Monday, November 9, 2015

Long time no talk:) November 9, 2015

"Hello everyone! 

So I know it has only been 4 days since my last Pday, so I am going to make this short and sweet.

These past few days have been super awesome, I have grown a lot-- but also super hard at the same time, and I'll tell you why...

I have seen many people slowly start to lose their testimonies. I have seen many people start to lose their faith. And it breaks my heart. I feel as though the Lord is beginning to go through a sifting process, and the ones who really have solid rock testimonies are the ones who are not going to slip through the cracks. I am grateful to be here on a mission, and to have been able to be blessed with the opportunity to recognize my weaknesses and use my freedom to choose to change them. I know that EVERY single one of us has been given this blessing, or this gift, to be able to choose between right and wrong, and it is up to us to decide if we are going to use that, the ONLY thing we can really give back to God (our will) and align our choices with the ones that our Savior Jesus Christ would make if he were on the earth today. 

This week I encourage you all to find your faith. Find your testimony. Confirm your beliefs, and confirm them with God. And as you do so, write them down. Write them down so you never forget how much God loves you, and how much He has blessed you in your life. 

I love you all, and will talk to you all next week!! Take care!! :) And happy Turkey month!!

Hermana Riddle :)

This is Amy, one of the cutest little girls you will ever meet. She wanted to paint my nails.. and can I tell you they are a "hot mess," as she would say ;)"

Here are a few other things she told me in her email to me referring to questions that I asked.  Sorry if it's a little choppy...

"My past few days have been good, I mean wow I can't believe it is already Pday again! ;) Things are going great with my new companion, she is so sweet!! I love her!! She is from Farmington, UT, and she's super fun! She is a Christensen and comes from a 9-kid family! She is the 8th and ALL of them have served missions so far!! Cool huh??  Haaa.. sometimes I feel like I corrupt all my companions because I am such a freak.. but whatever.. she does Miranda voice now too.. you BEST believe it. :)"

Yes there are 6 of us going home in April.. but there is actually only 1 hermana coming in when hna mcmillan and moberly go home.. so that means that they will have to shut down an area (which will probably be one of the hermana areas here in Sudley, probably ours.. because we are the only ward in the entire mission that has 2 sets of sisters..) but it would be REALLY hard to shut down this area so I am wondering if they will take the Peruvian sister who came in last August and have her be an Hermana!! That would be SWEET. So yes, all will have to train when we leave.. which means.. I dunno if they will have Sister Training Leaders then???

Ok, total missionaries in our mission? Around 200 and something.. it used to be at like 260 but they are trying to get it to around 210.. I think we are pretty close to that now!! But over like a third of our mission, like close to half have been out 6 months or less!! We have a baby mission right now! Going through a lot of changes and training!! 

The Spanish program is like SO OLD compared to that! Cuz the newest Hermana we have came out last MAY!! Yes we do know the English missionaries.. kindof alright.. I know certain ones more than others.. but mostly just as a Spanish Program we are really close.. practically everyone knows everyone.. I am not sure how many Spanish elders we are allotted.. I will put a pic of the most recent pic of Spanish forum on iCloud so you can get a feel for the size of the Spanish program.. minus two sisters.. and I think 2 elders as well. 

We have English, Spanish, and Mandarin speakers in this mission. Our mission president served his mission in Taiwan, Mandarin speaking but he said he can only have small little "how are you" convos with them and that is it.. he doesn't really remember it.. but yeah, we only have 3 Mandarin companionship's though.. it was just one trio until this week- we had three new come in so now all three of those elders are training!! The Mandarin program used to be a LITTLE bigger than that but not by much.. it has kindof decreased in size as well."

I thought those were some interesting details to hear:) Below are a couple of pics. The one with her on the teeter totter is with her new companion:)

Halloween and more-Nov 5, 2015

"OK. Well, it has been a while since my last Pday so a lot of things have happened!

1. My companion went home :(
2. I got a new companion, who has the same name, Hermana Christensen!! :)
3. I am starting my 5th transfer (in missionary time that is a long time) in the same area
4. I have been out over a year and have only served in 2 areas
5. Halloween was this week
6. October ended
7. November started
8. We had a General Authority (Anthony D Perkins of the 70) come and speak to us!!

There were obviously a lot of other things that happened this week as well (#lifeofamissionary), but there's just not enough time to explain it all!! I am sure you are all wondering what missionaries do on Halloween so I'll tell you.. well, what we do here in the DC South at least.. Well, Halloween night is just not a good idea for missionaries to go out proselyting, so we went to the 2nd Counselor in the Stake Presidency's house as a zone to watch the Cokeville Miracle.. for those of you who have not seen it.. WATCH IT. Some of the acting is a bit cheesy but you'll just have to get over it. It brought almost all of us to tears, it really has such a good meaning! There were quite a few people in the room who had family members that were actually involved in the true story it is based off of. So that was a fun experience! Then on Monday (which is why we didn't have Pday until today) we were able to hear from a General Authority and learned so much!! We talked about fulfilling our purpose as missionaries, and the true importance of what we do!! It reminded me of a recent Spanish Forum we had in September where we were challenged to take a Spiritual Inventory of our life every so often.. these are the questions involved in a spiritual inventory (and I invite you all to do the same).. I am going to change them a little bit so that it doesn't just apply to life as a missionary, but to all of you!

1. Do I say my prayers individually every day with sincerity?
2. Do I study the scriptures every day?
3. Do I make an earnest effort to let my family (individually) know that I love them?
4. Do I make sincere plans/goals long term and short term?
5. Do I discipline my thoughts? (practice a mental discipline)
6. Do I try to let ALL of God's children know how much I love them, based on action?

I encourage you all to take a spiritual inventory of your life, and if there is some need for changing or refining, excellent!! That is what we have the gospel for!! To change and refine us and to help us become better!!

Do something nice for someone this week, and remember to SMILE :)

Hermana Riddle :)"

Riah told me this week that her ward mission leader and his family are moving to West Valley on December 5th! How exciting!  We are so excited to meet them and get to know them better. Riah has been serving in their ward for over 6 months so it will be fun to talk to them about all of the missionaries and the work that has been going on:)

As Riah mentioned above, her companion went back home to Oregon.  She said it was really rough having another companion go home.  She said she cried and that it is really hard to have them leave.  She said that she learns so much from the experience but she does not want to "kill" another comp. (For those of you that don't know what "kill a comp" just means that they send them home from the mission).  So far, Riah has said that she still keeps in touch with the ones who have gone so that's been really good.

Lots of pictures this are some of them!  She is having a wonderful time out in DC!