Tuesday, March 17, 2015

So much to say, So much to do, So little time

Over the past couple of weeks we have received lots of information about what is going on with Riah in Washington DC.  It has been so much fun to see so many pics and videos coming through on the Icloud. What a blessing it has been for her to have an Ipad on her mission.  It seriously changes the way people are taught and the way that missionaries are able to communicate. Mariah talked to her mission Pres and she is allowed to read her emails during the week at free time..like lunch, dinner, or at night during personal time but she can only respond to emails on her P-day. So, you can send her an email anytime and she will probably be able to read it that day as if she had received a letter.  Technology is simply AMAZING!!

Apparently on P-day yesterday Mariah and her companion decided to make some videos. They came through the Icloud yesterday and they are absolutely hilarious!  If you are reading this and want to see them then just send me an email, message or text and I will send them to you.  I didn't want to post them on here because this blog has too much public access. Both Mariah and her companion absolutely love Miranda (if you know who that is) and they like to talk to each other using the "Miranda" voice so it's funny to see the conversations they have, 

Below are just some cute pics that Mariah recently shared to the cloud so she wouldn't lose them. These are older pics but they are new to us:) The Church had us purchase a new Ipad that will be hers to keep when she returns home from her mission. So..she doesn't have the loaner Ipad anymore and had to remove everything off of it before she turned it in.

Here is the most recent group email that she sent on March 16, 2015

"Hello all!!

It is finally starting to become beautiful in DC!!  I can't wait for the cherry blossoms to come out!! But hello allergies!!

This past week has been super super awesome!! We have taught so many people, it's crazy!! We picked up 5 new investigators this week whom we feel are so ready to hear the gospel and receive the blessings that it can bring!! One of them is an old lady who is just SUPER cute and can't really get around much, she is a really good friend of one of the members in our ward, please pray for her! Her name is Rut :) Luis is still so awesome, continue to pray for him! He is in the process of trying to get it so that Albert and his other son, Luis Manuel can come back to live here again!! That would be so awesome!!

So last week we received a call from some Spanish elders in another zone saying that they had talked with president and they had an investigator to pass off to us but really it has kindof just become a shared investigator. She is outside of our area, but is super cute! Her name is Dora, and during the lesson we had with her last week we invited her to be baptized on the 25th of April, and she said yes!!! She said she would come to church on Sunday, and that she really feels that this is the true desire of her heart, as she was able to feel the spirit and recognize it. (Mosiah 18:8-11) we were all so happy at that moment, the spirit was so strong!! She has a 12 year old daughter who she wants to learn about the gospel. You can already see all the happiness, joy and peace that has been brought into her life through the spirit and through the knowledge of Jesus Christ and His Atonement!!

I love this gospel and I love my Savior with all my heart!! I know He lives, and that as we approach this Easter season I encourage you all to remember as well. He loves you and cares for you. He knows you and wants what is best for you. You can receive his blessing and know his will if you just Let Him In. So Let Him In!

Always have faith, and never stop believing in Him, because He will never stop believing in you!

Les quiero mucho! Que tengan una bonita semana!!

Hermana Riddle :)"

I cannot believe how fast the time is passing.  She will have transfers again on April 9th and says that she thinks she will stay in the same area again but you never know.  She and her companion are busy and teaching a ton which is so great.  Like I mentioned before in a previous post, when Mariah first signed on to the Icloud she had no idea that we could see ALL of the pics she was taking,  She only thought that we could see the shared files.  So, whenever she would take a pic, or screenshot something we would be able to see it here at home.

She took a picture of the white board in her apartment (she didn't know that we could see it) which shows all of the people they are teaching.  It was color coordinated, separated by city (they serve in like 6 cities), had stars and dots next to peoples names and then had a list of her and her companions goals.  I asked Mariah to explain to me what all of the coding was and it was interesting to hear that they have it sorted by non-member, less actives, people on date for baptism, possible baptisms (people progressing) and people that they are considering dropping as they aren't progressing. As we have seen the names of the people she is teaching we have been able to pray for them specifically by name and offer that help from here at home.  It has been such a blessing to our family to see prayers answered and see the success that in happening during Mariah's mission. There are over 50 names listed on the whiteboard so that gives you an idea of just how much they are teaching.  They have so much going on that they can't possibly get to everything.  That's a good problem to have for a missionary. They get lots of support from their ward members which is awesome! Mariah lets us know almost weekly who she would like us to pray for that week and it has been such a wonderful experience for us as well as Mariah.

Thank you to all of those people who continue to support and show your love to Mariah while she is serving. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

March 8, 2015- Trudging through snow, more investigators!

Her group email this week

"Can I just say, I love you all!!

This week was super fun, haha :) lots of fun experiences.. it snowed AGAIN A LOT!! We couldn't drive for a whole day, and we walked about 7 miles in the cold snow trudging that day (March 5th).. still a bit sore but it was super fun and hilarious still! We finally were able to go to church this week after not having had it the past 2 weeks, and it was so good to go again and be able to introduce my companion to a bunch of the members in our ward!

Just to sum up this past week, we went on exchanges with our Sister Training leaders on Tuesday, and I was able to leave the area for a bit to Little River and see my MTC companion Hermana Pettit who was at a dinner we had that night! Speaking of that dinner, aw man, they feed you so much here. After I choked down the last of my food, she asked if they wanted some soup and I told her I was ok, that I was full, but the rest of them wanted it so she kind of got mad (in a joking way) and I had to choke that down as well. Don't get me wrong, the food is SO good, they just give you a lot!! The Spanish culture is so different but I love it so much!! At the end of exchanges we met a guy while knocking doors, and he was from Spain. Things were going well and he was understanding and opening up a lot until his dad, who was drunk came and started taking the conversation down a whole different route. Nothing was really able to come of it except for that they were able to come from believing that we just die and that's it to that there is actually life after this one. It was super cool! The rest of this week we have been blessed to be able to find prepared people to receive the gospel, who I KNOW have been placed in our path for a reason.

Ok two real quick experiences of some of them. So last Thursday we were planning on going to the post office because Hermana Mensinger needed to send a package, and couldn't because it snowed really hard and we couldn't drive, so we went Friday instead. I thought I knew where the post office was, cuz we had been there before, but turns out we got a little lost and got there a few minutes later than planned. Right when we walk in, one of the ladies at the post office starts to help the man in front of us, and he just stands there and says, "No comprendo." (I don't understand). So he doesn't speak English at all. The lady kind of looked a little nervous because she only spoke English and her native Indian language, along with the other lady there. She looked around and I just offered to help and told her I speak Spanish. So I was able to help the man send off his package, (SUCH a cute little man!) and we made some small talk with him. Found out he is from El Salvador (there are a LOT of them in this area) and he gave us his name (Fredis) and address to go and teach him and his family! Thinking back on the experience, I KNOW that God had a hand in all that, and that He just has a marvelous plan. I know that he sent snow for a reason the day before. I know that our GPS glitched and then told us to make a U-turn to throw us out of the way just enough for us to make it in time to meet Fredis. I know that I was sent here to learn and preach the gospel in Spanish for a reason! SO cool!

Ok, second experience.. so we kind of had the same sort of experience with driving but that we were trying to find visitors parking and there wasn't any, so we just pulled into a shop close by and walked to an  appointment we originally had set. This was just last night and we found a guy taking the trash out and started talking to him, he is from Honduras, and he has three daughters. We shared a little message and a video with him, and he invited us to come and share more a different day and thanked us sincerely for the visit. He seemed super interested and you could see that he really had a desire to hear more. SO COOL how everything plays out when you are a missionary!

Well, I could go on and on with stories but those will have to be saved for a day further in the future. I can't express how much I enjoy being a missionary, and bringing the joy and happiness that this gospel brings me into the lives of God's children who have not yet had the opportunity to hear it. I love the Spanish language and I love everything about being out here and serving my Heavenly Father with everything I've got :)

I love you all and hope that you have an awesome week! May God bless you in your paths! :)

Mucho amor,

Hermana Mariah Riddle :)

P.S. we were also able to go to the Washington DC temple visitors center this week and watch Meet the Mormons. Such a neat and spiritual experience it is every time we are able to go to the visitors center.  I encourage those of you who can to go to the visitors center in Salt Lake and learn more about the church's history and who we truly are and where we come from!! It will be an awesome experience I promise!"

So..like I said in the last post-Mariah got permission to sign on to our Icloud and share pics and videos.  Below is a a silly video that she took after walking in the snow. Hopefully Mariah won't mind if I share it..haha:)

Mariah had planned to go the the Air and Space Museum in Chantilly on her P-day this week but she got sick and wasn't feeling very well so they just took it easy.  I am sure that her walking out in the snow and freezing cold didn't help the situation but luckily she is feeling much better now.

Some of the funniest pictures came in this week. I guess I will share a few of those too:)  We still picture Mariah looking like herself as shown in the first pic but apparently she looks totally different now.  Take a look:)


She and her new companion get along really well and it appears that they both have similar personalities. Looks like they are having a lot of fun together but they are also having much success. In her emails to us she mentions many investigators that she wants us to pray for and she also mentions that they have been teaching a lot.  So glad to hear that.

To end this post I just want to share one last video that gives us all an idea of the relationship that she has with her companion.  So fun to see that they enjoy each others company:)

March 2, 2015- New investigators, bad weather and Icloud pics

Her group email this week:)

Helloooo all!!

This week was super great! We were able to find a lot of people and see the Lord's hand work small little miracles in everything! It is still pretty cold here but supposed to warm up this week. Church was cancelled AGAIN yesterday because it was so icy, and we were also not allowed to drive, so we walked. Pretty sure Hermana Mensinger and I slipped like 50 bajillion times and the people in the cars probably thought we were nuts but we got a good laugh out of it. We came home super dead tired and beaten physically though, ha! Man, I really feel sad though, I'm a MISSIONARY and haven't been to church for 2 weeks! I need the sacrament! Haha :)

For all of you who know Miranda sings... My companion loves her too!! This companionship was God-given!! Well, everything is God-given but this just provides a witness! Haha :)

As far as our investigators are going... We have quite a few, but work has been pretty tough. As well as being able to see God's hand in everything, with everything we have seen Satan working on them as well. (2 Nephi 2:11-opposition in all things) :) I love being a missionary and being able to see people change their lives for the better! Just small little things you can see a light in them and see a testimony growing in them that put feelings inside you that words can't describe! There are so many things that happen here on my mission that I have been able to say, "that would have NEVER happened," or, "I would have never experienced that had I not gone on a mission!" So many awesome things and crazy things as well! Ha for example, funny story.., the other day, we were trying to find a member from our Ward that hasn't gone to church in a long long time whom we haven't met, and as we were walking down the stairs to the apartment complex there was a lady sitting there on the stairs smoking and she said to my companion, "ohhh those are some nice boots you got there! Where'd Ya get em?!" and so we made a little bit of small talk with her and she started talking about how mormons are very nice and "you are very nice.." and all, and then she started talking about how we aren't sent here to judge other people and how we all have the ability to make good or bad decisions in life. At that moment I shared a scripture with her from the bible (Matthew 5:16-thank you dad!!) And explained to her how we all have the light of Christ in us, and that is what enables us discern right from wrong and make good decisions, and the more we make good decisions that light will grow in us and we will be able to overcome any troubles or difficulties we may have with the help of our savior..well, the lady started crying and said, "I have a light! I know I do!" And was just bawling and started singing the "this little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine..." Song and asked for a hug and started hugging me, then her fiancé opened the door from inside and she just walked inside crying, and that was it! It was super interesting and we were super confused.. A lot more happened but that's the gist of it.. The lord works in mysterious ways!! That's all I have to say!

Well, don't want to make these emails too long cuz I know they can get a little exhausting to read, but I just want you to all know that God loves you and I know that! I have been able to feel His love as I serve Him, and encourage you to do the same! (Omni 1:26) "serve Him with all your heart, might, mind and strength" and you will see blessings!! Try it, I dare you :) God will never fall short on His end of the promise. I hope you all have an awesome week as you serve those around you and come to know your Christ as your savior and friend!
Love you all!

Hermana Riddle :)

Sent from my iPad

Pic 1: Someone made these in front of the church building and we had to get a pic :)
Pic 2:Walking in the cold! :)

For those of you who understand Spanish, this is part of the letter that she wrote to me in Spanish this week:) This was in response to some questions that I had for her..

"Ok, bueno. Sí, estamos enseñando inglés todavía cada jueves. Mi compañera es de Illinois. Pero fue a BYU Idaho el año pasado por la escuela. No hemos podido hablar con Albert, pero hablamos mucho con Luis y está progresando. La única cosa que él no entiende es la autoridad del sacerdocio, lo cual no hemos explicado muy bien creo. Pero Luis quiere que Albert conozca los misioneros allá en Puerto Rico. Vamos a tratar de hacer algo sobre eso. Maria.... Pues, ella no quiere asistir a la iglesia porque ella ha asistido en el pasado y piensa que es una buena experiencia, pero le gusta su iglesia católica mejor. Vamos a seguir trabajando con ella por un ratito, pero tal vez su albedrío está impidiéndole de entender y cambiar su vida.. :( es muy triste, pero vamos a ver."

She said, that they are still teaching English every Thursday. Her new companion (Hermana Mensinger) is from Illinois but she attended BYU Idaho last year. She said that they haven't been able to talk to Albert (who had to go back to Puerto Rico to live with his mom) but they talk with Luis (his father) and said that Luis is progressing.  He just doesn't understand the authority of the Priesthood of which she didn't think they explained very well. She said that Luis wants Albert to get to know the missionaries in Puerto Rico and that they will try to do something about that.  (Her other investigator) Maria doesn't want to go to church because she has attended in the past and thinks it was a good experience but likes the Catholic church better. She said that they are going to keep on working with her but her agency is preventing her from understanding and changing her life. She said, "Its so sad but we will see."

Here are some clips from the email that she sent to me this week. She was answering a bunch of questions that I asked her. She loves questions because it helps her to be able to explain what is going on a little better.  She says that there is so much happening all the time that there are so many things that she forgets to talk about. So, if you are writing to her make sure to ask her some questions:)

"Things have been going great with training! It's been going really well! We found two new investigators last night from walking like an hour in the ice so thank goodness for that! One of them is the son of a member, his name is Oscar, and the other is a lady with some kids that lived close.. We set up a returning appointment with them and hopefully they will really want to listen! They seemed interested..  

A typical p-day hmm.. It depends, it's different every time.. P-Days are usually kind of stressful to be honest, trying to get so much done in so little time.. I wish it wasn't just from 10am-6pm.. But that's ok, I have the rest of my life to be able to do that kind of stuff on normal days.. I usually don't eat dinner on p-days till we get back at 9, cuz we just don't have time! Next week we are planning on going to the air and space museum though in Chantilly, which is in our area, which apparently I have heard is way cooler than the one in DC.

I wish I could just videotape my whole life and thoughts! Yes we are allowed to video, and I can watch videos too, so that's fine! Haha :) I dunno these next few weeks are going to be iPad training so we will find out more of the standard and everything.. basically I am really upset about Facebook though because they said we need to deactivate our old one, but I can go in and do that because there is a setting I have to click on so it doesn't automatically delete my account after 30 days of deactivation.. They said it shouldn't matter if your old one deletes though but that was the iPad guy who said that.. That if they are your really good friends they won't have a problem adding you in the future.. But a lot of people were concerned about all the memories and past pictures and history on there. Some people have a lot, like me.. So I just have to make sure I go in and click that setting after deactivation.. Ahh so crazy! 

We had a family history training a while back and it got me super stoked to do a bunch of family history when I get home! I can honestly testify that family history changes lives, and it is a super good way to keep your mind focused on the real purpose of life and eternity.. It's amazing! We have had the opportunity to talk with less actives and recent converts about family history and get them meeting with the family history consultant. It is a super way to get them ready to prepare and go to the temple too!! It really is a great tool, I wish I knew more on how to use it though, because for non members it's really hard to know where to start." 

This week Mariah got permission to sign in to our Icloud and share her pics and videos with us.  We have been seeing pictures pop up here and there for most of the week.  There were so many funny pics of her and her companion and I happened to mention that to her.  She said that she had no idea that we could see ALL of the pics she was taking, she just thought we could see the ones that she actually put in a shared folder.  Haha:)  Below are some pics that came through on the Ipad this week. There are others but they just might be a little embarrassing for Mariah if I post them haha:) Enjoy!