Ok... so just a rundown...few quick stories.. trust me there is a point to all of these bear with me.. so last week we followed one of our investigators,("M"), to Chick-Fil-A that said they were going to be home and we watched them pull out of their driveway as we got there.. so, we had a lesson at Chick-Fil-A.. ha, the next day we tracked down a family ("the T fam") that we had an appointment with as well that weren't home when they said they would be.. their oldest son was in the driveway washing the car and we asked where the rest were and he said "oh, at a field playing soccer behind the mall.." so we go drive to the mall and see field lights down the street a bit behind it, ha. We followed the lights and ended up finding them, but EVEN BETTER one of our other investigators ("E") that we haven't been able to see for a while since she has been so busy was just standing there by her car next to the field.. turns out her son and the "T fam" kids play on the SAME soccer team!! It was a miracle!! So we were able to talk with them.. THEN the day after we were trying to find a referral ("J") we had gotten from the 1st counselor in the stake presidency whom we haven't been able to find and right after we stopped by his house and he wasn't home he called us back!! He told us he was "at taco bell by Giant.." WHAT. Do you know HOW many Giants and HOW many taco bells are in our area??? So we just kind of aimlessly drove down a bunch of roads till we saw a Giant and I WHIPPED right into the parking lot when we saw it and we found this hidden taco bell that was joined with a KFC building.. OH MY. Guidance of the spirit I am telling you..
But basically the point of all those stories (trust me, we have PLENTY like that.. ha) is that we as missionaries are stalkers. Like literally stalkers it is nuts. I can't tell you HOW MUCH the spirit guides in helping us find people when it seems as though all hope is lost!! Heavenly Father KNOWS when His children are prepared to hear and receive the gospel, and He will FIND A WAY to get His representatives in their path!! It is amazing! I have seriously felt a change in myself since I was called and set apart in that initial moment that October night before I left on my mission. I have felt a change as I have become more and more an instrument in the Lord's hands as I submit my will to His and use my agency to bring about the message of the gospel to others. It is indescribable. I know I say this so much but I just have to let you know I LOVE BEING MISSIONARY.
So I was reading a talk this morning by Elder Lawrence E Corbridge and thought I would just share a quote from it that has COMPLETELY changed my life. Forever. And I know that if you apply it in your life it will change yours too. Many times we "bag" on ourselves, or say to ourselves or others.."Well that's just the way it is.." or "that's just the way I am." Losing all sight that it is possible to change! How horrible! If it needs be changed--change it! In Elder Corbridge's words:
"To believe that weaknesses and deficiencies in your character are unchangeable is to reject the central truth of the Plan of Salvation."
Change is a dynamic process. We are ALWAYS changing. You cannot stand still! It is impossible!! We need to be planners and make goals, and work hard to achieve them!! "Whatever you become 'accidentally' (by just going with the flow/popularity of things) will not be nearly the full measure of your potential. God created EACH and EVERY one of us in order for us to figure out our true potential and learn to work hard to achieve it!! But how do we achieve it? I'll let you in on a little secret--Jesus Christ. Through Jesus Christ we can live up to our full potential as long as we trust in him and put all our efforts into becoming more like him. Trust me, I have seen such a change in myself as I have been given this opportunity to be his representative, and walk the path HE would walk as I have been here on my mission. I have seen how much happiness and peace can come from living the gospel joyfully. (Do you see that word? FULL of JOY. As we live it fully we will have joy!) Although we may not understand everything to the fullest, we can live to the fullest of what we know and the testimony and promised blessings of keeping God's commandments will automatically come!!
I know this email is getting real long but I really just feel so empowered. Being out here on a mission, distancing myself from the things of the world and focusing on doing the Lord's work has brought me so much happiness and hope for a brighter future than I could have ever imagined. I love this gospel and I love God's plan of happiness. It is perfect. He is perfect.
I LOVE YOU ALL and seriously if any of you need anything let me know! I know there is only so much I can do on a mission, but I know that the gospel can solve any problems you may be having. I can PROMISE you that 100%.
Hermana Mariah Riddle :)
PS Sorry this pic is a little blurry but here is our lil adventure we had to Chick Fil A.. ;)"
Ahhh! I hope you followed that letter without the actual names of the investigators. I just wanted to make sure that we allow them to maintain their privacy since this blog is public.
We received a video tour of her apartment this week. Yes..she is spoiled! Again, she has her own washer and dryer IN her actual apartment. They are so blessed! They have permission to throw a load in here and there at night or before they go out teaching in the morning even if it is not P-day. What a blessing that is that they don't have to do all of their laundry on P-day. They have more time to do other things like...USE THEIR EMAIL TIME TO THE MAX! Yes, that makes for one happy mom!
Also in her letter to me this week she mentioned that they moved the baptism date for the sister that is in the above pic to June 14th. She is having a hard time making it to church because she works on Sundays, So..Riah and her comp wrote a letter (WOW BOLD) to her boss asking if she would allow her to have Sundays off between 1-4 PM so that she could attend church. She said that she doesn't know yet what has come of that but is hoping that something changes. I'll be interested to hear how it went.
Mariah is working hard to achieve the goals that she has made for this transfer! Please continue to pray for her success. Thank you everyone for supporting this sweet missionary!!