Hermana Riddle is HALFWAY!! 9 months down, 9 to go!
Hermana Riddle reached 9 months in the mission this past week! Hard to believe that she is already halfway! Time is just flying by! I know she will be home before we know it. As of now her release date is April 15. 2016. So, she'll be out a little longer than 18 months but..as of yesterday she only has 9 months left! EXCITING!! Here is a pic of her "FELIZ 9 MESES"
This is her group email for the week...
"The mission is going by so fast, it's scary.
This past week really was awesome. I just wanted to share a "quick" story, ok, let's see if I can do this.. So the other day we went on splits and I was with my old companion, Hermana Mensinger, again for the night, and we contacted LOADS of people. We found a man named Cesar who started to ask us A LOT of questions and was very curious and interested in what we had to say. He said he has talked with missionaries before here and there on the streets but has never understood what they were saying because he couldn't understand English. We were able to have a nice long conversation with him, and EVERYTHING he said highlighted some point or other of the gospel. We spoke to him about the Book of Mormon and gave him one and bore strong testimony, and it was SO powerful. But the part that got me most was one of the questions he asked: "Are you happy?" he said. "like truly, truly happy?" We told him "Yes we are." He said, "even with all the confusion and chaos that is going on in the world right now, you are happy?" We told him "Yes, why? Are you happy?" He told us "honestly, no." And with true concern in his eyes he asked "How do you do it?" We told him that with everything that is happening in the world, that we can still have hope and put our faith in God. To trust Him and His plan for us. We told him that having a pure understanding the gospel in our lives is something that has helped us keep going, and to keep moving forward in this life.
He then began to tell us that he had a great deal of knowledge about the Bible, and no matter how much he reads it that he feels like there is something else--something missing from his life, and he had been praying and was looking for just something more. Something to complete that empty space. After he told us this I looked him straight in the eyes and said, "Sabe qué? Yo puedo decirle que el pedazo que usted siente que está faltando en su vida está en sus manos." (He was holding the Book of Mormon we had given him) There was a short pause and he just responded back- "Sí. Yo lo sé." (Whoops, what I said to him was "You know what? I can tell you that the piece you feel is missing in your life, is in your hands." He responded with a short but firm answer. "Yes, I know it.") And there was just a feeling of power and warmth that just entered SO strongly into the conversation, NO ONE could deny it. The Book of Mormon IS the word of God, and it is SO crucial that we read it and abide to its teachings every day of our lives, that we don't waste one moment! This life is a testing period, a VERY short period of time we have given to us to prove ourselves to God and show Him we are willing to align our will with His.
I am so grateful for experiences like this on my mission. The opportunity I have to share this gospel and help them feel of God's love for them, He really does answer prayers and he really cares about each and every one of us individually. Do we love Him back? God loves each of us so much and is so willing to bless us if we will just do what is required of us. From the famous scripture in the Bible in John 14:15 we learn simply but clearly what we must do if we truly love God, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." I have learned a great deal on my mission where true happiness comes from. God's commandments are not there to restrain us, they are there to open the door to a higher level of happiness that we could never experience in any other way but keeping His commandments. Not a temporary happiness that comes and goes, but an eternal happiness, a happiness that lasts. I love this gospel and have been able to gain more of an eternal perspective here than anywhere else in my life. I have been able to see what brings true freedom and true happiness, as we confide in our Savior, Jesus Christ, and follow his example and his teachings.
I love you all, and I hope that you will all continue to LIVE life and to strive to be better every day! Each of you are so unique, and I am so grateful to know all of you and for the ways you have each individually touched my life.
Until next week,
Hermana Riddle :)
Oh and HEY HEY you bet we didn't forget!! Free 7-11 on 7/11!! Good times :)"
Cute 7-11 pics and more:)
Here is a little more info that she gave to me in an email..
"Things are coming along well with our investigators, we teach lots of lessons the hardest thing is getting them to come to church. Either they say they will come and don't show up or just kind of give us an "ok, maybe" or "Yes, yes! I will try to make it!" Or my favorite.. "Sii sii vamos a la igelsia, primero Dios. Primero Dios que Si" AHHH it is SO. Frustrating!! We are still working super hard and continuing to see miracles and find people, the guy I mentioned in my group email lives in Arlington though, he just happened to be visiting and was standing outside when we walked up to him.. So we will have to transfer his info to the Bellavista ward in McLean. :/ So sad, he is AWESOME. So prepared!! The area compared to my last? Well, they are completely different but I really do love it here in Sudley!! I would say that in Springlake there is more love and connection/ family feeling between the members, and I mean we are close with a lot of the members here its just they aren't close with each other really. But we are trying to fix that by trying to start some activities going on!! But then I feel like I have found a lot more prepared people out here as investigators than I did in Springlake. Satan's power really is SO REAL though, he works SO HARD once he knows that you have found a prepared person, and that you know that person is prepared. It is NUTS. Plus I have heard from various people that your 9-11 months on the mission (well, as a sister) is the hardest/roughest point usually. So, I'm prepared. I'm gonna try and make that not happen though.. ha :) So far things have been GREAT since I hit 9 months!!"
A few more pics that came in this week. Riah got to go on splits with Hermana Mensinger who was her last companion. They were excited to be able to be together again. ENJOY!