Monday, September 28, 2015

Why I believe-Sept 28, 2015

Hey all!! How are you all doing??!! Hope everyone is alive and well!!

This week has been super great! Filled with lots of things and busy busy busy!! That's just missionary life tho! haha :)

Alright quick little cool experience (there are always a lot, but I'll just share one) from this week. So on Thursday we took a member out with us to go and visit some people and EVERY single person we went to see fell through or wasn't home.. it was kindof frustrating but then the member we were with told us that she had a friend, Rosa, who had just recently said she wanted to start learning more about our church and we were like, well why not? VĂ¡manos!! So we went to visit her and can I just tell you it was AWESOME!!! She told us a lot about her life and basically told us that she went to our church a little bit in the past but wasn't really in a state of mind where she wanted to listen.. she was just kindof forced to go at that point from her sister. Well now, she has come to her own realization that she wants God in her life and that she needs Him. So we talked to her a little bit about what we believe and our purpose as missionaries, and cleared up some questions she had. She is so awesome!! This experience just made me realize that this is really how God works. That just when it seems we may want to give up hope, or what we would like to be happening is not turning out, God decides to bless us in a DIFFERENT way than we would have thought!! Had those appointments not cancelled we would have never been able to meet Rosa and be able to share the gospel with her!! 

Yesterday our Stake held a fireside called "Why I Believe," and we were able to hear from Terryl and Fiona Givens. It was amazing. They talked about this very thing. They talked about how when Christ in Luke 22:42 says "not my will, but thine," he is giving his Father room to move. He is stepping back--allowing Him to answer the question in another way. We must do this as well! If we have a question, we must be willing to take a step back and be willing to do what God has asked us in order for His will to happen and to receive the blessings He is waiting to pour out upon us. We may not realize these things as a blessing at first, but in the long run we are able to realize the trials and things that we go through happen for a reason, and that God gives them to us because He knows that is the only possible way for us to grow in the form that He would have us grow. At the end of their talks they opened it up to a question and answer session, which I really loved. One of the questions that was asked was always something in the back of my mind, as I am sure a lot of you have as well. The question was: "If God knows EVERYTHING, are we already pre-determined in the choices we are going to make?" I have always believed that NONE of us have been pre-destined to fail, although some of us may feel that way. But I never knew quite how to explain it, knowing that God knows everything. Here's what we came to as a conclusion--that God gave us Jesus Christ and His INFINITE Atonement. He knew we would mess up, so He made it possible for us to be able to make things right. We are ALL always going to make bad decisions, it is just the nature of the human being, and God knows it too. But how much we are going to accept and apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ in our lives is where the gift of OUR agency comes in, and it is really all up to us. So, in other words..GOD DID NOT SET ANY SINGLE ONE OF US UP TO FAIL, that is all on our part. When we fall short, it gives us an opportunity to use the gift that God has given us, and to repent for those things we have done wrong and become better. You can't get better if you are already perfect!! And that is the real purpose of this life. To STRIVE for perfection. We are all going to fall short, but those are learning experiences, and those are the things that make us strong.

I am SO grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ in my life, and for the opportunity I have to call upon my Heavenly Father every single day and have open conversation with Him. He is all-seeing, all-knowing. Sounds like the best source of information and advice to me!!

I love you all, and hope you have an amazing week!! Take care!!

Until next time,

Hermana Riddle :)

Me and my compa under a random kid'd umbrella that I grabbed.. haha :)

Haha..Riah told us that her new companion Hermana Christensen has already caught the "Miranda" virus. For some reason every single one of her companions catches it and starts talking like Miranda sings.  Hmmm...I wonder why Riah?  Cute's just something that makes Mariah who she is:)  

She also told us that she had the opportunity to attend the General Women's meeting at the Stake.  She LOVED it!  Oh how we missed having her here but while we were watching the conference it was a sweet thing to think about us doing the exact same thing at the same time:)

Well, that's all for this week.  Here are a couple of other pics we received.  The second one was of her district doing a reenactment of a photo that we took of cousins on the fourth of July.  Pretty good I'd say:) FUN!!

Friday, September 25, 2015

TRANSFERS!!- Sept 21, 2015

Hello hello all you beautiful children of God!!

This week we had transfers, and my compa Hna Moleli went home!! It was a really sad goodbye, but you know, can't be a full-time missionary forever. There's a time and a place for everything!!

So I am still here in Sudley, and my new comp is Hermana Christensen!! She goes home in October, so I am "killing" two in a row!! We are already having so much fun though so this transfer should be super great!! It is going to go by so fast, ahhhh!! Already has... :(

This week we have been able to visit a lot of people and we have seen miracles!! It is really weird, sometimes I forget I am a missionary! Like not like a bad thing, but like a good thing! I had SUCH a different idea of what a missionary really was before I became one haha. This mission has really become a part of my life, and it is so crazy to think and look back at how far I have come. This gospel can REALLY change a person!! 

I can honestly testify that we have a living prophet named Thomas S. Monson who leads and guides this church, from whom we are going to be able to hear in just a couple weeks!! Make sure you all go and listen to what he has to say! He holds a special power (the priesthood) and is a true messenger of what God would have us know at this point in time :) I know that through the power of the priesthood that he holds, that I have been called to serve a mission here in DC. I know that the reason I am here is by divine revelation!! I have been able to see it every day, and one thing I love that my mission president discussed to us was that "this is one of the most influential missions in the world. You were all called to be here for a reason. God knew you all had the power to change the world. What I mean by that is that whatever happens in DC tends to ripple out through the rest of the world."  Man, that is so true!! This area of the country really has a huge impact on the rest of the world!! That made me really feel like I need to step up my game even more and get this message OUT to every single person I possibly can!! You never know how big of an impact talking to one person can change the history for millions of people in the future! Like I always have said, God's plan is SO perfect. It is so meticulously set up I cannot even wrap my head around it.

Well, I am rambling now like always ha, and don't have much time left, but I leave you all with a challenge. Think about what kind of effect you want to have on the people you meet. Where and how will you leave YOUR mark? What kind of impact do YOU want to have on the world? Write it down, and make it happen!!!

I love you all so much, but I know God loves you even more!! Reach out to Him, humble yourself, and accept His divine help :)

Until next week, have a good one!!

Hermana Riddle <3

P.S. so we had the FUNNEST ward activity on saturday, and it reminded me a lot of fun extended family times where we would just go up to the mountains for a day or so and barbecue and have fun! It was really hard to not get on the lake but we survived!! Good times :)

Here are some other pictures that we have received in the past couple weeks that I haven't posted yet. The first one was taken the day before transfers.  We had a chance to talk to Hermana Moleli a couple of days ago through video chat and it was so fun to meet her.  It was great to talk to her about what her and Riah had been doing and also to just talk to her about the mission in general. What an awesome girl she is!  It was so nice to see the love and respect that they both have for one another. They will be forever friends!  Looking forward to seeing Hermana Moleli face to face soon and giving her a BIG hug!!

The last few pics (below) I believe were taken recently before transfers. We sent Riah an email about who we thought her new companion was and it appears that we guessed it right.  I am such a stalker mom...haha. But, it helps to have a missionary moms DC Facebook page so that us crazy moms and dads can collaborate:)  Here is what Riah said about transfers. 

"Ha yup! My comp is Hermana Christensen! That is funny cuz both of us were reading our emails at the exact same time and she was like reading the exact same words coming from her parents that were coming from you.. ha they were like, "who is your new companion? Is it Hermana Riddle?" and then explained the whole FB missionary mom thing too haha :) Yeah, Hna Mensinger got transferred, it was really weird and a shock cuz Hna Mugleston has been here for 5 transfers now!! Since April, one transfer before me! But it has been cool to be able to serve a good chunk of our missions together, having been in the MTC together ha :) They live in Centreville, so like 11-15 mins from our house depending on traffic :) So our district: Elder Gonzalez is training a new missionary, Elder Smith, and is our district leader. Elder Coburn came to be with Elder Justesen, then Hna Mugleston has Hna Craner now."


Monday, September 14, 2015

TESTIMONY!!- Sept 14, 2015

Hey everyone!!

So this week has been super crazy with getting my companion ready to go home and all, but I am still learning so much!! I LOVE THE MISSION!!

With my companion going home, that obviously means we have transfers!! We will see what happens. Every transfer is seriously SO crazy, such a big change. I had NO IDEA until I came out on a mission that they were such a big thing.. like missionaries around the world have been doing this my whole life? Every transfer is like a new fresh start, almost like a new mission call. It is an opportunity to make new goals and to stretch to new capacities, pushing yourself further and further in the work and on the path that leads to eternal salvation!! It is a crazy ride!! So, we will see what happens within these next couple of days :)

I just want to take a moment to write you all my testimony on why I am grateful to be on a mission, because honestly this place is where I have grown and truly come to know my true self more than any other time or place in my life. 

I am grateful to be on a mission because I have the opportunity to share the gospel and strengthen my testimony in SO MANY ASPECTS as I strengthen that of others. I know that all the areas I serve in and all the people I meet and am working with are not by coincidence. I DON'T believe in coincidences!! The only thing I believe about "coincidence" is that it is a cliche phrase. Really, every "coincidence" occurs because God has a plan and He organized everything to fall into place to make it happen. God has it all set out, and as a mission being part of His plan for me, of course He is going to guide it! I know we meet different people for so many reasons, I know that all the people I meet have different problems and trials, and that I am here to learn that the atonement of Jesus Christ works for all of them. Not a select few. ALL. Jesus Christ paid the price. We are all TREASURES to him. I am so grateful for this opportunity I have to represent him, to wear his name over my heart, right next to my name, everyday, and for the opportunities I am given as his representative to become more like him than ever before. This is a special opportunity for me. Not just anyone gets to be called as a missionary--God planned my life out in such a way that if I lived righteously I would be able to come serve a mission for Him and do His work here on earth. I earned my way here, (maybe not financially, but spiritually) through Christ's atonement, through all the experiences I have had leading me up to this moment as I am out here serving, and it is up to me to choose how I am going to treat this ONCE IN A LIFETIME opportunity to become more like him. Being Christ was not easy. I cannot even imagine/fathom going through what he did. My problems are SO miniscule compared to what he suffered, yet he STILL cares about me, as he does each and every one of you. I am grateful for the power and the mantle that has been placed upon me, to preach this gospel to the people here in DC, that I have been set apart with. I can feel it. My SOLE PURPOSE in my life at this moment is to do God's work, and invite others to come unto Christ. That is all I have to worry about--being and instrument in God's hands! What a blessing!!

I know that what Jesus Christ did can apply to all of you. I encourage you all this week to think of what Christ has done for you and write it down. Write down the things you are thankful for. Why you are grateful to be here. Why you are grateful to be in the circumstances you are in. As you do this you will find more happiness in your life!! Happiness that was already there, you just didn't see it!! Whenever I feel down, I just think of something to be thankful for, and keep listing in my head until I realize how truly blessed I am. 

Well, until next week,

Les quiero MUCHISIMO!!!
Hermana Riddle <3

So we had a zone service this past week on a farm.. ha it was super fun. We also found this spider right where we were working. I seriously thought I might die.

Here are a few other things she shared in her email to me...

"So we have two hermanas going home this transfer, and we don't have ANY new coming in until Febrero.. so um.. yeah, we are going to be down like 6 or 7 hermanas, but I guess our mission office called salt lake telling them to send more hermanas cuz we NEED some ((I imagine it as when Moroni was sending his strongly worded epistle to the government for more men haha..)) and they told us no. I guess we are only allotted 12 hermanas in our mission, and we are at 35% sisters in our mission and it has to go down to below 30%, I don't know why?? But yeah, so that is happening.. so with Hermana Evans going home too that means they will probably be shutting down two hermana areas because there just aren't enough of us.. so the spanish districts are going to start getting smaller... I hope they don't close down my area!! We will see what the Lord wants though... but yeah, so with that we really don't know what's going to happen with transfers it is going to be crazy. We don't find out till Wednesday night though president will send out a huge list of EVERYONE's assignments so yup, we will see!!"

Um, about being out almost a year...? What. Yeah, it doesn't feel like it has been that long... I really can't believe it.. that at this time last year I was preparing to LEAVE on my mission in a few weeks... time is Fah-ly-ing."


HOPE-Sept 7, 2015

Hey all!

So I know last month I mentioned that I was working a lot on the Christlike attribute of patience.. well, this month I have decided to work on Hope. I have come to realize that hope is the ACTION of faith, and ties a lot in with patience.. Let me explain:

So, this past week is when I first started to work on the attribute of Hope, and as I have done so, I have set some visions, goals, and plans of action in order for this attribute to grow. Well--I know that when we make a goal to do something or make a decision, it IMMEDIATELY seems like everything happens on the contrary in order to make it NOT happen, which almost forces us to either give up or fight through and remember the goal in the first place. The past month, August, I saw my patience tried MANY times. I would not consider myself a very impatient person, but I was really able to learn what the Lord would have me learn from it, knowing that when I accept the Lord's will I also need to accept His TIMING as well and just wait. Well, as I have begun to work on hope I have been able to see that as I have worked on patience, that in order to have patience we have to have an end goal, and that is where hope comes in. We have to look to the future and have hope that things will work out in the end, and that when we have hope we are not walking aimlessly with faith into the future, but firmly with faith, knowing, with a "perfect brightness of hope" that as we walk by faith the end result that God has in store for us will be met. I know that is all kindof confusing but man, if you could all just be there during my personal studies your heads would probably explode too.. seriously, my mind is BLOWN AWAY every day with things that I never knew, that I didn't know for a reason but in God's own due time that knowledge is revealed unto me because He knows I need it, and that somebody else that I am going to meet soon will need it as well. God is good. He is so good.

So, scripture of the week: 2 Nephi 31:20- "Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life." --I don't know about you, but that is EXACTLY where I would like to end up. I would like to have eternal life, and to be able to live forever with my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ again. That is why it is so important that we have faith and do the simple things that keep us on that path (pray, "feast upon the word" ((study the scriptures, not just read)), and attend church). This will keep us safe if we do all these things with a sincere heart. I PROMISE you. As a missionary, life here is FULL of promises.. we receive promises from our leaders, promises from God, and we promise others so many individual promises that come directly from Christ--for we are His representatives. I promise you, that if you will put your faith in God, as you act in the things that you truly hope for, you will receive the blessings that God has in store for you, each of you individually, and your faith will increase. He knows you, and He knows what you need. He wants to help you, as He has helped me. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ with all my heart, and could not be more thankful in this time to serve as part of His army here on earth as a full-time missionary.

I love you all, and truly HOPE you have a fantastic week!! Make it a good one!!

Hermana Riddle :)

These are some cool shirts we got made from El Salvador for all the Hermanas, we were at the mission president's home last week for Pday, fun times!

Here are a few other pics that we got this week:) One of her district celebrating yet another birthday and the other is of her zone.