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  :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Why

This week was a pretty good week. We were able to have zone conference and watch Meet the Mormons! It was way good. Everyone should see it Mormon or not. I still learned something new from it, and it's just uplifting. Yep, that's my plug in it for that.
The big lesson of the week was Lori. She was the one we watched Finding Faith in Christ with. When we started teaching her she said that her biggest fear is that there's one true church and that she's in the wrong one. We taught her the Restoration and by the end she was a little overwhelmed. She said she was scared. I think she was scared because she knew this was her answer and that it would mean change. Most people don't like change. But it was a really great lesson! Over all it's a huge miracle! We're excited to teach her tomorrow and ask her what she thinks about what she's read!
So I thought it would be fun to do something a little different and do a 3 part segment. Part 1: The Why. Part 2: The Call. Part 3: The Unexpected.
So here's Part 1: The Why
Why did I choose to serve a mission?
The age changed happened and it was weird because all of the sudden this option was open to me. Of course it was a big decision so I put off thinking about it. I didn't want to go just because I COULD go. I told myself I wouldn't think about it for a month.
Before this I never wanted to go on a mission. The seemed scary (which they are!) and it didn't seem like me to go. People would always ask me if I was going to go and I'd say no, without hesitation. For mutual, when they had missionary activities I'd do them half heartedly because I "knew" I was never even going to serve.
Well exactly one month later I was at work washing dishes. A thought came into my mind. I can't remember the second half it it but the first part was "well on my mission, it'll be like this...." This thought scared me! I didn't say if, I said when. I looked at the calendar and it was exactly 1 month later. this thought came out of no where and I know it was by the spirit. I wasn't going to remember the date, but Heavenly Father sure did!
So I started thinking about it and talking to a few people. One of my good friends who I never ever thought would serve a mission decided to go, and she seemed SOO excited about it, that changed my perspective a little bit.
I didn't really announce to anyone in my family that I was planning on going. It was a big surprise when Dennis called a super random family council and started talking about saving for missions and how we're supposed to pay 1/2. I really don't think they were expecting me to go. It surprised them a little when I said I was really thinking about it and that it looked like I was going to go.
Oop. I forgot a big part. In the middle of all my thinking and pondering about a mission, I read my patriactchal blessing which was semi-neglected. After dusting it off... I read that I would serve as a full-time missionary, in the mission field. Heavenly Father really had to spell it out for me ;)
So I started my papers and saving even more. It's really interesting how my life just kind of lined up for a mission. It was really clear that I was supposed to go. I had exactly enough time to save 1/2, school just... well it probably wasn't the best way to do things but it worked out.
At first I wanted to come out to help people, and there were a lot of other cool benefits, like living outside of Utah, meeting new people, new friends, new food. A lot of temporal reasons.
While all those things do come from a mission, I've realized that there's even more and better reasons. The spiritual growth, I don't think I'd get anywhere close the where I am now spiritually, without my mission.
While I may not have changed very many lives or converted very many souls, I changed y life, and I became more converted. The mission was the best decision of my life. It's made me grow, and become someone I never thought I could be. It's helped me live up to my divine potentional It's going to help me for the rest of my life.
I've been able to see amazing miracles, and I've been able to help people come closer to Jesus Christ and help them access the Atonement. I've been able to see first hand exactly how much Heavenly Father loves all His children
I'm thankful everyday for this opportunity and privilege, I hope that for these next 2 months I will be more able to serve Heavenly Father, to be an instrument in His hands and help His children come closer to Him. He's shown me a lot of love and now I get to show other people that love. I get to help them experience that change that brings peace and happiness. I get a front row seat to the Atonement. I get to be a missionary.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Goat Head Stickers, Obedience, and Scripture Power!

And sometimes we play "try to figure out the picture"!
This week went pretty swell like. We were able to talk to a lot of people and find a lot of potential investigators! We've also spent a lot of time getting ready for a movie night. We're going to play the Testaments at the church and have popcorn and root beer floats. And then we're going to have a some people in the ward dressed up and be characters from the Book of Mormon. Kind of like Disneyland! Or Moroni's quest but not as cool.
We were walking around one morning and Sis. Morco walked through some weeds and ended up with a TON of goat heads in her skirt! So then we spent a little while picking them off, we started walking again and it was perfect timing to meet up with this guy that was just walking down the street. He wasn't interested but he was super nice and semi-willing to listen. It just helped my testimony grow a little more that everything really does happen for a reason. Even goat heads. You may never know the reason now, but eventually it will all make sense in the Eternal view of things.
I had another pretty cool experience but it was more of a personal thing. Earlier in the week I felt a stronger desire to be more obedient. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't breaking any rules, I just wanted to make sure to do everything right. Sometimes there are a lot of rules to keep track of. I really wasn't sure why this desire was there but it was.
Then came zone training (a big meeting with about 9 sets of missionaries) they announced that there was a rule change, that we could now only listen to hymns. Which is a pretty big deal for me. I LOVE my church music. They aren't necessarily hymns but they're still really good songs. But with this desire to be more obedient I was really being prepared to be able to follow this rule change. Everything really does happen for a reason. And while this is a hard rule to follow I know that I'll have help and receive even more blessings :) So I'm excited for the chance I have to be blessed even more than I already have. Which can be pretty hard to imagine sometimes!
Something else that has come up a lot is the power that comes through daily scripture reading. We have a recent convert and she hasn't really been doing it as diligently as she should. Well I think she's stopped completely. You could tell too, there was a whole different countenance about her, and what she was saying. But I know that there is power that comes through DAILY reading. Power that Heavenly Father is more than willing to give us. We just have to do our part. I know that the scriptures are here to guide us and help and comfort us, they are truly a gift for us in THIS day, not for the people back then (they didn't have a printing press, normal people didn't have access to them). I know the scriptures are true and will bless you!
Love you all!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Everyone is One of God's Creations, They're Who He Wanted Them to Be!

This week I learned a valuable lesson on not judging people. We were out contacting and there were these 2 teenage boys around 15 or so. I didn't want to talk to them because I really didn't think anything good would come out of it. I thought they were just going to talk to us because we were girls. The conversation was really hard at first. We didn't really know what to talk about at first. But then we started talking about the gospel and this 15 year old kid started crying a little bit when he was talking about how much he wanted to change his life. It was sweet. So we asked him if he would ask his mom if he could talk to us and be taught.
He ended up taking us up to talk to his mom, they were in the middle of a big move so they couldn't talk right then. But the mom seemed super excited to have us come over, she genuinely wanted us to come and teach her and her family. She told us that she knew it was important. They're moving out of our area. But there are missionaries everywhere and we have her number :)
The lesson I really learned from all this is that you really can't judge who is ready for the gospel and who isn't. It's really not our place to judge. Everyone has a divine potential and you really can't say who they are based on what they look like, or even what they've done in the past. But everyone is one of God's creations, they're who He wanted them to be.
The hard part is really applying the lesson. So this week my goal is, when I'm out talking to people that I will remember who they really are and what they really can become. The Atonement covers everything. So it's really not up to me to decide what the Atonement doesn't cover, or what people aren't ready for it.
This week I want to invite everyone to use the Atonement somehow, or to remember how the Atonement has blessed their lives. And then to invite someone else to either learn of the Atonement or a little more about Christ and His sacrifice. I know that as you do this you'll grow closer to Heavenly Father and to Jesus Christ and you're excitement to do missionary work and to share these blessing will increase!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

You Never Really Know When The Spirit is Trying to Tell You Something!

Mom was slacking again - so lucky you, here's two letters in ONE!  What a deal!  :)  And we received her flight itinerary today!  December 10th it is!  More info to follow!!  (And with any luck at all, she and Lance MAY get to come home together on the same connecting flight! )

This week we were able and blessed to be able to do a lot of service, and we had a baptism! So it was a pretty good week overall!
The baptism went a lot better than we had thought it would. The only flaw was that we didn't have a chorister for the opening hymn, I never thought choristers were that important, but they are. The baptism ended up being half Spanish half English, a Spanglish baptism! Which i'm pretty convinced that's actually the city's language. Spanglish. Anyway, she was 9 years old and right after the baptism she came out in her dress and she just said "That was so cool! That was the coolest thing I've ever done!!" It was pretty cute to see.
Her older brothers were able to do the baptism and gave a talk! It was so cute to see how much they cared for their little sister. They were both really nervous and wanted to make sure that everything worked out well. And it did! It took them a little while to the whole hand holding part, but that's because he was so nervous. I'm really glad that I was able to be a part of this baptism!
The service opportunities this week were way cool! They just kept pouring in! We almost didn't have time to do them all. And now on top of moving, painting, party decorating, house cleaning, I can add wedding planner/decorator(helper) to the list! We helped someone make center pieces for her wedding reception. Well it was more just a reception because they were able to go to the temple to get sealed. They're a really cute couple and they were so excited to be able to be together for literally ever.
There were a lot of blessings that came from service, it didn't really show in our numbers but we were able to feel it. I love all the chances that I've been given to serve others. "When you are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God." I'm grateful for all the chances I've been given to serve Heavenly Father by serving His children.
Love you all!

This week has been a pretty good week! We're slowly getting out of our dry spell of finding new investigators, this week we were able to find 3 more! Which is nice because a lot of our investigators keep moving or become not so interested anymore. So it's been pretty exciting to get some new people to teach!
This week I actually had a really cool experience. It started in the morning when I was studying. I was reading over the Plan of Salvation lesson, studying for an investigator, and when I got to the Spirit World I was reading it and a thought popped into my mind "we're going to need to really focus on this tonight for Yolanda since she had a son that passed away." Then I had a re-thought and it went something like "wait, we don't know that at all, she hasn't opened up to us in that way yet. We don't know anything about her kids." And then I just kind of moved away from the thought and didn't think much of it.
Fast forward to the lesson. We're sitting in the lesson... I forget exactly what we were teaching, I think it was about the Atonement. And Yolanda mentioned how she had a son pass away when he was just 11 days old because he was born premature. I was kind of shocked by this! Then I was able to focus a little more on the Spirit World than I normally would've.
After the lesson, just to make sure, I asked Sister Morco if we knew that she had a son that passed away, she told me that we had no idea and she never mentioned that before.
I learned a lot about the Spirit that day. It really does work in mysterious ways. By one thought popping to my head at the very beginning of the day I was able to teach what she needed to hear in the lesson. One little thought that sounded like my own, and that I thought was slightly crazy at first.
You never really now when the Spirit is trying to tell you something. That's why it is so important to always be ready to receive revelation like that. I know that the Spirit is really here to help us, and guide us, protect us and teach us, and so much more! I'm so thankful that I don't have to do this all alone, and go through life all alone. But that I was given the Spirit to help me and really lead me through life and all it's adventures.
I love you all and I hope that you have a good week!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Prayer can't change trials, but it can definitely give us the strength to get through them~

Well this week is kind of all a blur...
I'll start from yesterday. It's the end of the week so we have like no food. Our fridge had a piece of turkey and some cheese, and possibly a jicama. The freezer just had ice and grape otter pops. So we were kinda worried about dinner. Worried in a "we have to get creative" type of way. We had some pasta in the cupboard but it needed milk and butter. So we asked a member for some, well she told us that she's just going to take us to the store and get some. And from there just bought us a chicken, veggies, fruit, desert, everything!! It was a crazy miracle! I'm incredibly grateful for her help! We still would've eaten without her kindness, but it was still really appreciated. We are blessed.
That's the only real story I have. Everything else has just been normal missionary things. We're playing missionary survival this week. We kinda ran out of miles on our car. So we can't really use it until Friday. It's been exciting so far! It's really going to force us to talk to people and to be out, because well we can't really stay in the car because we don't have one! And we need to talk to more people because we're slowly losing investigators. But it's all good, because we're going to get more this week!
Oh! Actually we had exchanges this week. I ended up staying, so that was a little stressful taking over the area after just 5 weeks. But everything went surprisingly smooth. We got a new investigator! She seems pretty solid. It's actually a part member family. We taught her the restoration and she seems really excited to read the Book of Mormon! I'm excited to teach her more! She's sincerely interested in learning, which makes our job a lot easier!
Today I was studying Enos and I decided that he's probably the ultimate missionary. He was so converted that he would pray for the welfare of his enemies souls. I know I'm definitely not at that step yet. I also really like his example of prayer. He didn't pray for his own wants, or his own needs, but he really focused on others and what they needed. He needed the Lamanites to stop attacking them and to just have peace. The Lamanites needed the gospel, and Enos wanted them to have the gospel. His wills were in line with the Lord's wills.
There's a quote about prayer that President Miller sent to us:
"It takes great faith and courage to pray to our Heavenly Father, "Not as I will, but as thou wilt." The faith to believe in the Lord and endure brings great strength. Some may say if we have enough faith, we can sometimes change the circumstances that are causing our trials and tribulations. Is our faith to change circumstances, or is it to endure them? Faithful prayers may be offered to change or moderate events in our life, but we must always remember that when concluding each prayer, there is an understanding: "Thy will be done" (Matt. 26:42). Faith in the Lord includes trust in the Lord. The faith to endure well is faith based upon accepting the Lord's will and the lessons learned in the events that transpire." Elder Robert D. Hales
Prayer can't change trials or anything but it can definitely give us the strength to get through them. I've definitely seen that since I've been out.
Well I love you all and I hope you have a great week!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I May Not Know A Lot, But I Know God Answers Prayers~

Well this week was pretty great! We had a baptism! Krystal is 18 years old and the only one in her family taking lessons. She was really excited to get baptized. She is very very in tune with the spirit, her prayers are always my favorite part about meeting with her. They're so personal and you can just hear in her voice that she really cares what she's praying about.
We met with Krystal the night before her baptism, everything was set to go. The speakers were assigned, refreshments being baked, songs being practiced. The last lesson as an investigator was being taught. We asked her if her mom was going to come, she said she was way too scared to ask her mom about getting baptized. Keep in mind the baptism was the NEXT day. We tried to tell her that talking to her mom and telling her was the best thing and that she shouldn't wait any longer. Her little brother was in the mean time running back and forth telling her mom almost everything. She snapped at her brother than he started crying. The lesson was just a mess and I was expecting the mom to come out and just start yelling at everyone. We calmed everyone down and left with some spiritual thoughts. It was now up to Krystal to tell her mom.
I left that lesson with a slight doubt that she wouldn't tell her mom. We didn't feel comfortable with her getting baptized without her mom's knowledge or approval. We decided that night that we would fast for her.
The next morning, a very inspired sister in the ward asked if everything was set and if Krystal needed anything. We told her that we weren't exactly sure if she told her mom anything and we were waiting for her to reply to our text.
Maybe an hour later that same sister texted us and said "I just got back from meeting with Krystal's mom. She's ok with it and she's coming, I'm so excited! along with my sister and her non-member fiancĂ©." We almost couldn't believe it. Number one that our fast we started the night before was answered so quickly, and that this Sister was that inspired and knew that she had to go over and talk with her mom.
We met this Sister at the baptism and she then told us the story in detail. We didn't know this but Krystal's dad is an excommunicated member and her mom used to go to church all the time with him. So she knew what it was all about, and she was comfortable with Krystal joining. We had no idea this whole time!
The baptism went smoothly, just as planned. The only hiccup was that we didn't set out the hymn books before so we had to run out and pass them out as they were singing haha.
I know that there is strength in praying and fasting, and that Heavenly Father really does care and answer those prayers. I'm so thankful for this sister and for her being so in tune with the spirit and being so inspired. The baptism definitely wouldn't have happened with out her! I may not know a lot, but I know God answers prayers.
I love you all! I hope you have the best week ever.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Welcome to Real Del Puente!

Beautiful Real Del Puente!

Time for an update from (or more about) Elder Ririe!'

He is doing fantastic!  Email and snail mail has been a little sketchy lately, so we're having to compile info in bits and pieces.  He's latest transfer was to beautiful Real Del Puente. It's only about ten minutes from his last area (most likely calculated by walking distance) but he said the economic difference between the two areas is like night and day.  He's in what's considered to be a ritzy area.  He is serving with Elder Bingham from Utah and they also live with two of the zone leaders.  He's completely happy about that because they live in an actually house AND they have air conditioning!  He calls it the perks of being with the zone leaders!

The language is coming along awesome!  In fact, in his last letter he told Tanner that he'll probably end up writing it in Spanish, which he did!  Not sure if that was intentional or not, but we don't think it was and Tanner appreciated the heads up!

They've had 3 baptisms in the last few weeks with another one scheduled this Sunday.  When we ask him what the best part of his week was, he answers "teaching the lessons".  Most spiritual part of your week, "teaching".  Most fun you've had this week, "Teaching!!!!"  I gather he loves teaching the gospel!  This Sunday they are baptism two children from a family they've been teaching.  The mom was baptized a couple weeks ago.  He was so excited to be able to teach and baptize an entire family and watch their lives change before his eyes.  The mom is a single mom and had been out of work for a very long time.  She was able to get a very good job the day before her baptism and attributed it to following the teachings of Jesus Christ and committing to be baptized.  She invited the missionaries over that night to feast on tortillas and beans - the best meal her family had had in a very long time.  Hunter said it was very humbling to see the kids so excited over tortillas and beans.

He said he's getting somewhat used to the heat and humidity and he doesn't even notice it half the time now.  With the World Cup going on he said whenever there was a game on they had to stay in their apartments for most of the day.  He didn't like that very much, especially knowing a game was on that he couldn't watch!

He's a tiny bit homesick and has asked for letters!  Lots of letters!!!  He said the only one he hears from is from Mom!!  And he says that's getting kind of boring  (gee...thanks bud!)  LOL.   He would love to sign onto his email next week and see a different name in his inbox besides Mom!  ;)  hint hint!  For those of you preparing to leave on missions, remember this and get him a letter out!  Seriously, he would love to hear from everyone and he says letters help with feeling homesick.