Friday, January 1, 2016

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Dec 28, 2015

"Hello everyone!!

This past week was amazing, as is every week on the mission. In the moment sometimes (only sometimes, haha)  it does not seem so great but looking back on EVERYTHING I can honestly say I am SO grateful for ALL of the ups AND the downs I have had on my mission thus far, and have been able to see that I really am truly blessed to have had the opportunity to gain a testimony of my Savior Jesus Christ and come closer to Him as I serve as His representative. This past week with Christmas I was able to reflect on how grateful I TRULY am for the wonderful family and friends and friends' families whose interaction and love  I have been blessed with in my life. I could not express to you in words how much love I feel for each and every one of you and how much you truly mean to me! You are all incredible!! :)

This week with it being the week of Christmas as well we were given many opportunities to render service to our fellow men. Whether it was talking to someone on the street, visiting someone who is lonely, or just providing a simple thank you and a gift for the amazing people we are surrounded with and have been able to get to know has made all the difference. It is true when they say that "when you lose yourself you find yourself," because really, we all are sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us so much. I hope you all have come to know that, to have truly been able to FIND yourself and recognize that you yourself ARE a beloved son or daughter of the one and only God. He loves us so much, in fact, that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to be born upon the earth, and provide a Savior for us. Christ is only one who can bridge the lonely gap between God and man, who suffered so much pain and sorrow so that we, WE, all of humankind, could be saved from all the unnecessary evils of the world. Our Savior's birth will always mark a special place in my heart, as every Christmas I am able to reflect and remember the miracle of His birth and the role it plays in all of our lives. For this is when the earthly life of our beloved Savior and Redeemer of our souls began, and because of this, we celebrate.

I love you all and hope you had a Merry and Miracle-filled Christmas. Look for a miracle in every day, I promise you they are there!!

Until next year ;)
Hermana Riddle :)

PS on Christmas Eve we sang as a mission at the DC Temple Visitor's Center and it was a BLAST. The audience was filled and the Spirit of CHRISTmas was definitely felt!! I'll include a link below to the video that was recorded by a member who was thereThe second (set of pics are) just pics of all of us in the mish who came out into the field together :)" Wow! They will have a lot of sisters leaving in April!

The above pic was taken at the temple on links below to watch the video of them singing. Mariah is playing the keyboard in the first half so watch for her there!

Riah said that she really enjoyed talking to the family on Christmas. She said that she didn't realize it until it was happening but it was really something that she needed. Just a little boost that helped her to continue pushing forward to finish strong.  Below are some things that she shared in her letter to me.. 

"The rest of Christmas was great!! We were able to have a good Christmas Breakfast earlier in the day, and Hispanics celebrate Christmas on the 24th so we had a Christmas lunch type thing that day.. haha we had SO many people that wanted us over on the 24th but we couldn't cuz we had to leave at 3:00 to be at the visitor's center on time to rehearse and have a little snack and stuff before we performed... it was fun though!! On Christmas we went around and dropped off the cookies and treats we had made to investigator's and members and had a really good lesson that night!! We went to an investigator's house and were able to meet another family that lives close to them that are their friends and share a Christmas message with them. The spirit was super present and we also had a member and a less active that came with us so it was really good!! I love Christmas on the mission, you really are able to just focus on the true meaning of Christmas and serving others!! :)

Haha with skyping everyone I think that yeah everyone has changed, they all seem so much older, it is SO weird how time passes so quick and how much can actually change in so little at the same time!!

We were actually able to go to a dinner last night in the house of someone that we ran into at church that's in the English ward from our same building who just happens to be in town that got home from his mission 6 months ago and knew Hermana Mugleston in Highschool. His family moved out here like a day or two after he left on his mission.. he's going to BYU provo though. We were able to talk to him a bit about what it is like to adjust coming back home, and he just said it's weird cuz everyone is so much older, and you kindof feel like you are on laughing gas for like a week just feeling like you are in the right place, but not in the right place at the same time cuz it's just such a weird adjustment. I'd have to explain that more after but pretty sure that's what's gonna happen to me haha...."

We received a bunch of pics this week including some beautiful pictures of the DC temple at Christmastime:) See below. Also..I think she was a little spoiled for Christmas. Thank you everyone who remembered her at this time of year. Thank you for your support! I will be working on another blog soon about all the interesting things we found out from her in our Christmas call. Such a blessing to have been able to talk to her:)

Pics of her apartment and gifts...

Cute video and pics of them opening their Christmas jammies!

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