Linda Flynn came to live with her daughter, Sunny, and son-in-law, Spencer Ray, from California in June. She moved with her piano and two dogs into the Rays’ home, but now is saying goodbye again and leaving to serve a year-long mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Phoenix.
Flynn taught elementary school in California for 26 years. When she retired in June, she said, “I knew my next step was to serve a mission. With the help of my family, I got my home ready to sell. It sold in four days! And I moved to Arizona.”
Although difficult to leave her home, her work family, her church family, and friends after living in California for over 40 years, Flynn was most worried about her two Australian Shepherd dogs.
She said, “I fasted and prayed about what to do about my dogs. In the end the Ray family offered to love my dogs for a year, even though their kids were terrified of them. But the Lord worked miracles, and my dogs are being well loved.”
Flynn’s daughter, Sunny, said that initially they were not going to take the dogs. Her children were afraid of the large dogs and having dog hair all over was not something she was interested in dealing with. However, when no one could be found who would take the dogs, the Rays decided they would.
“It’s actually turned into a blessing in one way, and we were able to see the Lord’s love and care,” said Sunny Ray. “Most of my children were getting used to the [dogs] as we were going to help mom [move] on many weekends. But my little girl, Kinsey, was still terrified. Kinsey would lock herself in a room every time we were at mom’s house. I decided to pray and ask Heavenly Father for His help. The very next day, Kinsey asked me, ‘Mom, will you hold my hand while I go into the office and pet the dogs?’”
Sunny agreed to hold her daughter’s hand as she petted the dogs. Kinsey was a little nervous, the mother said, but she stood next to the dogs without screaming and worrying that they would bite her. Sunny commented, “The day after, I asked her about that experience. She confidently responded that she wanted to care for the dogs, and she knew Jesus would help her.” At that point, the mother told Kinsey that she had prayed for her and that she knew Jesus really had helped her.
Ray added, “I also know that Jesus is helping me to relax and not worry so much about all the dog hair I see.”
Spencer Ray concluded, “Missions are important to us, and we hope to serve a mission together when the time comes. We are happy to help mom go on a mission for the Lord.”
Submitted by Bonnie Holyoak