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!

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.

The Book of Mormon Bring Us Peace

Our 4th of July!

This week was a pretty good week! All the details are a blur though.... That's usually what happens when you teach a lot of lessons haha they all seem like one big blob of lesson haha. But it was a really good week! We were able to work with a lot of members! We would be totally lost without them and not have any miles! Missionaries really can't do this without members.
We have a baptism coming up this Saturday! She's been waiting for a little while. We had to put it off because we didn't feel like she was really ready. We feel a lot better about it now! She's way excited. Her name is Krystal. She's super strong and courageous, she's the only member in her family that is taking the lessons. They don't discourage her, but I'm sure it's still hard for her to be alone. She was able to meet this awesome family though! They're seriously like her second family! We had fhe with them last night and they even tease her like a sibling! Anywho, we're excited for her baptism coming up!
One really cool lesson was just yesterday. This investigator's name is Jessica. Earlier in the week we were about ready to drop her because we didn't know her commitment level and we thought she was just in it for the social side of things. We go into the lesson and it turns out she actually read the verses we left her with it was a miracle! We were slightly wrong and she is more committed than we thought.
A little background on Jessica. She is a mom of 5 boys, most of them are pretty young. And she usually watches at least 3 extra kids everyday. There are always kids running around, her house is really dirty, and dark, but with 5 boys my house would look like that too! She doesn't really come from the best background. But she loves her family a LOT and she really cares about them! Her kids mean the world to her.
It's been a neat experience to see the slight progression in her. As we come over more and teach her more, the house gets a little bit cleaner. She starts listening and participating more.
So back to yesterday. We were teaching her and the boys were slightly crazy, they were playing some obnoxious video game and there was a lot of rap music blaring. It wasn't the best teaching environment, but we went with it anyways.
We decided to just start reading the Book of Mormon. As we did you couldn't notice the distractions. They seemed less and less. It was like we were in our own spiritual dome. The boys were still crazy, there were still things going on. But we were still able to teach and the spirit was still there.
This could really be applied to everyone, life can get pretty crazy, 5 boy crazy! But we can create our own little spiritual domes by reading the Book of Mormon. The dome doesn't mean that bad things will stop happening, bad things will always happen. But this dome will help us deal with them. The Book of Mormon really provides a protection for us. It's there for us. The prophets that wrote it can't really benefit from it anymore, but most of them sacrificed their life and died so that we could have the Book of Mormon to help us through our lives. Whether that's through the little everyday things or the monstrous mega trials we're given. No matter what our concern or problem may be, the Book of Mormon can give us the peace we need.
I love you all and I hope ya'll have a good week!

Yes, missionaries still celebrate 7/11 day!

This is a dirty ole canal, but it's the most water we've seen in a while and we like to walk pass it every chance we get!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

New Area, New Sister, and New Found Blessings

Because I know how much Mom LOVES her polkadots!

Mom was a running a tiny bit behind in sharing, so you are lucky enough to get TWO emails in one

Hey! So I made it safely to the other side of the mountain haha. Now I'm on the West side of El Paso. My companion is super awesome. She's been out 4 months. She's originally from the Philippines!!! But from California. I already love her so much.  Randomly she reminds me of a Filipino version of Megan!!!  (Funny as Megan is serving in the Philippines!) I look at her out of the corner of my eye and swear I see Megs! I've heard rumors that this ward is the best ward in the whole mission. 

(The following week)
Well the new area is really nice. The ward is amazing and they were very welcoming. It almost feels like home here. They are super missionary minded which really helps. They're always looking for ways to help us out. And they're always willing to come out with us which can make a huge difference!
We've been able to teach a TON of lessons! More lessons than I ever have my whole mission. The success we saw last week was crazy good! I really think it's from our diligence and obedience. I've also never been so tired my whole mission, but it's totally worth it!
We've been able to teach some families, which I've wanted to my whole mission. It just hasn't always worked out that way. Someone always ends up not being interested. We're also teaching a lot of young women aged investigators. Which I love. I forgot how much I love that age. It's been awhile since I've been around that age haha.
This area is really interesting. Part of it is super nice rich homes and a lot of it is on the humble side of things, which I'm completely fine with because humble people are easier to teach in may ways. It's really helped me realize just how blessed I have been. It helps me appreciate all the things I've been given and how the circumstances I'm in, or have been in, have been really good.  I am so blessed!
We had every single one of our investigators ditch church. We found them rides and everything and they all had some excuse for why they couldn't come. But! Sunday ended on a good note! There's a member here that has a dinner and we invite all our investigators to it. Well we were able to invite an investigator and the perfect "fellowshipper" for her. They were both able to come and they hit it off so well! It was a miracle! And exactly what the investigator needed. She's going through some Army boy drama and the member has been there done that, and she brought her husband to have even more insight on it all. It was so cool how it all worked out. We've definitely been blessed this past week. No doubt about it.

Have a wonderfully happy 4th!
I love you all!
Sis. Ririe
(P.S.  Tell "Nerm" our service project this week is dusting off WWII airplanes!  Pictures to follow!  And letters are much appreciated, especially from "Nerm"!  wink wink)
Sisters in every way!
Happy 4th from the Sisters of El Paso Texas (and thanks for the package Mom!)