Monday, April 27, 2015

Vampires, Zone Conference, Upland Beautification Project

1.Funniest things done: This last week I met a vampire.  Her name was Mary.  She took my blood.  She was really nice.  She is going to be the person that determines my fate as a missionary.  Okay just kidding, but when she brought out the needle to take my blood, there was this little boy sitting in the chair next to me, and  his face just got white and I knew he was going to freak.  I just smiled at him, and then he just got wide-eyed, and looked like he was going to pass out.  He asked if it hurt, and I told him nope.  But I lied.  Yes, I lied to a little boy.  It hurt like the dickens, cause she had to dig.  But Mary knows what is up, and I didn't even get a big bruise.  So three cheers for Mary.
2.Biggest Blessing: Having an awesome Zone.  Everyone has been praying that I would be okay, and then the Spanish Sisters told me they fasted that I would be alright.  This Zone is amazing, and I love every member of it.  That normally doesn't happen for me, I normally have a problem with at least one missionary.  But it is not because of who they are, it is just because i have short comings.
3.Latest project: Prepare for transfers.  They are this next week, and I have no idea if I am staying, or if I am going.  I have been in Upland for 6 months almost, and that is a long time.  I could be here for longer though because of doctors, and I just became companions with Sister N.  But the Lord always has a different plan for us than what we plan.  So I am just trying to make sure that Sister N knows the area, the area book, our investigators, the 15 names list, and that I have 100% confidence in her that she can do it if I leave.
4.Most exciting events: I GOT TO SEE SISTER T!!! We had Zone Conference on Thursday, and since Rancho is her zone, and the building we were at is in Rancho she just so happened to be there.  It was great! I loved seeing her, and there may or may not have been some tears that fell from our eyes.  I also got to see Sister M! I was in heaven seeing as those are the only companions that I have had that are still out on their missions.  Sister and President H were making jokes about the 3 of us, and we told President that we know what our "transfer doctrine" (what happens at transfers) is.  He told us that when he is asked for something he does what Elder Bednar taught him.  Go the complete opposite way.  So I have a feeling Sister M, Sister T and I will never serve around each other again.  haha, but it was worth a shot telling him.
5. Favorite Game: I got in a pretty intense staring contest with this little Indian girl in the doctors office.  I lost.  She was good. Too good. She probably had glass eyes or something.  She never blinked!
6.Favorite Foods: We ate Tongan food at Zone Conference.  It was really good, but unfortunately we are not all up to eating the amounts of food that the Tongans were dishing up.
7.Most challenging thing: Working in Upland for the Upland Beautification Project.  We were spreading Mulch, and painting buildings in this housing district.  It was amazing to see the families that lived there come out and really help us.  They were so humbled that we wanted to help make their duplex look better.  I am now friends with a boy named Joey, and a girl named Denaja.  They are so cool, and we were able to spread mulch like complete champions.  They were a crack up too. They told me a white girl like me really works hard.  They seemed surprised.
8. Simple Pleasures: See above.

9.Goals: Have more faith.  Have more Compassion.
10.Biggest smile: I saw a tennis court that was not locked up! Normally the ones we pass have locks on them, but because someone forgot to lock it, I was able to connect with Trevor cause he is in Boise playing tennis.  I prayed on the court that you would do good Trev!
11.Biggest accomplishment: Not passing out on the table while getting my blood taken.
12: Favorite Quote: "You are like a mule.  A straight up mule.  Except you are white, and mules are black." -Denaja my friend who is totally awesome!

I love you all, and am so stoked to skype on the 10th! I hope everyone had a (not sure what she meant to put.  The sentence stops short at "a". - The Mama)
Tennis court love<3

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

No Habla Espanol. Spudwood Derby. The "RITZ" area

1.Funniest things: This last week I was with one of the Hermanas for a day.  It was so much fun, and I loved getting to know her better.  Her companion was really sick, and Hermana W normally drives, and Hermana Z is not allowed to drive mission cars, so they needed a driver.  I was the only one who was in the area who was not already in a car that could drive... So I was Hermana Z's driver for the day.  I had no idea what was being said at dinner, in an of the lessons, or when she was talking on the phone but I do know that there is a special spirit with those people.  I know there are so many humble people they are working with.  But none of this is funny, so let me get back to what I was saying... So we were eating dinner with Hermana A, (pronounced like Ursula) and she told me over and over to just leave these dishes in the sink, and I had NO IDEA WHAT SHE WAS SAYING TO ME! I just continued washing the dish, and the Elders thought it was hilarious, so they just let me continue washing the dish.  Then after that episode I was standing off to the side out of the way, and she apparently told me to sit down.  But remember NO HABLA ESPANOL! and I just stood there.  She told me over and over, but I didn't know she was talking to me.  The Elders realized that she was going to be getting mad, and they told me over and over really really fast to sit down.  I sat down, just as she in English said, "SIT DOWN!" she did raise her voice, but now we are friends, and she even kissed me on the cheek when we were leaving.  Hermana Z didn't even realize I was getting in trouble because she was in the kitchen right by the stove cooking Chilerelleno.  It made for a good adventure.  It was just really funny, because I had NO IDEA WHAT THE WOMAN WAS YELLING AT ME ABOUT!!!
2.Biggest Blessing: This last week I went to the Doctors, and we are now on the road to figuring out what is wrong with me.  Fingers crossed my medicine just needs to be changed, and then it will all be fixed.  That would be the best case scenario.  But Sister H called Mom, and they were able to figure out some things.  Pray the Blood Tests show us things that will help them know what is wrong with me!  (Note from the mama - Sister Rietz has been sick off and on for several months.  Hopefully it will be a quick solution.  I'm sure she feels the prayers you give in her behalf.)
3.Latest project: On Saturday we were able to help a Non-member family move.  They were such a cool family, and they really needed the help.  They were able to get so much done, and they might even want to start meeting with us.  They just moved into Upland, and their son is going to be playing basketball for some Christian College, and he wants to play with our Young Men when they play on Thursday Nights.  I hope that all can go well with them! 
4.Most exciting events: Well I was in 3 different areas this week. I worked in the "Rietzy Rich" area, and I am so grateful I don't serve in that area.  Haha, it was just not what I am used to. I loved being in the Spanish Branch for 2 days! It was so great, and I am catching myself saying Hermana, and Gracias, and just other phrases she taught me.  I love it! I would love to serve in a Spanish Area, but I am really grateful I can teach in my native language.
5. Favorite Game: SPUDWOOD DERBY! Our ward had an activity and they gave everyone potatoes, and you had to carve them into cars, and put wheels on them, and race them down the tracks.  It was so fun, and we had the best team name, and all the members laughed when they called, "Team Sisters are better than Elders, against the Elders." It was so great, and the kids loved it!
6.Favorite Foods: Chilerelleno! It was this deep fried chili with cream cheese in it.  SO GOOD!
7.Most challenging thing: Setting up a 10 man tent when the two sisters are not tall.  We had to bring out chairs, and stand on them.  The member just wanted to see what his tent looked like.  It was an adventure for sure!!!
8. Simple Pleasures: I was able to talk with Sister H a lot this week! She is such an amazing woman, and she reminds me a lot of Captain Michele. ;) She is a great Mission Mom.

9.Goals: Help our New Investigator Mike understand that there is such thing as Faith.  He feels like there is no such thing.  That it only matters about science and proof and 100% knowledge.
10.Biggest smile: When Candy was at the lesson with Mike, and her testimony was born in a way that he didn't realize that is what she was doing.  She was able to answer his questions, with asking him questions.  It was awesome to see that happening.  I am going to be learning so much from her!
11.Biggest accomplishment: I think that we were able to do over 15 hours of service for people this week! It was awesome! I love Service!
12: Favorite Quote: "If you don't eat my tortillas, you will never learn Spanish"- Hermana A.  I guess I am never learning Spanish! 
I love you all! 
Have a great week!!!!!!
~Sister Rietz
Watch out, Sister Cop Rietz has got some authority... to set up appointments.

In the "Ritzy Rich Area" and posing like the door man.

We beat the Elders in the Spudwood Derby!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Mission Impossible Moments, Cancelled Appointments, Struggle Bus, Birthday Cake

1.Funniest things done: This last week we were helping a hoarder clean out her house again, and it was hilarious the amount of things and just the things that she had.  I told her there was enough things to last a zombie apocalypst and she told me that was the theory behind having 8 containers of salt on the kitchen counter.  I also have been dubbed the ULTIMATE Stalker by Candy. I don't know what she is talking about, because I only have people's addresses, phone numbers, and their work schedules memorized... Call me a creeper, but I call it, "I don't want to bike to houses if I KNOW they won't be there, and they will be at work.  It saves time, and we are able to see more people.  Every missionary can attest that this happens to them as well.  But I will gladly be called the ultimate stalker. #mormonstalkerlife #whatcandywhat 
2.Biggest Blessing: So I know Dad and Trevor are going to laugh, but we got locked out of our apartment this morning... We were going to go switch our laundry out, and I always grab the card with our laundry money on it, and the keys. But I somehow forgot to grab the keys.  Then we went outside, and we always lock our door on the inside because we have crazy people that might wanna steal my bike (okay and Sister N's bike) and sell it for scrap metal. Anyways, we got 4 or 5 yards from our door, and I realized I didn't have the key in my hand.  So we went to the Hermana's to borrow their phone and attempt to figure out what to do.  They weren't home.  So we went and switched our laundry and then got talking to this lady who walked in, that only spoke Spanish, and very broken English.  She recognized us as Hermana's and we got talking about the Gospel.  We were amazed she recognized us as missionaries, because we weren't in Proselyting Clothing yet, and I was in shorts and a tee shirt, with NO tag.  I left that in the apartment too. #Strugglebus BUT Sister N used the Portuguese and Spanish that she knew, and I used Bien, and Si and was praying that something Senora Yarno and Senora Jackson taught me in High School would help me out, and Marcela used the VERY broken English that she knew, and patience with our TERRIBLE Spanish, and we managed to get through it like champions.  We told her where the church was, and she said she might come on Sunday because her meetings are on Saturday.  It was cool, because I was able to see Sister N bear testimony to her in Portuguese, and I COULD FEEL THE SPIRIT, even though I had no idea what she was saying. Then she left the Laundry Room.  We were able to get a hold of the Hermana's and called some Elders, and they were able to take our bedroom screen off and I lifted Sister N into the window, onto my bed.  I never leave the window open but I didn't get around to shutting it yet this morning, and all we had to do was get the screen off, and then Elder J was able to reach his arm in, and move the little screw that keeps the window from opening all the way.  It was amazing the way all the things worked out, and that we were able to actually get into our apartment without having to call the mission office for a spare key.  I love the Gospel, and sometimes we don't know why things happen, but I believe we wouldn't have been able to meet Marcela had we not gotten locked out of our apartment. If that makes sense.
3.Latest project: Working with the Ward Council to make sure we are using our time effectively, and that we aren't seeing people that are not the Wards focus right now.  I also am now doing 4 hours of studies.  We went to a meeting and in the meeting they gave permission to the Visa Waiters to use an hour of extra studies to do Language Study. This means that I am able to study the Scriptures for an EXTRA hour every morning.  I am now determined to study from the New Testament, and really look at all the Parables and Miracles Christ performed!
4.Most exciting events: With that extra hour of studies, I was able to bake a cake for our Ward Mission Leader's Birthday.  It was an amazing thing! Graham Cracker on the bottom, strawberries, Yellow cake mix, and buttermilk frosting. With the best dream team dynamic duos you could possibly imagine! We gave him a chocolate cross we got from someone, (how thoughtful right??), and a card and poem the Elders wrote for him.  It was probably the best birthday he has had in a long time.
5. Favorite Game: Zone Soccer.  It is so fun, and always an adventure trying to play with everyone.  People seem to think they should be playing in the World Cup, but it still is a lot of fun, and I love to get competitive, and just go crazy.
6.Favorite Foods: We went to this nice BBQ place, and they had real mashed potatoes, and THEY WERE SO GOOD!!!
7.Most challenging thing: Having all of the set appointments we had planned fall through.  Our Investigators all stood us up, except for 1, and then the people we see on a weekly basis all were not home, or were too busy to see us.  It was no bueno, but with every bad week, there is always a REALLY good week right around the corner.
8. Simple Pleasures: Last week we were playing Ultimate Frisbee, and every time it came near me, or they were throwing it to me, I dropped it.  I would have my hands 100% on the frisbee, and as Elder C would say, "I RUIN EVERYTHING!" It reminded me of when we would play whiffle ball, and I would drop the ball EVERY TIME!

9.Goals: See all the Less-Actives on our list that we are planning on seeing, and if they aren't here then we will just keep trying. Because I am the Ultimate Stalker.
10.Biggest smile: Seeing Sister N testify in Portuguese, and I was able to understand the Spirit, and not what they were saying.
11.Biggest accomplishment: Not wrecking on my bike this week. An Elder wrecked again this last week, he has wrecked almost every week.
12: Favorite Quote: "SISTER RIETZ! CATCH THE FRISBEE! DON'T BE SCARED OF IT!!!"-Elders at Zone Sports

I love you all, and hope you are all doing well.  I love being on a mission. It is the greatest thing in the whole world! 
Love, Sister Rietz

Our Zone loves Soccer at the Park. <3

Why am I always taller than my Companions?

 Happy Birthday to our Ward Mission Leader!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

I love the Savior of the world. I love Easter. I love the Atonement

1.Funniest things done: We were in a lesson with Sister A, (her son is a potential investigator for the Elders).  Well we were about to finish the lesson and then there was a knock at the door.  It was the Elders.  They were there to see Bill.  He was home, and he knew he couldn't avoid the Elders.  Well they started talking with him, and he was so uncomfortable.  I swear there was a look of utter joy in Sister A's face at the fact Bill was so uncomfortable, but that could be a bit of my imagination. Anyways... So we were closing our lesson with a prayer, and then all of a sudden Bill was gone.  We think he snuck out while we were praying.  We searched the apartment for him, and then Sister A started yelling, and I may or may not have started laughing because it was so funny to hear her yelling for someone that was obviously not in the apartment anymore.
2.Biggest Blessing: Conference! I had a lot of questions, and a lot of them were answered.  I loved the focus it had on family, and also about the Atonement.  I love the Atonement.  I have really learned how it can not only help me, but also those around me.  There are people that think the Atonement can't help them, but I know it can! I have a testimony of that.  I am so grateful for the Savior, and all He did for us. Candy and I were talking about the Atonement, and the view she has on it, is one I wish everyone had.  We should be so grateful for it, and use it appropriately in our lives.  I know that no matter what struggles or hard times we are having, the Atonement can help you.
3.Latest project: Finding People to teach the Gospel to.  I feel like this is always my goal, but it's gotta be done!  
4.Most exciting events: We went and Sidewalk chalking for a finding activity.  We drew the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the plan of salvation, and then did a couple for #Becausehelives.  It was so great!  There were people that would stop and talk with us, and it was so great! Hopefully people call us, or watch the video! If you haven't seen "Because He Lives", I suggest you stop reading, and go watch it.
5. Favorite Game: Find the Ginger Sisters! There is a companionship of redhead sisters, and they are too cute! I love searching for them when we are at the church, or in a meeting.
6.Favorite Foods: Cilantro Lime Chicken.  I made it, and it was so good with homemade guacamole, and corn tortillas! It was so great! I love being able to cook my own food, and not having to worry about members getting offended if it tastes gross
7.Most challenging thing: Well I just found this out, but there are only two biking sister areas left.  All the other ones are closed, or they out cars or Elders into them.  I really hope that I go to the Redhill Ward after this area, because it is the only bike area besides our ward.  I am really nervous for transfers even though they are still 4 weeks away, but I really hope I stay on bike! I love Gideon Moroni.  Wow, I am like a little girl obsessed with her Barbie Car...
8. Simple Pleasures: Riding on a bike, and knowing that the air in my face is air from the wind, and not air conditioning.  I got car sick last time I was in a car for the day, so I really appreciate the bike.  It also reminds me that all things are possible.  I haven't ruined a skirt completely since the desert, and that is a major accomplishment!

9.Goals: Reach 1,500 miles on my bike.  I have about 60 miles left, and I really want to get to 1,500 this transfer.  I also have the goal of studying 7 pages of the Book of Mormon everyday, and really focusing on the times it mentions Christ, God, Heavenly Father, or the Savior.
10.Biggest smile: When we got asked to help a little with the play, "Savior of the World" that our Stake was putting on for Easter Weekend.  We were asked to iron a ladies costume, which then resulted in us ironing over 20 costumes, and being there for an extra hour and a half.  The play was amazing! It really brought in the Spirit, and I know that those who were there, were really touched by it.  It really made me so grateful for the Scriptures, and how we can go read the accounts of what happened when the Savior came and visited his people again!
11.Biggest accomplishment: Meeting with Wesli, who is our newest investigator! She said she is lost, and her daughter is lost, so they are looking for a church that can help them.  She is worried that "black people are cursed in your church right?" so that has been interesting working through it with her.  We were able to help her see why there was a difference in the Lamanites, and the Nephites.
12.Favorite Quote: "With a long breath and a sigh he uttered "a woman" and paused to reflect his words." -Candy during Book of Mormon Study Class, and an Elder said "a woman" pretty much the way Candy described it.  It was great! I love her.  She makes lame situations great!

I hope you all watched Conference.  It was amazing! I would suggest you go and watch it.  Right after you email me, or write me a letter. hahaha.
Love, Sister Rietz

Sister N is really tired after a morning of biking.

Call us if you have Questions. *don't really call us Mom*

Lewis and Clark and Sacajawea would be so proud!

Searching for Investigators.  We are going to find you!