I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. ~3John 1:4

With three of our children now serving in three different countries around the world, we thought this would be the best and easiest way for our friends and family to follow them on their journeys and watch as they learn, grow, and share their experiences. Lance is a combat medic in the US Army and is deployed to Afghanistan with the 101st Airborne Air Assault, Nicki is serving an 18-month mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in New Mexico, and Hunter is serving a two year mission in Honduras. We are so blessed!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Well it seems really weird that this is my last time e-mailing. It just feels like I'm getting transferred and staying on my mission. haha maybe I'm just in denial. Probably is denial.
We drive up to Albuquerque today and then we will stay the night with some sisters, then the next day we will have a meeting in the morning and bear our testimonies in transfer meeting, then we'll go contacting one last time for a few hours, then lunch, then the temple, then dinner, then another testimony meeting, then bed! Then we wake up super early and go to the airport. That's what I have going on this week.
This last week was so great though! Gabriel got baptized! I feel super blessed to have been part of that. The timing of everything with him was such a miracle. He has been so prepared in countless ways! He bore is testimony on Saturday at his baptism. You never would've guessed that he's only met with missionaries for 3 weeks. He knows that the Book of Mormon is true and it almost blows my mind how strong his faith and his testimony is! He wasn't just a golden investigator he was platinum!
At the baptism, President Miller also showed up! It was super unexpected! We never would've guessed. He was able to say a few things and help bring the spirit in even more. It was kinda weird, everyone at the baptism kept congratulating us, telling us it was amazing that we had a baptism our last week on the mission. I don't know why they kept congratulating us, we didn't do anything, we just showed up and taught. Gabriel was the one making the big decision and gained so much faith so fast!
There's a song that I love, and I think it explains everything perfectly. It was written for Elders but I really like all of it :)
 The hardest thing I ever loved to do
Was letting go of everything I ever knew
Nineteen years of dreams left in my room
As I buttoned up the jacket of my suit
The hardest word I've ever loved to say
Was goodbye to my mom and walk away
Choking on my tie and on my tears
As I walked down the hall into those years

The sweetest song I've ever loved to sing
Filled the MTC on angel's wings
The chorus filled my soul five thousand strong
And I wished it would just go on and on
The firmest hand I've ever loved to shake
Was my trainer's with that big grin on his face
He grabbed my bag and put his arm round me
And whispered,
"I'm gonna work those Mr. Macs right off your feet!"

The hardest words I've ever anguished for
Came just before some lady slammed her door
My trainer left me hanging out to dry
As a minute of painful silence rolled right by
But the hardest tears I've ever loved to cry
Fell as I opened up my mouth and testified
Between the tiny walls of a stranger's living room
The Spirit told their hearts my words were true

The most wonderful sound I've ever heard
Is the sound of water running in the church
As someone I'd come to love got dressed in white
My eyes saw their first glimpse of Heaven's light
The hardest thing I've ever come to see
Is a Man down on His knees in agony
A drop of blood falls down on olive leaves
And for a moment He suffers there for me

The hardest thing I've ever loved to do
Was getting on this plane and coming home to you
In a million ways completely torn apart
As a land so far away still owns my heart

In the most sincere prayer I've ever prayed
I thank my God for each and every day
For the blessing of the man I've come to be
As I run up and kiss my mama's cheek.
There are so many experience on my mission that I will never forget. I've loved teaching every lesson, even if they didn't go so well. I've loved the lessons where the spirit is so strong that you can't help but to cry. There's no better feeling than watching someone at their baptism and just watching the joy that they feel! You can't help but to smile! Something that I've come to learn the most of is the Atonement. I know it's real. I know that my Savior suffered for me and knew every little thing that I was going through so He could truly understand how I feel. And truly be there for me. I'm so thankful for what He did there in that garden.
Leaving this place is the hardest thing I ever loved to do, it definitely owns a piece of my heart. I've loved every moment of my mission. The good times and especially the bad. I've learned so much. I'm thankful for this time that I had to serve fulltime. I'm thankful that I got to learn how to serve so I can go home and do even more!
I know that this church is the true church, established by Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith was a prophet, who translated the Book of Mormon. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. And as we read it there are so many blessings that will come to us, both big and small. I know that there are miracles in every day. I know that we are children of God and He loves us more than we can comprehend. And nothing we ever do will change that love. I know that these things are true.
I hope you all have a good week :) see you soon ;) Love you!


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Because He is the Gift!

This week was a pretty good week!
We were able to teach Gabriel a lot! He's still one of the most prepared people I've ever taught! He's so excited to learn about the gospel and to come to church. We don't even remind him about church anymore, he just mentions how excited he is for it!
In one of the lessons with him we were able to commit him to be baptized on the 6th of December! It'll be our last Saturday on the mission! It's such a good way to end too! So far he's on track! We're so excited for him!
This Saturday we were able to have a special zone conference with Elder Corbridge. It was really cool and very inspiring! The spirit there was incredible and he helped bring some new ways to teach the lessons that I haven't really thought of before.
He also mentioned that there are a lot of people who think "below the line" and they also make excuses for why things don't get done, or complain, or make up even more excuses and put off their accountability on someone or something else. Then there are people who think "above the line" and they are able to see a need. Own the need. Plan it, and Do it.
An example he used is that if you see someone's driveway needs shoveled. You recognize it, then you decided you should do it, you grab a shovel and maybe set aside time, and then you go do it. Below the line thinking would be "That's not even my driveway" or "I'm sure someone else will do it before me." They just make excuses why it shouldn't be them. Over all it was a really good meeting! We also got to hear from President Miller which is always a plus!
That morning we actually woke up to a text and it was from the assistants to the president asking if we confirmed with ward council that Elder Corbridge and President Miller are coming to our ward council! This was the first time we ever heard that so we hurried and made calls! Sunday morning Elder Corbridge and President Miller came to ward council and shared a few thoughts, and then they were able to speak in Sacrament meeting! It was pretty cool, we got to hear from them twice in two days! It was way cool to be able to shake his hand and hear even more of what he has to say.
This morning we had a fun experience! Someone called us and told us that he made some menudo. I guess his menudo is pretty famous and better than most. It was pretty good! A lot better than all of the horror stories I've heard about menudo. Once you get over the fact of what it is, it's easy to eat. That, and when it's cooked right, that makes a really big difference. Maybe I'll make some for ya when I get home ;)
Overall this week was really good! We're excited for after thanksgiving because we're just going to carol a ton and share "He Is the Gift" You should watch the video on Christmas.Mormon.org it is so good!! We're excited to invite everyone to watch it. So everyone should watch it!!! Completely worth your time!!
I  know that Christmas sometimes is super busy and there's so much to do that sometimes we get caught up in the lights, and presents, and shopping, and cooking, that we forget the real reason for Christmas. But Christ really is the reason for the season. We get this time of year to remember not only His birth, but also all that He did for us. It's one of my favorite times of year! And I'm so excited I get to be a missionary for it!
Love you all!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

So Much To Do - So Little Time!

This week was a good week! Full of miracles!
This week the stl's decided to start a prayer week. So every week they pick someone for all the sisters in the 2 zones they cover to pray for a certain area. We were chosen for the first week. We asked them to pray for new investigators and to have a baptism this transfer.
It all started with Amanda. We've been teaching her pretty steadily for a little while. she's been taught off and on for about 6 months now. She's the one that has 3 kids under 3 and she's only 20. Well recently she went through some humbling things and kept saying that she just wanted to start a new life. We were able to teach her about the Holy Ghost and about baptism and she accepted a baptismal date! It was going to be on the 29th. This really helped renew our fire.
So on Saturday we had Sis. Murphy come out with us (the best member missionary I've ever seen my whole mission!) We tried a few people and nobody was there. We tried a former investigator Arlene. Thanks to Sis. Murphy we were able to get in and we were able to teach her and her husband a little bit. We were able to get 2 new investigators thanks to that lesson and to Sis. Murphy.
Then later we had an appointment with Gabriel. We talked to him 2 weeks earlier, he was a former investigator. He has recently been going through some humbling circumstances that has made him even more prepared to receive the gospel.
During the lesson with Gabriel he mentioned that lately he's been noticing something has been missing and that he was looking for something but didn't really know what. Then he said it made sense when we came by what he was missing. He was missing the gospel! We taught a really good lesson and invited him to church, and he came!!! That usually doesn't happen. He loved church! He downloaded the app! And reconfirmed our appointment for Wednesday! He's the most prepared investigator I've ever seen!
We saw Amanda yesterday and it turns out she's going to be moving on the 29th :( But we really think that Gabriel will be able to get baptized on the 6th.
It's really interesting how the prayers of everyone were answered. We had a baptism date within the transfer and then it didn't turn out. But at the same time we have a lot of faith that Gabriel is just that prepared to be a 2 week baptism! I know that Heavenly Father really does answer prayers! It's been amazing to see how the prayers of these other sisters and how their faith helped us and our area. We were able to get 3 new investigators and an investigator at church. We saw things that I haven't seen happen in this area for months! I'm so thankful that prayers work and that God is so willing to help us out and to reach out.
I read Pres. Uchtdorf's talk from the Women's Conference this morning. He mentioned that God is constantly pouring down blessings, we just put up umbrella's to block them. He's always reaching down, completely willing to help us with what we need. We just need to do our part and "put down our umbrellas) Stop whatever is blocking the blessings and ask for help. I know that He's always willing to help us. No matter how worthy we think we are, nothing we ever do will ever change God's love for us, it's simply always there. I know this church is true.
Love you all!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Unexpected~

Well this week has been pretty great! I don't think there's a time that me and Sister Smith haven't been having fun. We actually were in the same MTC district, we've been waiting to be companions our whole mission, and then just when we thought it was impossible. It happened!
So here's part 3: The unexpected 
This is what I wish I would've know before the mission
1. Missions aren't the best 18 months OF your life they're the best 18 months FOR your life.
2. Missions are 90% attitude.
3. If you're bored, you're probably doing something wrong.
4. Some companions will become the sisters you never had.
5. If you don't get along with a companion, just remember that you aren't sealed for eternity.
6. If you aren't having at least a little bit of fun, you're doing it wrong.
7. You shouldn't wear flowy skirts when you're on a bike. They could get caught in your spokes and cause your bike to stop in the middle of a busy intersection.
8. There will be tons of awkward moments....
9. Elders are still just 18/19 year old boys.
10. If you tell the mission president what you think should happen, the opposite is most likely going to happen.
11. Sometimes sketchy things happen. But the Lord will always protect you, or at least give you a warning.
12. You never really recover from being tired. You just get used to it, then more tired, than used to that. And so on.
13. Whatever bad moments you have, will be heavily outweighed by the good moments. You will hardly remember that bad things that happen.
14. The mission will become the hardest thing you ever loved to do.
15. You will have "mission brain" and you won't be able to remember a whole lot from the world like movies and music.
16. Sometimes when things are slow your brain will convince you that your investigator is kidnapped and in the middle of the desert. That's probably not true, they're probably just busy.
17. You will come to love these people that are practically strangers.
18. Because you love them you will become so frustrated when they turn down the very thing that will bring them the peace and the happiness they're looking for.
19. You will come to understand the Atonement on a more personal level because you yourself will spend a few moments in Gethsemane.
20. Missions are completely worth everything you go through. Hands down the best decision you will ever make.
Well I love you all! Thanks for all that you do and for all the support!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Lesson of the Week: Open Your Mouth!

This week was pretty crazy! We had our Fall Festival and trunk or treat. It turned out really great! We had 3 investigators show up! And an even bigger miracle happen! (I'll get to that later)
One of the investigators has 3 kids under 3 and her husband didn't stay. So we were running ALL over the place trying to find people that would watch her baby, or take her kids trunk or treating. Or just trying to find a ride for them was crazy hard! There was one great member who helped us out so much! She answered so many prayers that night, I don't even think she understands! The investigator was super thankful that she was invited and glad that everything turned out well!
About half the people that attended were actually non-members! We were able to talk to a few but not too many because we were too busy asking people to talk to our investigators or finding people to watch her baby so we didn't get stuck with him, because that's a really big rule to break!!
There was a string of miracles that happened! Weeks ago we talked to this guy on the street and he was super nice. Not really interested, but he said his daughter has been a member for 5 years. We ended up seeing him again a week later and we invited him to the Fall Festival. He said that, that was the same weekend his daughter was coming in town and that he'd really try to make it with her.
Well they actually showed up!! We were amazed! It turns out that it was only they're second time ever seeing each other! We just happened to talk to him, his daughter just happened to be a member, she just happened to be coming into town seeing her dad, seeing her dad for the second time ever, the very weekend we happen to be having the Fall Festival. It's just one string of miracle.
Our ward mission leader talked to them a little bit more than we got to and invited them to church and to have a lesson after. All 3 lessons were on temples and family history work. haha not exactly the best thing for a newbie. He seems pretty golden! He really enjoyed the first lesson and was able to feel the spirit. He told us that if he came to know that these things were true than he'd get baptized!
The best part of this was I think for the daughter, she served a mission and is now a ward missionary in her home ward. She was so excited that he agreed to take the lessons and that we talked to him one day on the street. It was just one simple oym (open your mouth) one contact, that answered a lot of prayers.
My lesson I learned this week is that you should talk to everyone because you never know what prayer you're answering. Whether it's just someone wanting a nice little conversation, or if it's a family member asking to help the one they love, a prayer is a prayer no matter how small. Or how "small" it may seem. If it matters to you it matters to Him.
I know that all prayers go answered. Even though they may seem "unanswered" God always does what's best for us. That may mean helping us learn a little more about patience, or it may mean that what's best for us is going through whatever we're going through. That just means we really have to learn to rely on Him to get us through it. I know that while He may leave prayers "unanswered" He never leaves us.
Well I love you all!



Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Call~

Well here it is part 2: The Call
There's nothing more anticipating than finding out where in the world you're going to spend the net 18 months of your life. Waiting on a piece of paper to tell you how your life is going to be can be really nerve racking.
With everyone getting mission calls I had it down to a science when it would come. If it didn't come Wednesday it came Thursday. Well my call didn't come on Wednesday so I knew it would come. Thursday just happened to be my day off.
I was expecting the mail man to come around 1:00 like it usually does. Well this guy was running 3 hours early! I anxiously watched the mailman pull into the circle put mail in a mailbox, and completely drive by our mailox! I was really shocked for a second, until he parked in front of the house and got out, witht he call in his hand. Which would be a good thing if you were prepared. I just woke up, my hair looked like Medusa, I didn't have a bra, It was just a mess.
It's safe to say I was freaking out. He rang the doorbell, I grabbed the first coat from the closet, quickly tried to tame my mane. then answered the door. He asked if I was Sister Ririe, haha I sure didn't look like any sister at that point!
Well I finally had the call! Now all I had to do was wait until everyone came home.
I had to get out of the house instead of just staring at an envelope forever, wondering where God was going to put me. so me and a friend played racquetball. while we were out I told her about my dream I had the night before. In my dream I was with friends on vacation. I remember looking around and not really knowing where I was. But since I was supposed to know I didn't want to ask anyone in my dream. We were one our way to a basketball game, when I decided we were either in California or New Mexico. I decided we were in New Mexico. After I told my friend this she was saying how cool it'd be if I went to New Mexico on my mission. I thought it'd be cool but definitely not my first choice.
Later it was finally time to open my call. family and a few neighbors were there with friends on Skype. When I read that I was called to the New Mexico Albuquerque Mission I knew without a doubt that that's where I was needed. I was so excited! It also proved to me again that God has a sense of humor since I always said I never wanted to go anywhere touching Utah :)
Heavenly Father showed me in little ways that I was supposed to go to New Mexico ever since I've been here I've been so grateful. It really is the best mission in the world. There's no place like it.
I know that I've been here to help people. I also have seen that people have been here for me. It's crazy how God knows exactly what we need and what is best for us. I never would've picked New Mexico for a mission but I'm so extremely grateful that Heavenly Father knows me better than I do and didn't pick my 1st choice, but picked the best choice.
Hope ya'll have a good week!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Bonus Letter!

Mom and family!

Bonus letter!  My comp isn't feeling too well, so I thought I'd write my favorite family!  Thanks dor the package!  It was awesome! It was good timing too because my comp is sick, so I had fun with the mustaches! I wish I could mentally send pics to you.  You'll have to wait till p-day  :)

I thought I'd write a little more about the miracles that happened this week since I didn't so much explain them in my email.

Saturday, a ton of people were home.  It was a good day!  The greatest one was when we were out - we had plans to walk around and contact.  Sis. Montini had the impression to go see someone we didn't plan on seeing.  So we headed on our way.  This house is tough to get to.  Their street is closed because of construction.  Well, we finally got to her house and she was outside!  She has this giant gate that you can't get into.  We started talking to her and she said that she's only home 1 weekend a month so we caught her at a really good time!  We ended up talking to her for 2 hours.  She's not on good terms with a lot of people int he ward, but we were able to connect and get on good terms!  It was so cool!  And now her mom is bringing someone to the Fall Festival!  Her mom is actually super cool.  So 80 years old an does Cross Fit!  I'm not even lying!  So she's bringing one of the trainers that just had a baby.

The Fall Festival should be an exciting time!  It's the trunk or treat.  The ward goes all out!  It's the biggest event of the year.  Everyone invites non-members.  We're really excited to see what happens form it.

Another thing that happened was pretty cool, but it was more personal.  We were teaching a less active guys.  He's actually a return missionary.  He served in the Tucson Mission when El Paso was part of that mission.  But he never servered here.  He is just struggling a bit lately with his testimony.  He's way fun to teach!  He knows what he needs to do, he just needs a little push to do it.  So we're that push and that extra spiritual shoulder to lean on.  We finished our 2nd lesson with him and asked him to say the prayer at the end.  He was a little hesitant at first.  He said there was going to be some lightening and thunder if he said it. But that was ironic because it was already stormy.  Anyways, he said the prayer and it was super sincere!  He was thanking Heavenly Father for sending the missionaries and for our time.  And he started crying!  He almost couldn't finish the prayer.  I can't even describe how that feels.  It's one part of serving a mission that makes everything worth it.  One prayer can make all the weird looks you get, all the investigators that drop you, all the hard companions; it makes ALL of that worth it.  When you know how much you've helped someone - well - more like how much you were able to bring the Spirit into their lives, it makes the whole 18 months worth it.  I hope that made sense.  (I kept getting distracted)  :s

Nerm!  When I get home we're going to the temple once a week! (I'm watching a "Mormon Message" on temples right now)  We'll find names and go do baptisms for them!  Deal?!  You can get a head start on finding names if you want to  :)  It'll be our thing.  We'll go before school and then get breakfast.  the temple is a lot cooler when you go before school.  The sacrifice of getting up early brings even more blessings!  And your day goes much more smooth.  I know it may be hard to find names, but just try it  :)  Your temple experience will mean a lot more if you find the name yourself. Guaranteed!

Oh Mom, heads up!  I told a former sister to contact you.  Don't be alarmed if Rachel Wilcock tries to friend you.  I told her you 2 should hang out.  It'd be good for both of you!!!

Den!  There's a Victory dealer in our area.  I think of you every time we drive by it.  Someone that lives in our complex own a nice Victory.  I have no clue what bike it is, but it's really nice!  Mom told me about your Halloween costumes!  I think it's awesome!  You'll have to send pictures!  For Halloween I might go as my companion..haha  You can't get too creative on a mission.

Oh, if y'all want something to do on Sunday, you should look up the Mormon Message "Moments that Matter Most".  There's a part where this lady is standing in front of a grave, there's a headstone behind her.  It's a little blurry, but you should see what name is on it.  I won't give it away  :)  That'd take all the fun out.  But I'll be waiting for an answer.  Which reminds me, I almost forgot!  This p-day is going to be Monday the 27th to be exact (Last transfer of her mission!!!)  Just a heads up!  Whooo I'm glad I remembered to tell you!

Well, I hope you enjoyed the bonus letter.  Thanks for the package!  It was the best!  Thanks for all you do and for all your support!  I love you all!

I hope you have a great week!
Sister Ririe  :)