Monday, April 20, 2015

Christ will heal us all:)

So..first off here is Riah's most recent group email..

"Hey everyone!!

How are you all??!! How are things going?? And I really mean it, I wanna know, so tell me!! :) (I'll know if you did or didn't.. ;)) I figured if I am giving you an account of my week every week.. so it doesn't get boring I'd LOVE to hear how you are all doing!!

So this week was pretty great!! I know I say this all the time but it is SO crazy how fast time passes!! I get to talk to my mom in 3 weeks!! (Woot! :) )

So last week we were challenged by our district leader to share the Book of Mormon with anyone and everyone we can. One thing that makes it kindof hard is that once I get talking about the Book of Mormon, I just want to throw up my whole heart and soul onto them and just WATCH them to see if they will read the book!! Because seriously, that book has changed my life more than ANY OTHER instructions I have been given in my life!! It is SO amazing! I have seriously been able to come closer to Christ and gain more of a personal relationship with him and a testimony of his love for me through his words in the scriptures :) One scripture I LOVE LOVE at the moment is in 3 Nephi 17:5-7.

"And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus spoken, he cast his eyes round about again on the multitude, and beheld they were in tears, and did look steadfastlyupon him as if they would ask him to tarry a little longer with them...And he said unto them: Behold, my bowels are filled with compassion towards you...Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy."
(I added in the italics and bold :))

I am so grateful for my Savior, and for all he did for me, and continues to do as I accept his will and apply his suffering and atonement in my life. If you haven't done so, I invite you to do so now. CHRIST. WILL. HEAL. US. ALL.

I leave this with you in his beloved and sacred name, Amen.

Until next week!!
Hermana Mariah Riddle :)

We have been teaching the Morales family for awhile now, and some of the family members are members of the church, but yesterday we were able to see Michael, the youngest son, follow the example of his Savior, Jesus Christ, by choosing to be baptized and confirmed a member the church and partake of the blessings that are sure to flow as he stays faithful. He's such a funny kid!! He's like a little teddy bear I swear!! So cute!! Here are some pics of the event :)"

 Aww..look how cute this little guy is! It is so neat to hear about all of the things Riah is doing and actually see that the work she is doing is making a difference in families:)

In Riah's last email to me she talked about the importance of missionary work and how it really is all about helping others to "Come unto Christ". Here are some of her specific feelings about the missionary work she is doing, she says that missionary work.."is all about helping ALL to come unto Christ, and helping them "move on to the next ordinance" as president Riggs likes to say.. That is something that is the hardest in the Hispanic culture is retention. They forget what they once felt/once knew because they start working or other things and start distancing themselves from the church. Which is why whenever we can get a less-active even to church to "move on to the next ordinance" and partake of the sacrament it is magnificent! I seriously love being a missionary! It's hard because Hispanics are always working, but we do have quite a few members who like to help out. And there are some that invite themselves to help a lot, which is so good! Members are KEY in fellowshipping investigators, activating new converts and reactivating inactives.. It is just hard to get it all set up and make sure everyone is in the same page! That is why I LOVE when someone just calls us and offers their home for a family night and tells us that we can just invite someone or something, it takes a lot of stress off!! :) which I am sure you guys are already awesome at that.. :)"

Hahaha..I am glad she thinks that we are awesome at that but I have to admit that even though the missionaries spend a lot of time at our house, I feel like we could do so much more as member missionaries. We all can do so much more to help them out. Just hearing from her what a great role the members play in the overall success of missionary work just makes me want to do more.  I mean, we all know (in our heads) that we need to do more but do we really feel it in our hearts? And does that feeling cause us to move? Its only fair that if I pray for the success of my daughter on her mission, and if her success is dependent on the members in her area, I'd better get on board and start helping out more at home so that the missionaries here can have success as well:) 

Mariah was also so excited to hear that a recently returned sister missionary from Virginia won the Ms Virginia pageant.  If you haven't heard about it there is an article about it in the Deseret News. This cute girl had never been in a pageant and she viewed it as a way to continue her missionary work.  She was the ONLY one who wore a one-piece swimsuit in the swimsuit competition and her goal was to "Champion modesty"  Well, she surely did that!  Interesting topic of conversation for Mariah as she is serving the people in Virginia.

Riah also mentioned in her last email that she had to stay in one day this week because she was sick. She said that she has been having some stomach problems and that food in general isn't settling well. She called the mission Dr and he had her get some medicine to help that she is supposed to take for 2 weeks. She says its frustrating when she gets sick because it makes it hard to focus. She wants to be out teaching so please pray for her to get better:)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

April 6, 2015-Trip to DC and thoughts about Conference

The craziest thing happened this week!  Mariah sent a quick email to me in the morning and said that she was headed to DC so she would email a little later in the day.  Next thing you know, about 2 hours later we get this Snapchat from McKayla's friend Kason who was in DC for Lacrosse. See pic below.

I was like WHAAATTT? That is just crazy! Kason told us that they stopped off in Arlington before heading off to the airport and he was just walking on the main road and saw some sister missionaries in the distance. He thought, "Oh that's cool!" Then he looked a little closer and realized that one of them was Mariah. So..he got his snapchat ready, booked it over to her and put his arm around her (OOPS!!) and said, "I need to take a pic with you!" and then he just snapped the pic. Right after he took the pic he said, "Now, I'm going to send this to Kayla!" and that is when Riah realized that it was Kason! Hahaha. Kason said it all happened so quick and Riah said the same thing.  She didn't have any time to think. She said that she thought it was just a random person coming up to her to take a picture with a sister missionary. I guess there were some other kids with him and they were all like "You're Kayla Riddle's sister?"  They also told Kason that he shouldn't have put his arm around her! He just said it was all so sudden and he wasn't thinking. No harm done. But wow! Such a small world!  The crazy thing about it was that she can only go to DC to sight see once every transfer. So, it was weird that she just happened to be there at the same place, at the same time as Kason was in DC.

Before I go on, here is what she had to say in her group email.

"Hello all!!

Don't have tons of time today, but it's so good to be here another week in the mission, especially in having easter weekend with General Conference!! I love the leaders of the church! Such inspired men!!

Ok, so AGAIN. So much happened this week, it is just so impossible to give an account of it all, so I will just have to save lots of stories and things for after my mission :) Ha

Welp. We went to the Arlington Cemetery today and it was an AWESOME experience!!! We went and saw the tomb of the Unknown Soldier and watched the Changing of the Guards. It is awesome, those men are incredible.

One thing I would just like to touch on before I go is the subject of "grace". President Dieter F Uchtdorf, the second counselor of the First Presidency of the Church really went into depth and a different perspective of this in general conference than I have ever tried to wrap my mind around.

There are two HUGE things he addressed happen through grace. 1-the gates of heaven are unlocked, and 2-the windows of heaven are opened through grace. We should know of God's grace and try to do our best to understand it if we intend to inherit it. God does not just want us to stop at salvation, that is not the end of God's aims for us. He wants us to become like Him. An "unlocked gate" is not enough, we must choose to ENTER it in order to receive the blessings inside. Are we comfortable in our own deeds? In DOING the things we believe to be right, but just doing them and walking around mindlessly? Or do we realize our own helplessness and confess our faults--do we shed tears of gratitude for what He did?

It is my hope that I am more like the latter. I know we are all natural men, and we tend to do things according to our own will and pleasure, whether they be good or bad things. But there is always a BETTER. That better is SUBMITTING ourselves to God and aligning our will with His. "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak... grace is what enables us to overcome sin." For it is by grace we are saved, AFTER all we can do. (2 Nephi 25:23)

I promise that as we come closer to Christ through fervent prayer and scripture study, we will never be able to fully comprehend the magnitude of God's grace, but we sure can attain it by trying our best. If you don't feel like your best is enough, keep trying, because your BEST will ALWAYS get better :)

I love you all and pray that you will have a marvelous week ahead of you!! Remember that He lives, and He is here for YOU. #becausehelives (go look it up if you haven't seen the video, I promise it will pull at your heart strings, I know it does mine.. ;))

LOVE LOVE you all!!

Isaiah 1:18

Until next week,

Hermana Mariah Riddle :)

PS here are a couple pics of us at the Arlington Cemetery today.. the one with the 4 of us is the Herndon English Sisters that live across the way from us, and we are at the colosseum :)

The second one is just funny :) Pretty blossoms in DC!! You bet I ripped my skirt for that picture.. whoops!"

We have been getting so many fun pics and videos on the icloud. Not sure if Riah would want everyone to see all of the videos, they are so silly..haha, but I have posted some of the pics on Facebook.  It has been so nice to be able to see what Riah is doing.  Anytime she takes pics on her ipad they come through to our photo stream and we are able to see what she has been up to that day. AMAZING!  Makes us feel so much closer to her!:)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

March 30, 2015- Gracias a Que El Vive

My busy crazy life has again gotten the best of me and I am getting so behind on posting updates to this blog. This group email says everything that needs to be said.


This week was super awesome :) Weeks go by so fast, but there are always so many things that happen that it just isn't possible to explain everything!!

This week a bunch of missionaries are going home.. we are losing 2 awesome missionaries from our district, but that's ok, they will go on to do great things!! We are also losing one Spanish Hermana, which means we only have one native Hermana left in the mission.. haha! The rest of us Spanish hermanas are all gringas!! :)

Anyways, yesterday we were at the church for 8 1/2 HOURS. Haha, church starts at 2 and goes till 5, but we got there at 1 because Hermana Mensinger and I randomly got told that we needed to be part of this musical number for the Charla Fogonera (recent convert/returning member fireside) that night.. yeah. The Spanish program does one separate from the English, but it is super fun!! So we did the song from the band "lower lights" called "Brightly beams our Father's mercy," but in Spanish.. go look it up! Elders Rascon and Bigelow in our district had one of their CDs and Elder Rascon just kindof figured out the guitar part and I figured out some chords on the piano that day... we practiced forever and it ended up working out!! We'll have to film it sometime..

I love being a missionary!! If any of you are even CONSIDERING it, GO! It is the best decision you will ever make! I will NEVER regret my mission. Never ever. I have seen way too many lives change through the knowledge of the restoration of the gospel and through Christ's everlasting Atonement. I encourage you all to go look up the video "Because He Lives." It is the new Easter initiative put out by the church, and it is AMAZING. I will never be able to repay my Savior for all that he has done for me. I will never be able to express how grateful I am for the greatness of God's plan, and for the opportunity I have to learn and grow everyday, and to have come to a knowledge of the beautiful simple truth of the gospel and what it contains. I know I am not perfect. We all make mistakes. That is the beauty of His plan. We do NOT have to suffer or feel guilt for the things we have done... that has ALREADY been paid for, through Christ. All we have to be willing to do is accept him. Accept what he has done to make it possible for us to feel the relief and eternal joy that comes from his divine example and sacrifice for all of us.

It is my prayer that as we choose to follow his example and not only learn more of him, but come to know him personally through prayer and by living in the way he would live, that we will bring ourselves closer to him and feel of His love for both us and everyone else. I pray that as I continue in my mission, that I will be able to see people in the way that Jesus sees them. That I will be able to give that IMMEDIATE love, care, and compassion that each and every one of God's children deserves.

As general conference comes up on this lovely Easter weekend, I invite all of you to ponder your relationship with Christ, and ask God if He will but answer your prayers in how you can become closer to Him and align your will with His. I testify that He loves, He lives, and will continue to do so forever and ever, and can witness to that in the name of Jesus Christ, in whom I represent, Amen. :)

I love you all, and I thank my Heavenly father for the relationship I have with each and every one of you individually!! I pray that you will have an awesome week filled with the love and remembrance of our savior and what he has done for each of you personally!

((Mosiah 2:17))"

We have a little joke in our home about the song "Love at Home". Sorry, but it is one of my least favorite Hymns. I just don't like the tune:/ When I was younger I used to listen to a version of it that was not particularly great and so when I listen to it now I always think about that version.  So..our family made up a different tune to the song so that I can handle it a little better when we sing it haha. I wrote to Mariah and actually told her that I didn't really mind the version of it that they sang at the General Womens Conference and this was her response to that...

"The General Women's conference was STELLAR!! SO much revelation received!! Yes, the conference seriously made me feel like "I LOVE THIS GOSPEL!!" That version with Love at Home really wasn't too bad ;) The video with the families singing "The Family is of God" was a little cheesy, but cute ha :)"

Mariah also shared something that she has learned on her mission in being able to internalize the things that we are taught by the spirit and then in turn, be able to share those things with others.  A huge part of that is just writing things down as the spirit confirms and reaffirms.  Here is what Mariah had to say about what she has learned..

"One thing I used to struggle with was being able to relay over info I had been taught through the spirit. In order to do missionary work I have to be able to do that! Something that has helped me a LOT recently is some advice from Pres Riggs. Every time I am listening to one of the church leaders (even if it be in sunday school, anywhere I am able to receive revelation) I make a note of it to the side that says "TO DO:" and whenever I feel something testified to ME SPECIFICALLY that I need to change that wasn't word for word I make a note to the side saying "Mariah note:" it has helped so much!!

She said that they have been inviting people like crazy to listen and watch General Conference.  Her last words to us before conference were these..

"I WANT EVERYONE TO WATCH GENERAL CONFERENCE. I love it so so much, I am SO excited!! :)"  

I am so happy that she has such a love for the Gospel and that she loves hearing from our Church leaders. What an awesome thing it is for us to be taught at the feet of the Prophet of God and His Apostles. I am always so excited for General Conference just like she is. 

Here are some cute pics that have shown up on our Ipad recently.  Can I just say that I LOVE technology?!!

Below are the links to the Easter Video that was put out by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  One in Spanish and one in English.  This is the video that Mariah was talking about in her letter. Please take the time to watch the video if you haven't had a chance. I promise you won't regret it:)

March 23, 2015-Visit to the Air and Space Museum, Big bug!!

Group Email from March 23, 2015

"Hello all!

So basically I can't put into words everything that happened this week, it would just take way too long.. but it was a super awesome spiritual-filled/ fun-filled week!

So to start out with the fun stuff--(don't get me wrong, it's all fun ;) ) This past week, in a nutshell, we were able to go to the National Air and Space Museum in Chantilly and it was SO AWESOME!!! Everything is REAL there!! They even have the EXACT space shuttle, "Discovery" that has done 150 million miles in space and took its last flight in 2011! Oh my so much cool stuff! We also got a new car this week, they are selling our old one :( The new one is a white 2013 subaru...Then a few days ago we almost got hit from a car that wasn't stopping rolling backwards down the road into us! We literally came centimeters from it! The Lord had a hand in that one!! And then to top it all off we had a HUGE bug in our apartment 2 days ago and were up for like 2 hours trying to get it. I dunno if any of you have seen a "silverfish" but that is what it was.. it looks like a huge centipede/spider thing with a bunch of long hairs and like 50 million legs!! We finally found it and the English sisters came over and killed it cuz I just couldn't, neither could my companion..

This we also had a conference about flooding the earth with the Book of Mormon, and that is what we have been challenged to do better as a mission!! It is so awesome, all the technology we have been blessed with as well as missionaries! I feel so blessed to be serving here in this day and age!! It's really cool cuz in our zone every time someone hands out a Book of Mormon or a Miracle happens we send in "miracle texts" and the zone leaders send it out to everyone in our zone. It gets us super pumped to share the gospel!! :)

One thing I really learned this week: So I had an interview with the mission president (Pres Riggs) a bit ago and he asked me how I felt about having an iPad on my mission and why I think they are giving missionaries iPads these days. My initial response was, "Well, to hasten the work!!" He then told me,"That's what I thought too, until I went to a conference for mission presidents this past week in Salt is the real reason..." He then went on to explain how the world is getting so wicked and people are wasting so much time--and/or doing things that are not uplifting/good for the soul/helping anybody with technology. He shared a quote at the conference by Elder David F Evans regarding missionaries who said: "For many, this is the best chance--and, for some, the final chance--to develop righteous technology habits...You are dealing with problems that will not go away until the Lord comes again." WOW!! I am so grateful for the opportunity I have at this time to learn how to make proper usage of technology, and how to help others come unto Christ through it. Because that is our ultimate goal by the end of this life right? To be able to return to our Heavenly Father again. So why not start using ALL of the resources God has given us for the better, and to accomplish this purpose rather than to using those resources to distance ourselves from it?

I hope that all made sense, but I really just had my perspective widened and a reality check on what really is important and what isn't in life.

Welp, sorry this is so long, but I better get going now! I love you all, and I REALLY REALLY mean it!! :)"