Monday, March 30, 2015

Because He Lives. We all Can Live again.

1.Funniest things done: We were in the Library and there will be people who come in  and they always are a little crazy sometimes.  Well there were some other Elders who were in the Library too, and as we were sitting there, this man walked up to Elder R and gave him a hug, and then kissed his shoulder.  It was such an awkward moment, and I am so grateful I didn't have to experience it, but just watch it.  The man told the Elder he would come back for him.  Precious moments of being in the Upland Library.  Also, Sister N's bike was too big so we called the mission office, and they said they would fix it.  Elder S just took a saw to the pole on the seat, and cut four inches off the seat.  Problem Solved.  
2.Biggest Blessing: Well Sister M and I had a blast together.  I got the flu on Monday, but it only lasted 24 hours thank heavens! But during that time, I really realized how special of an opportunity it is to teach a new missionary how life on the mission really is.  I am sure there will be so many times where I want to give up, but that is what Satan wants us to do.  Seeing Candy bear her testimony on Sunday was one of the best things in the world.  She talked about how precious of a gift the Book of Mormon is, and how we need to not take it for granted.  There have been so many times where I have just read my 10 mins for seminary, and then called it all good.  But now listening to her talk about how much of a gift it is, I realizes she is totally correct.3.Latest project: Learning what the heck I am supposed to be teaching this new missionary.  She is awesome, and there is a lot that still needs to be learned for both of us.
4.Most exciting events: I think the most exciting, but most scary thing is that Sister N almost got hit by a car.  She was crossing the street, and I don't think the car saw her.  The Lord is really protecting her.  Sister N is also a Visa-Waiter.  Shs is called to the Brazil Fortaleza East mission.  Her visa never came, and so there are 5 of the 10 missionaries that came out that are visa waiters.  They all speak Portuguese, and we were told to not let them use it right now.  She gets frustrated when I make her pray in English, but that is how President H wants it right now.
5. Favorite Game: Getting to know a new person.  The cool thing about a new companion, is you can literally decided how much you want them to know about your life before the mission.  It has been more fun for me, than for Sister N I think.
6.Favorite Foods: We ate sweet pork tacos, with vanilla cake.  It was so good! The tacos were all homemade, and I am a pro at making tacos now.
7.Most challenging thing: Being a trainer, and having no clue what to do when they ask how it applies to the MTC. Suggestions would be helpful!
8. Simple Pleasures: I think watching the odometer on my bike just go up and up.  It sounds dumb, but being in a car with Sister M was weird.  We kept joking we should have brought my bike to Ontario for the day.  Then it would have been like old times for sure. Also, finding a hat that is missing the top.  So cool.  You literally find the craziest things when you do service.

9.Goals: Smile at the challenges that I am sure will come.
10.Biggest smile: Hearing that a Less-Active has decided to serve a mission.  He was praying about what to do, and then bam.  Answer was to go on a mission.  And now he is going to get the advancement in the priesthood, and the rest will be history.
11.Biggest accomplishment: Managing to give Sister N a run down of EVERY person on the ward list.  It was cool, cause I didn't realize I knew people as well as I do!
12.Favorite Quote: "It has been a really long time since I have been made fun of by 12 year old boys for my virginity of not smoking pot. It hurts. A lot." -Elder R

I gotta go, but family have fun in Utah all together! I love you all so much, and I know we can be together forever because Jesus Christ died for each one of us, but he was resurrected so that we could return to live with Heavenly Father again!
Love, Sister Rietz
9367: Sister Austin and Me
9366: My cool hat I found.

9363: Reunited with my Mom!
My cool hat I found.

Sister A and Me

Me and my mission "mom"

Monday, March 23, 2015

Baptism. Hula-Hoops. Trainer Call. Wait WHAT?!

1.Funniest things done: It probably was when we were trying to take pictures with the members, and with Candy.  I realized that my camera must think I am Asian, because after every picture, it would ask if someone blinked, and it would always be on my face. Or the funniest thing might be after I got the call that I was going to be training a new missionary, and I may or may not have started crying.  I was so scared, nervous, and kinda in shock about what just happened.  I think Sister T was like what the heck is wrong with you.  When the caller id came up, I saw it was the mission nurses number, so I didn't think anything of it, until I heard that it was the AP's voice.  Then I was like, "wait what?!" "who is this!?" Then I found out I was staying, and I knew with how awesome this ward is, and everything that I would be okay.  And to make it better my new ward mate is going to be Elder R who was my ward mate in Hesperia! It's gonna be a good transfer.
2.Biggest Blessing: I get to be with Sister M for the next two days! I am so excited, and we have already talked a whole bunch! I am so excited to be back with my Mission Momma. Since we are both going to be training, we will be able to see each other at the 4 week meeting too, so I get to see her more and more before she "dies" and goes home in July.  On a mission, I feel like you never know when you are going to see someone again! It's crazy stuff!  Also, seeing Candy get Baptized.  I am so happy I was able to watch her change, and become the awesome member that she is.  
3.Latest project: I am going to be training a new missionary.  I am really nervous and worried that I am going to mess this missionary up, but everyone I have talked with tells me they have confidence that I will be okay.  I think I will be okay, but I am not so sure about my new Greenie.  If anyone has advice on training, LET ME KNOW!  Haha, I am all for advice right now.
4.Most exciting events: Candy was baptized! The Spirit in the Chapel was so STRONG! I thought we could have cut it with a knife.  We showed two videos "Because of Him" and "Christ-like Attributes" and I know that they really brought the Spirit into the room.  Candy didn't want us using notes during our talks, so I took up my scriptures, and my planner, and prayed the Spirit would be able to help me out.  It must have sounded okay, because people told me good job.  Haha, but they also could have just been being nice.  I am seriously just so happy for her. She has built my testimony up so much, and I know that whatever calling she gets, she will just completely rock at it.  I hope every missionary has someone in their mission who is like a Candy.  She read and prayed, and really applied the principles she was taught.  She even got us to really rely on Heavenly Father, and follow the Spirit when we were teaching her.  I have known her for 3 months, and she has helped me in more ways than she even knows.  Seriously.  She doesn't even realize the impact she has had on me and Sister T.
5. Favorite Game: Trying to guess what everyone's "transfer doctrine" is going to be.  We tried to figure out who was leaving, and who would be staying, and I have to say Sister T is pretty good at it.  We both guessed who the new Ap was going to be though.
6.Favorite Foods: We had homemade Indian food on Monday.  It was so good, and Sister S told us she would teach us how to make the Butter Chicken.  I could have eaten it all day long.  Sister T and I have had more diverse food here in Upland, than I think anywhere else.  Us Idaho girls are experiencing the world out here in California!
7.Most challenging thing: Having Patience.  I am really wanting to work on that this transfer.  I guess Heavenly Father knows I can learn that with being a trainer.  I think also a challenging thing is just change.  Changing companions, and who we are carpooling with, and all that fun stuff. President just said today, that missions keep us out of our comfort zones.  That is seriously so true!
8. Simple Pleasures: Hula Hooping with a 3 year old.  Just laying in bed talking with Sister T at night.  Feeling 100% exhausted after being out all day.  Reading letters from friends, and family.  Wearing Mustaches in District meeting, because it is green and it was St. Patty's Day. Driving a car last night, and realizing why I love biking so much.  Knowing the Lord, and President H trust me teaching a new missionary.  Seeing Candy so happy after her baptism.  Listening to President and Sister H's reactions when Candy connected the lesson with Jacob 5.  

9.Goals: Learn as much as I can from my new companion.  Find lots of people to teach this transfer.
10.Biggest smile: Seeing Candy got baptized.  It was the best moment of my mission I think so far.  
11.Biggest accomplishment: Staying on Bike for one more transfer.  I am over 1400 miles, and every 100 miles I just think about all the places I have gone, and how far I have come.  (literally)
12: Favorite Quote: "HOLD STILL! JUST CHILL!"- Candy when I was getting my nails painted. 
Have a great week! 
Love, Sister Rietz

Hula hoop girls

I was complaining about being thirsty and we came upon this broken pipe.  Tender mercies of the Lord.

Sis. T, Candy and Me right before the baptism.

You won't be surprised that I think this is hilarious!!

A great picture of a great companionship

To one and all!!!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Another one bites the dust...(or gets a cold)

1.Funniest things done: For the last little bit, Sister T has been bragging about not getting sick, and then this last week she got hit with a cold! I couldn't help but laugh.  She said that all the colds, and flu that I have had has finally torn her immune system down.  She is really funny when she is sick, and she told me that I was a brat.  I was like what, and then she just went back to sleep.  Sister T on Nyquil is an adventure for all of us.
2.Biggest Blessing: Even though Sister T was sick, I was able to go out with one of the 3rd Sisters, because her companion was sick as well! It was sad that they were both sick, but it needed to happen so that we could go on Exchanges.  We didn't really see a whole lot of people, but there were some that we saw and it was a blessing to still be able to work.
3.Latest project: Finding.  We are really struggling finding more people to teach, but we have faith that we will find because EVERY missionary fasted, and members joined in to find, teach and baptize.  I know we will see the fruits of our labors eventually.  All in Heavenly Fathers timing right?
4.Most exciting events: When I was on exchanges, I was able to go to Mount Baldy.  It is in the 3rd Sisters area, and that is where their dinner was, so up the Mountain we went.  I realized how much I am used to the warm weather, because it was 67,3 degrees outside, and I was freezing! It was so bad! Haha, guess I better love the warm weather while I can.  November is going to be coming faster than we all expect. Also, Candy's Baptism is this Saturday, and everyone is so pumped! She is so ready.
5. Favorite Game: Chasing Lizards on the Sidewalk with our bikes.
6.Favorite Foods: Broiled Veggies, with olive oil and garlic salt on them.  They are so good! Or the guacamole that we ate at Candy's house when we went over there for dinner with Alex, and Candy's momma.
7.Most challenging thing: Getting the Cold that Sister T has.  Companions that are with each other 24/7 are bound to get sick.
8. Simple Pleasures: Getting texts from other missionaries about their miracles, and how they are experiencing the same things we are, but just slightly differently.

9.Goals: Have more patience with those around me.  I seem to get really annoyed with others, especially other missionaries so that is what I am working on right now.
10.Biggest smile: Getting little notes from Mom with the battery that she sent me.  Also big smile when I got my camera working again! The Lord answers all our prayers, even the ones that we think are not super important.
11.Biggest accomplishment: Biking with Colds.  That is one of the biggest accomplishments I have seen in a long time... and I am 8.2 miles away from hitting 1,400 miles on my bike.  Guess we will see what happens with transfers, and if I can stay on bike! I really hope that I can stay on bike! That would be so awesome!!!
12: Favorite Quote: "You are such a BRAT!"- Sister T "umm excuse me..."-Sister Rietz.  The next day: "you little jerk."-Sister T "what? hahaha"-Sister Rietz
This was when she was on Nyquil.  It was hilarious!  She doesn't remember saying this, and she has been feeling really bad.  But I only use it against her a little bit. ;)

Candy is getting baptized this week, and I am so excited.  Words can really not describe how much she has helped me, and how I have seen myself grow from teaching her.  She is definitely a role model for me, and I know that she will be a really strong member of the Church.  She once said that she had a corner suite in the building in Lehi's Dream.  But now I see her holding fast to the Rod, and never letting go.  She is such an example to everyone she meets, and she doesn't even realize it.

Whelp, guess we will see where I am next week! Love, Sister Rietz

Monday, March 9, 2015

Biking, Baptisms, Service

This last week was so CRAZY! Sister T and I biked EVERYWHERE! It was awesome.  Members would ask us if we needed rides, and we turned everyone down.  I am SO close to 1400 miles, and I want to leave this area with over 1400 miles.  It isn't nearly what we would bike in Hesperia, but we are racking up those miles.  I was able to add back my miles into the odometer, and it feels so good to see those numbers on it.  It reminds me of all the craziness that has happened these last 9 months; wrecking, cutting my leg (with Sister M), wrecking again (with Sis. E), biking up Jenkins and Joshua, teaching  Samantha and her husband, biking to Peach Street to get to the K's, racing Sister M down Newhall Hill, reaching 1000 miles, biking in BRUTALLY hot summer heat, contacting people on the street, sharing He is the Gift, seeing peoples reactions when they see that we bike in skirts, wrecking AGAIN (with Sister T), allowing my love for biking increase all the time, and SO much more.  I will forever remember all of these things, and how they have helped shape me into the person that I am becoming.  
There are miracles all around us, and we just need to look for them.  That is something that Heavenly Father has taught me this last 9 months.  This week we had our days packed to the max, and then all of a sudden things would fall through, and we would be scrambling to keep using our time effectively, and then we would meet with people that we have had a really hard time getting in with.  This week wasn't the greatest in numbers, but we were able to visit with a lot of people, and follow up on a lot of family mission plans.  Missionary work our Ward is really taking off, and it makes us really excited seeing the members get excited about it.  One thing that I think has made members really excited, is planning for Candy's Baptism.  She had her interview yesterday with President M (2nd Counselor in the Missionary Presidency), and when she walked out of the room I just pictured her as a member of the Church.  I didn't view her as someone who is learning about the Gospel, I viewed her as someone that is LIVING the Gospel.  It was so awesome, and she is really really excited.  I can't wait till the 21st, and to see her all in white.  It will be a precious moment that I will forever remember.  Moments where you watch someone go into the water is so emotional, and so spiritual.  I remember the Spirit at Samantha's, Denise's, Andrew's, and Violet's, Cheyenne's and at Allie and Amber's.  That Spirit is something I will never forget, and something that I will take with me always. 

1.Funniest things done: I found this piece of corn on a stick, and I think that it was really old cause it looked like the corn we throw in the field to let the pheseants eat, but anyways I wanted a picture with it, and then people saw us, and honked at us.  It was just funny cause of the timing and everything.  Okay, it wasn't that funny. Sorry.  This is now weird. OH WELL!
2.Biggest Blessing: Our ward council is working on getting everything in line for the baptism, and some major building and scheduling conflicts came up. But the ward was able to figure it out, and now we are having the baptism, and a homemade ice cream party after! I am so excited!
3.Latest project: Getting more investigators to progress.  We are starting to see people not progress at all, and it is hard cause every time we pray about it, the answer is not to drop them yet.
4.Most exciting events: Brad P came to Ward Conference, and then the Stake President talked about him.  He told everyone what great faith Brad had and how he was setting that example for his family.  It was great!
5. Favorite Game: Impersonations of other missionaries.
6.Favorite Foods: Vegetables with olive oil, and salt and pepper baked in the oven.  Best way to eat Veggies!!!
7.Most challenging thing: Not having the B Family come to church.  They told us that there is no such thing as a true church, so they will bounce between the LDS church and their Bible Church.  It also is getting more and more hard to communicate mormon/religious terms to them when they barely understand english, but they refuse to let us bring someone that knows French.
8. Simple Pleasures: Seeing James B (9 year old from Ivory Coast) dancing to the primary songs that he got when he went to church. It was so precious, and it made us smile, and laugh so hard! 
9.Goals: Find, Teach, and Baptize everyone in the Upland Area.
10.Biggest smile: Muddy-Buddy Pancakes.  This is why missionaries get fat.  Cause we crave things, and then we just eat them.  Or you watch your companion eat them.  I am not eating desserts right now, and this last week members gave us: girl scout cookies, cream puffs, popsicles, and tons of cookies.  People we are trying to not gain weight!!! but it still makes us feel good when members say that we can just go bike it off.  If only it actually worked out that way...
11.Biggest accomplishment: I have been praying to understand the scriptures more, and this last week I learned so much from my personal, and companionship studies.  The Lord answers prayers for sure.
12: Favorite Quote: "I know you were sent to my door to take me to much better places. Thank you so much for helping me find Chirst and get in touch with Heavenly Father."- Candy.
Officially 9 months IN California!

Crazy thing, she asked on for us to come to her.  No one ever does that, and so it just made it all the more awesome!  She is so solid, and awesome.  I don't think I can ever do justice for how awesome she is.

I love this work. I love this ward.  Pray that I don't get transferred in 2 weeks.  That I stay here!!! I would be so sad if I left this area.  I hope you all are doing well! Love you all so much! Tell everyone that I say hello!
Service Project at Cris's House. Companions who shut each other in garbage cans, stay together.  Hopefully! *fingers crossed*
Found this Corn-cob on a stick on the ground, looks like I found lunch!

Love, Sister Rietz

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Ivory Coast, Miles lost, Juice on top of it all.

This week has been crazy! We've been seeing miracles and seeing set backs, but the Lord has a plan.  Better, safer, and smarter than ours.
On Tuesday we went to see a family that we'd met through a member in the 3rd ward. They're from the Ivory Coast, and their accents are super cool, but kinda hard to understand sometimes. We only met with the mom Joann B and the 9 year old son James, when we went, but the entire family came to church yesterday!  All 5 of them! We texted everyone in the Ward Council and told them to welcome this family, and guess what, the ward opened their arms right up to them.  Literally, there were hugs all around. The dad Cliff told the men during Priesthood, that he felt like he was home. It was so wonderful, and we're going to try them this week to see if they'd like to start taking the lessons.  We are seriously so excited, and can't wait to see what happens with all of them! I can totally see them being members of the church. We are working on getting them Book of Mormons in French, and how perfect that there is someone in our ward that just returned from his mission in FRANCE!  
1.Funniest things done: I started crying when my bike odometer got wiped.  I think that my battery died, because all of a sudden it was all cleared.  I was really upset but then Sister T said that I always know what the numbers were, and it's true.  I was at 1,337.2 We are buying a new battery, and I can add miles to it, so that is what I am going to have to do.
2.Biggest Blessing: We were helping at a service project feeding homeless people, and I was holding the tray of Orange Juice.  Well I went to give some juice to these 2 guys, when all of a sudden I was watching the juice dump on them.  I felt so bad, but luckily they were really chill about it, and didn't really care.  They said that accidents happen, and then they fist bumped me.  I felt so bad, but they weren't mad at me.  They even told others that it was excitement added to their day.
3.Latest project: Raising Expectations to Find, Teach, and Baptize.  We are really working hard with Candy making sure that all will be good when she gets baptized.  Prayers for her would be awesome!
4.Most exciting events: We had 17 lessons this week.  That is the most that we have had since I have been in this area.  They were mostly family mission plans, and we are excited to see the members reach their goal.
5. Favorite Game: Playing the mini cooper game.  Those of you that have either a yellow car, a bug, or a mini cooper you are missionaries favorites.  
6.Favorite Foods: We had fish last night, and it was so good! We also had roasted cauliflower, which is kinda my favorite.  It is really good!
7.Most challenging thing: When appointments fall through, and they don't give us a reason as to why.
8. Simple Pleasures: 
We had a meeting Thursday night, and a high councilman was talking about missionary work. He said as we take little footsteps forward in faith, Heavenly Father insures that His work gets done. So everyone, start making little steps in sharing the Gospel!
9.Goals: Bike 42 miles this week. Talk with everyone that we see.
10.Biggest smile: Seeing the B family walk into church, because they were 10 mins late.  They came in, and sat right behind us.  They sang all the songs, and really fit in well with the Ward.  Hearing them say they felt like they were home, was the best thing ever.
11.Biggest accomplishment: Reaching over our goal of Less-Actives that we wanted to see this week.  We also had really good lessons with Candy.  She is so close to baptism.  We are all really excited.  And her mom actually wants to meet us! Score one for us!!!
12: Favorite Quote: "Norm is not Normal."

I love this ward, and all the craziness that happens in it.  I love all the experiences I have on my mission.  All the good, and all the bad.  Thanks for all the letters, and emails.  I love them all so much! Continue making those small steps.  They will lead us to bigger and better things!
Love, Sister Rietz

Sorry there are no pictures! Sister T's and my camera are both broken!