had in the past couple of weeks. Wish I had time to share them all.
One more thing I want to mention. We just started a challenge a few days ago as a mission to read The Book of Mormon in 66 days. The same amount of time it took for Joseph Smith the translate it from the plates. I am loving it so far and this will definitely help my perspective on how marvelous a work it really is.
I love this work, I love the Gospel and seeing it function in peoples´ lives. I know the Our Savior lives and that He guides this church. It is a sure foundation. The one and only sure foundation.

Elder Rainock

"The members of the church are really great and treat the missionaries like superstars"

written February 24th

Well.. we got transfer calls last night and sure enough there was a surprise. Elder Morley is off to finish his mission as a traveling AP! I am excited for him knowing how much of an opportunity, though hard, it was for me to grow. I will be receiving my new companion, Elder Gibbons, on Wednesday. I have met him before and I am positive we will get along great.
Only one of the investigators that I mentioned last week was able to make it to church yesterday. The other one had some things come up. We had some great lessons with both of them last week and I am exciting to see their continual progress. The one who came to church yesterday is making plans to get married to the girl that he has been with for 7 years so that he can get baptized.
We are working with 3 member families who have friends that we are teaching. I love working with the members... it makes me feel a lot better about the conversion of the people we are teaching. It is very sad for someone to be baptized and to then see them fall away. The chances of that happening plummet when you have good members involved.
I am really missing some good American food right now... haha.
I have some nieces and nephews that requested to here some cultural things because they think it is cool. I have really mentioned anything pertaining to that in a long time because it all seems normal to me now. I racked my brain trying to think of what is different this week and here are a few.
1. All windows and doors have things called ´rejas´. They are bars that protect from them theft. It is weird thinking of doors and windows withouth them.
2. Between 1pm-5pm everything shuts down, even big stores, so that everyone can go home and sleep or relax during a time called the ´siesta´. You would think that would make missionary work easy because everyone is home but many people look at that time as personal time and will not even open their doors.
3. People don´t really have yards here. Homes are laid out on blocks and are close together - usually touching. Every other block has something called a kiosko which is a store that someone runs from their house selling the basics. People don´t really go to big grocery stores very often.
4. The main forms of transportation are on foot or on a scooter/moped.
5. It´s normal for someone to open their mouth and see only a few random teeth inside.
6. The members of the church are really great and treat the missionaries like superstars.
I will share some more next week.
Love you all!
- Elder Rainock

"I completed my year mark this past week"

written February 10th

We had an awesome-busy week here in Villa Mercedes. Big things went down and we are seeing a huge helping-hand from the members here with their involvement in the missionary work. It is making ALL of the difference. 

This week we were introduced to two new guys. A member had invited them to a ping-pong tournament that the elders quorum was hosting in the church. As they were practicing the member casually introduced us to his friends and we started a conversation with them. We asked them how they liked being in the church and one of them explained the building using the words "it is a dream." Those words hit me and made me realize that it really is that for people that have never entered a building like ours before. We set up appointments with both of them to do tours of the church. One on Tuesday and the other on Wednesday. 

Both tours were phenomenal and they both accepted dates to be baptized. The Spirit was thick and as we continued teaching them throughout the week I can honestly say that I had never seen two people so prepared to receive the Gospel. The fact that they are both SO ready just testifies to me the miracles of this work. 

We taught both of them the Plan of Salvation together on thursday and it was powerful and well-understood. It was the most powerful Plan of Salvation lesson I have ever been a part of. One of them said, "I have never seen my purpose so clearly laid out, this makes sense, I know that this is true and I want this for myself." They were simple and powerful words that filled the room with joy. I am finding it very easy to feel God´s love for these guys... they are just so prepared.

They both came to church on sunday and loved it. The teachers of our classes are great and make them feel very welcomed and wanted. Our priesthood lesson was on the Plan of Salvation and our two investigators were answering more questions than the members themselves... haha! Elder Morley and I both felt pretty awesome because we were instruments in helping them gain that knowledge (with The Spirit being the real teacher). 

We also had interviews with President Ávila this week and that was great as always. I love being around that man... he makes everyone around him want to be better.

I completed my year mark this past week. Elder Morley and I made some s´mores using marshamallows that he received in a package (there are no marshmallows here). We made them using the marshmallows, almond hersheys bars, and chocolate chips cookies instead of graham crackers... haha. Since they don´t have graham crackers here either we decided to go all out. 

The pictures are of us making the s´mores over our gas stove and also a picture that Elder Morley and I wanted to send back home to show everyone what we are all about. 

Hope all is well back home,

Elder Rainock

"she was feeling a 'great peace' that she had never felt before"

written February 3rd

Sorry for no update last week. Elder Morley and I had to make the 6 hour trip to Mendoza for our zone leader meeting we had on tuesday. Since we are so far away we have to leave the day before and it takes away half of our p-day.
I have a good chunk of time now so I will try to write something worth reading.
Elder Morley and I are loving it hear in Villa Mercedes. It is an awesome ward and the members are helping us a ton! There is an excitement in the air like some big stuff is about to go down... and it is.  Our ward mission leader and us four missionaries in the ward were planning an activity to train the members on how to fulfill their responsibilities as member-missionaries. After some conversation Elder Morley and I decided to take it to the next level. Of course we want success in our ward but as zone leaders we want to have success as a zone. We pulled a few strings, the stake caught wind of the activity, and it will now be a stake activity! We are very excited. The activity will include some clips from "the work of salvation" broadcast we had back in june(?), some practices for the members, and of course refreshments. Big stuff.
As a zone we are focusing on doing lots of church tours. In our zone we have some the of prettiest buildings I have seen here in Argentina so we want to take advantage of that. Elder Morley and I have seen some big miracles with that the past couple weeks. I will relate to you one right now.
We were eating lunch with a family on Thursday and, as always, when the meal was finished we shared a scripture and asked if they knew anyone who could benefit from the message that we share. The father mentioned a family that he is currently doing work for. He committed to inviting them to a church tour on saturday. We called him up Friday night and, sure enough, we were good to go on saturday.
The family showed up late saturday evening and we started the tour. In the lobby we showed the paintings of Christ and mentioned that everything we teach is built around Him and His teachings. The simple words and basic doctrine made way for the Spirit to come in strong. It was pure and thick and accompanied us the whole way. We showed them the sacrament room and explained the basic doctrine associated with that weekly practice. We then went to the baptismal room to show them the font. We explained to them the principle of baptism, what it means, why Christ was baptized, the importance of having the authority (using the painting of Christ being baptized by John the Baptist), and shared that we have that authority today. Elder Morley and I shared our testimonies as well as the member who was with us... all very powerful and to the point.
The mother shared with us that she was feeling a "great peace" that she had never felt before. We then finished the tour by watching the 20 minute Restoration video (on the projector screen) and she then said she was "left without words"... Quite an amazing experience and the best church tour we have ever had. There was something very special about that family and we are excited to continue working with them.
More experiences to come in the following weeks. Everything is doing well here in Villa Mercedes. We are just living the dream out here. Best buds doing the best thing we could be doing. Praying for you all!
- Elder Rainock

"it´s basically a sauna in our room"

written January 20th

Elder Morley and I are just killing it out here in Villa Mercedes! It is a choice area and we are great friends so it´s going to make for a very successful time together. I feel like I am on the mission with my best friend which is kind of a weird feeling but I don´t feel guilty because we are still working hard. We knew that we were going to be friends after the mission but the fact that we are companions now just seals the deal. We have lots of good laughs during the day that keep us going in the heat.

This week has been a HOT one! The worst part is that we are without a fan in our house and our windows don´t open in our bedroom for some fresh night air... it´s basically a sauna in our room. I have been laying in a pool of sweat for the last 4 or 5 nights. Don´t worry, though. All is well here. I understand that not everything is going to work out perfectly here on the mission. 

Yesterday, Elder Morley and I talked to a really cool man that let us into his home. His nose is in pretty bad shape after getting hit across the face with something (it was a word I couldn´t understand) a few years back and they have never been able to repair it fully. Even after 4 surgeries! He looks like he has spent a good portion of his life in rougher things but he has a pretty good act together right now. We taught him the restoration and it was a really cool experience. It´s been a while since I have taught that lesson to someone so open and it is amazing to see the ideas of a living prophet and the restored church of Christ upon the earth once again floating around in peoples' heads. It´s like a light clicks and you can see an excitement building up inside of them. It was a great lesson and I am learning a lot from Elder Morley´s teaching experience. He is a great teacher and I feel lucky to be with him in the prime of his mission. 

Things are wonderful here. Pray for some cold air for me and I´ll pray for some warm air for you guys :)

- Elder Rainock

"in Villa Mercedes with my new companion... drum roll... Elder Morley!"

written January 13

This weekend we had another baptism in our ward. It was a child of 9 years old. It was a very satisfying baptism because it helped to get the family back and reunited in the church. They had been inactive for a long time. They came back to church a little over a month ago and the dad made the steps neccessary to be able to baptize his son on saturday. They are very excited to be back in church and the ward has been very happy to have them here. 

Last tuesday I had my first zone meeting and it went really well. There are lots of big changes happening in the mission right now so we had lots of announcements to make. Especially along the terms of missionary safety in the streets.

I also went to Mendoza this week for a training. I had never received the district leader training so I had to go and get that on tuesday and wednesday. That left me only a few days to get to know my area before my companion left for home (Peru) on sunday afternoon. 

It has been a good week and I feel great about the coming transfer here in Villa Mercedes with my new companion... drum roll... Elder Morley! The Elder Morley from my MTC district! We were very good friends back in the MTC and that friendship has lasted as we have seen eachother at various missionary meetings. Now we are companions! He goes home in two transfers (my original return date) so I might be here to send him home as well... good stuff. 

I am very excited for things here. I am staying nice and toasty down here in Argentina while, from what I heard, you guys are getting frozen up there in the states!! 

I´ll be praying for your saftey in your travels as you guys are commuting icy roads and what not. 


Elder Rainock