Monday, June 29, 2015

Rainbows, Baptism, Popsicles, Cockroaches again!

1.Funniest Thing Done: Well there were a couple pretty funny moments, but the top one would have to be when we were waiting for people to come to Carter's Baptism we were sitting there and then I had some cherries that I wanted to eat. Well Carter wanted some, so we let him have some.  They were really juicy and we were so proud of him for not getting it all on the front of the WHITE baptismal suit! So then we were taking pictures, and lo and behold the evil Cherry Juice did get on him... On the left side by where his hands go. His grandma was so mad at him, but we told her we all knew it would happen. I was the evil one that got the cherries in the picture in the first place!
We also love to just have random encounters with people.  We were teaching a lesson and the woman that we were teaching thinks that she can tell the future.  Maybe she can, who knows. But we were talking about having the Elders come and teach her son. Then I kid you not, she says the Elders are here. I looked outside and she was right. They were standing outside her house.  She was all creepy like and hid and waited till they knocked and then said"Hello. The Sisters are here.  Come in." *all said in a creepy old woman witch voice* Yeah so that happened.  I think the Elders were kinda creeped out, but it gave us the great opportunity we were looking for to leave.  I love Heavenly Father. He sent the Elders, so that we could get out of there.
2.Biggest Blessing or Miracle: So Carter got Baptized this last week.  He is 8 years old, and only his 2 older sisters are members.  He is so awesome! When he was getting his baptismal interview he told the Elder that he loved the Church, and the can forgive others for when they have hurt him, and that he knows the Sister Missionaries love him.  I was so proud of him. Although I only met him 2 weeks ago, he has a special place in my heart.  We went over there everyday this week, and saw him.  Everyday he was so excited to see us.  We brought them popsicles the other day, and the look of excitement on their face made me so happy! They said they never get Popsicle, because they are always bad.  The sad thing is, the Mother is not well and will tell the kids they are bad.  Anyways. After the Popsicle lesson, we went outside and were talking about how there was less than 24 hours till Carter was baptized.  Then we look up, and we see a Rainbow.  It was so awesome to see, because it was a testimony builder to me that Heavenly Father knew Carter needed to see that.  He was telling us, this is the song we are singing tomorrow. I am not sure I have ever seen someone so excited to be baptized?
3.Exciting Events: We have added more cockroaches to the count. There are 8 now.  I am well on my way to the 26 I hope we have in 4 weeks.  There was also the great news that an investigator, Oneida should be getting her kids back from CPS this next month! That was such a great thing!
4.Favorite Game: Who can kill a cockroach faster? The shoe: risk missing, and it running away. or the Roach Killer Spray: risk it running away after you spray it, and it dies somewhere you can't find it.  I have found the spray to be the best.
5.Favorite Food: Brownies with Frosting. Ribs. Watermelon. Summer Food is the BEST!
6.Most Challenging Thing: Knowing that there are so many children in the Wards that we are working in that need food.  It is always so sad to go there, and think about how lucky you were growing up and not having to worry about that kind of thing.  Makes me appreciate my parents and all that they have done for me and my awesome siblings. I think also having someone you have met and love and know has stage 5 Breast Cancer, and the odds are not looking in her favor.  I love going and visting Roxanne and it makes me really really grateful for the health that I have. Stomach stuff is nothing compared to what she has got going on.
7.Simple Pleasures: Rainbows. They are so pretty! haha, but that also means that there was moisture in the air! I mean that never happens in Apple Valley, or the Desert alone.
8.Goals: Help the area anyway I can. Help at Rene and Larry's wedding this week. Be of service to everyone we meet. BIKE!
9.Biggest Smile: Carter. He always makes me laugh.  That is so great!!! He is such a goofball! He makes the most stressful situations hilarious! I love it.
10.Biggest Accomplishment: Oh man. I got us home the other night.  Sister G drives, but I told her where to turn and when to just keep going straight.  It was AWESOME! hahaha, I didn't realize how well I knew the area!
11.Favorite Scripture Story Studied: Abinadi. He just totally stood up for what he believed in, and didn't back down.  He was 100% willing to submit his will to the Lord's will.
12.Favorite Quote: "You have white underwear on right Carter?" -me. "uhhhh.... Grandma is my underwear white?"-Carter. "Well I didn't put it on you... You should know if it is white or not."-Grandma. "Oh well."-Carter
That is Hesperia way over there!!  The middle of nowhere in my new area borders the middle of nowhere in my 1st area.

We were on the way to a member's house, and apparently took a wrong turn.

We were looking for the "end" of our area.  Sister G was driving and got us a "little" lost!

We found it!

It was a great week, I love the Gospel, and I know that Heavenly Father is 100% aware of where we are in life. I love it.  He has helped me so much. Especially when I have just wanted to, as the Elders keep saying, "throw in the towel".  He is always there and willing to help us.  I love you all! Have a great week!
Love, Sister Rietz

Monday, June 22, 2015

Popsicles are lifesavers. Cockroaches are evil. People need Jesus.

1.Funniest Thing Done: Oh man, so many funny things have been happening here.  I have gotten really good at killing Cockroaches, and we may or may not be keeping them in a cup to see how many we can collect in a transfer.  I know that it is really really really gross, but you will be amazed at how many we will get.  Who wants to put a bet on how many we get? I am thinking 26... 
2.Biggest Blessing or Miracle: We also had the best time burning a hat with an Investigator.  Her name is Oneida.  She was in a really really really bad relationship and we decided that she just needed to let it all go.  We told her to go get the hat and to get rid of it.  We were sitting outside, and she wanted to really get rid of it.  She decided that she was going to just burn it, and never remember it again.  She got the hat, and let's just say I thought the whole desert was going to catch on fire because of how much lighter fluid she used.
3.Exciting Events: We are scheduled to have a baptism this Saturday.  It is with a 8 year old boy.  He is really cool, except we haven't been able to meet with him this week.  We are also planning a wedding for one of our Investigators and his Girlfriend.  I am interested in how this is all going to go.  I have never helped plan a wedding before.
4.Favorite Game: What ward are we in right now? I have to always guess what ward I am in, and where we were going next.  I am getting so lost, but luckily we have maps up here.  The areas are not as confusing as Upland 3rd was though.  That area was just down right CRAZY!
5.Favorite Food: Well I love finding cat hair in my food.  I am always so amazed at how much hair I find in my food.  A woman told us that whoever finds the hair wins... I am so competitive that I was kinda hoping to find hair in my food.  Hahaha, that is so gross.... But the daughter beat me too it... and the son, so I was just a loser, but also a winner for not getting any hair in my food.
6.Most Challenging Thing: I think that the fact that I am so close to Hesperia, but so far really makes it hard for me.  I really loved the people in that area, and it is so sad that I can't see them.  Kinda like when I was in Upland 3rd and Upland 2nd was RIGHT THERE!!! Also, I have not taken a hot shower in 6 days.... The water that comes out is always so COLD!!! hahaha, I am so spoiled.  But really for some reason there is always just cold water coming out of the shower head.  We have a member that said he would fix it, but he hasn't come over to the house to do it yet.  
7.Simple Pleasures: Seeing people in Apple Valley that were also in Hesperia.  There is one family that is now in the Ranchos Ward and they were in Hesperia.  They were like, SISTER RIETZ! hahaha, How great is that right!?  I love popsicles.   They are so great.  They are that nice refreshing break that you need anytime of the day.  Another simple pleasure are swamp coolers, and hula hoes.  Why in Idaho does no one have a swamp cooler?! They are magical! and Hula Hoes, why do we not call them that.  I mean come on people, we call the bike path the dike, why can't we call a hoe, a hula hoe!?  Those tools work through the sand up here so nicely.
8.Goals: Get Carter baptized.  Get Larry and Rene married on the 3rd of July.  Find more people to teach.  Help Oneida apply the Atonement into her life.
9.Biggest Smile: We were going to visit this family, and when we got there they all looked SO sad.  I realized while talking with the Mom that they had hardly any food in the house.  We called some people, and was able to get the RSP over to take Mary to the store.  When we were leaving, Alan (5) and Lucy (3) were really sad we were leaving.  We told them we were going to go get them food.  When we came back we had a couple bags of groceries.  I saw when we pulled up to their apartment that the 2 kids were waiting at the door.  I wanted to cry.  They looked so excited to see us! They wanted to look through all the bags, and see all the food we brought home.  I told them how much we loved them, and that they would be okay.  I know that Heavenly Father looks out for all of his children.  It was really humbling to see those kids, and the conditions that they are in and how they were trying to deal with it at just 3 and 5 years old.  Those kids are such examples to me.
10.Biggest Accomplishment: Teaching the first investigator lesson that I have taught in 8 weeks.
11.Favorite Scripture Story Studied: King Benjamin telling his people what was up! Mosiah 3!
12.Favorite Quote: "There is a lot of things you can learn from Hannah. I just suggest that you don't take the time to do it."-Sister H about her Granddaughter. 

I love being a missionary.  It is so great! There are so many experiences that I am able to see Heavenly Father really loves all of us.  There is this mormon message everyone should watch.  It is really good.  I think that it really sums up all that our Dads do for us.  I am so grateful for you Dad. You have taught me so many things, and I know that I am the missionary I am because you and mom never gave up on me. 

Well everyone, stay out of the Sun.  It gives you Cancer.  It is supposed to be above 100 all week!!! WHOOOOOOO!!!!!!
Love you all!
Love, Sister Rietz

Sister H and Me

Sister G and I finally made a cake to celebrate my 1 year mark.  Then we ate A LOT of it.

Welcome to Apple Valley! Land of Sand and Joshua Trees.

The last time I will see Sister M until after our missions.

Only in Apple Valley does one have a GIGANTIC horse in the Cemetery.

Sister G and I

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Hello Apple Valley and not much time to email...

I am in a new area. I am finishing training a new missionary.  I am still in a car. There are only 4 sisters in my zone.  Our zone covers Big Bear, Lucerne, and some mountains.  We are in 2 wards: Ranchos and Granite Hills.  I know that this transfer is going to be crazy, because it already has been.  This morning all was great! We cleaned the car, went to the Upland Look Out spot with the Sisters.  We got everything cleaned in our apartment. We fit everything in the car.  And didn't hit ANY traffic on the way there.  All of those are Miracles.  Then we had an awesome meeting with all the missionaries getting transferred. Lots of great things said about submitting your will to the Lord, and staying focused.  All things that are really good to hear.  Then the Fun started.... So I was in a meeting for trainers that was only supposed to last an hour. Well President had to take care of some things, and so it started late.  Then it went over by 45 mins.  So we are now running an hour behind.  Not good.  Then we realize that there was a mix up, and the phone that is for this area was in Apple Valley, and we were not... THEN I realized I had no idea how to get there.  So never fear the AP's save the day.  They got us directions to make it to Apple Valley.  I needed to make sure my bike made it up to the desert, and the Elders that had brought my bike from Upland said it was gone from where they had put it.  I love my bike, and I was so sad.  All I could think was how much I wanted to see my bike.  We were some of the last missionaries to leave, and when we were walking out lo and behold my bike is on the back of this truck.  And to make it better, in that truck was 2 missionaries that I have served around before.  They pulled up next to us, and explained that we could follow them to Apple Valley.  I was so happy, because I felt like my prayer was answered.  They said they had to get gas, and food then we could start heading up the hill.  We went to one gas station.  It didn't accept the mission gas card. Went to another gas station.  It was out of service.  I felt bad because you could tell Elder F was really flustered.  Then we finally get to a gas station that pumps gas. But it doesn't end there.  The ONE pump I pulled up to didn't work.  So we waited to use the Elders pump.  We got gas, and away we went.  Traffic wasn't bad at first.  We were going about 80 and then all of a sudden we got in a wreck.  Yeah, the Jeep Compass that I was driving is toast.  Okay just kidding.  No wreck happened.Traffic just slowed to a whole 7 mph.  So then coming up the hill was super slow going. We left the mission office around 1:30ish and just got to Apple Valley at 3:45ish.  It was a long tiring day, but I am so grateful to be here, and start the next chapter in my mission life.  All I know about this area is on Saturday at 10:15 at night it was 95 degrees in Apple Valley. I am so gonna be more tan than you Kristin.  We live in a house, with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.  And we are the only sisters living there.  We have a lesson tonight with an 8 year old and we are going to set a baptismal date with him tonight.  Good things are happening here in Apple Valley.  Upland 3rd no longer has sisters.  They decided there was not enough work for 4 missionaries in that ward.  Elder J, Sister S, and myself all got transferred and we all went to the same zone in Apple Valley! What are the odds!? Elder J and I are also ward mates again, and he is also training. 2 new missionaries in 2 new wards with 2 new missionaries to the area... This is going to be really really really interesting. But like I said there is a lot going on in this ward.  I am so happy to be back in the Desert, and just driving up here I was thinking back to a year ago when I was brand new, and coming to the Desert for the first time.  It was awesome.  That word is the only way I can describe it.  But the Lord works in mysterious ways, and I know this is the area that I am supposed to be in.

Thank you to all those that loved me, cared for me, and that now hold a special place in my heart.  I will forever remember you, and the adventures, moments, and all the other fun times that we had together.  I will be safe here, for being in Apple Valley this is a pretty good area.  I heard that Hesperia was worse, except they have found bodies in the church parking lot and in the field across from the Church, but that was awhile ago so NO WORRIES MOM!!! 

I love you so much! Thanks for being such amazing, awesome, wonderful people! I am so sorry this didn't talk about anything that happened this last week.  Just know that we did LOTS of service, Sister M stepped on a rusty nail but is fine, got 78 lemons and 39 grapefruit from a member, I said Good bye to Sister M and Sister N today.  It was rough.  I love those sisters a lot.  They both taught me so much about how to become a missionary, and how to become a better missionary!

So I said this sunday, and Candy requested that I put it in the email:
Favorite Quote: "Everybody in the Desert needs Jesus Christ"
Sorry for no pictures.  This was just a rush email!
Love, Sister Rietz

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

I love going to the PARK! and using a machete

1.Funniest Thing Done: I learned how to use a machete. That was not funny but the woman was laughing at me, because "you is a white girl, using a brown woman's tool." I am now a pro, and we cut down SO many weeds.  I am amazed at how just a simple blade changed so many people's lives.  Can you imagine what it would have been like trying to PULL those weeds out! Holy Cow.  It would have equaled MISERY! I realized this wasn't all that funny, but I think watching me learn how to use it was.
2.Biggest Blessing or Miracle: So I really really like Parks now.  I have realized that we are not stalkers at them.  We like to use the swings, slides, and other features just as much as a 5 year old.  But we were at the park talking with our Relief Society President, and this woman walked by saying "Bye Sisters."  I said, "Bye".  Then our RSP said, How did she know you were sisters!?  I told her I thought that she knew her, because when we got there they were talking.  Turns out they don't know each other.  So then we are sitting there, and you know when the Spirit is like, DON'T JUST SIT THERE!!! GO TALK WITH HER! yeah, you don't argue with that.  I jumped up, and saw the woman getting into her car, I yelled, "Excuse me!" and ran up to her.  I got talking with her, and she told me that she was a member... I was like dang, not a potential... But then she said, "I haven't been to church in 26 years." WHAT!!!! I was so excited! I asked her life story, got her name, number, and address.  I knew that she didn't live in our area, but that the 1st ward sisters would love it! So she told me that she wanted to meet with Sisters, and I got all her info and everything.  So at this point, I didn't even if she was in the ward list.  We said goodbye, and I was so grateful I had listened to the Spirit.  We called the Sisters that night, and they said there was no woman by her name on their list.  That means we just found a lost member! I love meeting lost members!!! She moved from Mass when she was 16, and she was the only member in her family, so it is amazing that we found her.  What an amazing thing right!!!!
3.Exciting Events: Miguel is being taught by the Elders, and he bore his testimony on Sunday.  It was so good! He talked about how he has hit rock bottom, and this is his only way out of it.  I am so grateful for the role the Atonement is going to play in his life.
5.Favorite Food: Well all we had was Tacos, or Burritos this week. For real, we really only ate Tacos, or Burritos.  But they were really good, so that is a good thing! But one did get us not feeling too good.  I think the meat was a little bad....
6.Most Challenging Thing: Knowing that Transfers are coming up... I hate transfers.  Especially when I am in Upland: the land of amazing people and crazy adventures. It is Zion here!
7.Simple Pleasures: Sun.  Listening to all the kids play on the Basketball Court across our street at night.  Listening to people get beat up. (JUST KIDDING! It is so awkward, and terrible and sad) The cops came and took care of it. So I guess Cops are simple pleasures of keeping us safe.
8.Goals: Find someone to teach in this area. We have one girl that we are hoping to start teaching this week.  Her name is Brittney.  She is 17, and seems really excited to meet with us. And we are EXCITED TOO!!!!
9.Biggest Smile: Steve M got baptized! His brother got the priesthood, and was able to baptize him.  His family is really less active, but Steve is pushing through, and his older brother is following his lead.  Greg is preparing to go on a mission, and is really really exited. Their family is slowly coming back to church! I am so excited, because when I was in the 2nd Ward, I really felt like their family was going to be forever LA, and now they are coming back! Those Elders were able to connect with the Boys, and miracles are happening!
10.Biggest Accomplishment: I feel like I know the Area now.  After 5 weeks of U-turns and feelings of Stress from our map and GPS, I now know how to get places.  I feel so happy!!!
11.Favorite Scripture Story Studied: Jacob 5.  Yeah, it's all about Missionary Work, and grafting in those converts.  I probably am really off, but it all makes sense to me that way.
12.Favorite Quote: "You have a cold right!?"-Sister H "It's going away."-Me "Don't come to my house till it is gone."-Sister H *click* phone call ended.

Well that was our week.  A lot more happened, but I can't even remember it all.  I feel so crazy, and there are so many options with Transfers because I have been in Upland for so long, and yet I have been in this ward for only 5 weeks, so we shall see next week where I am, and Who I am companions with!
I love all of you! I love this church! I love the Gospel! I am so grateful for everything that it includes. Especially that I am able to be able to tell people they can be with God again, that He loves them, and they can be with their families forever.  WHAT AN AWESOME THING!!!!!!!!!!
Love, Sister Rietz

White girl using a brown woman's tool

Missionary antics

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Pies. Service. False Alarms. Exchanges

1.Funniest Thing Done: One of the Elders has been telling people how to pronounce my name, and they were at the house of the members who we had dinner with the other night and told them to say my name "Sister Rights". During dinner, they asked me how my dad's potato farm was doing.  I thought that they were kidding, and trying to crack a joke and then I realized they were serious... I tried to tell them that we didn't live on a farm, but they would not buy it.  They were convinced Dad was a Potato Farmer.  I told them no, and they got so mad at the Elder.  Sister M told us that she was going to punch him at church.  (Which she did!) The M Family wants to get him back, and so they are planning something. Not sure what it is, but it is going to happen!
2.Biggest Blessing or Miracle: So there was a family that we would help when we would go to the Methodist Church on Saturdays, and they were super cute.  After getting to know them a little, we learned that the Mom's grandma wrote, I am a Child of God! And they wanted to come to church.  They came a couple times when I was in the 2nd Ward, but then they dropped off the face of the Earth.  In our Meeting on Sunday with the Elders and our Ward Mission Leader, this family was brought up randomly.  Mind you, they have never been to the 3rd ward, and NO ONE here knows who they are except me.  Well we finish the meeting, and we walk into Sacrament Meeting.  Lo and Behold, Who was there?! The Dad! Miguel! What are the odds that the one week we are talking about him, HE COMES TO THE EXACT WARD I AM SERVING IN! We talked with him, and he told us the 2 kids were taken by CPS, and his wife is in Twenty-Nine Palms.  He told us, only good things can happen from God.  and he talked about how he knows that he needs to be baptized.  THIS IS SUCH A MIRACLE, because we have been praying for someone to teach, and he just walked into the church! He currently is living with his friend, and in our area! Please Pray for Miguel and his family.  They have had a hard life, and we know that the Gospel will be the answer to his prayers. 
3.Exciting Events: I went on Exchanges with Sister V again.  It was really really fun.  We were able to see people that I have not yet met, and we also got to feed a GIANT African Turtle.  It was so cute! It can't eat fruit, and I wanted to give it an apple so bad, but the member told me I would kill it. And then I would have to eat it...
4.Favorite Game: How many pies can we get this week? We got two last week, and they were super good! One was a minced meat pie, and the other was Lemon Merangue.  Quite Delicious if you ask me! We now have a challenge with the Elders to see who can get more than the other companionship.
5.Favorite Food: Pineapple.  It is so good, and even better when you cut it open yourself.  That minced meat pie was pretty good as well.  Sister T told me she was going to make me English...
6.Most Challenging Thing: Doing Service for people, and then in the middle of the service they tell you that there is no way they are going to convert them.  I think that it shows that people just want to use us.  Haha, which is fine but at the same time I wish that they would have a desire to learn from us.  
7.Simple Pleasures: Rain. But we didn't have any.  and SUN. I love Sun. If I get Skin Cancer, don't worry I will just die happy.
8.Goals: Get 2 New Investigators. See all the Miracles around me.
9.Biggest Smile: When we were able to go see Sister F in Mount Baldy, and we got to help her.  I love service.
10.Biggest Accomplishment: Not getting lost this week! 
11.Favorite Scripture Story Studied: The Hymn "When Faith Endures" It is amazing!!!!
12.Favorite Quote: "I was going to just shoot him! I was so mad, and he was going to become cactus fertilizer...." I was so scared!
I gotta go, but I love all of you so much!!!!

Editor's note - I have no idea what this picture is.  Sorry
Love, Sister Rietz