Monday, December 15, 2014

Staying in Bay Roberts!


I hope Mom's recovery is going smoothly. I'm staying in Bay Roberts with Sister Mangelson for another transfer. This will be the longest I have been in one area. At the end of this next transfer I will have been here for six months. I got Mom's package a couple weeks ago, just forgot to tell her last week that I got it. Thank you! No snow here. I hope you have a white Christmas! The chances here are pretty slim. It's been fairly mild the past couple days. Tell David congrats on his bio exam! That's awesome!(David scored 100% on his biology final.)
The nativity display ended last night. I attached some pictures of it for you. We had over 230 nativity displays from all around the world. Pretty neat! We were able to share the He is the Gift and The Nativity videos with everyone that came in. 
We had a Christmas Zone Conference on Friday. We watched Meet the Mormons, had a white elephant gift exchange and had a visit from Santa and his elf (aka the Assistants). Afterwards a bunch of us went downtown St. John's to sing some Christmas hymns. 
Will 12:00 your time work for you all to Skype on Christmas? It will only be 45 minutes long.
Hope you have a good week! Stay warm! Love you!

These are some of the nativity scenes from the displays.


December 8 2014

This week has been an unusual one. We spent a lot of time preparing for the nativity display. We set up over 200 nativity sets, Christmas decorations, lights, and fake snow. It truly is beautiful! Last night we watched the Christmas devotional amid all the nativities. It was a neat experience. We participated in a town parade on Saturday in which we handed out candy and invites to the nativity.

Last week we met a woman outside her home while we were knocking (on that same street I told you about last week that we couldn't find forever). She invited us in to watch the Joy to the World DVD with her, her friend, and her two daughters. It was an answer to my prayers as well as hers. Hearts are truly softened at Christmas time. It is such a blessing!

We had a powerful branch testimony meeting yesterday. I felt the Spirit so strongly as the few members that were there shared their testimonies of the Savior. I am grateful for the strong members in this branch and their example to me. I have much to learn from them and their desire to serve the Savior.

We also participated in a community choir concert this last weekend. Elder Walker and I played a piano and violin duet of a mash up of What Child is This and Carol of the Bells. 

Hope you have a good week! 

Sister Renda

Monday, December 1, 2014

No Coincidences

 Happy December,

I learned some powerful things this week. Last Monday, I had a rough day. Finally just before going out to work that night, I knelt down and pleaded with the Lord to help me. We went out knocking on this street that we had been trying to get to for weeks. The name on our map and the actual name of the street were different and so each time we went out to find the street, we got confused. We finally figured out the issue and made it to that street that night. As we were walking along, we came to a track around a soccer field and noticed some people walking on it. We joined a mother and daughter and started talking to them as we walked around and around the track. We had a great conversation and then asked if we could come to their home to teach them more. The mother declined. After such a good conversation, we felt taken aback that she would say no. Sister Mangelson asked why and the woman became emotional. She told us about a struggle she and her family is facing. The Spirit was so strong as we testified to her about the Savior and His Atonement. We haven't had contact with them since, but I keep praying that the Lord will put us in their path again. It was no coincidence that we made it to that street that night. During our conversation with them, we asked them how often they came to the track. The mother said this night was the first time and that her daughter had been trying to convince her to come to the track with her for weeks. No wonder we hadn't made it to that street before! God needed us to be there that night. I know that the Lord answers prayers. He is so aware of each of us, and He wants to help us. The answers don't always come when we want them to, but as we go through those periods of darkness or confusion, it provides a stark contrast to the light that God will pour into our lives when the time is right. Walking away from the track that night, I realized the reason why I needed to go through a hard time earlier that day was that so I could testify with power of the Atonement from my own personal experience.
I hope that you have a good week! Christmas festivities are in full swing this week. The branch starts the nativity display this weekend and I am looking forward to the missionary opportunities it will provide. 
Also, had our first snowfall this week. It's mostly gone now. Other exciting things from this week. We visit a woman in a manor and she invited us to come see an accordion band. Quite the experience! One of the instruments was the ugly stick. Yes, ugly stick. It's a traditional Newfoundland instrument. She had a name but I don't remember what it is now. Betty or something.
First Snowfall

The Accordion Band
The Newfoundland Ugly Stick
Me with the ugly stick. I think I need to change instruments! Haha.
If you haven't already, check out the new video that the Church put out for Christmas at He is the Gift. Christ is the reason. Love is always in season.

Love you!

Sister Maren Renda

Monday, November 24, 2014

Attitude of Gratitude

Thanks for the quotes, Mom, especially the experience from Elder Bednar about prayer. This week we had Skype studies with the sisters in the zone and we focused on praying with faith. There's a section in PMG about prayer that gives suggestions on how to improve your prayers. It says, "Always express gratitude for your blessings. A conscious effort to be grateful will help you recognize how merciful the Lord has been in your life."
Towards the beginning of my mission, I was studying Moroni 10:3-5 and wondered why Moroni first exhorts us to remember how merciful the Lord has been unto the children of men and to ponder it in our hearts. I realized that those are very important steps to placing our hearts in line with God, to prepare ourselves for revelation, which ultimately is our goal with any prayer we utter. We speak and we want to hear back from our Heavenly Father. 

Gratitude is so important to our communications with our Heavenly Father and those around us. It softens hearts. Studying that this week has made me more aware of how I pray. Do I always remember that I am communicating with the most powerful, loving, merciful Being in the universe? I owe Him a lot more than a surface-level, repetitious prayer. 

I got Grandma's package this week. I'll let you know when yours arrives.
Here's a picture of me with our truck finally. Also a picture from a Relief Society activity we had this weekend. The sisters made Christmas crafts.

Happy Thanksgiving this week! Sister Mangelson and I are going to celebrate it somehow on Thursday. All of the young missionaries in the branch right now are American (rarely does that happen). There were complaints yesterday at church that none of the hymns we picked for sacrament meeting were Christmas hymns. Canadian Christmas starts much earlier. None of us are used to that. :)
Thank you for everything, Mom! I am staying healthy. Don't worry. I hope that all of you are as well.

Love you!
Sister Renda

Monday, November 17, 2014

Colder in Utah than New Foundland!

Note: We asked Maren about where to send packages for Christmas.

Hey All!
You can send the package to the PO Box. They don't deliver mail to houses here.  In fact, a lot of houses don't really have house numbers on them. It makes tracting quite the adventure. I live on Country Rd. I want to say the house number is 141 or 140.
You got snow before we did! And it's colder there than it has been here. The other side of the island has snow, but it hasn't reached here yet. Today might be the day. We will see!
The branch does a Nativity display each year. They gather nativities from all over the world from people in the community and put them on display for a week and a half. It starts the beginning of December. We are looking forward to it and the great missionary opportunity it will be.
We had a zone conference on Saturday with all of the missionaries in Newfoundland. President and Sister Leavitt came up for it, stayed the night, and came to our branch yesterday to speak. President Leavitt gave a powerful doctrinal discussion on the Atonement. In order to truly understand the Atonement we must understand the Fall of Adam and Eve. I felt very inspired and was reminded powerfully that the Atonement is the reason for everything. This is the Lord's work, and He doesn't really need us to accomplish it. He is hastening it and we need to be ready to be hastened. We need to prepare ourselves and our hearts to receive what He asks us to do. I've realized the past few days that one of the most important things I can learn to do is recognize and act on the Spirit. Revelation is everything, and in order to receive revelation we need to take time to think and to feel. If we are so busy running from point A to point B, trying to accomplish everything on our to do list, we can easily miss the Spirit. 
I am so grateful for inspired leaders and for answers to prayers. 
I hope you have a good week! Love you!

Sister Maren Renda

Monday, November 10, 2014

No Dread Pirate Roberts Found in Bay Roberts

Note From Lory:
 If you are thinking of sending Maren something for Christmas, please send it soon and check out the limits of value you can put on the package. If the amount exceeds the limits we will have to pay the mission home for the extra customs fees, which can be quite high. Gift cards need to be purchased in Canada with Canadian dollar amounts. You can order from and have it sent to the mission home for her. Maren does have a debit card from her account here and if you would just like to deposit to that account and have her buy something for herself in Newfoundland, please contact us and we can give you the information. Thanks for all your support for Maren.Only 5 more months, where has the time gone?


Glad to hear things went well in Washington. I hope David copes okay when Lauren leaves. I haven't seen the dread pirate Roberts yet. Lots of boats that could belong to him, though! I'll keep my eyes pealed for him. :) The footless tights will work great. We haven't had any snow yet, but the temperatures have dropped. Daylight hours are probably from 8 am to 5 pm now. It will get shorter and shorter. We were out knocking at 5:30 pm last night and it felt like 8:00 pm. Hopefully everyone will adjust to it quickly.

My new companion is Sister Mangelson. She is from Payson, UT. She is 24 years old, been out for 7 months, and reminds me a lot of Kristen Steiner. Before her mission she coached softball. I love working with her so far. She was serving in St. John's before, so she only moved an hour away and we had a couple exchanges together while she was there. We are both stoked for this transfer. We are excited to serve together and to work with the sisters in Newfoundland. 

These past few days we have been reflecting a lot on D&C 4:4-5. I have learned so much from the Lord as we have sought revelation from Him to know what He would have us be doing here in Bay Roberts and for the sisters in the zone. We've determined that it's harvest time in Newfoundland and that by keeping our covenants and working in unity with the members and missionaries here that the work will move forward. I haven't felt so inspired and motivated in a long time. It feels so good to have a vision and a knowledge that what we are doing is in accordance with the Lord's will. 

My Book of Mormon reading is going slow. I think I told you about the branch challenge to read the Book of Mormon by December 20? I have fallen behind, but I'm grateful for the things I have learned over the past few days in my reading. I just finished Mosiah. I always love reading Alma's story of being delivered from bondage. The Lord always times it perfectly that I read that chapter when I feel a heavy burden and I feel Him speaking to me to let me know He will strengthen me to lift it and to deliver me in His time. 

A couple other verses towards the end of Mosiah hit me hard this past week. In chapter 26, the Lord speaks to Alma to instruct him on how he should judge those found in iniquity in the church. I love verse 30: "Yea, and as often as my people repent will I forgive them their trespasses against me." I felt powerfully the Savior's love and His invitation to each of us to repent. We never need to feel afraid to repent. Yes, it is a difficult process, but it will only lead to healing and joy. 

I also had an epiphany as I was reading about Alma the Elder in chapter 23. In verses 9 and 10, Alma talks about the sore repentance process he went through after being a priest for wicked king Noah and hearing the words of Abinadi. Most often, when I think of repentance, I think of Alma the Younger, but both Almas experienced a mighty change of heart. I thought about the significance of Alma the Elder's experience had when later he would see his son go through the very same thing. Because he had experienced the power of the Atonement in his own life, Alma the Elder could pray with great faith that his son would have a change of heart as well.

We cannot lift others until we ourselves are standing on higher ground. We must be converted first before we can strengthen our brethren. I am so grateful for the refining, converting process I am experiencing as a missionary. I know that Jesus Christ lives. This is His Church. As I experience the Atonement cleansing, healing, and strengthening me, I have a stronger desire for others to receive His love and mercy as well. There is no greater joy than this.

I love you! Have a great week! 

Sister Maren Renda  

Friday, November 7, 2014

Staying Put, New Companion

 I will be staying in Bay Roberts for another transfer. Sister Comfort is headed to Saint John, New Brunswick. My new companion will be Sister Mangelson. She is currently in St. John's and we've done a few exchanges together over the past three months. I'm stoked to be working with her.

Not too much to tell you about this week. A member's father passed away last week. They asked us to sing and play the father's favorite song at the funeral. We sang "Danny Boy" with piano and violin. Music is so powerful. There was such a neat spirit as we sang it. I know he appreciated it. 

Over the last transfer, I have been memorizing "The Living Christ." I have one paragraph left to memorize this week. The testimony of the Apostles is powerful. My own testimony of my Savior has increased and deepened as I have committed those words to memory. I know that He lives and He loves us. His path is the only way to happiness.

I hope you have a great week!

Sister Renda

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Trials and Laughter

Hey All,

I got the letter you sent after Conference, Mom. It was perfectly timed. This week was pretty rough and I have learned a lot about the Savior and His Atonement. Amid all the trials, Sister Comfort and I had some good laughs. One night we locked our keys in our truck and ended up eating our dinner outside in the rain. Long story but such a good memory. Laughter really is the best medicine.  
We spent most of the week in Corner Brook this week with Sister Aslett and Sister Pitcher. It was fun to work with them and see another area of Newfoundland. The fall leaves were beautiful! I wish I could have taken more pictures, but none of them came out very well. Pictures just can't do it justice. The picture I attached is the view from the Corner Brook sisters' apartment. 
We had a powerful lesson this week with a less active couple in the branch. We read the Joseph Smith pamphlet with them and talked about the importance of strengthening our testimonies of Joseph Smith. The Spirit was so strong and by the end of it they had resolved their concerns about coming to church. Yesterday they came to church for the first time in months!!! 
Also exciting news and highlight of the week: I found out that Nathan was baptized last week. He is the son of one of the families Sister Christensen and I were teaching in Presque Isle. So much joy! 
I hope that you have a great week. I love you, Mom! Tell Dad I love him too. Have fun when you go to Washington.
Transfers are next week. We find out on Sunday whether we go or stay. No more concerts. Elder Call went home this summer and most of the missionaries involved in the concert series are home or coming to the end of their missions.
Thanks for your prayers and support. 


The Gospel of Change


I can't believe that Braden Kirkham is back already! Nikki should be back soon as well. Time goes so fast! I love that he talked about the gospel of change. I've seen that in so many people. Even just reading from the Book of Mormon daily brings a change in their countenance. It's noticeable. As we continue to meet with Karen, I am amazed by the changes taking place in her life. We had some powerful lessons with her and her son Nolan this week. He is one bright ten year old. We taught them about baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost last week. We asked Nolan, "Why do you think Jesus was baptized?" He thought for a moment and then said, "I don't know for sure, but probably for the same reason we need to be baptized. He had to be obedient to His Father's commandments." We were all floored by his response! We told him that was exactly why Jesus was baptized and then Nolan said, "Wow. I've got all the answers today! Jesus must be putting the Spirit in me today. It's like He's telling me I need to put my knowledge out there or something." After the lesson, he said something like, "I think it's because I prayed today that I have the Spirit." He is an awesome kid! Karen is already planning to save money so he can serve a mission. I am so grateful for the opportunity to teach Karen and Nolan. Just like when I taught Brandy back in Presque Isle, I feel like I have gained some more eternal friends. I am so excited for them to be baptized!
We are heading to Corner Brook today to do a visit with Sister Aslett and Sister Pitcher. We will spend two days there and two days travelling. This last week we had an exchange with Sister Sharp and Sister Spencer who work in CBS. I worked with Sister Sharp and it was so much fun to work with her for a day. 

We found some more promising people this week: a young mom who has been thinking about God recently and has loads of questions, a newly wed couple that we met through a community choir we joined a couple weeks ago, and a grandmother who lost a son when he was in his 20s. There are prepared people here and it is always exciting to find them!
I'm sorry to hear about Grandpa Clark. I hope the Clarks are coping well with the loss. I'll keep them in my prayers.

Have a great week! Love you! 


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving (Canadian)

Happy Thanksgiving from Canada!
We are celebrating Thanksgiving today at Brother and Sister Young's home. We attended a community Thanksgiving sunrise service this morning. It was good to get to know some people in the community and enjoy the beauty of the area we live in. Yesterday was rainy and overcast, but this morning was beautiful.

As I was studying this morning, I found this scripture:

"Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen."
Alma 26:37

I am grateful for the blessing of the restored gospel in my life, for the knowledge of my Savior and my Heavenly Father. 

Karen and Nolan are excited for their baptism. Karen is so anxious to learn all of the commandments and live them so she can receive the blessings. Brendan is back in town for a week and we were able to meet with him on Friday. While he was in Labrador, he read 1 Nephi twice and lived the Word of Wisdom! He met a member of the branch there and was able to talk to him a bit. Amazing!

Good things are happening in Bay Roberts and the Lord is hastening His work. I was reading Jacob 5 this morning and reflecting on the precious branch in Bay Roberts that the Lord has placed here for a purpose. He wants it to bring forth fruit and I am excited to be a part of that.

Have a great week!

Sister Maren Renda

PS Pictures are from the sunrise service this morning, a hike that Sister Pizzey, Sister Comfort and I went on last week in Brigus, and a sign that we found at a church in Carbonear.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

General Conference Miracles

Hi all,
I don't even know where to begin with this past week. Heavenly Father is truly hastening His work and it is so humbling to be a part of it! This past week was filled with miracles and it was a great testimony builder for me that the Lord blesses those who are obedient and continue in the faith, especially when it is tried. Ether 12:6 is so true! We "receive no witness until after the trial of your faith."

To start off, Wednesday we had a zone training in St. John's. Afterwards, we set out to contact a media referral (probably the second media referral I have received my whole mission!) that we received for a woman named Diane out in Dildo, about 30 minutes from Bay Roberts. The day before we had set up the appointment, but when we arrived in Dildo we could not find her house. (No one has house numbers out here, so it makes finding people an adventure!) The address we had for her was on the main road and we kept talking to different people who had differing opinions of what the main road in Dildo was. We couldn't get a hold of her and kept driving and walking around trying to find her house. Finally she responded and couldn't give us very good directions to her house. We were about to give up and head home, but stopped to fill up our truck with gas before driving back. Miraculously, a woman at the gas station knew where Diane lived and gave us directions. Still a little frustrated, we made it to her house, where she had been waiting outside for probably 20 to 30 minutes for us to arrive. The miracles continued as she told us about how she had found a pass along card in her house randomly one day (but told us she had never met missionaries before) and felt to call the number on the back. She had been going through a hard time but since she called that number, she felt peace. We taught her about a living prophet and apostles, which she was really excited about, and then taught how Jesus Christ was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. She didn't know that, and we invited her to be baptized. Her response was powerful. She said, "I love the Lord, so I should keep His commandments." Both Sister Comfort and I left that lesson feeling so humbled and so grateful for the Lord's guidance. He knows each of  us personally and He knew what Diane needed that night. Sometimes we just have to persevere in faith!

Wednesday we also received a referral from an excommunicated member, who has a powerful testimony of the gospel.  He had been talking to his new neighbor about the Church and she was very interested in learning more. Her name is Karen. She is a single mom with an 11 year old son named Nolan.They just moved here from Ontario because her mom was moving back here to retire. Karen comes from a long line of preachers and her grandfather introduced the Pentecostal religion to Newfoundland. She has searched many different churches and religions, but never felt satisfied with any of them. When she moved to Newfoundland with her son, she decided she would go back to her roots and go to the Pentecostal church but still didn't feel very happy with it. Our first lesson with her was powerful! She knew that what we were teaching was true and we invited her to baptized on November 1. She is SO prepared and the Lord needs her in the Bay Roberts branch right now. With that, Satan is also very aware of the good she will do and he has been working hard on her through every means possible. She told us on Saturday that she didn't want to continue looking into this anymore and felt she should stay with her church. We prayed hard that night with faith that she would come back when the time was right. On Sunday, halfway through the last session of General Conference, she and her son walked into the chapel! Sister Comfort and I were so happy!!! Every single talk she listened to that night answered the concerns and questions she had. She told us that she had been talking to her neighbor again that night and he had told her she needed to go to conference. She prayed for a sign, told the Lord that she would go to conference but that He would need to tell her there if she should look into this more. The talks that night could not have been more perfect for her. That was direct revelation from Heavenly Father to His servants to meet the needs of a humble seeker of truth. She is so excited to join the Church and wants to be involved in it now. 

The Lord is preparing His children and we need to find them. There are people all around us who are searching. Open your mouth with love and He will fill it. Being an instrument in the hands of the Lord is the most rewarding experience! There is no reason to fear what man may think. Jesus Christ lives and this is His Church. He is preparing the world for His second coming. We must be committed to Him and His work. That is the ONLY way to peace in this life and in the life to come. As Lynn G. Robbins said on Saturday, "Which way do you face?"    

I love you all! The Lord is aware of each of us. Never doubt that. Continue in faith, even when things are dark or confusing. The light will come and it will be glorious. Loved President Uchtdorf's talk! Hold tight to the rod and never let go. Thank you for your prayers and support!

Sister Maren Renda

Christ is the reason!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Women's Conference

I'm excited for General Conference this week, and I'm going to attempt making your cinnamon rolls to take to people in the branch and the area. Wish me luck! I didn't know that about speakers in General Conference speaking in their native language! That will be so neat. I loved the Women's Broadcast this last weekend. We watched it with President and Sister Priest. The messages about temple covenants and God's love were very powerful. As I have been reading the Book of Mormon, I have been focusing on the Lord's covenants and promises. It's so true that one of the purposes of the Book of Mormon is to "show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever." (Title page of the Book of Mormon) It's a good reminder for me personally that the Lord sees the big picture and He is doing the small and simple things each day in our lives to accomplish His work.

Transfers were this last week. We spent a few days in St. John's with Sister Mangelson while she waited for her new companion to arrive. Other than that, not much to report on. There are four sets of sisters on the island again: one in St. John's, one in Conception Bay South, one in Corner Brook, and one in Bay Roberts. Sister Pizzey is currently visiting each area for the last couple weeks of her mission to train the sisters. We'll have an opportunity to work with her later this week.

Brendan will be back from Labrador this week and we are excited to start teaching him again and see how far he got in the Book of Mormon while he was gone. 

I love you and hope you have a great week! Enjoy that cinnamon roll for me. :)

Sister Maren Renda

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Prayers Heard and Answered

Hey All!

Thank you for your example to me of keeping a current temple recommend, Mom. Crissy sent me some pictures from the surprise party. Looked like a blast. I'm glad it went off without a hitch! It's exciting to hear that the Ogden temple was rededicated this last week. Go to the temple often. Being in this mission has really made me appreciate how blessed we are in Utah to have so many temples nearby. The Saints in Newfoundland have to make great sacrifices and preparation to be able to go. Don't take those blessings for granted!

This week was filled with opportunities to learn and grow spiritually. We had a mission leadership council via Skype on Wednesday, a district meeting on Thursday, and the Newfoundland District Conference on Saturday and Sunday. President Leavitt and one of his counselors came to St. John's and his other counselor went to Corner Brook. Using Skype we were able to connect both ends of the island for our district conference. Pretty neat. The focus of the district conference was the work of salvation and the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

With all of the talks and messages this week, I spent some time reflecting on my personal vision as a missionary. I had some highs and lows this week and the Spirit was able to teach me and lift me through all of it. Coming up on my year mark, it's humbling, to say the least, to reflect back on what I have accomplished the past year. Being away for a year from home, I sometimes feel very distant from my loved ones back home and wonder if what I am doing here really matters. I finally asked for a priesthood blessing this last week (after ignoring the prompting for a few days...) and my Heavenly Father gave me the peace and reminders that I needed. I have been reflecting on phrases from that blessing. I know that He hears and answers my prayers and knows the concerns and worries of my heart. I am grateful that I can ask and that He will answer, in His own time, in His own way. Aligning my will with His will is a process. It's something that I am still working on. I am grateful that He allows me to choose my path, and I know that following His light is the only way to travel this life safely. It doesn't mean that it won't be hard, but it does mean that it will be worth it. A lot of times that Light is just enough to illuminate my next step, but it is powerful enough to cast out the darkness, however dense it may seem.

Thank you for your love and sacrifice and prayers. This is the Lord's work and I am grateful to be an instrument in His hands.

Love you!

Sister Maren Renda

Love As The Savior

Thanks for sharing those things with me, Mom. I will definitely have to remember that story about standing at the door. That is what the Savior does. Too often I get stuck in this rut as a missionary, just feeling like this is what I do and not having the feeling behind it. That was a good reminder to me that I am called to represent the Lord Jesus Christ and to do the very things He would do if He were here. One of the greatest challenges in the time that we are living in is not allowing ourselves to be past feeling. Keeping our hearts soft is hard when there is so much evil in the world or when as a missionary or a disciple we face rejection each day. The Lord requires our hearts and that includes our ability to feel, to love, to have compassion as the Savior would. That's something I have been thinking about recently. That goes along with having a vision, too, like that sister missionary spoke about. True desire comes from the heart. Great talk to read about having a vision: "However Long and Hard the Road" by Elder Holland. You can find it on

We are still teaching Brendan. We met with him almost every day this past week. Every thing we share with him, he soaks up. He is excited for his baptism in October. His wife, Wanda, is supportive of him, but is a little hesitant of learning. In her own time, hopefully she too will want to know that Christ's Church has been restored.
I've started reading the Book of Mormon again to really study it. I'm highlighting according to each of the lessons in PMG. It's amazing how much the first few chapters of Nephi teach about the principles of the Restoration. 
I love you! Thanks for everything, Mom! I hope that you and Dad and David are receiving the blessings for me serving as well. As hard as it is to be a missionary, I know that it's worth it. The CES devotional last night by Elder Christofferson reminded me of that. Lose your life for His sake and you shall find it. 

Have a great week!
Sister Renda


Monday, September 8, 2014


Crissy sent me some pictures from the party.It looks like you all had a good time. I hope that Mom's recovery is going well. Thanks for the updates on everyone, including Grandpa Renda. I have been thinking about him and wasn't sure what progress had been made with his cancer. That's very exciting news about Kali! I'm sad I won't be there, but you will have to congratulate her for me. I was thinking about Nikki this last week and figured she must be coming home soon. Wow! Time sure flies! Way to invite the sisters over. I hope that their practice teaching brought the Spirit and that they will be able to find someone to teach soon.

This week was filled with miracles. I almost couldn't fall asleep one night this week because I was SO happy. The senior missionary couple in the branch finished their service and left this morning to make the long trek back to Utah. Their names are the Scheels. They are from Fruit Heights. Elder and Sister Priest are the new missionary couple. They are from Greenwood, Nova Scotia. I am excited to get to know them better and serve alongside them.
We had a surprise going away party for the Scheels this week. They were told it was an emergency preparedness fireside, but really it was some shocking good party for them instead. (A little Newfie lingo for ya).

Bear, the Newfoundland

I had a day this week that I felt rather discouraged, but I remembered Austin telling me that any time I felt that way as a missionary it was because Satan is trying to get me down so I don't accomplish what the Lord needs done that day. That proved to be true. We found some of the most prepared people that day. We set up appointments with them for later in the week. We contacted this couple at a secondhand store that we were looking to volunteer at. They were in the parking lot dropping off some items to donate when we got there. We stopped and chatted with them. Their names are Brendan and Wanda. They both grew up Christian but it wasn't until the past few years that they truly came to know Jesus Christ personally. We set up a lesson with them for the next day and when we arrived they weren't home. :( The day after we called them again and Brendan wanted to meet that night. He is thirsting after righteousness and felt good about meeting with us to hear our message. Last night we taught him again and invited him to be baptized in October. His response, "Yes. What do I have to do to prepare?" :D One of the most prepared people I have met on my mission.

I love being an instrument in the Lord's hands. Most often I don't realize that I am. In retrospect, I see how the Lord is painting this incredible picture and how everything miraculously fell into place. We just need to act on those small thoughts to do something good. Just do your best and leave the rest to Him.

I love you! Have a great week!

Sister Maren Renda

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Adventures on The Rock


My new address is PO Box #1046 Bay Roberts, NL A0A 1G0.

This week was a whirlwind: visits with the Cornerbrook sisters, Zone Conference in St. John's, blueberry picking, a trip to Marystown. All in all, it was a great week.

The Cornerbrook sisters, Sister Aslett (a previous companion in Halifax) and Sister Sharp (Maren's MTC companion), live on the other side of the island and they drove in with a senior missionary couple on Thursday for zone conference the next day. We spent Thursday and Friday evening working with them in our area. It was so fun to work with both of them again. It's fun to see how far we have come since we were in the MTC together. This was the first time serving with Sister Sharp since we were companions in the MTC. It was a blast! I definitely feel like I have made some friends for life. I keep telling Sister Aslett that I will have to visit her in England some day after our missions. :)

Zone Conference was great. The Assistants to the President brought my violin up from the mission home so I could do a musical number, and now I have my violin for the time that I will be on the Rock. It was great to be reunited with my old friend. I hadn't played it since May.

Saturday we took a trip with the Scheels to Marystown, a town about 3 hours from Bay Roberts. There used to be a branch in Marystown, but it closed in 2010. There are a handful of members still there, but most of them are inactive. It makes me sad to see so many lost sheep. A family from Texas, the Wiers, recently moved there for his work, and they have permission to meet together on Sundays with some of the members there for Sacrament meeting. Sometimes they Skype in with us for our Sacrament meeting. We found a couple people on the branch list while we were there and invited them to meet with the Wiers for sacrament. One day there will be a branch there again. I have hopes.

One of the members we visited in Marystown is a lady in her 80s named Sister Taylor. She meets with the Wiers each Sunday. Her testimony is incredible! President Scheel told us that after the branch closed in Marystown that she continued to set aside her tithing until she could pay it to someone again. For three years she did that. When the Wiers moved into town, she gave her inch-thick envelope of tithing to him so he could pay it to the Bay Roberts branch for her. Amazing, right? Even though the Church was no longer there or accessible to her, she stayed strong. She has been a widow for over 15 years now and holds fast to her covenants, knowing that she and her husband will be together again. 

I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve among spiritual giants in the Bay Roberts Branch. The members here are strong. They are few, but they are mighty and they support each other like a family. It's a really neat feeling. Today we picked blueberries with the Scheels and the Youngs, a couple in the branch. Blueberries grow wild here and they are everywhere! Who knew?

Hope you have a great week! Thanks for the letters, prayers, and love. Love you!

Sister Maren Renda

Sister Taylor in Marystown
View in Brigus

Knocking in the rain. :)

Sister Sharp and Sister Aslett at zone conference
Bridge from our blueberry excursion today

Last two are views from our various trips this last week. Newfoundland is beautiful!


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Greetings from The Rock (Newfoundland)

What a week! Saying goodbye to my Maine friends and being welcomed in by the Newfies. I didn't arrive in the area until Friday afternoon. I left Presque Isle early Thursday morning. We made a pit stop in Halifax, went to the temple with all of the departing missionaries (that was weird to be there with them, but I am so grateful I got to go to the temple! Don't take the temple for granted if you live close to one. Go as often as you can!), and then worked with the YSA sisters. It was fun to be back in my first area. Totally different experience being there in the summer. On Friday morning, we flew from Halifax to Newfoundland.
 Sister C and I with the Everitts.

Jamie and Delores from Presque Isle

Sister C and I with Brandy with her "Tree of Life" in the background.

Sister Christensen and I at the Halifax Temple

Fun fact about Newfoundland: the time zone here is 30 minutes ahead of Halifax.

 I am serving with Sister Comfort in Bay Roberts. Usual attendance in the branch is around 26-29. We live below Elder and Sister Scheel, a couple from Fruit Heights, UT. Elder Scheel is serving as the branch president. Most of the members are older, but there are a few younger families that moved here from the states. Because the branch covers such a large area, there are a group of saints that join us via Skype for sacrament meeting each Sunday. Once every month or two they make the drive to attend with us in person. There is a priesthood holder in that area that blesses and passes the sacrament to his family and two older sisters while we have the sacrament here. Technology is pretty incredible!

Newfoundland is beautiful! The accent is awesome, and I'm hoping I can pick up on some Newfie phrases before I leave the area. What a culture change from Maine to here. The work is pretty slow going. Lots of knocking, but people are friendly. There is also a set of Elders in the branch: Elder Evanson and Elder Walker. Elder Walker is a greenie from northern Idaho. 

The branch had a BBQ on Saturday and Elder Walker and I, as well as many families that are here visiting from the states, were "screeched in." I am officially an honorary Newfoundlander! Apparently the Newfoundland branches do this to all of the missionaries. Real screeching in involves rum, but we did the Mormon version of screeching. I'll send some pictures. They dressed us up in oil slickers, ate traditional Newfoundland foods, and then had to say a phrase in Newfie. It was pretty hilarious.
Being Screeched in. Newfie!

I am excited for the adventures ahead in Newfoundland with Sister Comfort. She is a powerful missionary and I have a lot to learn from her over the next transfer. I just have a good feeling about being here. Sweet is the peace the gospel brings. I know the Savior lives and loves us and that this is His work!

I love you and hope you have a great week!

Sister Maren Renda