Friday, January 30, 2015

The Church is a floodin' with broken pipes, & baptismal dates

This past week and a half have been full of exciting times! From flooding the kitchen, to setting baptismal dates to pouring down rain.  There were lots of other great things that happened too, but we are going to the temple today, so we have a really limitied time to email.  I promise that I will try and add as much as I possible can, but time is limited and precious.  

Week in Review:
1.Funniest things done: I ripped my pants really bad while we were out in the rain.  It was a sad moment, and I have now learned that playing in the rain is not the greatest.  Especially when you meet an angry possum, rip your pants, and realize all of it was caught on the apartment security cameras.  OH WELL! The apartment people love the missionaries.
2.Biggest Blessing: Having the opportunity to sing at EJ's Funeral.  It was so sweet, and there were a lot of us missionaries crying.  EJ had been coming to our ward, and was a recent convert.  He had A LOT of health issues, and is now totally free to move without pain.  Finding enough mops to clean up the kitchen.  No one told us that there were broken pipes.  So we cleaned it all up, and left a nice note for others.
3.Latest project: Helping our NEW INVESTIGATOR, Chelley see the positives in her life. Even though her boyfriend is in jail...

4.Most exciting events: Getting a new investigator.  Setting a baptismal date for Candy! We are so excited!!!
5. Favorite Game: Telling what we would do if a possum attacked us.  We have been seeing them a lot, and we are worried about it attacking us.
6.Favorite Foods: We had really good Chicken Molay.  It was so good!!! unlike the last time I had it.
7.Most challenging thing: knowing that Satan is working really hard on our companionship, and throwing lots of hard things and challenges our way.
8. Simple Pleasures: We got to sand someone's dresser, and we got lots of dust, where dust should not be.  It was so fun though.  We also got to help paint the Good Ole' USA on blacktop for an Elementary School it was so great!!!

9.Goals: Lose Weight (totally doing that).  Obedience with Exactness.  Find new Investigators.
10.Biggest smile: playing in the rain, and then seeing the possum, and all you hear is us scream.  Our neighbor Dana texted and asked us if we were okay. It was pretty funny.  Then she asked to use our toilet paper.  We gave her lots. ALSO: jumping on the bed, and no one can stop us!
11.Biggest accomplishment: Sister C3 burned her leg on an Iron, and it blistered and got really gross, but the biggest accomplishment is that none of us have had to go to urgent care yet.  All of C3's comps have had to go to urgent care while with her, besides us, and one other sister.
12: Favorite Quote: Me: "I love Possum bites.  When they bite me, I just bite them back. It makes for a good meal." T: "WHAT THE HECK!!!" Me: "yeah, so delicious!"
I love the mission so much, and am really excited that I have this opportunity to serve.  Even when times get tough, there is still hope on the horizon.  Sorry that this is so short, but there wasn't lots of time!!! I get to go to the Temple in one hour! I am so excited!!!
LOVE, Sister Rietz

Representing our home state of Idaho

Flying Sister Missionaries

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Just 3 sisters from Idaho

Just when I thought that there would be no more surprises, there is one.  Baammm.  Last monday we got a text from some sisters saying that one of them is going home to Puerto Rico sick.  Then later that day we got a call from President H asking if we would like to have a new companion. I thought that he meant one of us was leaving, but when I realized that we would be a Trio, I thought, ehhh why not.  So we now are 3 sisters all from Idaho, all biking, and laughing WAY to much! There seriously are cheesy jokes constantly going around.  They need to stop, but we all try to top each other, so I am calling for help.  I need people to send me their Cheesiest jokes that they know.  It would be much appreciated.  Thanks.  So my new companion is Sister C3.  She is from Coeur d'Alene Idaho.  She didn't ever play sports, so she has never been to Lewiston.  We talk a lot about different places that we know, and she doesn't know the Dance family.  She is from Hayden actually, so it is interesting talking about how pretty it is up there, and how Californians just don't understand.  She is going home in 3 weeks, so I am killing another companion.  It is interesting to think that 3 of my last 4 companions I will only be with them for 6 weeks. Or less in this case.  I love them both so much, and like I said, there are lots of moments of laughter that is always going on. 
So much happened this last week! And of course it is on the day that we have VERY limited time in the family history center.  We went to the baptism of Cheyenne.  I was so happy to see the last member of their family enter the waters of baptism.  It is so awesome to see just in the couple weeks that it has been since the rest of her family was baptized, the progress that they have made in the church.  Candy is still making her way to baptism.  She is really close, and this last week she finished the ENTIRE BOOK OF MORMON!!! She is gonna be the best member ever! She is on ldssingles if anyone wants an awesome wife!!! haha, just kidding.  Kind of.
There seriously was so much that happened, and I am so amazed at all the things the Lord has blessed us in.  Hopefully I will not take those for granted as I know that I have done in my life before.  I know that the church is true, and that there can be many miracles if we have faith that they can occur.  I know that trials will come, but what greater way to use our faith, and get through them all!
Week in Review:
1.Funniest things done: We showed up to mutual for the "Spa Night" in what you muggles would call "normal clothes" and all the young women freaked out, and told us that we looked weird not in missionary clothing.  I think they thought that we exercised, slept, and proselyted all in skirts and cardigans.
2.Biggest Blessing: Sister C3.  She has brought so much more happiness, and the Spirit really works well through her.  She has such an awesome testimony, and knows when to share it.  I love it!
3.Latest project: Rearranging our apartment and bathroom schedule for 3 people in the same apartment.  Big Struggle, but Big Success.
4.Most exciting events: Being the only Sister Trio in the Mission!
5. Favorite Game: Who can tell the cheesiest joke.
6.Favorite Foods: Oatmeal and Hummus with lemon pepper roasted vegetables.  SO GOOD!!! 
7.Most challenging thing: Not bumping into my bruises that I got during Soccer with the Zone.  No other sister has ever played soccer before, and the Elders told me they kept forgetting that I was a Sister.  It was dumb but of so FUN, and I got bruises to show for it.
8. Simple Pleasures: Finding cool socks for less than 3 bucks.  I have a small collection going on, and they are super cool.  The favorites right now, are a toss up between the penguin ones I got for Christmas, or the gnome ones that I just got yesterday.  They bring so much joy to me, and they would to you too if you could just see them!
9.Goals: Lose Weight.  Obedience with Exactness.  Find new Investigators.
10.Biggest smile: Seeing Cheyenne talk about how awesome her baptism was with our investigator Candy.  Candy is having a hard time with some things, and Cheyenne was able to help her understand some things.  It was awesome.
11.Biggest accomplishment: Making hamburgers for the H family.  They were so BIG! and when we were cooking them, the gas went out.  Like 100% ran out, and so we had to finish cooking them in the house.  They were GIANT! I only ate 1/4th of it.  I was struggling to eat even that much!
12: Favorite Quote: "Sister Rietz has Glass Eyes, she pops them out at night!"- Sister T. She told this to 3 little kids in the ward, because I kept beating them in a staring contest.  It was super funny, and they kinda sorta believe them.  It has been a struggle to get them to realize that we were just kidding.
Love all of you so much! Have a great week! Email you on the 29th!!! Woot-Woot!!!
Just three sisters from Idaho

The bruises on my legs are much worse, but ain't nobody wanna see that!

Chips for the Missionaries, courtesy of their newest convert

Only missing Sister E.  Everyone else helped teach this beautiful girl the gospel.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Diamonds in the Rough

I love america.  Sorry, but it is true.  This last week I was thinking about how if there was not freedom of religion that it would have been super hard for the Gospel to be on the Earth right now.  Joseph Smith would have been persecuted even more, and I can't imagine what that would have done to his family.  Anyways, this week has been rough, but there are always diamonds in the rough.  We had an AWESOME lesson with our investigator Candy, and she came to church again! She was telling us about all these dreams that she had, and in them she always had a pool in them. She was telling us, that pools mean Spiritual Renewal.  We told her that joining the church is a sense of Spiritual Renewal.  She has a couple things that we are trying to work though, and it is interesting to see that the lesson that I told my family on Christmas was my favorite to teach, is the thing that she has the biggest problem with.  We are working all that out, and helping her see that as she prays about the Book of Mormon, she will get an answer of the truthfulness of it.  

 We met with a few people this week who we can never get a hold of. It's amazing to see the way the Spirit can touch someone no matter how lost they seem. This gospel is for everyone, and it can bring anyone happiness. One man his name is Kyle, and he is currently homeless, so it is awesome when we can meet with him for a lesson, hasn't been to church in ages; but when we met and asked him to tell us about his baptism, his eyes lit up.  He talked about how there was this sense of feeling clean. There's a reason why that happens, and it is because the Spirit is bringing to their remembrance the truth they have felt before.
   Another man named Brad is a single dad with 3 year old twin daughters named Heather and Nicole. Nicole has a neurological disorder, and our hearts melted the first time I saw her smile.  She was sitting in a high chair kinda by me, and when we were reading from the Book of Mormon, she started playing with my hand, and I have never been more okay with getting the slobber of a child all over my hand.  It was kinda really gross, but looking at her, and hearing her laugh are some of the greatest things that could have accompanied that slobber. We read with Brad in the book of Mormon and talked about all the surgeries and trials his daughter's been through. She is so tough, and she is having an MRI to see how her brain is going.  They are trying to figure out when the next surgery will be, and I am so in love with this little girl.  Her little spirit was one of the sweetest things I've ever experienced. I know she only needed to come here for her body. Other than that, she's just blessing everyone else with her light and happiness.  Her dad was telling us about all the ways that she has blessed him.  I am so amazed at his humility, and all the things that he has gone through.  You can tell that he has had a hard life, but the fact that we got into his house for a lesson, tells me that it will be long and slow, but that there will be spiritual improvement in his life.  I am so excited to see where all this goes.  His other daughter is also so adorable! She came into the Kitchen singing Let it Go.  I was so happy to see her singing that, you could tell she was trying to show off, and when she finished we all clapped and told her how good she was.  The Lord is blessing that family in more ways then they realize.
Speaking of families getting blessed.... ALLIE AND AMBER B ARE GETTING BAPTIZED ON THE 14th of Feb! I am so excited! They are the daughters of Joe and Samantha B whom I taught in Hesperia... And guess who was asked to speak at it. ME! I am not sure what my topic is, but I was so excited when I got the news, and I have been floating on cloud 9 ever since.  I also am going to the Baptism of Cheyenne.  I taught her mom, sister, brother, and her when I first got to Upland.  Then they were taught by the Ontario Elders, and now she is getting baptized on Saturday.  I "have" to go, cause I am giving the closing prayer.  It is so great to see families getting blessed by the Gospel.
I know that this church is true.  If it wasn't would I really be out here, spending 18 months of my life serving others... Yeah, no I would not.  But since it is true, I am more than happy to be out here telling everyone about the Gospel! It is TRUE!!!

Next week we won't email on Monday, but we will on Tuesday.  Then you won't hear from me till the 29th, cause we are going to the TEMPLE!!! so I will email that day.

1.Funniest things done: Playing the D family in Ping-Pong.  They get WAY into it, and everytime it kills me how upset Brother D gets when he starts losing.  I love that family.  They do so much for us.  We all went and got our eyebrows threaded, cause there was a special sale going on for them.  It didn't hurt, but the lady told all of us that we had really bad eyebrows.  You gotta love Upland Eyebrow Threaders.  They are a crack-up.  We all agreed to never go again. But my eyebrows look pretty great.
2.Biggest Blessing: Sister T.
3.Latest project: Building up the Ward when hard times come.  There are a lot of needs in the ward, and it is hard not trying to be superwomen 24/7.
4.Most exciting events: Allie, Amber, and Cheyenne's Baptisms!
5. Favorite Game: None.  We don't have time for games.
6.Favorite Foods: Hamburgers.  We had them 3 days in a row, and each time it was different.
7.Most challenging thing: Area book updating.  it is the WORST!
8. Simple Pleasures:Meeting a guy named Peter. He says he is Mormon, cause he spent 25 years in Utah, at the Point of the Mountain. aka, Prision.
9.Goals: Lose Weight.  Obedience with Exactness.  Find new Investigators.
10.Biggest smile: Meeting Nicole.  She is so AWESOME!!!
11.Biggest accomplishment: Getting into 2 houses that have never let missionaries in before.
12: Favorite Quote:"Sisters... my stomach is sticking out from my skirt. I LOOK LIKE BUDDAH!!"

Sister Rietz
My new ride

I hate the area book, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Service, Ice Cream, Rejection and more Rejection!!

HAPPY 2015!!!
Contrary to what the subject is of this email, it was a really good week.  We had a couple referrals that we were told would be solid, and when we went there, they pretty much did all they could to ignore us.  That was the first rejection.  The second was when we were trying to see a Recent Convert (you know who Sis. C2...).  She was home, but pretended to be gone.  Well I told Sister T that we were going to knock for 5 mins.  Which we did.  It was unsuccessful but later we saw her going back into her apartment.  I am telling you family, I feel like a stalker sometimes.  It is bad, cause I know people's cars, work schedules, neighbors, their daily and weekly activites... Yeah, ultimate stalker. ANYWAYS, we were talking with a Less-Active that was out walking, and so we went and sat on these blocks and was talking with Sister B, and then we see Marie.  At this point, I know that she is in there for sure, and we go to the door, and knock and knock and knock.  No answer. 
Then we hear super loud music coming from the other side of the Apartment.  I figured she was trying to block us out, and so we would wait till there was a break in the music, and then we would knock.  Finally someone was like, Marie someone will not stop knocking.  She came to the door, and asked who it was.  We told her, and then she told us that she couldn't let us in because the cat was sick.  I said, the cat is sick? She told me, yes and that she was sick as well.  I knew that she was lying to us, and I was so mad! I was like what the heck, you are totally fine.  It was the day of New Years Eve, and I am convinced that she was just starting her celebrating a little early.  Sister Tand I are going to try her every single day.  Pray that we can actually get in with her.
But there are always miracles, especially when there is something that is really hard.  The miracle that proceeded forth after this rejection, was that we were able to see some Less-Actives that never let missionaries in, unless they call first.  Well, we didn't call, but they still let us in! We told them that we were new to the area, and didn't know that we needed to call first.  I may or may not have forgotten that we were to call.  But they let us in, and now Brother and Sister K want us to come over every week! That was such a miracle, and we were able to teach them the first part of the Restoration.  I think that I am going to be like her when I get old, only active.  If she gets bored of what we are talking about, she would interrupt, and then talk about what she wanted to talk about.  That was a hard thing to realize I am going to be like that, cause I do the same thing!!! But I will work on it, so that I am not like that when I get old, guess we will see if I change or not!  The ward was surprised that we got in, with out having a prior appointment.  It felt good in Ward Council to have them all recognize the work that we are doing.

So another cool thing that happened.  We were walking to dinner the other night, and I got us lost.  I got us lost on the South Side of the Railroad tracks, and I was freaking out inside.  I didn't know where the street was that we were looking for, and I couldn't find it on the map.  It was really frustrating, and the people that we tried calling to help us figure out where to go didn't answer.  I was starting to get worried, because the South side is not the safest all the time.  But the Lord was able to help us, and I know that he was able to help me stay calm on the outside until a member called us back.  I was so worried, till the member was able to lead us to where we needed to go.  We got to dinner safely, and we haven't gotten lost since.  It was an accomplishment I think.  I love this ward, and I have had more moments where the Lord has really helped us. 
The last two that we had are probably my favorite.  We were walking home one night, and as we are about to walk up the stairs to get towards our apartment, we see this big group of people that are sitting there, and I knew that we should not walk past them up the stairs, and the Spirit was telling us to keep going.  They were doing drugs, and you could smell it a lot.  Well I told Sister T that we would just walk to the next gate, and we would be fine.  Until I realized that I didn't have the gate opener with me.  We decided that we would walk up the street, and see if there was another entrance to the Apartment Complex.  There wasn't.  We were back to square one.  I was really worried, and knew that we needed to get inside our apartment, but I didn't know how.  We were sitting on this rock ledge, away from the group of kids, thinking of who we could call to come open the gate.  We knew the Hermana's weren't home yet, and Dana our neighbor was out of town.  So we both were praying about what to do.  Well guess what everyone!!! THE GATE OPENED!!! We both looked at each other, and knew that we needed to get in asap! So we did.  We looked to see if there was a car going into the complex, or if one was going out.  There was no car.  I realized that the Lord had answered our prayer.  I was so excited!!! When we got in the apartment, we both prayed for thanks that we were kept safe, and that the gate opened.  We watched the gate for a couple minutes, cause you can see it from our apartment, and no car came in while the gate was open.  We really were so blessed, and I know that Heaven;y Father answers prayers in all different ways.  How great is He?? SO GREAT!
The last miracle that occurred was that our Investigator Candy came to church! and she stayed all 3 hours! She even fasted! She heard us mention that it was fast Sunday, and after church she told us that she was fasting from food, but that she needed her coffee that morning.  It was so awesome, because we have only taught her The Restoration, and The Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Both of the lessons were awesome.  I learned so much from her! She really wants to do the right thing, and she has read 3/4th of the Book of Mormon.  She liked church, and we have a lesson with her this week.  She also took us to a really good hole in the wall, Mexican Restaurant.  She did order for us, and I am so glad that she did.  I got 2 Sopes.  They are like thick tortilla's and have spicy pork, lettuce, a powdered cheese, and tomato on them.  It was so good!  I love Candy, and if you all want to pray that she will receive an answer about if she should be baptized or not, that would be great! Thanks!

I love Sister T, and she and I are getting along really well! I have learned so much from her, and I am learning a lot about myself too.  I am learning that I get frustrated a lot about silly things, but that the Lord ALWAYS knows why we can't meet with certain people, or why we get lost and then meet certain people.  I love this work, and would not want to be doing anything but this right now.  I love helping people, and being a representative of Jesus Christ.  All of you keep being awesome, and I will talk with you next week!!!
Sister Rietz
There is a gang here, and their initials are CTR

Sister T and me at the door we knocked at for 5 minutes

There was a truck that had snow on it!