Monday, June 9, 2014

Do you know where Hesperia, California is?


I am in a place called Hesperia, California.  It is the straight up desert.  Like I'm not kidding, there is sand and Joshua Trees everywhere.  I keep looking for rattlesnakes, and people to rob stagecoaches.  Those Joshua Trees are not something that I would travel to see.  They are straight up ugly.  They only grow in two places in the whole world.  Hesperia California, and Jerusalem.  They are these ugly trees that have this fir stuff growing on them.  It is illegal to tear them down, kill them, or take them out of your yard.  So many people have these trees in their yards.  One thing I miss is grass.  It costs 400 dollars to water a patch of grass that is as long as my body laying down.  Crazy how lucky we are to have tons of grass at home, and now there is none around me.  My companion is Sister M.  Lets just say that she and I get along really well! Haha, we are kinda all the same which is crazy awesome.  She was born the day after me, she is the same height as me, and she loves to joke around, and she PLAYS TENNIS!!! That was a dream come true! I was so excited!!! Gah! It was wonderful! She is from Texas, and went to a semester at BYU.  I think she and I will be friends for many many years.  We will be with each other for 12 weeks. The first week was so long, but so short at the same time. 
Monday: P-day in the MTC.
Laundry, clean room, pack.
Sister C and I went a little crazy.  We had companion exchanges, cause Sister P, and Sister W were both getting their hair cut, so Sister C and I went crazy when we were companions.  We rode a "roller coaster" which was actually just laundry bins that were empty.  We would ride in them, and then when someone would be opening the door, we would jump faster then one of the Australian kangaroos.  We said goodbye to everyone that we had known at school, that was at the MTC, and then we went to bed.

Tuesday: Fly to Cali
We got up super early, (3:30 am)  met our district at 4:30 am, and on the bus at 5.  Traveled to SLC Airport.  Called HOME! <3  Flew to Ontario, Ca.  Met President H and Sister H.  He looks like Pres. Uchtdorf... Got my awesome new bike.  Slept.

Wednesday: Meet new Companion.
Met my new companion.  Then there was a ton of meetings.  We were on the road to Hesperia by 2.  Got to Hesperia by almost 3.  Went to apartment, unpacked, planned the next day. Role played the life out of me.  Went to dinner at a members home.  Biked: 2 miles.

You guys need to understand how lucky I am that I have Sister M as my companion.  She is great.  There are times when I don't think I can keep doing this crazy thing, and then Sister M will say something, and it will remind me that I am supposed to be out here.  A mission is hard.  No matter how many role plays we do in the MTC, it is 1000 times more scarier, and more intense then the MTC.  I love it here though! I wouldn't have it any other way! I know that the ward family I have here is wonderful.  Pretty sure I met everyone that is in the ward.  Our dinner calendar rarely has a blank spot on it.  The members feed us a ton, and now I understand how missionaries gain weight on their mission.  The Lord knew that I would need more then the 30 minutes of exercise a morning to work off all the food we eat from members.  We bike on average 12 miles a day.  It takes 2.2 miles to get to our area, and then most people we visit are within a 5 mile circle of each other.  We drink so much water.  Instead of being super sticky with sweat all the time, I want to just dump my water bottle on me, and then deal with my clothes looking weird, but that water in that water bottle is too precious.  I wish that I could strike a rock with another rock, and get water. Haha, that would be so COOL! Can you imagine what a faith/testimony builder that would be!?  It is amazing to me that there are people who used to be members and got married in the temple, and bam. No longer care about the church anymore.  That is definitely frustrating!  We are teaching a family now, and they were married in the temple, and then all of the sudden they are less active.   We are teaching a family, that is Less Active, and they were married in the Temple, and are now thinking about coming to church.  We have at least 4.5 months before they leave to get them reactivated.  They are so cool.  They are like 25ish, and they remind me of my own fam-bam.  They have one daughter, and she came up to me, and said, "our you my new missionary?" She is 4 or 5 I think.  It melted my heart, and created this love for their family, that I wanted to do whatever it takes to get them to come to church.  They live way out there, but it is worth the bike ride, to go bring them the lessons.  We currently have 20 investigators.  They are not all progressing.  There are only 3 I think, that are really making progress.  There is one, who is David.  He is awesome.  I thought he was maybe in his 20's.... but noooooo, he's older.  I laughed so hard when I saw that, and then had to cover it with a cough cough cough.  We are going to start teaching his sister the lessons, and she is in her 40's.  Another investigator is named Lori.   She thinks that Obama is putting chips in people. and she asked us to ask Thomas S. Monson if Obama's Police people were to try to give her a tracking chip, if she should accept.  Sister M told her that we would ask, and get back to her.  We have yet to ask him.  I would be interested in what people would have to say.
There is also this guy who thinks and is convinced that he was a general authority... 

One of the days that we were biking, we were out there, and we went to visit an investigator, and he wasn't home.  We see this Hispanic family outside their house, we bike over, and start talking to them. They tell us they were members!!! WHATTTTTTTTTT! But wait, it gets better.  Out walks this 13ish year old boy, he is introduced as Angel Moroni... I know my jaw dropped.  They all laughed, so I thought they were kidding, but nope, they were for reals serious!  We are going to give them to the Spanish Elders, cause it was super hard to communicate with them.  Sorry this email is a jumble of thoughts.  I had it all written in a list what I was going to say, and then knowing me, I left the list at the apartment...
Weird moment... Spilled water all over myself at dinner last night.  It was at a members house, but oh well.  That just makes me a memorable missionary right?? (Mom, don't worry, they are like Aunt Dawn and Uncle Mike.  Well actually like Dawn, but whatever.)  They just laughed really hard, and said no worries, it happens all the time.  I said really, and they said no... They are really nice though so that makes it better!!!

I love you all so much.
The church is true people.  You can never deny the Spirit that you feel, and the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.  I know that it will be hard, but that is one of the wonderful aspects of the Atonement.  It helps all of us in different ways.  The only way anyone could ever deny the church is if they went over, around, under the Book of Mormon, and the truthfulness that it holds. 
I am going to start reading the Doctrine and Covenants.  Everyday I will be reading one chapter or section from it.  You all are welcome to join me if you want, but I will be including the things that I have been learning from that wonderful thing! Love Love Love you all!

Love, Sister Rietz
 The Picture of me pointing to 105 is the classroom I spent 10+ hours in with my district.
With Sister C at the Provo Temple

Fun with Sister C
Maybe no one will see us!!

Riding the MTC roller coaster

My MTC home away from home

Sister M and me

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