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!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

One of my favorite things!

Hi all!

Okay, so Mom gave me a list of questions and things to talk about this week.  LOL...I must be failing on the details in my emails!  I'll try to do better next week, Mom!  Here's a quick rundown of the week.  I'm not sure what exactly to say because it seems like we pretty much do the same thing every day and the area is super SUPER small, but I'll try!

The most spiritual experience of the week:
Definitely watching the Joseph Smith movie with one of our investigator families.  In fact, one of the highlights of my week.  That movie never gets old!

Prettiest thing I saw this week:
The prettiest thing would have to be the view of the valley/city from where we are.  I never get tired of looking at it.

Baptism this week:
Our baptism that was supposed to be on Saturday had a little hiccup, but hopefully it will go through this next Saturday.  She is definitely ready to be baptized!  So excited for her!!!

How was Easter?  Any new traditions?:
Easter really was just like any other day.  They don't really do anything to celebrate it here and they barely even talked about it.  I was surprised being in a pretty much all Catholic town.  I was looking forward to Holy Week, but it really wasn't a big deal.

LOL...we're still figuring this out.  That's all I have to say about that  :)  But I will say that I really don't want to be transferred next week because I'd really like to stay with Elder Baird.  He's the other gringo serving in the area with me and he's been teaching me and helping me so  much.  He's the best!

That's about all I can think of for the week.  It's super hot!!!  I'm trying to get the zone to hike to this awesome waterfall, but nobody really wants to do much in the heat and humidity.  I really want to see it though, so maybe I can talk them into it next week.  I'm REALLY hoping my package comes tomorrow. PRAY I get it!!!!  Family pictures are a must!!!  The work here is going good and the language is still coming along.  No worries!  (Nerm, miss ya bro!)  I'll email Lance and Nicki.

Love you guys!
Elder Hunter Ririe

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

For That, I am Grateful!

This week was pretty good. It was a little tough with Spring Break and all. It seemed like everyone was going out of town. Or fellowshippers were out of town. We were able to meet with Rebecca though! She wanted to take us out to lunch. We originally didn't think that'd we'd see her this week. It was fun, we were able to get to know her a little better, and she bought us Easter baskets from Costco. She's the best!
We were teaching a lesson and it was more towards the end of it when this Sister was like "hey do you want to see my Easter bonnet? I think I'm going to wear it to church on Sunday." So she goes back in her room and she comes out wearing a sombraro.  I thought it was hilarious. Unfortunately she didn't wear it to church. haha that's probably a good thing actually.  But I was just excited to see everyone's faces. 
We were able to have a lot of lessons this week. Friday and Saturday we tried to really focus on finding more investigators to teach, but we didn't really have any luck.  It was an interesting weekend. 
But Easter was fun! We were able to teach a few of my favorite people. Ok... pretty much everyone is my favorite. One sister is one that is going to have a really hard time coming back and she's kinda more reserved, but she opens up to us more and more as we go over! It's way cool to see people warm  up to you and begin to trust you. Then we saw Sis. Gonzales and she's moving to Utah in June! I love going over there. We always get into these good gospel discussions about life. We really talk about everything.  I already invited her to my homecoming. Then we had Dinner at a member's house and they were super nice. It was a good dinner! We weren't able to eat at a lot of people's houses this week because things fell through or they just never were there.
Oh yeah. One of my favorite Sister missionaries that I serve around was emergency transferred. That was actually really sad. She got like a 9 hour notice and when President tells you to do something you do it! Haha she was always the life of the zone so it's been a bummer that she's gone. But then Sister Smith came!  Sister Smith was in my MTC district! I love her!
A cool member in the ward decided that she was going to make Easter baskets that represented Christ's last week and have scriptures from the Bible and BoM and give them to less actives and some non-members. She invited us to come along with her. There were a few miracles that came from this. 1. We were able to see an investigator that we haven't for a really long time and she let us all in and talked to her for a little bit, she's way nice. And we're going to teach her on Friday. 2. We were originally supposed to do it in the middle of the day but for some reason she switched it to the evening. Well we went to this one less active and she had a gate (a lot of people here have gates before their door. As an extra precaution. They're super cautious here.) So we called her and let her know we were outside. Well turns out she just got back from the hospital visiting her son who is really sick. No one in the ward knew he was in there. We came at exactly the right time. She was pretty much amazed at our timing and called us angels. Thanks to the awesome member in the ward and her inspiration we were able to bless this Sister's life. 
Well that was pretty much the week. It seems like it's been a really long week... But that's all that I can think of that happened.
But wait there's more! The scripture of the week! I was studying the Atonement and then the Scripture 1 Peter 5:7 popped up. So I read it and it was really good, so I decided to read the whole chapter. Well 1 Peter 5:10 popped out. I thought it was the coolest scripture ever! Like really, why isn't it quoted more? I love what it says and how it explains that our trials are there to help strengthen us, and help our testimonies grow as we lean on the Lord. I know it's hard, but it's always good to have an eternal outlook when you go through trials. In the end you'll be a better person and have a stronger relationship with Heavenly Father. He died for us so that we can live with the trials, tribulations, illnesses etc. Oh boy how I'm grateful for that!

Love you all!
Sis. Ririe

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Just a Normal Week in the Life of a Sister Missionary!

So this week was a pretty normal week. There's really not a whole lot to be updated on.
Last Friday night we had dinner with the Kingston's and it was awesome as per usual. She made Indonesian beef, I never learned how to actually pronounce it... but it was really good! Then after we were able to teach her, it turned into more of a q&a type lesson. But she had some really good questions and concerns. They're actually going up to Utah this weekend and just hanging out in Salt Lake. Haha Donna has seriously been to more church history sites than me.
We got to teach Rebecca again and it was awesome! She mentioned that while she was reading in the BoM she got a strong impression that she needs to get baptized! The member we were with was awesome and asked her if she'd want to set a date for it. But she has some speed bumps and concerns. haha what investigator doesn't have speed bumps?! We get to eat lunch with her tomorrow. Which I'm way excited for. I feel like I don't really know her as well as I should. So it'll be a good way to get to know each other.
On sunday there was a big Easter concert that the stake put on. It was amazing! The institute choir sang, then there was a Cello violin number playing the new primary song. A few more things. It was awesome! We were hoping to have more people that we invited come but we were glad with who came. 

We've learned that people really don't want the sister missionaries to do service.  They always turn us down.  Maybe it's the skirts?  It's not the fact that I look delicate.  Cause I do not!  haha  I keep offering my service.  The weeds here are no fun though.  They have thorns and pokey things.  I miss doing yard work with you, Mom! LOL...nothing like adventures with mom and a wheelbarrow!  haha  I miss you!
Yesterday we had interviews with President and Sister Miller. They're the best! I'm glad that I get to be serving with them. Haha sometimes I really do think that I'm here because of them. Well there are no coincidences, just planned miracles haha. But they've taught me so much about everything, not just mission things. They really are great examples. So meeting with them always makes the day better!

I am including Sis. Reva's address.  She is serving right there in Centerville and I KNOW she'd love a visit!!  hint hint!!!  And cupcakes....more hints!

I miss Sis. A...we were just like best friends!  So here's another picture of us together.  Don't get me wrong, I love my new companion, but there's nothing like a best friend!

Love you all,
Sis. Ririe
P.S.  Tell "Nerm" I found New Mexico Nerm!  Yes!  He has a twin!!!  Pictures coming soon!!!  Love you, Nerm!!!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Parable of the Yellow Light (by Nicki)

So this week has been pretty good. It's just been a lot of going around and introducing my new companion. And figuring out how to do my hair haha It's improving no worries.
Something cool kinda happened yesterday. Well first of all everything just went downhill and I forgot the ward directory and my gps died so I was relying on my memory of where people live. (which it wasn't that bad, just slightly stressful the night didn't go as planned.) So we were going for a while and I had nothing come to mind and it was almost time to go home anyways so I headed on my way home.
On the way we passed an apartment complex that had a potential investigator, it was kinda sketchy and it was night, I kinda didn't even remember her name, it wasn't in the time frame that she gave us to stop by; all these were reasons why I shouldn't stop by and I was already on my way home after a long day. But I kept feeling like I should stop by and see her and just trying to push it to the side.
Well we ran into a yellow light just a little passed the apartments. It was like a spiritually slap to the face. I knew I had to go back and see her. Especially cause it was one of those intersections that's always green. So I turned around and saw her. It really wasn't a big miracle or anything when we saw her. She was getting ready for bed so we set a return appointment.
The moral of the story is that sometimes Heavenly Father gives us yellow lights. He gives us signs when we're doing something wrong and a chance to make a different choice. The light was yellow and I easily could've made it, especially if I drove like I lived in Albuquerque. But I had to choose to stop and go back. Sometimes we have to stop what we're doing and go back. I'm thankful I heeded to the promptings of the spirit and did what I was supposed to. Nothing big became of it. haha I actually think it was a big test. Like one you and Den do all the time haha. But it helped me learn to hear the promptings. Hopefully next time it won't take a yellow light ;)
Oh and we had the best lesson ever! We taught my favorite person, Donna,  here and she agreed to read the BoM and pray about it!! I'm so excited to teach her again. It was one of the most powerful lessons I've ever been in. The spirit was so strong and I was able to bare a solid testimony, I even cried, it's true, tears fell. I know that she's going to feel the spirit when she reads. Aaahhh I'm just so excited for her and her family!!
We also got to teach another person who is extremely prepared, she basically taught us the first lesson. We asked her something about Joseph Smith and she told us the whole story and added details that most people don't know. It was fun to teach her. 

Yep that was pretty much my week. Hope everything is going hunky dory over there! 

Love, Sis. Ririe

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Service, Surprises, and Goodbyes

April fools?!!  I cut my hair!!!!

I have to preface Nicki's post this week with a little story. Saturday was the General Women's Conference and since I didn't feel like going to watch it at the Stake Center (everyone I knew would be there with a daughter, and there's nothing like feeling alone in a room of hundreds) I decided to stay home and stream it live.  Den and Tanner were watching basketball downstairs, so I just decided to go in Nicki's room where there was already a laptop set up and ready to go AND plenty of space to fold laundry (might as well multitask...right?).  There came a point in the conference where I was just overwhelmed....I just couldn't make out the feeling . I thought I was just feeling lonesome for Nicki...afterall I was sitting in her room surrounded by all of her things and watching hundreds upon hundreds of mothers and daughters.  Then all of a sudden I was just filled with this great love for a daughter and gratitude to my Heavenly Father for allowing me to be her mother and feeling privileged to do so.  Not ten minutes after the conference ended I get a phone call from a Bro. Johnson who just wanted to let me know he had dinner earlier in the week with my sweet daughter while he was in Albuquerque visiting his son.  He wanted to let me know what an amazing missionary she is and what a sweet spirit she has about her.  He thanked me for raising such a wonderful strong young woman, for teaching her the gospel, and for sharing her with the members in New Mexico.  He assured me she was extremely happy, doing well, and was meant to be there.  Not ten minutes after THAT, I receive an email from a sweet sister in her stake with a picture of Nicki and her companion, Sister Andrasko!  Tender mercies from a loving Heavenly Father, that knew what I needed before I even realized it. 

Now...fast forward to Monday and Sis. Ririe's email!  Read to the end..you won't want to miss it!

Hi family!

Transfers are here....Sis. Andrasko is leaving...I'm staying.  We've had a great companionship for the past 3 months (which is extremely hard to believe we've been together that long!  Time just flew by!)  Everyone in our zone is actually jealous of how great we get along.  But I know whatever happens is for the better and just means we have more to learn and even more to grow.

So this week there were miracles just flying about!  Actually, it was more of the weekend that was pretty awesome.  We got two more investigators to teach.  one of them is someone I love sooooo much.  She's one of my favorite people in the world!  She's been meeting with the missionaries for years, but she's never wanted to take the discussions.  Well, on Friday we asked her what she thought about taking the first lesson and SHE AGREED!!!  I'm so excited!!!  I think she's prepared, she's just really worried about making the wrong decision.  She's seriously one of my favorite people ever!

Then, we got to do a service project on Saturday morning and help clean up a park.  We got to wear one of those way cool yellow helping hands t-shirts!  It's like a once in a lifetime opportunity to get those.  It looked like we could have been in the church news.

After that we got to do service for someone by helping her clean her house.  Then we taught her a lesson after and she's so open to it.  This week we have 2 appointments with her...one to read with her and teach hear and the other to help her clean.  Service is an awesome way to get to know someone!

Then we went to the women's broadcast and that was awesome!!!  I loved it a lot.  I took like 3 pages of notes.  I'm so glad we got to go. We could only go if we went with an investigator or a less active member. Prayer....answered!  During the conference (I know you saw it) during the video that didn't have any words I started just feeling overwhelmed.  I thought I was just feeling "trunky" (homesick). I'm not sure what it was...but it was very strong.  Then I had all these sisters come up to me afterwards and offer to email you and call you.  Funny!

We had pretty much the same feelings at the exact same time! I didn't mention it to Nicki until after I got her email.  Again...tender mercies from a loving Heavenly Father!

I'm excited to see what the changes of transfers bring to this area and how I can continue to learn and grow. It's exciting times here in Taylor Ranch!

Sis. Ririe

Some"bunny" special!  How I'll miss her!!!

Sundays Can't Get Better Than This!

Hey familia!

So, stuff here is pretty great!  And the people here are awesome!  I love the jovens (youth)!  It's funny, most people just want to hear my English, but I try not to talk in English too much.  They think it's pretty cool.  Yesterday (Sunday) was amazing!  So much happened in just a short time!

First, an hermana fell and injured herself pretty good.  We were able to give her a blessing.  What a neat experience.  Right after that, we went to a baptism that the other elders had (WAY COOL!) and on the way there we ran into a family and started talking to them about the church.  The parents wanted us to bless one of their kids right there in the park.  We told them we couldn't do that right here and now, but we could do it in the church and that was right around the corner.  The dad said that Jesus blessed the people everywhere and not just in the temple (something close to that - as near as I could tell).  But his wife and the kid finally eventually came into the church and asked for the blessing, which we gave.  After church, we went to an hermana's house and she talked about how she broke her back and it was untreatable, so we gave her a blessing too and sang Esta Todo Bien (All is well).  It was such an awesome experience!  I was nervous during the blessings because I had to do it in Spanish and I had never done that before.  I'm so thankful I had the opportunity to participate in offering priesthood blessings before I left!  Great advice from both bishops!!!

We have a baptism next week and another investigator committed to baptism the week after.  And we have another investigator who has tons of questions.....tons!  Her name is Erika  I'm so dang excited!!!!  I don't really teach the lessons.  My companion just kinda teaches everything and I try to speak, but it doesn't work very well most times.

San Antonio does have a church building.  Everything is pretty run down looking, but all is well!  And I get to watch conference this weekend with Elder Baird who is a gringo!  I can't wait.  Yes, we get to watch it in English on a laptop. Mom, I like your idea of sending the conference Ensign in Spanish AND English.  That would be bueno! Holy Week is around Easter time here and I'm so excited for that, but that's supposed to be the hottest week of the year.  Yay...  I'm already feeling the temp here and it's pretty hot with the humidity.  My area does have street lights and, for the record, I have not heard anything about poison snakes....yet.

But everything is good here and my testimony has grown and I have learned so much it's crazy.  My Spanish is getting better.  I hope all is well back home!

Yo amor usted,
Elder Ririe