Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Transfers already??-June 29, 2015

Group email..

"WOW this last 6 weeks has just whipped by!! It feels like maybe 2?? Man, this past week though has been super eventful. Such a roller coaster!

Well, we had transfers, and I am still here in Sudley but ok.. funny/sad story. So transfers are always on a thursday, and with transfers our district leader always calls everyone that Tuesday (2 days before) to tell us who is leaving the area and who is staying, or if both are staying/leaving. That also gives us time to prepare and pack and say goodbye/take pics with the people we can the next day. So we get a call on Tuesday night and our District leader tells us that I am leaving!! I had only been here for one transfer and my comp had been here for 3, so I didn't believe him but right before he hung up he was like, "Just kidding, you're both staying!! Buenas Noches!!" And just hangs up. Well, we were super happy!! So we get to transfer meeting and President Riggs pulls out his scroll of names to announce transfers, and when he gets to my district he announces that my new companion will be Hermana Moleli! And then everyone was just shocked, cuz we were told we were both staying! I guess one of the assistants to the president messed up and so Hna Peabody was really being transferred. It was super sad cuz we weren't really expecting that but now she is in my old area which is cool! 

So my new comp is Hermana Moleli and she is from Samoa!! She was born and raised in Cali but Spanish is her third language!! She goes home in September, but man we have fun :) Ha, she's awesome!! We also had to say goodbye to our Mission President, President Riggs and his family and it was SO sad!! They are leaving back to Gilbert, AZ tomorrow. 

Ok sorry that was probably all not very fun to read, but ooh quick story from this week.. so two days ago Hna Moleli and I were walking and we saw this guy just eating on the back steps of his house and we started talking to him and he is from Costa Rica. He told us that it was so crazy that we came cuz he had just had a dream and Jesus was there in white robes telling him that he needed to look for Him. He said that he hasn't been looking much and feels bad, cuz he just goes to work and then goes inside his house and doesn't go outside at all, but JUST that day he happened to be sitting on his back steps! He thanked us for coming by and was just in awe at the fact that God really is there and cares for each and every one of us, and that He would send two messengers to deliver the message of this everlasting gospel to him. He is really hard to get a hold of since he works all the time, but with the Lord anything is possible!! He knew that that man needed to hear of this gospel at that moment!!

I seriously can't even begin to describe how grateful I am to have this opportunity to be out here serving this mission, experiencing so many different things and discovering myself even more. I am grateful for this opportunity I have to develop my character and to progress toward who I want to become more than ever by the end of this life. I know that the Lord has a plan for me, and for all of His children. This morning as I was studying I came across a quote by Dieter F Uchtdorf, in which he was talking about the pioneers and everything they went through to make it to the Salt Lake Valley. He says "They woke up each morning with clearly defined purposes and goals that everyone understoodto serve God and their fellowmen and to arrive in the Salt Lake Valley. Every day those purposes and goals were clear to them; they knew what they needed to do and that each day's progress mattered."--Who are we when it comes to being a true disciple of Christ? What are our goals? Where do our true desires lay? The part that sticks out to me the most is that EVERYONE understood. Our goals should mean so much to us that people should be able to see that that is something that matters to us and that we are working on. They should see that serving God and our fellowmen is our main objective, by our example and the actions we choose to take. I LOVE this gospel and seriously just can't get ENOUGH of it! There is ALWAYS more, ALWAYS something to learn and ALWAYS more blessings that the Lord is willing to pour out upon us if we will just confide in Him and do the things we know to be true by experience. 

May we all remember our true purpose in this life that is so short, but so CRUCIAL to our eternal salvation. May we all remember that even though there may be things going on in the world that are contrary to our beliefs, that the points of the church stand strong, and God's doctrine will never change! I wish you all a Happy Fourth of July as we celebrate the freedom of our country that was so carefully set up under God's hand. 

Cuidense mucho, hasta luego!!

Les amo!"

Hermana Mariah Riddle :)"

So..before we got Riah's email about transfers we already knew that Riah's comp had been transferred.  Because we see pics and such on the icloud we knew it had happened.  Also, I keep in touch with Hermana Peabody's mom and she got an email from her with her new address.  The only thing we didn't know was who their companions were.  So..because we are stalkers we checked their mission facebook accounts to see which Hermana's they both added to their accounts.  We came to the conclusion that Riah was getting Hermana Moleli and that Hermana Mensinger (who was Riah's last companion) was being transferred to Riah's district to be with Hermana Mugleston (who was in the MTC with Riah). And then because we knew that Hermana Mensinger got transferred from Riah's old apartment/area, and we knew that Hermana Peabody was living in Riah's old apartment we concluded that Hermana Peabody was getting Hna Brown (Hna Mensingers old comp) as a companion.  Ha! I don't know why we mom's just can't wait a few days for details but we just can't!!  

So..I sent the prediction to Riah in an email and this was her reponse..."Yeah, you predicted transfers exactly how it is!!" In Riah's email to me she also said that it was tough to see Hermana Peabody go! How it all happened was just crazy!  They had no idea she was leaving and so she didn't have a chance to say goodbye to anyone:( Mariah has been blessed with such awesome companions and she told me that she loves every single one of her companions differently and that she has had so many good times with all of them.  She feels so blessed to have had the opportunity to be with so many great Hermanas.

This is something else that she shared with me in her email.."Guess what?!! So Gma Hallidays sister called me last week!! I just got a random call on our phone and somehow she was able to get our number from some elders in her ward.. she had to go through a few sets of missionaries I think but yeah!!  Yeah, it is actually cuz she wants to take us out to lunch or dinner and just drive into our area.. I called President Riggs this morning ((pretty sure that was my last time hearing his voice.. so sad!!)) and he said yes that would totally be fine!! Cool huh?" Wow, her Mission Pres is so chill. Glad that she will be able to visit and go out to eat with Aunt Sheila:)

More from her email to me..."The people in my district are me, Hna Moleli, Hna Mugleston, Hna Mensinger, Elder Gonzalez, Elder Gosain, Elder Rascon, and Elder Justesen. Elder Rascon is still our district leader and he has been on his mission for like 7 months, and we have been in the same area his entire mission ha!! Him and his comp are the ones that live in our apartment complex… so we see them at the gym every morning.. awk. oh well.  But yeah Hermana Mensinger was BLOWING UP when she found out!! We are actually all spending pday together today so that'll be fun :) But yeah we get to see each other all the time now!! So fun!

Please pray for the T-Fam!! They are coming along SO WELL its just the mom is not really on board with things.. she is kind of hard to figure out.. they also are HUGE into soccer and they play tournaments ALL DAY every Sunday so it's really hard to get them to church.. we have yet to get them to commit to come!! The kids are SO SMART though and they ALWAYS read the scriptures and if we read a chapter in the Book of Mormon, we will ask them to relate it back to us and they will tell the ENTIRE thing in DEEP detail and say what they learned from it and ask SO many questions!! They are SO CUTE and SO prepared, so PLEASE pray for them that they will have the courage and desire to stop soccer on Sundays and come to church!! We have quite a few other investigators, one that just accepted to be baptized (S-name) but she just hasn't come to church. I can't tell you HOW HARD it is so get people to just COME to church!! It is so frustrating because they say they will come like every week and they don't show up.. but some say "I'll try" and you try and get a yes out of them and you know they like learning what you have to say and can feel the spirit, it's just Satan works SO HARD on them in between visits that they lose that desire to come! It is so hard but I have faith that everything will work out and in the Lord's due time these people will all make a decision to accept or reject the gospel. It's just kind of up in the air right now.. So, we just keep visiting, keep teaching, keep finding, and helping the prepared people that the Lord has put into our path!!

Riah said that they had a huge hail storm that knocked a bunch of stuff down and they have had a few tornado warnings in the past little bit (WOW comforting)! She says that she loves the rain there in DC but it just make it SO HOT and HUMID!

Here are some pics of the damage that the huge storm did to the deck of one investigators house.  A tree fell on their deck!

More pics from the week! Saying goodbye to Hermana Peabody.

The following pics were taken on transfer day! Spanish program Hermanas and Elders and Riah with Pres and Sister Riggs

Riah's new companion Hermana Moleli and Hermana Mensinger

All four Hermanas in Riah's district and not sure who the family is

Feliz dia del Padre-June 22

Group email

"Hello everyone! 

So, we are making our transfer-ly (that's not a word but I don't know how else to describe it) trip to DC today, we are going to the zoo! I will send pics next week! But.. so I don't have much time to write..

This past week was great, last week of the transfer and transfers are on Thursday this week!! SO crazy this transfer has just FLOWN by!! 6 weeks?! What?! But we are all really sad because our mission president, President Riggs, is leaving.. :/ He will be heading back home to AZ on the 30th, and then our new president (President David Huntsman) will be coming in with his fam! It'll be a really big change, but it will be good, the Lord's timing is always perfect, whether we recognize it or not :)

Well, I would just like to take a moment and let everyone know how grateful I am for my dad!! If you haven't seen the mormon message "Earthy Father, Heavenly Father" go look it up! It is so good!! I know I truly have a dad that loves me and is always trying to do what is best for me :) As I have been on my mission it has made me how much I took for-granted that counsel and direction that my dad oh-so-carefully placed in my life. I will FOREVER be grateful for my dad and all that he has taught me, he is a pretty great guy, if you all don't know that already :) One thing I also have come to know even more so is that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me. I know this because I have felt it. It is one of those feelings of love that cannot be described through words.. that is why I am so grateful to be here on a mission, because the only way for me to describe it is to help others feel the same way! And to help them recognize the things they can do in their life in order to always have that feeling of love in their lives, and the love of God dwell in their home. I love this gospel!! Before my mission I had no idea what I would be missing out on had I not gone on a mission.. but now that I have been out here, I would not trade this experience for the WORLD. And how lucky I am to still be able to serve my Heavenly Father so closely for another 9 1/2 months! 

I love all of you, and wish you the best as you keep experiencing life and growing from the experiences that God has chosen to bless you with!! May we always remember how grateful we are for God and all that He has given us, and that He TRULY is our Father in Heaven. And He loves and cares for each and every one of us individually, I know it. If you haven't already, pray to your Heavenly Father tonight, and wish Him a Happy Father's day!! It is not too late.. :) For He is the Father of us all. He wants to hear from you!!

Cuidense mucho!! 

Les amo,

Hermana Riddle :)

P.S. I got to hold a bird!! Just like home :) haha.. oh and please dont mind the picture... it was only 108 degrees outside that day.. #humidvirginia"

Here are some pics that came through this week;)

Pictures of her fun trip to the zoo:)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

June 15, 2015-Very humbled and grateful

Her group email..

"Hola hola!!

How are you all?? This week has been great, I LOVE being out here and I thank the Lord every day for this opportunity I have to be here serving Him. 

So this past week, I wish I could just tell you the whole story of this week because it seriously has all been such a highlight!! BUT. So one cool thing that is going on right now.. The area where I was born into the mission (Springlake), which is in Reston, VA is holding a HUGE event called Police and Fire games and it is SO COOL there are 12,000 athletes from all over the world coming to compete and I guess it is just this huge event every year here in Virginia! Well, our Mission President got some more information about it and was able to set up some time that us as missionaries in our mission would be able to give some service and help out with that. So this past Saturday we spent 4 hours straight of just going in circles stuffing gift bags with tons of papers and flyers and coupons in them, and it was CRAZY but so fun! There were two zones, so about 50 something missionaries doing it and we got over 7000 bags filled!! I always wondered how those kinds of complimentary bags got filled for events like that, and man a lot of work goes into it! I didn't even realize!! It seriously makes me appreciate EVERY LITTLE THING that anyone ever does anymore!! As humbled as I have become on my mission, the closer I have been coming to my Savior through serving my fellow-men makes me even MORE humbled and grateful for everything in my life!! But yeah, so I've got some nice paper cuts down my fingers now.. but so worth it.. (Nothing compared to the scrape Lauren Thomas got this past week though.. shout out to Lauren, you're a trooper!! :)) 

Yesterday was a really awesome day too. We met a family who is just COMPLETELY prepared to have the gospel in their life, we are excited to be visiting them and sharing this joy we have come out here to share as missionaries with them!!

I know I don't talk a whole lot about what happened throughout the week, but there's just so much I could say it isn't even possible to give a recount of the things I have been experiencing here!! SO.. a lot of stories and things will just have to wait till I get home!! :)

Scripture of the week: Helaman 15:8.. "Therefore, as many as have come to this, ye know of yourselves are firm and steadfast in the faith, and in the thing wherewith they have been made free." 

That is the beauty of this gospel. It may seem like a restriction at first, all of the commandments and things that are expected of us, but once you have come to have more experiences you will realize how blessed you are form the decision you have made, and will literally be made free from the bonds of despair and guilt as you come to know your Savior and draw closer unto him. Trust me. I've tried it. And it works! :)

I love you all, keep being awesome, and do something nice intentionally for someone this week!! :)

Until next week!

Hermana Riddle <3"

Here is another little bit of info that she answered for me in the email that I got from her.

"My stomach is actually miraculously cured!! It's been great I don't think I've had any really bad days where it's terrible this transfer!! I've just been staying away form spinach 100%. Ha, on the food calendar the ward has set up for the missionaries they wrote NO ESPINACA on the page for us.. pshh ha :) 

The people in our ward are awesome!! Um.. active members, probably cover a drive across the area of 40 mins.. but it would take like 2 hours or more to probably to get to the outer extent of our area.. none of the Spanish missionaries have really ever been out there though.. it's ok though cuz there are English missionaries out in that area so if they find someone Spanish they could just refer them to us. The only reason it extends so far is because our ward is the closest Spanish ward to that area if someone were to want to go to church out there.. And YES our Ward Mission Leader, Javier Flores, and his family are moving to Utah in December!! I am SO excited! He is so awesome! SUCH a funny guy! You'll HAVE to meet him :) He didn't really say why but he is just super excited for it. Man I feel like it is every Hispanic Member's dream to live in Utah one day.. especially the ones that work close with the missionaries cuz practically all of us are form utah ha :)"

More pics from this week attached below:)  So fun to be able to get all of these!


Monday, June 8, 2015

June 8-Where do you want to be in life?

Here is her group letter from this week for now.  I will update some more info from her letter to me when I get a bit more time.  Enjoy! 

"How are you all!!!? Alive and breathing? I miss you all, but there's no place I'd rather be right now, no other work I'd rather be doing than the Lord's!!

There isn't a ton ton to say this week, but it really has been amazing!! We have had some awesome lessons, and we have been able to find some great people this week!!

I was reading a talk this morning that completely changed my outlook on things, as many things do in the mission. The mission is such a molding and changing experience, and is really indescribable. The ONLY way you could feel the joy that comes from serving a mission is to serve one!! I can't even explain it!! But, I can honestly tell you that what makes it so joyful is that I have this opportunity to be sharing the gospel FULL-TIME, something I absolutely LOVE and CHERISH in my life with people ALL DAY everyday!! :) Yes the mission does have its exhausting days, but it is SO worth it. 

Some wise words I wanted to share from the talk I read (from this last general conference, "If You Will Be Responsible," by Elder Jorge F Zeballos) are about doing God's will. This really enabled me to see the importance of goals and having a plan in life, and what makes it so much easier is that God already has a plan for us, all we have to do is make it our quest to find it!! Elder Zeballos says this: "Having the desire to do what is right is not enough if we do not make sure to understand what our Father expects from us and wants us to do. In the story of Alice and Wonderland, Alice does not know which way to go, so she asks the Cheshire Cat, 'Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?' The cate replies, 'That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.' Alice says, 'I don't much care where.'-- 'Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' says the cat." ….Where do you want to be? 

I challenge you all to just think a minute and ponder about where you want to be in life, where do you want to end up in the end. I know the saying is to "live in the moment," and it's true, we need to take things day by day, step by step, but if we don't have a destination in mind, then where are we going? I have been able to take a step back and observe my life in a nutshell. I have been able to draw out the maps and see the things that did and didn't work out in helping me stay on the path I would like to be on, which is on the path that leads to eternal exaltation, the path that leads us back to our Heavenly Father. It has helped me keep in perspective, that no matter how narrow the way may be (3 Nephi 14:14) I KNOW the things in life that help keep me on it, and what detracts me from it. This makes it SO much easier to keep the things that keep me on track in mind as I focus on what I really, TRULY want my end result to be. 

I know my Heavenly Father loves me. I know He loves each and every one of you. Every time I get on to write every week, I ponder on what to say that could maybe help some or all of you to see what I see, through Christ's eyes, as His representative, on my mission. I am so grateful for all of you, and I can feel God's love for each and every one of you as I have learned how to bring my self closer to Him and have strengthened my relationship with Him more than ever before. 

I love you and hope all is well, I care about and pray for each of you every day!! Thanks for being a part of my life, you are all the best! :)

Until next week!

Hermana Riddle :)"

Here are some fun pics that came in this week:) Looks like an interesting combination of food.


The pics below are for a going away gift to her mission President, Pres Riggs. He will be leaving this next transfer on the 25th of June. Mariah told me in her letter that she absolutely LOVES Pres Riggs and is so sad that she just had her last interview with him.  He gave her a lot of good advice and said that he was giving it to her as "father to daughter" She will definitely miss him but is excited to meet her new President as well.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

June 1, 2015-Missionary Quest and loads of fun!

Her group email this week! I just love this girl:)

"Hello all from humid-Virginia!!

First of all I would like to express how grateful I am for Elder L Tom Perry, one  of our beloved twelve apostles and faithful servant of the Lord. I was so sad to see him go, but I know he is in a better place and is doing such great work on the other side!!

So I know I have said this like the past 2 weeks, but this week really was CRAZY. So let me just tell you, This past week we got tiwis installed in all our cars, which are these little black and white boxes that determine how fast you are going, how fast you go around turns, over dips, if you brake too hard, if everyone in the car is wearing their seat belt when the car is moving, what time you get home, etc... and it all goes on your driving record!!! (you have to login and logout by tapping on the box with this card that has your info in it..) I have only been yelled at twice for speed to that's pretty good!! If you don't slow down fast enough though it is a mark against you and if you get three then you lose your driving privileges for the rest of your mission... so that's been a great fun experience.. BUT the day before they got installed our fan belt broke in our car so we had to park it at this 7-11 that was super far away from where we live and try and find a ride back to our apartment.. ha!! The company that was coming to tow it to fix it came and we thought we wouldn't have to get the tiwi installed the next day but it still happened.. darn. 

But yeah so then also while the tiwis were being installed we had a super awesome conference with our mission president, President Riggs, and wow, he is just such an inspired man.. and just super real with you too!--Don't be surprised if you see him speaking in the next general conference in October like I am not joking. One of the main things we talked about that really stuck out to me was talking about our quest. Our quest as missionaries and our quest as members of this restored church. Sharing the gospel and living its teachings should be the main quest in our hearts. We talked about the story of Nephi in the Book of Mormon, about the prophet Nephi and his quest to go and retrieve the gold plates from the hands of Laban, the wicked king. The Lord asked him to go and retrieve the gold plates, and even though Nephi was a faithful man and accepted (as we know in 1 Nephi 3:7) to GO and DO the things the Lord commanded, we don't know if it was quite HIS quest in his own heart to do what the Lord had commanded him yet. Sometimes we may follow the teachings of the gospel or obey the Lord's commandments solely because we know the Lord has asked us to do it. But I know that AS WE STRIVE to do this the knowledge will come and we will come to understand the reasons behind doing the things the Lord has commanded us. It all starts with an act of faith at first. We have to do what the Lord would have us do BEFORE we know the outcome/are able to receive the blessing of what he has commanded us. Which is what Nephi did and was eventually able to see the full prospective of things, making the Lord's commandments his "quest" and aligning his will with the Lord's. And now we have those records and the Book of Mormon in our day because of this event in history!! How blessed are we?!!

Well, I don't have much time and sorry that probably didn't make a ton of sense but I invite you to study it out!! Read the story of Nephi and think about how it can apply to YOU personally with something that is happening in your life at this very instant! I know that as we do this with the scriptures, we will find answers to questions we could not have found in any other way, and our testimonies of this gospel and the knowledge our Father in Heaven would have us achieve will increase!! Trust me, I have done it!! :)

I love you all so much and wish you a FANTASTIC week!! 

With all my love, 

Hermana Mariah Riddle :)

I'm so glad that Mariah loves her Mission President. She told me that he will be leaving after the next transfer which is on the 25th of June.  She said she will miss him so much but is also excited to meet her new President David Huntsman.  She is hoping that she gets to stay with her current companion though.  She told me that she and Hermana Peabody have experiences every single day that make them laugh. (Who wouldn't laugh if they had Mariah as a companion)?  She is such a funny girl:) They are having a great time together.

We got a lot of pics on the cloud this week. YAY!! :) She explained a few of them to me but some of them I have no idea what they were about but I love them anyway.

Hermana Riddle and Peabody went and "Heart Attacked" a women's door who lives in their ward.  See pics below. They just wanted to thank her for everything she has done for them.  Apparently they visit her often and she is always so willing to help them out which they feel is such a blessing. The pic in the middle is a direct translation to English of what her missionary tags says.

Next set of pictures are of a "photo shoot" that Mariah and her comp decided to do haha.  Mariah said that on their P-day they found these shirts that said "Stand for Something" and the highlighted letters spelled "STRONG". She said they just HAD to get the shirts because they were only $5! So then, they decided to do a photo shoot in front of the American flag that is hanging on the wall in their apartment.  I don't know Hermana Peabody that well yet but I do know Mariah and this is just a typical Mariah thing to do.  Haha..silly girls:)

Next set of pics are just some random pics that came through. The one of her comp holding a chicken she says that they were looking for an address on their GPS and saw some chickens walking around so they got out to take a picture of them. What!!??  These two girls:)  She recorded a video of her companion picking up the chicken which I am looking forward to getting.  If any of you know Mariah really well you know that she is a hard worker but loves to have fun in everything that she is doing. She makes me smile:)