Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Someone call 911!

Well everyone and their dog has heard about my stitches now.  They were really not that bad.  I would probably not have gotten them, but the Mission Nurse said that I had to.  So everyone is dying to know what happened I am sure.  

Well Sister M and I were racing.  Super fast, and there is a road that is just straight and downhill.  I was pedaling super hard, and then bam a dog runs out of nowhere.  Now the object was not to beat Sister M, but to get away from this man-eating dog.  Then all of the sudden I was on the ground, and the dog was eating my leg off.  Okay, just kidding. 
The sock came clean!!!
That is not what happened at all.  It actually is a really lame story.  Just letting those Hughes/Sollenbarger genes really set in.  Let's be real, we all knew that it was only a matter of time before I was going to use the missionary medical insurance card.  So this is what really happened.  I was getting off my bike to check the mail on Wednesday.  I set my bike down, and caught it on the "Sprocket" aka, the super sharp gear thing by the pedal.  I knew that it had cut me, but I didn't think it was that bad.  This is how the conversation with Sister M went. Me: "I cut my leg."  M: "On what?" Me: "I don't know.." (I am still getting the dumb mail key into the mailbox...) M: "uhhh... Sister Rietz, we need to go to the apartment right now!" Me: "dang that is a lot of blood..." M: "Forget the mail, lets go!" Me: "Hang on" (open it, nothing but ads in it and a wedding announcement for Sister M).  Then we biked to the apartment, and started cleaning it, and then called the Zone Leaders, because we had no idea how bad it was.  They came over, and they knew right away I should get stitches.  They made us call the Mission Nurse, and she said I had to go to Urgent Care.    We had a member pick us up and she started taking us to the Urgent Care place.  Then I think she received revelation/inspiration, because she said we should call Bro J who is a dentist in the ward.  She said that he had stitched up people before, and not necessarily in their mouth.  I was totally okay with that. Now, I strive to be obedient with exactness, but I really did not want stitches from some random person at an Urgent Care place, where I would wait hours just to get a little bit of thread in my leg.  So we didn't ask permission from the Mission Nurse to forgo the Urgent Care place, and we just went to Bro. J's office.  He did it in less then 20 mins.  The best part though, is that he let Sister M put one of the stitches into my leg.  I am one of few missionaries who can say that their companion stitched up their leg.  It is so cool.  
Sister (Dr.) M and Brother (Dr) J
All fixed up!
The stitches and my skin have bonded well, and they were supposed to come out on Friday, but yesterday in the course of riding our bikes, one of them ripped out.  It was the middle one, and let me tell you, that thread stuff ripping out, is no bueno.  He said that I would be good, and just to put a butterfly bandage on it, and call it good.  My leg was numb for awhile.  He said it should be numb for 4 hours, but the numbness stayed wayyy longer then that.  Which I am totally good with.  I still played tennis this morning with Bro. and Sis. J, and with Sister M.  It was so fun, and now Sister M has two rackets here, so she and I are going to play for our exercise in the morning.  Woot-Woot!

This week was really a good week.  We have 2 new investigators, and we feel so blessed for finding them.  Both were at members homes when we stopped for water.  On Thursday, we went to go meet with a potential investigator, but he was in the hospital and was not home.  We have a less-active that lives by our potential investigator, and so we went there.  Well the less-active has a non-member daughter, and she has been wanting to meet with the missionaries, because she has lots of questions.  We are meeting with her on Wednesday, and I am nervous that she only wants to Bible-bash with us.  Pray for us, cause we feel like we are going into battle with her.  GAH!!! The other investigator was at our Recent Converts house.  She works for Bob, and sat in on the lesson that we had with Bob, and then she said that she wanted a Book of Mormon, and we are meeting with her this week as well.  I really think that she could be a progressing investigator by next week.

David is also doing AWESOME! He is really understanding everything that we are teaching, and this past week when we asked him if he was serious about being baptized, he said that he knew that our church had the only correct way to baptize someone.  He said that he knew the Preacher needs that authority from God, and he knew that we have that needed Priesthood Authority.  Sister M and I were so happy, and when we were biking away I wanted to scream from joy!!! I was worried that David only was going to be baptized because he thought it would be cool.  I had been praying the couple days before asking to know what we should do with David, and if he needed to not be one of our main focuses with our investigators.  My prayer was answered, and David is still one of our top progressing investigators.  Kathy is having a really hard time.  She has pretty much smoked at least one cigarette a day since she received her blessing, and said that she was never smoking again.  I really was having a hard time knowing that she could do it, but that she was not using the encouragement and the things promised to her in the blessing.  I know that this is going to teach me patience, but I really just want her to be ready to go to the temple now.  It has been hard for Sister M and I both, but I know that she can do it, and so we are going to try different tactics this week, and talk about why she wants to go to the temple, and what we can do to help her get there.  I am praying for her everyday that she will be able to overcome this nasty addiction.

Who knew??
So many of you remember when I opened my mission call, and I said Ranchero Chucamonga... I blame the lack of my ability to read on the tears that were flowing from my eyes... Anyway, there is a street in our area that is called Ranchero Road.  There also is a Ranchero Middle School, and that is where most of the people in the ward go to Middle School.  Who woulda thunk that there really is a place called Ranchero.  I still am searching for the Chucamonga part.  I know that it is out there somewhere.

The High Desert has been hot but we were able to catch a break the last couple of days.  On Saturday night, we slept on the balcony, and it was wonderful.  When we do it this week, we are pulling our matresses off our beds, cause just laying on my comforter on the cement is not fun.  I love the High Desert, and hope that I serve most of my mission here.  Even if it means biking in 100 degree weather all day.  I really have grown to love the sand, and the sun.  But I still love the rain.  The High Desert has been in a drought for a long time, and last night it rained.  Like actually rained enough that my hair got wet.  We were not on our bikes, but we ran out to the street, and took pictures! It was wonderful, and then we went to our balcony, and watched the lightning that was lighting up the sky.  Our balcony looks over the pool, and there was no one in the pool cause of the rain and lightning.  It was awesome not to hear people splashing.

Let it rain

This past week I have thought so much of the Pioneers, and all that they did for us.  I am so grateful that I am not a pioneer.  They went through so much, and they had to pull handcarts in super hot weather, so that has made me grateful knowing that my mission is not going to kill me.  Cutting my leg made me realize that we really are so lucky that we are able to just call the doctor, and know that everything will be fine.  Pioneers would have been lucky if they had been able to clean it, and not get it infected.  

I am grateful for the Elders, and their willingness to leave their area, and waste miles in their car to come check my leg.  I am grateful for Sister R texting Mom, and letting her know what happened.  I am grateful for Sister M not being scared of blood.  I am grateful for Bro J and his willingness to help me.  I am grateful for the pioneers that I am related to, and the things that they went through.  I am grateful that I am able to be in Hesperia, California even though sometimes I would much rather be at home hanging with the Fam-Bam.  And most importantly, I am grateful for all that Jesus Christ did for me.  I know that he suffered so much for me, and that really makes me want to be a better person, and to help all those that I can to use the Atonement in their lives.  

This talk by Robert D. Hales is really good.  Read it if you want! no, READ IT!!!

I love all of you, and am so grateful for the emails that I get from you.  I love the pictures, and the emails tons!!! Please all be safe, and smart, and I will try to do the same! ;)
Also, I only have 498 days left! Woot-Woot!

Love, Sister Rietz

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


(Note from Amber's mama - I forgot to post this yesterday with her other email.  It came on Monday just like yesterday's post.  Oops.  It's still exciting though!!)

Elders and Sisters:

We love you. We are grateful for your obedient, faithful service. The Lord loves us. He loves all of His Heavenly Father's children. Our purpose is to "invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel. . . ." Our vision is to help the Lord "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life man." With this vision, we can set our goals, pray for guidance, and plan how to bless the lives of the people we know and meet. We can make a difference.

The Lord will lead us to more new investigators. He will help us commit more people to read and pray about The Book of Mormon, attend Church, and receive baptism. He will help us unite with members to build the wards and hasten the work. We must continue to pray for missionary opportunities. As they come, we should always give thanks to the Lord for the opportunities and blessings. This is the Lord's work. As prophesied, it will fill the entire earth.

On August 23rd, we are blessed to attend another special missionary conference. Elder Russell M. Nelson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, will preside at and train us in that conference. He will be accompanied by Elder Larry S. Kacher of the Seventy. The conference will be held in the Woodruff Building (the mission office). We need to be in our seats and ready to worship by 10:00 am. We will have an opportunity to shake hands before the meeting begins. We are blessed to have another conference this soon. It is unusual to enjoy two visits from members of the Twelve. Please don't take it for granted--count it as a blessing and prepare yourselves to be taught. The Brethren will teach us how to be more faithful and effective servants of the Lord. We invite you to prepare spiritually for this conference. What we learn and feel will be enhanced by our sincere and faithful preparation. Please prepare diligently and reverently to be taught by the Spirit.

Last conference Elder Hales taught, "Of all the lessons we learn from the life of the Savior, none is more clear and powerful than the lesson of obedience. In the premortal Council in Heaven, Lucifer rebelled against Heavenly Father's plan. those who followed Lucifer ended their eternal progression--be careful who you follow!"

As we are obedient to the commandments and to missionary standards, we follow and sustain prophets, seers, and revelators. Let's follow the Lord and His prophets. We will have the guidance of the Holy Ghost. We will feel power, peace, and joy. We will be more effective, more successful, and more happy.

We love you.

President and Sister H

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Week Seven

Dearest Eternal Family, and my Eternal Friends!

Let me just say, this has been a HARD week!
It really has had the Ups and Downs that come with a mission.  I got super homesick this week, and really didn't know if I wanted to keep doing this.  I got super worried about it, and really relied on the Lord to help me.  I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost and the comfort that it can help us feel.  It really helped me, and allowed me to increase my testimony of the power of Prayer.  No worries, I am totally fine now! Haha, it was just a hard time, but like I said that is what happens with going on a mission.  

We were able to watch Sister Kathy receive a blessing, and we are still praying that she will continue NOT SMOKING!!!!!  She got pink eye the day before the blessing, and I don't think I have ever hated Satan more then that moment when she called us, because she was worried that she was going to give it to all of us if we came over.  We still went, but were really careful not to touch her, or anything for that matter.  The next day a family member called us, and told us that Kathy was smoking!  We were stunned! We had her left-over cigarettes in our cupboard, where had she gotten these from?  We biked to her house, and were able to talk with her, and she said that Satan was really trying hard.  We ended up sidewalk chalking her sidewalk where she smoked at.  She has gone 4 days not smoking, and we can really tell that it is a struggle for her.  She is really trying hard not to smoke, and had taken up doing puzzles to distract herself. I think that it is one of the reasons that I was homesick.  I think the Lord wanted me to have a struggle just like Kathy would have.  It really helped me to understand how important it is to rely on our Heavenly Father, when our earthly parents and those that we love are not there to help us.  We know that Kathy is being blessed because of your prayers, and I can not thank you enough.

We were able to give David a white shirt and a tie, and he was SO EXCITED! He was all telling everyone that he was gonna be sharp dressed at church, just like everyone else.  But then he didn't even wear his shirt to church.  We were like what the heck David!!! He is also trying to quit smoking, but doesn't have believe that the blessing would help him.  We are working on helping him see how it really could help him.  We are so grateful that he doesn't get frustrated with us, even though we get frustrated with him.  He is learning, but it takes a LONG time for him to understand.  I really think that drugs affected him more than he thinks it did.  Oh well, we can only deal with the consequences that we get because of our actions.

This last Friday, we did service for one of our Investigators.  We decided to do it on the day that we knew she would be gone at work.  We are hula-hoeing her yard like a pro, and then bam! There she is at her front door.  I even rang the door bell, and knocked to make sure she was not there, but dang she was sleeping and didn't see us.  Little did we know that she was laid off from her job, so that is why she was home.  Awkward, but her excuse for never coming to church with us, was that she worked on Sundays.  I instantly knew that I needed to not invite, but say, "Well Joan, now you will be at church with us on Sunday."  I gave her no way to get out of it.  But then she informed us that next day that she was going to be going to Church with her friend and that she couldn't come with us.  Satan really hates us.  But we got her to come to Relief Society, so that was AWESOME! The lesson was on why we are the only true church on the Earth.  It really was perfect!!!  I was freaking out inside a little.  Okay, maybe a lot.  

Anyways, that next day we woke up, so Saturday, and we were sick.  The night before we thought maybe it was allergies, because our noses and our eyes were going crazy. (*They have CRAZY eyes* *kid history*)  On Saturday we woke up, and we felt like we were hit by a bus.  It was not your normal, "I am tired, and going to pretend I am sick so I can sleep in sick," that I did in High School.  It was the "I think that I am going to pass out from moving at all."  But the thing is, we had 3 appointments that we really needed to go to.  They kept moving them, and Saturday was the last day we could see them that week.  So we prayed all morning that we would feel better.  We didn't feel better until we started biking, and realized that we would be okay.  We biked to the 3 appointments, and they were all there! We biked a total of 9 miles on Saturday, and then as soon as the last appointment finished, we couldn't do anything.  We called a member, and they brought a truck that we put our bikes into the back of, and they took us home.  We both slept for 2 hours, and when we woke up we knew that the Lord helped us to bike those 9 miles, and that it was a blessing that we were able to even see those 3 people that we needed to.  The Lord blesses us in ways that we don't always know he will, or that we even need a blessing in that part of our lives.  We are feeling better, but something is going around because the Elders were sick yesterday, and missed Church.  We saw them today, and you could tell it had been a miserable day for them yesterday.  

I also was running around on a flight line this past week.  Yes, you read that correctly, I was running around on the Hesperia Airport Flight Line.  One of the Recent Converts in our ward owns the Airport, and he let us onto the flight line.  So naturally I had to pose like a crazy person in front of the planes.  *Awkward Moment*:  There is a cafe at the Airport...  Apparently they can see the Flight Line, (so where we were) but the windows are the mirror windows, so we couldn't see them.  I can only imagine they now think that Mormon Missionaries go crazy.  Oh well.  It happens I guess! Haha, there are crazier Missionaries out there I am sure!  So we now know the combination to get onto the flight line encase we need anything on the flight line.  Anyone need a plane?  Bob the Recent Convert, said that we could take a plane for a spin if we wanted.  It was tempting...  Also, it sprinkled while we were out on Saturday.  It was only a little bit of rain, but it was the best feeling in the world.  Who knew that I would miss some form of H2O falling from the sky.

We also had dinner with my favorite two older couples in the Ward! They are so great!!! The one with the lady sitting in the chair are Bro. and Sis. T.  They are ward missionaries, and they are just too cute.  The noise of squeaking hearing aids normally bothers me, but it reminded me that those little things of plastic were helping her hear, and I didn't care.  Weird how something that used to bother me, is so insignificant now.  The other couple are the J's.  He is the Patriarch for the Stake, and they are super funny.  They had 3 different desserts and I am convinced that Sister J is trying to make us fat.  She just kept saying "you're on bikes, you are totally fine.  This will make you happy.  Want more Ice Cream? More Cherry Tarts? More Cookies?"  That was hard to decline, but we did, and we are not regretting declining them.  It would have made us super sick.
We are getting Sister M's Tennis rackets this week, and we are super excited! We are gonna get up and play at 6 every morning, and we are going to just have to work off even more of the desserts that people are feeding us.  I am grateful that I am able to have a companion that actually not only likes, but that can play tennis.  I am really looking forward to getting back into the swing of things.  (Man I still am super punny!  Okay not as punny as when Rachel, Linds, and I would be all together, but I am still proud of the things that I come up with out here.)

Kid History Quotes have been running in my head, and now I have found a sister in the Zone that has seen them, and we quote them ALL THE TIME!  Most missionaries just think that she and I are crazy, but whatever, everyone can judge us for all I care.  It makes us crack up, and that is all that matters!!!  The new Elder in the Ward is from Dayton, Idaho.  He has been to Lewiston to play golf.  He couldn't remember if he had been there, and then he asked if it smelled bad there, and I knew that he had been to good ole' L-town. I didn't think that I would ever find anyone out here that would know Lewiston...  
But then 4 days later, I met someone at the Airport that owns land in Kamiah! He asked me where I was from, and I said Northern Idaho, and he said cool, I own land 60 miles East of Lewiston.  I about hugged him I was so excited! He said that he was going to go visit his land soon and that I was welcome to come.  I declined, cause I don't think that there needs to be any missing people from our family.  He was totally in a biker gang.  Not even kidding, I only started talking to him, because he was kinda sitting by us.  Anyways, he also knows Lewiston, and that made my day.

I love the gospel, and am so grateful for the things that it is teaching me.  I am learning something new about the gospel all the time! It is crazy, but I love it!  I wish that I had really memorized the Scripture Mastery better, but I am going to work on that! I know that if we rely on the Lord miracles will happen, and me memorizing scriptures besides, "And Jesus Wept." will be a miracle.  I hope all of my friends who are on missions are safe.  I know that we are growing more then we thought that we could ever!!!

I love you all so much, and pray for everyone everyday.  You all are so great!  The Lord gives us trials, but we can get over them with His help.  Till Next week my friends!!

The Wonderful J's!

The Amazingly Adorable T's

We were going a little crazy!!! and it was 71 in our apartment, and we were freezing, hence the sweatshirts.

The hula-hoe crew aka, our ward mates, Elder W and Elder O

Me on the Flight Line!

Monday, July 14, 2014

We survived transfers!!!

Hello Family, and Friends and other people that creep on my blog (like I did to so many other people's blogs before I left.)

Transfer calls came Saturday, and Sister M and I are together for another 6 weeks! We were freaking out because we were in a lesson with an investigator when our District Leader Elder B called with what was going to happen to us.  Since we were in a lesson, we couldn't answer.  Right after we got out of the lesson we called, and he was busy.  He called back, and told us that he had the news.  Sister M and I were gripping each others arms, and then he said Sister Rietz you are going to Upland.  *longest pause ever* Sister M and I: "what! NO! What, this is not possible." then we heard him laughing.  Elder B: "Sisters I am just kidding, I don't know what the transfer doctrine is yet.  They are running behind, and so I might not know for awhile." We were relieved that he was kidding, but inside we both had a feeling that we were getting transferred.  We were freaking out still.  Then a couple hours later, we are in another lesson, and the phone went off.  We had forgot to turn it off.  We saw who it was, but since we were in a lesson, we couldn't answer it.  I threw the phone in my bag, and we continued with the lesson.  As soon as we got out of that lesson, we called him, and he was beating around the bush from telling us what the transfer doctrine was.  It was freaking us out.  Well after what seemed like hours, he final said, "Sisters you are staying together!"  There was a lot of happiness in that driveway.  The rest of the day was great, because we knew that we had 6 more weeks together.

Yesterday in Church was really good.  The talks were about service, and sacrifice, and not letting the world make us change our views of ourselves.  They were really good.  Then we got to Relief Society after Gospel Principles...  Let's say Relief Society is really, ummm, interesting some days.  The best quote from yesterday by far goes to Sister B:  "I was called as the ward librarian.  I thought what the heck, that is a stupid calling.  Then after a little bit, I realized that it really is the coolest calling.  It is like being the ward bartender.  'Hello, what would you like today? A prophet? An Apostle?' It seriously was the best, I was on top of the ward with that calling."  Pretty much everyone laughed, and I thought one lady was going to have a heart attack from laughing so hard.  That was probably the "best" part of Relief Society.

We have been biking more and more.  This week we did 59 miles on the bikes.  It really is getting easier, and easier.  Except when the wind decides to blow SUPER DUPER HARD! That really is the worst, but the way that I look at it, I will be super fit, and have the best looking calves in our family.  Okay, maybe not the fit part, but for sure the best calves.  (Kristin and Trev I am going to give you a run for your money.)  While we were pedaling like champs, Sister M's pedals broke.  They look super weird, so we are going to get some new ones today.

This week was crazy busy, but not a ton of exciting things happened.  
I loved the 100's of letters that I got... Oh wait....... Just kidding.
I went on my first exchanges, and that was crazy.  It was weird to be with someone besides Sister M.  On the way to Victorville, we saw someone almost run someone else off the road, and then we also saw a building completely engulfed in flames.  It made me super sad, and then the next day we saw it again, but it was pretty much gone.  I would count it as a loss for those people.  I ate dinner on a golf course in Silver Lakes (while on exchanges).  This golf course is part of the PGA tour or something like that.  I am not really sure.  But the great golf players have played there before.  I also rode in a car ALL DAY!! I understand why missionaries gain weight...  In the car, we rode on Route 66! It reminded me of Cars.  I miss that movie, but it is okay, because I have a Cars calendar on the wall.  After exchanges I realized even more how blessed I am to have Sister M as my companion.  The Lord really knew what kind of trainer I needed.

This morning Sister M and I started really early.  5:25 AM to be exact.  There are members in our ward that plays tennis, the J's, and so we woke up, and walked to the tennis courts to play them at 6 this morning.  We had to cross the train tracks, but luckily there is like a 5 foot tunnel that we walked through, while a train was going over us, so that we didn't have wait for the train to cross, and then have us risk getting killed by another train.  The trains come every 10-15 minutes so we knew that we would be safe if we wanted to cross the tracks.  We chose the safer route.  See family, I am learning to use the brain inside my head after all these years. ;)  Anyway, back to tennis.  They killed Sister M and I.  They kept saying that they were not good, but they beat us 2-6, and then 3-6.  We are going to rematch them again.  They are in their 50's and they whooped our behinds.  It was embarrassing, but our "excuse" was that we haven't played before together.  And that we haven't played for a long time.

The pictures this week are few in numbers.  There were not a lot of times that I wanted to take a picture.  Sorry. (and I don't want you to see the fat that my stomach is starting to accumulate.)

I love being on a mission.  I can't believe that I have been through one of my thirteen transfers already.  It is amazing how when we really focus on doing the things the Lord would have us do, how quickly the time flies by.  I am so grateful for the gospel, and the comfort and the peace that it can bring into my life.  There are challenging times, but those are the times that I have learned to really rely on the Lord, and the testimony that continues to grow everyday.  I am so grateful for the tender mercies, and for all the things that the Lord blesses my family and me with.  I am really grateful for the days that we would receive snow, and rain while growing up.  I never thought that I would say that till the day that I die, but having no moisture in the desert is the worst.  The local people say that it is even dry for being the summer.  It is overcast today, so we are praying for rain.  I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon, and the things that I can learn from it.  It is amazing that a book that is written many many years ago can help answer the questions that are pressing our minds today.  I know that the Lord answers our prayers, and that he is there we just really need to listen to the answers that he gives us.  He loves us too much to leave us alone.  I love the Gospel, and know that I am here sweating my body half to death for a reason.  
I love you all, and miss you so much, but no worries we have got eternity together!  What a glorious day when we will be reunited.  Please be safe.  
 Our zone has really big problems when it comes to taking pictures.  One elder finally got a good one, but he has yet to email it to us all.

Our District! Elder B, Elder N, ME, Sister M, Sister H, and Sister C.  I came out with N, and C.  We all are staying in Hesperia.  Our district was the only district that did not change in someway.  One of our zone leaders are leaving, and that makes us sad, cause he would make Zone Activites fun, so hopefully the new one can replace Elder F's funness.

A house that burned down from fireworks.  We thought it was one of our less actives, but it was not.  Our less-active said that they were drug heads so that it was worth it for them to have their house burn down.  We did not voice our opinions.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Adventures are ENDLESS in Hesperia

 This week was so BUSY!!!  I pretty much pass out at 9:30 every night.  This past week we biked 54 miles. So in the last two weeks, we have biked 105.5 miles.  It has been a blessing and a curse.  Blessing, because we don't have to count miles for the car, but a curse, because I feel like I am DRIPPING in sweat all the time.  Let me rephrase that.  I don't feel like I am, I really am dripping in sweat.  Good thing I am not trying to impress potential husbands out here.  Haha... lets hope...  Anyways...  Some crazy things happened this week.

The first one that is probably the best is................. 
I FELT AND LIVED THROUGH MY FIRST EARTHQUAKE!!!  Yup people, it is true, we felt it on Saturday!  It was 4.8 and in Big Bear which is not too far from us.  Nothing was damaged, anywhere, and no one was hurt that we know of.

I was attacked.  Yes, I was but it was only by the 20 lbs Turtle, not the 60 lbs one that was also just chilling out in the backyard of our Less-Actives house.  They told us that they are friendly, so I didn't think anything of it when the turtle be-lined for me.  I just stood there, and then *bam* It started butting me, like I was the other turtle. (They have a tendency to fight each other.)  The owner, Brother P, laughed and said it had never hit any of his kids before.  We decided it was because I had a red/coral skirt on, and "Manwhile" decided he really liked it.

Another wonderful thing that happened was one of the many tender mercies I had this week.  It was really hot, like hotter then I think is safe to bike in.  We were hot, we were tired and our water was hot as well.  We were meeting with an investigator David, and we had a member coming with us to the lesson.  The member came, and he not only just came, but he brought us homemade Mexican tacos, and extremely cold Gatorade.  It was such a blessing, and I know that the Lord answered my prayers for a way for us to get something cold to drink.

Another tender mercy, was frustrating, and then it became a blessing.  We had a lesson with David, and he has been trying to quit smoking.  We have tried to figure out how we can help him, and we both didn't know what else we could do for him.  We showed up to his house, and he told us that he was about to leave, and had to reschedule for tomorrow.  We were like, "Oh, okay that's fine."  But really we were mad and frustrated, because we could have stayed in another lesson longer, but we cut it short to make it to David's on time.  We biked away mad.  At least I did.  Now this is where the tender mercy comes into the picture.  I wrote a letter to Grandpa Sollenbarger a couple weeks ago, and asked him how he was able to quit smoking.  The letter that he wrote back was EXACTLY WHAT WE NEEDED! It was an answer to our prayers.  I freaked out, and made Sister M listen to me as I read it.  He talked about the plan he made, and the steps he took.  This letter really was an answer to my prayer.  I actually cried in the shower that night just thinking about if we had met with David that day, we would not have been able to share that with him.  The next day we had two appointments with people who need to stop smoking.  The first one was Kathy.  She is a less-active and really wants to go to the temple, so she is coming back to church, and just needs to stop smoking and then she is going to be getting closer to the temple.  The problem is that she thinks she can stop on her own, and that she doesn't need to rely on the Lord.  We weren't even planning on teaching about not smoking that day, but in the middle of the lesson she just blurted out, "I need to really stop smoking, and I need help." *shock, and utter silence* I knew the letter from Grandpa was in my bag, and I felt the Holy Ghost prompting me to pull it out, and read it.  Sister M had the same feeling, cause we both looked at each other, and she nodded to me as I pulled it out.  As I read the letter, the Spirit was so strong.  I just got chills thinking about how wonderful it was.  I finished and she said I need to do exactly what he did.  So guess what on July 16, she is never going to smoke again.  She really is following what Grandpa did.  She is going two weeks, and then no more smoking ever.  She is getting a Priesthood blessing on the 16th, and we pray for her all the time.  Her family member wants Kathy to stop smoking, so we are hoping that she can see this as a testimony builder, and maybe be interested in taking the missionary lessons.  Teresa said that she prays that Kathy will get sick, and we don't pray for that, but that she will not have the desire to smoke.  We can't wait for the 16th.  That letter not only touched her, but it also got our investigator thinking about how he needs to stop as well.  He is still deciding if he can do it in two weeks, but right now, he is still going with his baptismal date of Sept. 6th.

The weather here is weird.  Most of the time it is HOT! My Odometer said 126F, but I think that was just because we had left our bikes in the sun during a lesson, but still.  (Wow, I still get side tracked even in emails...) Anyway, on Saturday it looked like it might rain, but the last time it looked like that it was in the 100's.  We were not planning on it raining.  Then we felt the Earthquake, which is a weird feeling, like going down 10th, (the street with the hills by our house) going faster then 35mph, (not that I have ever done that Captain Michele). Your stomach flips up, and then settles.  Then up, and then settles.  So we are up on the Mesa, which is the area that we are over, and while in a lesson, the temperature dropped down to around 80.  Then it got a cold wind. Then we felt rain.  So we were freaking out with happiness that it was actually raining in July, cause the rain only comes in the Fall, and then occasionally in the Spring.  It only lasted a little, but still I felt rain on my skin, in July, in the middle of the desert.

On the 4th of July I saw 2 Fireworks, and then we went to bed.  We were too tired to do anything else.  Sister L made us a delicious meal, and it reminded me of how the fam-bam was probably on the river.   She brought us: Homemade subway sandwiches, strawberries, chips, soda, 14 homemade chocolate cookies, and potato salad.  We also saw a killer sunset, and it looked like the sky was on fire.

Today for p-day activity, we went to a Bounce House.  They just had a ton of the blow up bounce houses, and obstacle courses.  It was a blast.  I really had a ton of fun, and  we were grateful that a member owned it, so he let the missionaries use it for free, and it was not open to the public, so we had it to ourselves.  Pictures below of Sister M and I. 

Transfers are this coming week.  We find out either Thursday, or Saturday if Sister M and I stay together.  We are pretty confident that we will stay together.  We also started praying that we would not only stay together for this coming transfer, but that we would also stay together for the transfer after this transfer.  We may or may not have made a paper chain for the next two transfers, and put crazy things that have already happened in the short 5 weeks that we have been together. :)

Quick note: We are still teaching Beth to ride a bike, and as we were riding out of the driveway, I totally biked into her bushes.  They are totally fine, and my bike only got one scratch on it, and my legs just got a little but scraped.  We just thought it was ironic that we were helping Beth ride a bike, and then bam.  I hit the bush.  We laughed about that one for longer then we should have.  I think the sun is making me delirious as to how funny things really are.

I love all of you, and love the letters that I have been getting through out the week.  They help the week go by so fast.  Love and miss all of your fantastic faces, but luckily I have pictures that capture most of the awkward moments of our lives.  Be safe, Choose the Right, Be grateful for Cold Water.
Till next week my friends and family.
These things are everywhere

Our 4th of July picnic on our balcony.   I think you can see the pool in the crack by the floor...Yeah, Satan works hard sometimes.

Killer sunset in Hesperia, California

Sister M and I acting normal
The "attack" turtle

Our favorite way to bike...This works really well when the wind is working with us.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

We are so hot, our skirts are on FIRE!!

So this past week was let's say..... INTERESTING!

First: Congrats to G Elton for getting his call to Arizona Tuscon, Spanish Speaking! We will be neighbors, well kind of, but anyways, WOOOH!!! See you in 2 years!

When I got his letter where he was going, I was like "SWEET!!! My friend is going to Tuscan Arizona!  I totally embarrassed myself and Sister M was just dying of laughter, and she was like you mean Tuscon, and I said, yeah that's what I said, but it totally is not what I said!  We still laugh about it all the time.  I will never live that one moment down.

We really only biked half of Wednesday, all of ThursdayFriday, and Saturday, and then Sunday just half of it.  But we still biked 52 miles, and that, my friends and family is an honest number of how long we biked.  We went and bought Odometers and Speedometers and they are, let's say, cooler than all of y'all's iPhones.  Mine tells me: how many calories I burned, (so I know how many star-bursts I can eat and not feel guilty); the temperature outside, (this weeks high- 107); how fast we bike, the fastest speed we reached (32 mph down Chase Hill); the distance for the day; the average speed we bike; and the distance for the week.  I think my favorite feature is the calories one.  Not even kidding, I just bike and watch the little screen, and know that we can eat dessert that night at a members house and I will not feel guilty.  Blessing for sure!!

For all of you that did not believe that I would get a tan, YOU WERE WRONG!!! I am getting a very nice tan! Kristin and Trevor you will all be jealous! I know that we are not to be jealous of others, but KDizzile, and T-Rev, this is something that I am sure will be acceptable!  I am kinda scared that I have only been here for a couple weeks, and am more tan then all the summer "tans" that I received in my 19 years of life.  It only has a slight red tint, and really it makes me look 10000 times more cooler.

We went down the Hill, which means that we went to Rancho.  We went for the 4 week missionary meeting, and I realized even more how awesome Sister M is.  There are many companionships that are having problems, and so now Sister M and I realize even more how lucky we are that we get along as well as we do.  We are alike in so many ways.  At times I wonder if she could be a long lost sister, or cousin or something.  Yesterday we were told that we looked like sisters, and then she asked us if we were sisters.  Granted, this was the same lady that told me I was looking like a little girl... But oh well, I told her I would take it as a compliment, and she said when you get to her age, (she's like 40ish) that looking like a little girl is a compliment.  I AM 19 YEARS OLD, GOING ON 20, I AM NOT A LITTLE GIRL!!!!!

During the 4 week meeting we asked Sister H if it was allowed for us to get massages.  She said YESS!!! But then called back later that night, and informed us that President H didn't want us to get them, until he can call Salt Lake and see what they say.  So in other words, there is a possibility that Salt Lake will see yes! I kinda don't think they will say yes, but its worth the shot.  According to Sister M: we will miss 100% of the shots that we never take.  SO it is worth a shot.  (Note from the editor, AKA her mama - I'm not sure why she thinks she needs one, but whatever...)

Dinner this week has been chicken of some kind everyday this week.  But Yesterday we had CROCK-POT CHICKEN!! It was the best!! Honestly, I could have ate the entire thing, but knew that Gideon-Moroni (Gideon-Moron when I get frustrated) (thanks Dallin for the idea) would not like me very much!

We met these guys who are missionaries for another church here in Hesperia! They are with a group called Teen Challenge, and the only difference is that they go around asking for money to support their group.  We talked with them, and Sister M and I were both prompted to give them a Book of Mormon, so we did! They were like "Sweet.  We'll read it." We also gave them a card with our number so they could call us, and we could answer their questions, but they don't have a phone.  They don't have a phone, TV, computer, car, bikes, or anything! They seriously were like us!! It was cool, but sorry boys, we are just a tad better, cause people let us in, and not them.  We were teaching one of our investigators and the two boys started to walk in the driveway, and then they saw us, so they left and then we kept crossing paths, so Sister M and I talked with them.

I am so grateful for the gospel, and I am so grateful that I am able to have it be part of my entire life.  I am so grateful for the Plan of Salvation, and am sorry to hear about the airplane accident with Bryce, but am grateful knowing that Heavenly Father knew he was needed up in Heaven.  What a blessing to know and see how the Plan of Salvation can bring comfort, happiness, and hope in times of despair and trials.  I love the Book of Mormon, and am also reading the Doctrine and Covenants and learning to love it, and learning more about what it was like when the Church was being restored.  I love reading about the revelations that were recorded, and the things that we can learn from them.  Sometimes I want to go ahead of my reading schedule, but know that it will mess up the rest of the schedule if I read ahead.  I am also reading about Abinadi, and wicked King Noah.  I am so grateful for an example of him not ever backing down when King Noah threatened to kill him.  I hope that I would have had as much strength and patience, and trust in the Lord that he had.  Everyday my trust in the Lord is growing, and I am so blessed to be in Hesperia serving the people here.  Yes it might be hot, but it is a safeish area, the members are willing to help most of the time, and I have the best companion that I could have possibly asked for.  I feel bad because I think that I will compare all of my future companions to her.

Until Next Week! 

Love, Sister Rietz
Me and my bike

My companion, Sister M and me at the mission office.

Sister M, Me, Sister H (mission office lady), Sister H, and Sister C. This was at the 4 week mission training.

Me, because I know you all miss me ;) haha, just kidding. (but really...)