Monday, November 24, 2014

Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, we are already best friends

So Sister C2 and I are really good friends.  We have had a lot of hard times these last couple weeks, so it was nice to get a fresh start and see what wonderful plans there are for this transfer.  One thing that is super cool that our Stake does, is they have a Cresh Festival.  They have over 1,000 Nativities, and they are all SO pretty! We are helping set up a big one this next week.  They have this festival for 3 days, and pretty much everyone in the Valley comes.  There is a missionary choir, and all of us in Upland are singing in it.  It will be grand, and exciting.  They also have different music groups from the area that are coming as well.  The missionaries are assigned certain times to come, and when they are to show people around the church.  Pictures will come later once it happens.
The area is really flat here.  It was funny because some people tell us how hard it is bike in our area, because of the "hills". We are searching for those hills... Super easy to bike 10+miles a day.  Especially with all the "hills" everywhere.  Our area is half ghetto, and half nice.  We try to stay in the nicer area at night.  Just for safety measures.  There have been some times where I am scared, but the Lord protects his missionaries.  I have learned that almost everyday on my bike.  So speaking of bikes... I got a bad flat tire.  Luckily we didn't notice it till later, but it was there and I had an extra tube from a member in my last ward. (So weird saying that...) Anyways so that happened... Then my bag broke.  The metal piece that holds it broke, but missionaries are resourceful, and a caribbeaner is fixing it just grandly.  Then my bike light decided to die.  It will have spasms... like its own electrical seizure, and then die, and then if we hit a bump, it will come back on. And so on and so forth.  We are hunting for a new one... Target will be our next stop.  Walmart had none...  
I also saw a HUGE rain storm.  It was so loud, that it woke us both us, and I ran and got my camera to record the noise.  I got a black video with a streak of lightening... I will try to upload it, but it will probably fail. Yeah, it says it is TOO big.  Anyways, it rained a TON, and there was a flood in our area, but not bad at all.  We walked the next day, and it was so nice.  My shoes have holes in them.  They were a good investment.  I would love more shoes from Taiwan. *hint-hint*
Well, I am a really bad time manager, and got distracted emailing other people because TWO people I know got their calls, and I couldn't be more excited for them! San Diego, and Canada are SUPER LUCKY!!!

1.Funniest things done: Sister C2 crashed on her bike, and just sat there.  She was fine.  She was not hurt! But it was so funny, she just sat in the dirt.
2.Biggest Blessing: Having friends that are on missions, and we can compare how crazy our areas are.
3.Latest project: Still Learning Upland! And giving a talk on Sunday... I don't even know the ward yet...

4.Most exciting events: We have a family that is getting baptized on December 13th!
6.Favorite Foods: Greek yogurt with costco berry combination.
7.Most challenging thing: Not kowing the area yet.
8. Simple Pleasures: Hearing rain.  And seeing a Squirrel.  I haven't seen one in 6 months.
10.Biggest smile: Seeing Sister M again!
11.Biggest accomplishment: Getting home safe, after being in a not so safe area. In the dark. With no street lights.  Never doing that again!
12. Worst Food: None yet.
13. Amount of Miles Biked: 48 miles.
14: Favorite Quote: "We would be the coolest james bonnds! then I fell on the ground.
Love, Sister Rietz

Monday, November 17, 2014

Goodbye Hesperia! Hello Upland!!

I got a bulls eye my last night in Hesperia!

One of my favorite families

Just a little shopping cart fun

Our backs

Silly missionaries!!
Sister K

Well, there is a new chapter in the book of Sister Rietz and her mission life. It is called Upland.  I am really excited, but REALLY sad at the same time.  There were transfer calls Saturday, and then Saturday night, we found out that there were even more missionaries leaving then we thought.  It was really sad, because our ward lost 3 missionaries.  Both Sis. E and I left, and also Elder O left.  It was a shock that Elder O left, because he was told on Saturdayafternoon that he was staying, and then Sunday he got a call saying he was leaving.  Our poor ward is going to be going crazy.  Well along with transfers means a new beginning.  I loved my ward in Hesperia, and there are SO many families that I cried saying good-bye to.  It was a struggle, because this is the only ward that I had ever known, and being a third of the way done, that was a LONG time to stay in one area. I have been transferred to Upland, which is in the Valley.  I am sad to leave the Desert, but from what I hear Upland is a "rich" area... so I was told I was going to get fat, because everyone will feed me steak and potatoes "rich man" style... Not really sure what that means though.
My new companion is Sister C2 (not my MTC roommate).  She (from what I hear) is a hard working, diligent, obedient missionary.  That is exactly what I have been praying for, and when I heard that, I just wanted to cry and sing praises to Heavenly Father for being so awesome, and listening to my prayers.  I also have been praying to stay on a bike... WHICH I AM!!! My goal is to get 150 miles this transfer.  We shall see if that happens or not.  My old ward-mate Elder R is friends with Sis. C2, and he said she is awesome, and just what I need after a really tough transfer.  When we met each other, and we hugged I could feel the love that she has for me instantly. It was awesome!  When I was saying good-bye, everyone was telling me how wonderful it was to get to know me, and they were going to complain to President that I was leaving.  

Sis. E is going to Apple Valley... Her new companion is Sister C (My MTC roommate)! I was just in shock, and couldn't believe that they were going to be together.  It was crazy! I really hope all goes well for them.  It could be a tough transfer, because they are whitewashing into the ward.  Their district leader is Elder O though, so they will be fine.  I really know no one down here, except Sis M, whom I saw for like an hour today.  She is training again, and I know that she will do awesome. She is staying in Ontario, so we aren't super far away, but we won't see each other until the Christmas Devotional that is in December.  
This past week was super crazy! We met Elder Golden of the Seventy.  It was a good meeting, but he kept talking forever, and we went 2 hours over, and had to cancel a lot of our appointments.  It was frustrating, but some of the stuff he said made me want to be a better missionary.  I really hope that I can step it up, and reach that potential that I am sure is there somewhere.
So we found out why they whitewashed the Sisters in our ward, and put Elders into it... It was too Dangerous for Sisters to be on Bikes in the evening.  Once the sun went down, crazy things would happen up on the Mesa.  It was annoying thinking that no one was gonna like the Elders, but I am sure that all will work out, and I pray those Elders can help our Investigators get Baptized. 
Sis. C (MTC) and I were talking last night, and we decided that we thought saying goodbye to our families was going to be the worst goodbyes, and that none could compare. Well now I am realizing that there really is a different love that I have for those in Hesperia, that can compare to that love for those around us.  It was a love that made me really really strive to help draw them closer to Christ.  We decided that amount of love for those people, is what makes it so hard to say good-bye.

1.Funniest things done: Freaking out when I was still going to be on a bike! The Elders thought that was the weirdest thing that I would pray for.  I told them it was because I love biking.  Everyone in the ward felt bad that I was not going to be in a car.  No one understood why I wanted to stay on bike.  Everyone would say, "ohh, I am so sorry you don't have a car."
2.Biggest Blessing: Knowing that there is a God there, who knows EXACTLY what we are going through, and that He loves each one of us SO much!
3.Latest project: Learning my new ward! Saying goodbye to Hesperia!
4.Most exciting events: Transfers.  I also was able to see Sis. M at the transfer meeting, which made me really happy!
6.Favorite Foods: We ate the most delicious peppered pork chops, with a Greek salad.  It was super GOOD!
7.Most challenging thing: Knowing that there will be 4 Elders in my old ward, and 75% of the people we visited were single sisters.  I am interested in seeing how the Ward will help the Elders, so that they can still see them.
8. Simple Pleasures: Hearing everyone tell me they really Love me, and that they are going to miss me.  It is always nice when someone talks all positive about you!
10.Biggest smile: When Sis. K told me how important I was to the Lord's work. When she said that, I just started crying right there in the hallway at church.  She is one of my favorite people from the Ward.
11.Biggest accomplishment: Writing out 3 pages of whitewash notes, and helping them realize how far their area was, I gave them street by street instructions.  It was time consuming, but totally worth it!
12. Worst Food: Eating the Bread that was in our freezer.  It was completely freezer burned, but when it is transfers, it calls for not buying food, and being smart and eating everything you got.
13. Amount of Miles Biked: 22 miles.
14: Favorite Quote: "You and Sister C are not allowed to tell President about my relationship with Peru... the llama from the Zoo.  We have a very special relationship." -Elder N.
Well, there is much to do. And I have so much Unpacking to do... It is not going to be fun unpacking, but neither is ironing clothes, so I will choose the lesser of the two evils.  I gotta buy food, and get familiar with my new area.  My companion goes home in 6 weeks, so I have to learn the area really well so when she leaves, I will be able to not get lost.

Monday, November 10, 2014

I will bike 1000 miles, and I will bike 1000 more

I hit 1,000 miles on the good ole' bike Moroni-Gideon this week.  When I hit that 1,000 mile I felt so accomplished.  I knew that there was a lot of blood, sweat and stitches in those 1,000 miles.  I seriously feel SO accomplished.  Haha, yeah it is only a number but do you realize that means I have almost biked double what an Elder here biked his entire mission? and I have been out for a little over 5 months! Woot-Woot!  It was super dark when I hit it, but I still had to take a picture so I apologize that it is so far away. 
We played family games this week, with people after dinners, we cleaned a zoo, we had miracles occur after appointments would cancel, we got to see Sister H in the Hospital.  She made me brush her hair before we took a picture, and when I told her that her hair looked good, she said, "you better not be lying to me." Her hair has definitely had better hair days. Haha.

1.Funniest things done: We got stuck in a lesson, so we texted the Elders asking them to call us with an "emergency" to help get us out of the lesson, cause it was 10 mins till 9, when we needed to be going home... Well, they called, but the man just kept talking to Sister E, and didn't even realize that there was an "emergency" on the phone.  Needless to say, I had a one sided conversation with the Elders, because they had NO idea what was going on... It was pretty funny, and we still got stuck there for another 10 mins... The phone call with the Elders afterwards explaining why we needed an "emergency" was pretty memorable.
2.Biggest Blessing: The weather has been awesome! It has been in the 70's and there has not been any wind.  Heavenly Father really answers prayers, but late.  Haha, but none the less he answers our prayers.
3.Latest project: Getting mentally prepared for transfers.  Haha, it sounds dumb but I love this area too much, and it is all I know for my mission, and I will more than likely cry when I leave.
4.Most exciting events: We cleaned the ZOO! Yes, there is a zoo here in Hesperia.  It is full of lions, tigers, bears, kangaroos, cats, dogs, llamas, deer, camels, ostriches, more dogs, a pig, porcupine, baboons, monkeys, birds, and lemurs! It was the most weird, but cool zoo in the whole world! We got a free tour, and Sister C and I got to take lots of hilarious pictures together. 
6.Favorite Foods: We had pork chops with apple chalet? It was really good, whatever it was.  There also is a mexican place, that when we come and visit we will go eat there.
7.Most challenging thing: Helping investigators realize that it IS important to come to church, and that it is important to meet with us.
8. Simple Pleasures: Getting to hang out with llamas while we cleaned their cage.  We also met the REAL Aslan from Chronicles of Narnia.  My life is complete.  I mean, I knew him before from when I was Lucy in the Movies in my younger years. haha. (Note from Amber's mama - when Amber was younger, she and the character who played Lucy resembled each other - A LOT!)
9.Goals: Bike to 1,500 miles now.
10.Biggest smile: When we are in Church, and everyone wants to know how the work is going. And you tell them, it's going but we need member help... Calling them to Repentance without them noticing! Buahaha!
11.Biggest accomplishment: Being happy even when the times are tough, and it doesn't seem like there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.  Spoiler Alert: There is ALWAYS a light at the end of the tunnel.
13. Amount of Miles Biked: We biked 37 miles this week.  That 36th mile was the happiest mile of my mission life.  Honestly, I felt so accomplished.
14: Favorite Quote: Me: "Well..." (trying to wrap up the lesson) Less-Active: "That is some deep thinking for a shallow mind." Me: "....." (I was so confused... I didn't get it...) Sis. E and the Less-Active: "HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA" Me:"....... WAIT! I do not have a shallow mind!" Less-Active: Hahahahaha.  

I gotta go, but I love you all! The church is true! Read the Scriptures, the answers are there!

A few pictures from the Hesperia Zoo.

I got to see Sis. H in the recovery room.  She is doing pretty well.

We played headbands with this family.  So fun!!

Proof that I have biked 1000 miles

Monday, November 3, 2014

I'll make a MAN out of you!

There was a storm that was coming... it didn't rain on us, but pretty much all around got the rain.  Those clouds came in so fast, and so did the wind.

Waiting in the car, cause it was really cold, and we were early to stake conference.

I can actually put a cute outfit together... Point one for me.  It was super cold, yet this outfit was warm!

This week was one that I feel like Heavenly Father was really, really testing me, and my dedication to him.  I would plan out everyday to the MINUTE and then right when we would be leaving to go to our area, our first couple appointments would cancel.  I would get so mad, and wanna just give up, and not do anything but I knew that we really needed to go to the Mesa, (which is our area) and see people.  
The beginning of the week was awesome! We carved pumpkins with a family in the ward for FHE, and then we made it a competition with the Elders.  They got really into it, but I don't know if either one of them had ever done it before, because they had NO idea what they were doing half the time.  It was cool to just take a small "break" from missionary work, and carve pumpkins for Family Home Evening. I think Sister Rutledge sent one of the pictures to Mom.  It really made my day, cause it reminded me of what we would do at home.
Then we had every appointment cancel the next day, except one, and that was because the lady was in the hospital, and she had nowhere to go.  Then after that, we tried to see a ton of people, and of course Heavenly Father was testing us, because even those we knew were ALWAYS home, were not home... It was annoying, and we just biked trying to see people till dinner.  
1.Funniest things done: Opening a letter from my family, and seeing my siblings hairs in it... I love you guys so much! That really made a HARD day a GOOD day.  Also, having ward-mate inventory with the Elders.  Pretty much we just talk all positive about everyone.  It helps us get a good laugh.
2.Biggest Blessing: Our recent convert was in a small accident at the airport, and he walked away with 8 stitches, and a broken arm.  He was super lucky that it was not more than that.  They are still waiting for swelling to go down so they can see if it needs surgery.
3.Latest project: Working with the Ward Mission Leader, and not getting frustrated with him as it has been hard to communicate the vision and goals that we have for our ward.
4.Most exciting events: We made real legit homemade Chinese food.  It was so GOOD!  We also survived our first day of really cold weather.  It was in the 40's and the wind was super windy.  I got to wear my new coat, and it was awesome.  We had interviews with our mission president, and I loved seeing him and his wife.  They also came to Stake Conference this past Saturday night.  Oh yeah, almost forgot.  I sang in Stake Conference with some other missionaries.  Never again my friends.  Never again.
5.Favorite game: What will be warm, and still look okay on a bike.
6.Favorite Foods: That yummy Chinese food that I talked about earlier, and also we had Thai Food.  It was an Asian-y kind of week apparently. 
7.Most challenging thing: Biking in the Wind, and Cold, and Night.  Having 8 appointments cancel all on the same day.  Even our dinner appointment cancelled.  It was a tough day.
8. Simple Pleasures: Waking up Sunday morning, and seeing it was dark outside, so we obviously complained about daylight savings.  Our phone didn't switch over, the time automatically, so Sister E got up and started showering, and while she was in the shower, it clicked in my head I still could sleep another hour, so that was a huge smile knowing I got it figured out in time to actually get some sleep. 
9.Goals: Survive this week.  We have a lot of people that we are going to try and see, because everyone and their baby mama cancelled on us this week.
10.Biggest smile: Getting an email from Sister M, and just laughing my head off because of the funny funny things that she said to me.  "I'm so happy for Ella...gosh dang it...why did it take her so long to meet missionaries!! GAHHHHHHHHH" Yeah, I can totally see her saying that.
11.Biggest accomplishment: Listening to people with a grain of salt knowing that they really have zero clue what they are talking about.... "you Mormons believe in killing people..." "the Word of Wisdom, doesn't seem fun..."
13. Amount of Miles Biked: We got a lot of member rides, but it was a good solid 19 miles biked.  So much for reaching 1000 miles last week. Thank heavens for repentance.  We will get 1000 miles this week.
14: Favorite Quote: "I DON'T WANNA GO HOME!"- Little girl YELLING at the Library.  
Other favorite quote: President H: "These are vegetables. (holds up green peppers from his sandwich) They are good for you.  They help with asthma. Right Sister E?" President had just told her that she needed to get an inhaler, because she has been having a really hard time breathing... Another trip to the doctors it looks like..... Woot-Woot....

Love, Sister Rietz