Wow! I just loved Riah's email this week:) I have no words to describe how awesome it is to get emails like this:)
This past week has been great, I am loving the mission, it really is an amazing place to be :) This week I have really been able to reflect everything I have learned so far in the mission. I have been able to look back and see how much I have grown and changed as a missionary, and as a person in general.
This morning as I was reflecting I jotted down a few things to the question "If you had a few things to pick that you have learned the most on your mission so far, what would you say?"
-The first thing is that the Atonement is REAL. It is up to US to accept it. I have also seen the true power of the adversary on my mission, and felt the frustration of agency and when people choose to give it up for the things of the world. However I have also seen, on the contrary, how the gift of free agency (the freedom to make our own choices) that God has given us is SUCH a marvelous thing. I have seen and FELT the power of the atonement and Christ's suffering for us and come to understand it better. I will NEVER fully comprehend it, but I sure can use and accept it because I have faith in it, and I KNOW it works!!
-Following and Recognizing the Spirit: I have come to my senses. I have been able to point things out that I feel and just sit back for a second to think and pay attention to how I feel when the spirit is working through me, and the things I can do in order to maintain it and keep that feeling with me.
-And lastly to live IN the world but not OF it. At first we think of missionaries as being in this little bubble, and not knowing about anything that is going on in the world/doing worldly things, but just Focusing on the Lord--guess what? It's better that way! I have come to realize the things of the world DO NOT MATTER, and as long as we focus on the Lord and His work we will be protected from the overpowering influence of those things. The Lord is the one who helps us shut out the world and avoid temptation. He will keep us safe and guarded from the dangerous things around us as we stay away from them. I have learned that the way I conduct myself and the things I do help qualify or disqualify me for the companionship of the Spirit, and that as I try and maintain the standards and guidelines that I have so carefully been able to magnify on my mission through the rest of my life, that my future will be a place of refuge and peace and I WILL BE QUALIFIED.
I CANNOT BEGIN to even EXPLAIN enough of how much I love this gospel!! It's like a fire burning within me that just keeps growing and growing and can NEVER be put out!! I am SO grateful for the opportunity I have to spread the flame, and to help others catch that fire and gain a testimony of their own of the truthfulness and divinity of this gospel. I am SO grateful for those moments, when I am able to pour out the things I know to those around me, and to just see a change in their eyes the moment they begin to realize that the things I am telling them are true, and that through the power of the spirit that desire to know grows, and the thirst for more knowledge begins to grow stronger and stronger as they accept what God would truly have them know and come to understand.
Thank you everyone, I really do have some AMAZING family and friends :) I love you all and wish you the best this week as you all continue to remember that you are sons and daughters of GOD, and that He cares for you and loves EACH of you individually!! I love each and every one of you individually!!
Until next week!
Hermana Riddle :)
PS My compa Hermana Moleli hit her 16 months this past week so we celebrated with the one and only Cafe Rio's Tres leches!! Mm. ;)"
Also, this week on P-day Mariah was able to go to lunch with a long time friend of mine and his family. Chad, Shondell and their family had a vacation planned in DC and Mariah was able to get permission for her and the other 3 Hermanas in her district to go to lunch with them. I was able to send a suitcase full of stuff for her and she exchanged the things in the suitcase and sent stuff back to us that she doesn't need to keep there on her mission. It was awesome to get the suitcase and just feel like a part of Riah came home:) I am so grateful for them and the kindness that they showed to those 4 Hermanas,
Here is a little of what Riah shared with me about their lunch.
"So, about the lunch with Chad and his family. It was AWESOME :) We went to Texas Roadhouse, as you probably know and have already discussed with Chad haha. Sooo great, they are such a neat family, I LOVE them....
....hahaha it was a good time, we were able to talk a lot! There should be some pics on the cloud! It was hard to say bye cuz it felt like I had a little piece of home with me for a few moments. What a tender mercy of the Lord :)"
While Chad was there at lunch with them he sent us the pics and video below. They were fed well as you will see. We were also able to get a couple of messages and a pic to Riah while they were there with them. She shared a bunch more about the lunch but for times sake I'll keep it short. Such a fun memorable time! Check out the pics and video!
It has been super hot and humid in DC lately. Here is what Mariah has to say about the weather there.. "I love rain!! Humidity.. eh, not so much.. ;) Chad's fam went to Arlington earlier today before meeting up with us and said that it feels SO much hotter here than Utah cuz of the humidity.. they were like, "I dunno HOW you do it!!?" There have been days when I have looked at the weather and the humidity has been 85% or more! Something that takes some getting used to!
Here are a few more pics that came in this week..