Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Nyquil is MYquil. Women's conference, Exchanges with Sister Cauble

Well it sounds like Dad and I had the same sort of week.  On Thursday I started feeling a little down (ill), and then by 2 I was really feeling bad.  I knew that there was not going to be a lot of missionary that was going to get done because I didn't feel the best so I decided that I was going to take a nap.  Well that nap turned into a lot longer than I thought it would.  I woke up, and we went to dinner and then back home we came.  I had the WORST migraine.  I never really get migraine, but I had one and nothing was helping.  It was not good.  I tried to just sleep but even the pillow wasn't helping.  I now have first hand experience with Nyquil, and I really approve it.  One of the Sister Training Leaders, Sister A gave me Nyquil and Dayquil.  That stuff really works great.  I felt sick on Friday as well, but Sister M taught me that you don't quit working till you really don't think it is a good idea anymore, and so we went out and worked again.  Haha, I am not sure if that was the best thing, but I think that we were still able to make a difference to some people.  

We were able to visit with our Investigator Larry, and we talked with him about how important the Comforter is.  We read the talk, "The Comforter" and then HE bore HIS testimony of how he has seen the Holy Ghost help him.  Then he talked about how he knows that the Holy Ghost helps us.  He talked about how it protects us, and that he KNOWS that we are on the Lord's Errand.  It was really cool to see how the Holy Ghost really is working through him.  I know that the Legal System is a great thing, but I really wish that Larry's Probation is shorter.  He doesn't get off till 2018, and the chance of him getting off of it earlier is pretty slim.  But we know that the Lord works miracles, and we know that it is in the Lord's timing that Larry will get baptized.  That is one thing that I have really learned from Larry.  He trusts the Lord so much, and knows that it will all work out how the Lord wants it to.  I am really grateful that I am able to learn from him.  
A missionary that I served around in the past said, "You think you come out on a mission to teach Investigators, then you realize in reality you are out here learning from your Investigators."  I really know that is true!  I am seeing that more and more.  I love to think about the things that I have learned from all those that I have met on the mission.  I have not only learned from Investigators, but everyone that I talk to.  Even those that we just talk to on the street.  For example, last week when we were getting some things from Target there was a woman on front of us in line, and we just started talking with her.  And then we ran into her AGAIN at Winco.  Same woman, different store.  Coincidence, I THINK NOT! I really know that the Lord works in mysterious ways.  Nothing has happened with contacting her, but I do know that I felt good talking with her.  

I really love being a missionary.  I am sorry that I have been saying that a lot lately, but I really really love being a missionary.  It has been the decision that I know really has only brought blessings, and happiness.  Even on those hard days, Heavenly Father blesses you with his Love and that is a blessing in itself.  On the mission, I have really learned who I am and I have been able to see a glimpse of who Heavenly Father wants me to be. okay, that is enough of that.

Sister C is my Sister Training Leader, and on Wednesday we went on Exchanges.  It was the BEST! I really am so grateful that she is my leader, and that I can go to her and Sister A for things that I need.  They are really funny, and they actually LAUGH at what I say.  I am still trying to figure out if they are laughing with me, or at me. Regardless, I love these Sisters a whole lot.  They are super awesome.  We were talking about how after the mission we are going to all be friends.  Since Sister C and I are both going to be at BYU-I we decided that we are going to make it a priority to go to the temple at least once a week.  I know that will really keep us seeing each other and that we can be missionaries for those on the other side.  On exchanges we had such a BUSY day!  We had a lesson with their Investigator, and we taught the first part of the Plan of Salvation with her.  She got baptized this last Saturday actually.  I guess it was really good.  We also had a lesson with their Less-Active.  We read the Book of Mormon with her, and commited her to read the rest of the chapter.  3 Nephi 17 is one of my favorite chapters, because it talks about Christ blessing the Children.  I love to think about that happening.  We also had a lot of things fall through.  So we walked, and were able to contact people that we saw.  Then we went and helped some kids with their homework.  I really hated math before the mission, and the fact that we were helping them with math was a nightmare.  I know that it was just 7th and 3rd  Grade Math but Sister C and I were asking each other how to do the homework cause we both were stuck.  As Sister C said, "I need to go back to Kindergarten..."  I know that it could benefit us greatly.  But then we went to dinner with a Less Active Family.  It was a good lesson.  We talked about 3 Nephi 11.  Then we were supposed to go visit people in the YSA Ward, but no one came to meet at the church, so we just went and tried people like normal missionary work.  Sister C and I were catching up on old times, and talked about how great Hesperia was and how it was so great that we were able to serve the first 6 months, and the last 6 months together.  One thing that always amazes me when I go on exchanges is that I really am able to feel the Love that Heavenly Father has for those that we are visiting.  Because most of the time we have never met, and I just want them to know how much Heavenly Father loves them.  I feel so blessed to be able to feel of that love.

Well everyone, I hope that you have a great week.  I know that this church is true.  I know Heavenly Father loves each one of you.  Women's Conference was the best.  I love going to it now.  We were talking with the member that we went with, and I was telling her how I really wish that I loved General Conference and Women's Conference before the mission as I love it now.  Those talks were really inspired by God.  I know that it was exactly what we needed at this time.  I really love the leaders of our church, and I cannot wait for the chance to raise my hand and sustain them as Prophets, Seers, and Revelators.  Enjoy General Conference Everyone!
Love You All!
Sister Amber Rietz
6541 Woodruff Place
Rancho Cucamonga, Ca

Sister Allen, Sister Cauble, Myself, and Sister Thomason at the Temple

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Moments of Miracles - Take Two

I am so sorry for how long last week's email was.  I was looking at how long it was today and I just thought, "oh my goodness, I am that Sister Missionary that puts every little detail in..."  But I might be doing it again this week, I am so sorry.  Last week was amazing! I can't even really describe how great it was.  Okay we know I can describe it, but I hope that you all are able to realize how great of a miracle each day was.  Let's all take a lap around memory lane.
Monday September 14, 2015
I already told you about that day in last week's email.
Tuesday September 15, 2015
We had Zone Meeting.  It was really good. We were all still so pumped from when Elder Falabella came and everyone has seen so many miracles from when he was here, and also from the mission fast that we did at the beginning of this month.  Oh yeah, I don't know if I said that we had done that.  Oops. Sorry.  But anyways Zone Meeting was about Christlike Attributes.  And Vision, Goal, Planning. Oh good ole' Vision, Goal, Planning.  I have a new perspective on it, and I am trying to figure out how to get it incorporated into our everyday planning.  We also had a lesson with Larry and Rene.  They are so AWESOME! I use that word so much, but they really are so great.  We talked about the Talk from Elder Bednar about "therefore they hushed their fears."  It was really good to get them to talk about things that bother them, and how their faith can help them get over them.  After that lesson, we headed to President Interviews.  I love President and Sister H.  When I was talking with President, I really felt like I could tell him anything and there would be no judgement.  We talked about how important it is to really apply the scriptures to ourselves and to ask questions.  It was awesome.  We were able to study in Mosiah together and just talk about how important it is to look for the small details.  I really was able to learn a lot from President.  After my interview I was talking with Sister H.  We were talking about Brenda and her family and then we decided to go and see them.  We got Sister T2 and the three of us headed to her home.  Where we picked up our second new investigator of the week! Rebecca is meeting with us, and she committed to come to church. This is when the story about the little boy and his pants falling down happened. We then went and had dinner with a Part Member Family.  The mom is pregnant, and morning sickness has taken a tole on her.  We were able to help her out for a little bit, and then we were off to go visit our Ward Missionary.  She is currently Less-Active, but she talked with us a couple weeks ago and told us that she wanted to get active again! We were in shock!!! So we have been meeting with Marcella and her daughter and they are making leaps and bounds.
Wednesday September 16, 2015
We went and did more service for the Part Member family that we went and ate dinner the night before.  We also went and saw a Less Active family WAY out in the middle of nowhere.  Sister T2 always asks me if I am nervous driving out there. I tell her NO WAY! I love going out there.  It is the best!  After we saw the D family, well we didn't really see them.  They were just coming home, and rescheduled for the next week.  but after them, we went and had one of the most spirit driven lessons.  Sister T2 and I had role-played this lesson many times and we had the Relief Society President with us.  I was so excited for this lesson, because we knew that the Plan of Salvation could answer A LOT of the questions that Millie had.  We were talking and then she tells us that the scripture that we just read really spoke to her.  As I said, we were PLANNING on teaching the Plan of Salvation, and then we weren't teaching it.  I was kind of nervous, but I knew that the Lord obviously had a different lesson planned for Millie.  She told us that she knew the Book of Mormon was true, and that the Lord really did send us to come and teach her.  She bore HER testimony about the Gospel, and she told us that she knew she needed to get baptized.  I was floored.  I couldn't believe that she had just told us all of that. After talking with her, we committed her to be baptized on October 24, 2015.  She told us that she would be baptized!!! I was so excited for her, and it just gets better. She told us that she wanted her boys to get the lessons as well, and that she wants them to be baptized as well! I was in shock.  The mission fast and the challenge from Elder Falabella to get the WHOLE family involved was happening right in front of us.  She talked a lot about how she was really confused as to why Christ would only visit those in one part of the World.  It was the perfect door opener for us to tell her about Christ coming to the America's and how he was the Savior for everyone on the earth.  She is so amazing, and so humble.  We are so excited for Millie!  We also started teaching our Less-Active's son.  he is not a member, and is really trying to figure out the church that will be best for him.  It is like the story of Joseph Smith but in the twenty-first century.  He is 9, and ready for understanding.
Thursday September 17, 2015
We had the Temple Trip with all the Sisters in Apple Valley.  All 8 of us... The numbers for Sister Missionaries is slowly decreasing.  But it was a really good session, and I saw the J's from the Arrowhead Ward.  They are looking pretty old, but they are still able to go to the Temple, so I know that all is well with them.  I sat by her in the session! :)  After the temple, we went to this restaurant up here called Itchy Feet.  It was a Hawaiian Themed Sandwich Shop.  It passed the Sister Rietz inspection.  I approve of it.  Then we did normal P-day things.  We then had another AMAZING lesson at Brenda's house.  We got there and Brenda was really flustered.  Her Sister and friend were asking her all these questions and she had NO clue how to answer them.  We were there for over an hour answering their questions.  One answer would bring one more question.  We told them we had to go, because we had another appointment, but they just kept asking questions.  I know the Spirit was able to work through us to help us answer their questions.  There is no doubt in my mind that He was giving us the answers.  We now are working with them, and they are two new investigators.
Friday September 18, 2015
We had a packed day.  We weekly planned, and then had a lesson with just Brenda.  She is so great.  We talked about how important it is to come to church, and she talked about how great she feels when she is at church and how she knows that she is home there.  We also saw Sister L.  She was NOT well at all.  We got there and found out that she had just gotten back from the hospital the day before.  She was on oxygen and not really breathing correctly.  We were calling everyone in the ward asking for them to come, but no one was answering.  We eventually got a hold of the Elders, and they came right over and gave her a blessing, and she said that she was already feeling better.  We sang hymns to her, and talked about when negative thoughts come into her head that she just has to push them out.  The Spirit was really strong, and Sister L was really happy when we left.  We also saw Rebecca.  We had a lesson with her about the Plan of Salvation.  She thought resurrection and reincarnation were the same thing, so I am glad we could clear that up for her.
Saturday September 19, 2015
We literally drove everywhere inviting EVERYONE to Stake Conference.  We made little handout reminders and everything.  Only like 2 people were actually home.  They both said that they would come.  That night we had dinner with the D's. They are the most sarcastic family.  When we asked if there was anything we could do to help their family they said, yeah leave.  I was like ummm okay.  They were just kidding, but I didn't know that right away!  Stake Conference was really good.  There were 2 men from the Quorum of the Seventy there.  I just can't remember their names.  But they were instructing everyone on Ward Council.  It was good.
Sunday September 20, 2015
We went to Stake Conference, and the new Stake President is Bishop E.  He is really nice, and I totally called that it was going to be him.  I called it the night before, and then when they said his name, I looked at Sister T2 and she just had a lot of no way, how did you know!!
We also saw Sister F!  She is back from Rehab, and has been sober for 39 days! I was so excited to see her sober! I really couldn't stop smiling, and she talked about how it was a combination of things that made her go, including all the times that we would go and see her.  I am so grateful for the Gospel, and how it really is the thing that can help people get active again.

This was our week in a nutshell.  Well, a big nutshell.  I love being a missionary.  I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon and how it really can be the answer to so many questions.  I am grateful for the Priesthood, and how it can bless everyone's lives.

Love, Sister Rietz

Sister Amber Rietz
6541 Woodruff Place
Rancho Cucamonga, Ca

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Member Present = Member of the Seventy

I really don't even know how to start this email.  We have had one of the most Spiritually enlightening weeks of my ENTIRE mission and it is one of those times when at night I go to write in my journal, and I have no clue what to write, because I don't know how to describe the Spirit that is there.... So I will start with Monday, and go through the week.  There were moments that were "oh so very funny and we still bust up laughing when we quote them" and then moments where you really see God's hand in the work that we are doing. Hopefully I will be able to say a little bit of everything that I have been experiencing.
Monday September 7, 2015
We had a normal P-day, and I freaked out a little bit, because I knew so many sisters that were going home.  But no fears, that freaking out was only for a short moment.  I know that I will see them again in the after mission life, so I am not too worried.  We went about our day like normal and then we had dinner at this little hole in the wall Mexican Seafood.  IT WAS SO GOOD! A member owns it, and they invited us over for dinner.  We were really so grateful for them, and their patience with us.  When I say hole in the wall, I really mean it.  There is hardly any space inside, it is off from the road, and the sign that is above it doesn't match the name they told us.  None the less we found it, and were able to really get to know the G Family.  They are so awesome, and they told us that they want to get back into church.  We didn't even know they were LA, they were new to the ward.  It was really cool to get to know them, and know how much Heavenly Father loves them.  As we were talking with them, I just kept praying that we would be able to help them in someway.  We know they have a pig named we think Gilbert... They LOVE soccer, and love to do anything in school but math.  They love to play instruments.  It was just so fun to meet them, and eat yummy seafood with them.  I didn't ask what some stuff was cause I was scared of what the answer might be... 
Tuesday September 8, 2015
Happy Birthday Chelsie!!! We had a blast this day.  We were really busy all day with District Meeting, and lessons.  We were finally able to see Brenda after she was away on vacation for the last couple weeks.  We also had dinner with a lady that is still pretty new to the church.  She is so nice! We had street tacos, and then the rain came. And it came. And it came.  It was really cool because that day was hot and humid and we just wanted it to rain.  But not as much as it did! A lot of the roads flooded, and let's just say our little white car was no longer white.  It had this nice layer of brown on it.  The rain came from nowhere and it just poured, so naturally we ran out with the boys to jump around in the rain and then the power went out... Sister T2 and I are pretty used to the power going out and such but up here in the high desert that doesn't happen too often and the entire family was scared of the dark so they weren't doing so great with the thought of no light. We tried to calm them down telling them that no power was awesome, and that it would be fun to not have electricity for the night but there was no success so we all knelt down and said a prayer.  I never have prayed with so much hope and faith that the Lord would answer the prayer right then.  I didn't want the boys to be scared, and I didn't want Jo to worry about her boys. Now this just shows us how Heaven;y Father uses even rain storms as teaching and testifying experiences.  Before we had gotten up off our knees the lights turned back on! Jo immediately turned to her boys and testified to them that God loves them and listens to them. It was awesome. I really hope that the boys will remember that experience for a really long time!
Wednesday September 9, 2015
We were supposed to go to "Squash 4 Friends", but nope.  The rain the night before canceled all hopes of us being able to do that.  So we just went to the back-ups which were 12 Week Training, and Lunch.  Then we went to a member's house and helped her clean her house.  She is pregnant and is high-risk so we went and did a lot of things that she couldn't do.  I love service.  It is the Best!  Then we went and saw Brenda again.  We talked about her trip.  It was hard to try to get a gospel principle taught, but we managed to share a little message.  Then we went and had a lesson with a family that got baptized in October, and no one has seen in a really long time.  We were able to share a scripture with them, and talk about the importance of coming to church.  (spoiler alert: they didn't come...)  Then we went to dinner with the F family to the Mexican Restaurant that we went to on Monday.  They are the cutest little old couple.  After dinner, we went and taught the boys that we ate dinner with the night before.  They had an aunt who passed away, and so we taught them the plan of salvation.  I LOVE THE PLAN OF SALVATION!!! Seriously, it is really one of the best things that we get to teach as missionaries.
Thursday September 10, 2015
This day is a day that has forever changed my view on life, missionary work, the Gospel, and God's Love for His Children.  On this fine day in the High Desert we had the privilege of hearing from Enrique R. Falabella of the Quorum of the Seventy.  He is really called of God. I can tell you all that.  He is one that is extremely bold, but gives it all out with love.  He taught us about the Sabbath Day.  He also taught us the "key to getting baptisms": work through the father and mother.  I learned so much about how to become a better missionary, and more humble.  When someone is calling a group to repentance to increase their faith you think "ehh, not me."  Well sorry people, you need it just as much as everyone else.  We talked about the struggles of baptisms, and why we "only" have about 300 new converts a year in our mission.  We talked about how important it is to work with the Father of the home, and then the rest of the family will follow.  We talked about how we need to recommit ourselves to bringing people to Sacrament Meeting, and one of the things that stuck out to me the most is, "The easy path makes men and river crooked." I instantly thought of a quote that I heard at the beginning of my mission, "If you work your mission hard, it will be easy.  If you work your mission easy, it will be hard." I can tell all of you that this is so true, but there are those RARE times when you are working so hard, and the mission is still hard.  But Elder Falabella made all that hard work 100% worth it.  If you thought that this was the thing that changed my view on life, missionary work, the Gospel, and God's Love for His Children you are only 1/2 correct.  After the conference we were talking with some other missionaries when President H asked us if they could meet some of our converts that had just gotten baptized.  We told him we would find out, and the one that could meet was Brenda.  We gave them the address, and we headed home.  Then on the way home it hit us... We were having a lesson with President and Sister H AND Elder Falabella.  Just typing about it makes me get butterflies in my stomach.  We got to the lesson and they were not there.  Brenda was, but not the special guests... We were telling Brenda about how awesome this was, and how excited we were to have this opportunity.  Then we realized that we didn't even plan on teaching a lesson to Brenda that day, and we got more nervous because we didn't know how the lesson was going to go.  They got there, and all my nerves just settled.  I felt so much better, and knew that Heavenly Father had a plan.  People!!! I testify to all of you that Heavenly Father has NO plan B, because Plan A is perfect.  He know what is going to happen, and when it is going to happen.  Elder Falabella was so nice and kind to Brenda. He asked her and her cousins about their lives and he helped her set up her family history account and it was amazing!  You could tell just from sitting there that Heavenly Father loves his children and will show it different ways.  The Spirit was so strong, and I never wanted the lesson to end.  I was grateful that we didn't have a dinner appointment, because that would have meant that we had to leave earlier.  I just sat there stunned.  I couldn't believe that we were teaching Brenda about Family History and we weren't even really getting to teach.  President and Sister H were testifying to everything Elder Falabella was teaching.  This is one of those moments when I realized how much I love being a missionary. Not everyday as a member missionary do you get to experience these kinds of things.  I also learned that missionary work is more than just teaching, it is also a lot of just listening to people.  It is really special to see the mission as being something that I never want to leave.  After the lesson, we got in our car, they got in theirs, and then I just started crying.  I couldn't help it.  I had just learned so much about what kind of person I want to become, and how I really do have the way to get there.  I loved that moment, and it is one that I am going to cherish for my whole life.
Friday September 11, 2015
We did more service.  We helped Sister H clean her white couch, and her grout.  I am so grateful for mom and all that she does to keep our house clean.  I have been in more homes on my mission that are just gross and not the best organized.  I am realizing how much Mom really did for all of us, and I am so grateful that she taught us how to clean.  I have used that more on my mission then I thought I ever would.  We also went a tried to see Oneida and Greg, with no luck.  We haven't been able to see them in a really long time, and that is really worrying us.  We know that she is busy, but it still is worrisome when we can't even get her to answer the phone.  We are hoping to meet with her soon. We then went and helped someone decorate their living room for a birthday party.  We got asked to help with the cake, and let's just say it brought back many memories of making cakes. This day was a lot less hectic than the day before.  I am not sure if we could have handled 2 hectic days in a row.
Saturday September 12, 2015
We had another day with more service in it.  We were able to help the same pregnant lady, and at the end she gave us smoothies.  They were really good, seeing as it was really toasty outside.  We went to the Birthday Party that we helped decorate at, and we felt accomplished cause we avoided having to eat any birthday cake.  We had a goal to eat healthy all day.  We then weekly planned, and then saw Sister B.  She is still getting really sick, and the Chemo Pills are not in her favor right now, so that has been tough on her.  We tried COUNTLESS other people with not a lot of luck!  But then we had dinner, and had personal pizzas.  So much for eating healthy... Hahah, but it was still good.  We were still going crazy over what had happened on Thursday.
Sunday September 13, 2015
We had church, and the word had spread that we had a lesson with Elder Falabella.  People were really amazed that he came to meet people we were teaching.  They all asked if we got pictures with him, and then I realized that I never had grabbed a picture with him.  After the glorious 6.5 hours we were at the church, we went home and had studies, and then ate dinner, and then it was off to Bishop's Youth Discussion.  It was really fun to see them all planning the activities that they were going to do the next year.  Then we went and saw the R family.  We were able to hear the conversion story of their friend that was there.  It really was inspriring to hear how he had a friend that never gave up on him, and then one day Joe decided to do what his friend was asking him to do, and it forever changed his life.  He now is getting ready to go through the temple, and be sealed to his wife in December.  It was a great end to a crazy amazing week.
Not our P-day, because we were taking our P-day on Thursday when we went to the temple.  We had a really busy day, and we were finally able to see Sister B.  She was feeling well enough for a visit, and we talked about 2 Nephi 32.  It was a good lesson, and she promised to be at Stake Conference if she was feeling well.  Then we went and were talking with a member and he told us that his neighbor needed the missionaries.  He asked if we wanted to meet her, so we told him sure.  We walked over, and we weren't really thinking all that much of it.  Well Teresa opened the door, Brother D introduced us, and then said good-bye.  Teresa invited us in, and the first thing she asks us is what makes us different than other churches? We were able to teach her the first lesson, and then when we were talking about baptism she was like yeah, that doesn't make sense why people would baptize babies.  They are innocent!!! She then accepted our invitation to be baptized.  Teaching with Sister T2 is really great.  I look at her, and realize just how much she has grown as a missionary, and how great she is.  She is such a good missionary now, I can only imagine where she will be in the next year.  She knows her stuff.  Teresa also wants her son to get baptized, so we are hoping to pick him up as an investigator later this week.  We also had FHE with a LA family.  Their sister who is also LA was there, and she was really troubled by something.  I prayed in my head for an opportunity to know what she needed.  We shared our portion of FHE, and then Lana started talking.  She talked about how she needed to come back to church.  She talked about how she knew that the Lord was aware of her, and that he would help her, even though she was lost.  We shared a scripture in 3 Nephi that a missionary I used to serve around emailed me.  It was comparing the dark in 3 Nephi 8 and then 3 Nephi 11:11.  When we were sharing it, she looked a little confused, and then it all clicked and she started crying.  I felt bad for making her cry, but it was just how it all clicked in her head.  She talked about how she felt like she was in a darkness and that she was really lost.  She talked about how she knew who Christ was, but that she didn't know how to find him.  It was really great to see how something that I studied awhile ago came back to my remembrance.  Thanks for sending me that stud topic, it really helped Lana out.
I am going to stop there.  We are running low on time, and I want something to email about next Monday.  The Temple today was amazing.  I could have stayed there all day and been totally fine.  I am so grateful for the miracles that Sister T2 and I have been able to see this last week.  She and I are really working hard, and it is really nice to see that our hard work is paying off.  I know that this is the Lord's work, and that it is all in his timing.  I know that He is watching over me, and helping me become a better person everyday.  I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ will only make us better people.  I was studying this talk by Elder Falabella, you all should study it.  https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/04/the-home-the-school-of-life?lang=eng
I know that you all are so great, and know that I look up to each one of you for something.  Whether I met you on the mission, or I knew you before, you have made an impact on me.  I love being a missionary, and sharing the light that I know will only bring happiness.  I hope you can share the light with others.
Love, Sister Rietz
Oh here is a funny thing that happened yesterday, but I need to add it to this week's email cause it was too funny! 
We were in a lesson with two of Brenda's cousins and then right after we ended the lesson two of their other cousins walked in. We asked their names and ages and Je'Vonne told us that the girl was seven and "Little Bud" was five. Little Bud is one of the most terrifying five year olds I have ever met because he immediately responded, "Who you calling five, little boy? I'm old enough to beat you up!" and continued to spout out threats. Sister H, Sister T2, and I were all a little shocked. We just sat there stunned as he continued to rant when about how he could beat everybody up when suddenly his pants dropped. They just fell right off his bum and he was left standing there pants-less. Sister H kept her cool but we (Sister T2 and I) just died laughing!

Sister Amber Rietz
6541 Woodruff Place
Rancho Cucamonga, Ca
Sister T2 had Thrifty Ice Cream for the first time!

 Elder and Sister Sare leaving to go home at the end of this month, so I had to say goodbye to them!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Missions are hard. Knocking on doors is hard. But the callouses on my knuckles are harder.

Whelp. I stayed in Apple Valley.  I am still with Sister T2, and we are still covering both wards.  It is so weird to think that this is the first time that I have had a companion for more than 6 weeks, since Sister T. She thinks that she is going to be my last companion.  That would be nice.  Then I wouldn't have to let any more people meet the crazy Sister Rietz.  
Well Sister E2 is home.  She is sitting in the San Francisco Airport waiting to fly to Hong Kong, and then who knows where else.  If you hear of a lost Sister Missionary in Hong Kong, know that it is probably her, and she is fine.  On Tuesday after District Meeting we all met up at Panda Express and had one last meal together.  She loves Panda, and really wanted it before she left.  So we all got it, and it was great to just talk with her, and think about all the crazy things that happened over the last couple weeks that we were companions.  Being a missionary is so great.  I am sure that I have said that more this whole last week than ever before in my whole life.  Some how I happen to get myself into sticky situations are times when things are not the best for us... not sure, but there is a way that we always get out of it.  Being a missionary was hard this last week, but the blessings and the knowledge of the Gospel have never helped more.
Monday: Bed Bugs.  We were asked by a member to come over and help pack up some things in her house because she was getting her apartment sprayed...  So being the service missionaries that we love we told her we could come over after our dinner.  We got there and they put us right to work.  We were packing bags and boxes, and cleaning out closets.  There were cockroaches everywhere so we both thought that it was getting sprayed for them... NOPE. Someone (ME) had the bright idea to ask what they were getting sprayed for besides cockroaches.  The mom looked at me like I was crazy, and said, "Cockroaches. Oh Heavens No.  Those little $^(*&%^$  will die with this spray though.  We are getting sprayed for bed bugs."  I wanted to just cry and freak out right then and there.... I was so scared that we were going to get bit, and that we would bring them home with us.  We got home that night and showered and bagged our clothing and put it outside for the whole week.  We opened it this morning, and there was only one bed bug that was dead in it.  So I think that we are safe.  So that was the beginning of our week. Great way to start off the week right?
Tuesday: We get to District Meeting and the first thing the Elders in our District say is "Hey Look at this cool lizard that we caught!" They had a lizard in a cup and they were all so mesmerized by it.  I knew Elders would always be like little boys, but this was just a whole new thing. Hahaha, so G joined us for all of District Meeting.  At the end of District Meeting we took the classic end of the transfer pictures, and then we headed to Panda Express to go meet up with the other Sisters.  It was great to be with them, as I mentioned before.  Then we got the news that our house was going to be getting checked that day for cleanliness... Umm thank heavens we cleaned it on Monday.  Then we went and tried to find people.  We really just planted lots and lots of seeds. and then more and more seeds.  We were supposed to have a lesson with our Recent Convert but, neither he nor the members that we were going to have it with could have it.  So that left us with our back up of finding.  We saw that some less active members lived on the same street as our dinner, so we decided to go and contact them.  Well we didn't meet them in person, but their front doors were nice.  And now they have a nice little card to go with them.  Because He Lives cards were on a lot of doors this week from us.  We had an amazing dinner at our Ward Mission Leaders house, and then he came with us to a lesson with our investigator and his returning Less active wife.  The lesson was so great! I loved how our WML would just really carry the conversation. He would talk about a gospel principle and then let Larry talk, and then he would bear testimony of what Larry said.  IT WAS AMAZING!!! He gave both of them blessings, and in Larry's blessing it talked about how he would be able to be baptized, and take his wife to the temple.  I was crying. Larry was crying. Rene was crying.  The Spirit was so strong in that room, and I never wanted to leave.  Larry is waiting for some things with probation and another court case to clear up, so that he can get baptized.  I know that he is going to get baptized.  I had been praying this last week that we would know how to help him, and the blessing wasn't only an answer to his concerns but also an answer to my prayer. I love how Heavenly Father works.  He is amazing and I know that He is completely aware of those that are around me and the things that they are dealing with.
Wednesday:  Another day completely dedicated to FINDING! We had a list of about 15 people that were former investigators to go try.  No one wanted to talk with the Sister Missionaries.  Not really sure why, we are hilarious, normal for the most part, and we have a message for everyone to hear! So people, come to your door and listen to us for 1 minute! Tracting from 12-4:15 is not my most favorite thing to do, but we did meet some nice people.  One lady opened the door, took one look at us, and told us: Good Luck...  Thanks Lady, you have a good day too! One man was standing at the door with it open when we walked up.  He told us he saw us coming and didn't want to wake the baby.  We talked about the family proclamation, and now they have one in their home.  We are planning on going back, and seeing if they have any questions.  We had a good dinner, and they gave us all the left overs.  That saved us from having to get a lot of food prepared the next day.  We were able to just make the chicken sandwiches and get going.  It was great.
Thursday: More Referrals and Formers.  But before all of that happened, we had a lesson with the newest member of our teaching pool! Her name is Millie, and she is one of the most HUMBLE people that I have ever met! She has been prepared by the Lord, and we are really just so amazed at her desire to learn! She told us she would come to church on Sunday before we could even invite her.  She really just committed herself to come to church.  We walked out of that lesson, and I told Sister T2 that we were going to need to start praying for a date for her.  She is just so solid.  After that, we had another lesson with Larry and Rene.  It was great! They kept talking about the blessing, and how it really has helped them even though hit was just 2 days before.  I was amazed at their humility, and their desire to continue just trusting in the Lord.  I really love when that happens.  It just goes back to what I was saying about they really are so great, and Heavenly Father knows what they need in their lives.  After that lesson, we just went and tried tons of people! We went tracting, gave out tons of cards, and talked with literally only 5 people.  Then we went and had a Young Woman come with us.  She is so great.  She wants to serve a mission so we are taking her out with us.  We went and tried this potential, and let's just say she was NOT happy that we were there.  She yelled at us, and then told us to get off her property.... and then she just quit talking to us.  COMPLETE SILENCE! I felt so bad that we had brought Stacy with us. She is going to think people hate the missionaries.  Then we went and had dinner with a Part Member Family.  The Mom is not a member, but she told us that she wants her family raised in the Gospel.  She pretty much said that she will be baptized when her husband is 100% active on his own.  So we are praying that Trent is gonna get his head on straight, and start coming to church cause that is what is right and not because that is what Hailey wants.  Then we had coordination in the Ranchos ward.  It was really effective, and many great amazing things are going to start happening in that ward.
Friday: We weekly planned, and updated the Area Book for almost the whole day! With all the studies, lunch, and weekly planning and then the Area Book the whole day was almost sucked up! It was crazy, we ate dinner at our place and then we were off to a Recent Convert's house that isn't really a Recent Convert, but she is Less-Active half the time.  We had an awesome lesson with her, and talked about why it is important to get Patriarchal Blessings, and how they really can help us.  The Spirit was strong as well.
Saturday: back to Jo's house to do service.  We helped her shave her dog, and that was the weirdest service project that I have ever done.... We also are dying her dog pink for service on Tuesday.  I will let you all know how that goes. haha, the things that you do on a mission.  So this day was also one of the most stressful.  I thought that I was going to go crazy, because Transfer Doctrine came.  These days it is so hard to concentrate, because you know that if someone is getting transferred, that all of your backups become packing and saying goodbye to members.  Doctrine finally came, and we found out that we are both staying! We did a dance in the car, and then it was off to work.  We got lost on more dirt roads.  It would really be helpful if our maps that we had showed all the areas that we cover.  I think that would help a WHOLE lot, and probably save us a lot of miles.  We had a really good dinner at a member's house, and I thought that we were going to die.  You know how at Thanksgiving there are 100's of options.  Well that is how this family is.  They love to have options and let you choose what you want to be the main part of your dinner.  I loved it! We had a lot of beans though.  Everything was bean based... You can imagine how that all went later on...  I'll let your imagination do the work.
Sunday: We were at the Church from 6:50-2:12. That is what happens when you cover two wards, and they are almost back to back, and you have lots of meetings in the morning.  WHOO!  That night we had dinner for breakfast again.  They had lots of options as well.  It was great! They asked why I didn't like Bacon, I should have told them that we believe in eating meat sparingly.  That would have been nice.  They thought it was a weird Idaho thing.  WE EAT BACON IN IDAHO, I JUST DON'T LIKE IT!  We then tried more people, but for some reason even more people didn't want to talk with us.  People are crazy!!!  I also got a phone call from a random 909 number.  It was Candy, and she got my number from some sisters.  It was great talking with her.  She is the best!

Well as you can see, we had a week filled with ATTEMPTING to find.  I know that there are prepared people in Apple Valley.  They must just be hiding under a rock. Or maybe I am.  I know that this church is true.  I love being a missionary, even if it does mean just knocking doors over and over.  One of the Elders once said that tracting was worth it, even if it just made them think about God for 10 seconds.  I thought a lot about that this last week.  Cause when people see that card on their door, and if they watch the video they will be thinking about not only God, but also Jesus Christ.  I know who the Savior is to me.  I know that He is the way back to our Heavenly Father.  I know it is hard sometimes, but in the end it is all worth it.  I know that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ.  I know that as we think of the Savior, and strive to BECOME like him, then we will.  I can promise every single one of you that.  You can BECOME like the Savior.  He wants you to come to Him.  He loves you, go to this website, and you will love this talk. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/04/followers-of-christ?lang=eng 
I hope that you all have a great week! We are going to the temple on the 17th, so I am not sure what day we are taking as our P-day next week.  I love you all.  Oh, and Elder Falabella is coming to our mission this week.  We have a conference with him this week.  That should be really good.  I will let you all know how it goes! Have a really great week, and pray that we find a lot of people to teach!
Sister Allen and I with our ice cream that we stalked the ice cream man for on exchanges.
Sister Ednalino and I the last time.
The Sunsets are Super Great Here.

Sister Amber Rietz
6541 Woodruff Place
Rancho Cucamonga, Ca

The sunsets are super great here!

Sis. A and I with our ice cream treats we stalked the ice cream man for on exchanges

Our Granite Hills ward-mates

Our Ranchos ward-mates

One last dinner at Panda Express with Sister E.

My long lost soul-sister

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Out in the desert they wander - hungry and helpless and NOT cold!

This is going to be really long, I am sorry!
Let me just start off telling you how amazing each and everyone of you are! Every week you get this little notification on your computer, your phone, your iPad, or maybe we are even in the era of Hunger Games and it just blows a cannon into the sky telling you that you have received an email.  You are probably thinking that it is just another email for coupons, or a notification of one of those chain letters that if you don't send on then your one true love will never find you.  Instead that little notification is telling you that you received an email from some random goon that is just typing out her adventures, challenges, miracles, and thoughts.  You all read the email, and I am sure that at the end you wished that it had been just one for coupons or maybe some of you are even really wishing it was that chain email.  You all deserve a reward! You have been getting these emails from yours truly for about 15 months now. That takes real desire and charity to tell me to not take you off the list of recipients.  I wish that I could make a little reward or give you a hug for each and everyone of you!  You are so great. Okay, I hope that was a good enough pep talk, cause who knows.  Maybe one of you all needed it.
Now onto our week! Let me put it in one sentence: OH MY! That is how I can think of how to best describe this whole last week! I feel like it went by WAY to fast! I am really sad cause this will be the last day that I get to see the grand ole' Sister Rose Ann E2! She is a great sister missionary, and one that I really look up to and really trust! She really changed my perspective and the way that I wanted to become more like Christ.  Sister E2 taught me that even when Satan throws the hardest things at you, it doesn't matter.  Because there is always another way, and it is through Jesus Christ.  She was a crazy lady before her mission, and then BAM she learned that there was absolutely no way to disprove the Book of Mormon.  She has such a great testimony of the Book of Mormon, and for those of you that got to know her YOU ARE BLESSED! Hahaha, Okay. Now onto our week that was just "OH MY!" 

Monday: Normal good day. We went shopping and got food, and then that night we had Family Home Evening with a Less-Active family.  We played Volleyball, and even got their neighbors involved with the game.  We deep cleaned our house, and then that was able to invite the Spirit even more into our home.  We got our laundry from our neighbors house.  I was thinking about how when I go home, it will be weird not having a ton of skirts in the laundry every week.  It will mostly be..... pants.......GULP!

Tuesday: District Meeting.  I gave a training on Alma 17-23.  And focused on how the People's hearts changed.  It was great to really look for the ways that their hearts changed, and how we need that conversion in ourselves as well.  At night, we exchanged with the Sister Training Leaders, and Sister A got to come stay with ME! :)

Wednesday: This is where the week went CRAZY! So on exchanges we always try to really work hard.  I mean we work hard the other days, but there is just a special spirit about exchanges that puts a whole new perspective and light on missionary work.  I love Sister A, and I knew from the minute we started planning Tuesday night that our day was going to be miracle filled!  So we started that morning, and went and walked our hearts out! We walked to lessons, and potentials and saved miles in our little car.  We met these two older men: Gus and Dan.  They were hilarious.  I realized that moment talking with them, that they are the reason missionaries think of missionary work being awkward.  They just watched us walk up to them, and then waited for us to start talking.  Sister A just said Hello, and then they jumped on that as the ok to start talking and never stop! Hahaha, they could have talked about everything under the sun.  We talked about Italy, Germany, Family History, Huskies, Blue Eyes, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormon Missionaries, more Jehovah Witnesses, and then back to the Plan of Salvation to sum it all up.  We learned in the course of all those conversations that they liked their beer, they liked huskies, they like Family History, and Gus' wife passed away, and started crying when we were talking about it.  We told him that he could see his wife again, and he just started crying again, and asked if we really thought that could happen.  It was so great, and we would have continued talking about it except Dan had a different idea, and was a little more drunk then he thought... At one point he jumped up and yelled in our faces... We just took it like champions.  Then we walked back home, and headed off to go try more potentials.  A few answered the door, and told us to come back, but most of them were not home.  We did meet one woman named Delia.  Delia is like Dan and Gus, she would have talked all day if we hadn't told her we needed to go. In the course of 30 minutes, I know more about that woman then I do about my own companion.  Sister A and I died laughing when at one point she told us that she was born in a barn.... Ummm. Okay.  Her mom didn't know she was pregnant, and was milking the cow, and BAM! Out comes Delia! We were dying laughing and then we just couldn't stop.  I thought we were either going to fall over from laughing so much, or we were going to die of the heat.  Even though we talked for 30 mins with her, she never had us come in, cause she only "have a minute to chat."  We told her we had to go, and now in my notes I have that she talks a lot, and you will learn her whole life story in 30 minutes.  It was CRAZY!  Then we tried more potentials  and more formers.  Then we kept trying more and more. We had a lesson with a less active, and then we had one more goal that we needed to accomplish.  We needed to find the ice cream man, and we only knew one thing: that he lived on Rancherias in the Rancho Ward.  That was all we had, but we were determined to find him.  So we started driving down the road, and then 4 houses from the end of the street we found it!!! Haha, except the gate was locked.  We realized that it was a member, and so we tried to call them.  No luck.  I may or may not have said a prayer for them to come out.  And then Sister A freaked out, because he was OUTSIDE!!!! Haha, it was great! and then we tried to pull a missionary thing and pretend that we were just trying to set up a lesson, and then they told us the Elders met with them... It was not the best approach.  But then we were just bold and told them we would love to help their ice cream business and buy some ice cream.  It was the most sketchy ice cream truck.  Most of the ice cream was sold out, but buying an ice cream was our fun goal so we had to do it.  It was great! We saw so many little instances where we were able to see God's love really showing forth.  I loved being with Sister A, and just talking about the struggles of being a missionary.  I learned a lot from her.  She is so great!

Thursday: We had a couple people that we saw, and we had a lesson with our Recent Converts: Oneida and Greg! They are so great! The Elders are teaching them the new member lessons, and we are going over every week to teach from the Book of Mormon.  We taught about Nephi breaking his bow, and this coming week we are talking about Samuel the Lamanite.  Stay tuned because we are acting this one out! Hahaha, our socks are in the laundry right now getting prepped for that lesson.  That day we got a call from the Assistants and they told us that they were going to be meeting us half way up the Cajon Pass to switch cars with us.  We made a meeting spot, and then we went about our business the rest of the day.  We were heading down the hill to go meet them when traffic completely stopped.  It was just bumper to bumper, and there was nothing to do but wait... So what do we do? We made a music video in our car.  It was great, and then we realized that since it was dark outside and we had our doom light on, the car next to us could see us... It was pretty funny! I was dying laughing!!! 

Friday: We were determined to go and find a less active family that lived in the middle of nowhere.  We were talking about how it has been a really long time since anyone had seen them, so we decided to go out and search for them.  So we took our trusted Subbie, the paper map that doesn't show all our area, and the GPS from the Zone Leaders.  We were all happy and ready to go, and then fast forward to 2 hours later... that is where we were just lost with no cell phone reception and no clue where we were.  The GPS wasn't picking up where we were at, and the paper map was ZERO help! We took a long time really trying to figure out where we were, but we were just straight up lost.  So we took some pictures because I was really frustrated, and just confused where these people lived.  Then we got back in the car, and i swear within 20 minutes we were back to somewhere that we recognized.  That was such a miracle!

SaturdayFilled with Weekly Planning, 12 week, and more potentials.  We taught one woman, and she became an investigator.  She is really confusing to follow, but we told her the only way that she could change would be to learn about the Gospel. SO we are now teaching her.  Her name is Lori.  We also caught the biggest spider ever.  His name was Gerald, and he was a hybrid between a black widow and a violin spider.  All I know is that he was poisonous and now he is D-E-A-D!

SundayNormal sunday, except that while we were going to the other ward, this woman stopped us and told us that she was less active, and wanted to become active... I am sure that you could imagine what I was thinking! WHAT THE HECK!!! THIS NEVER HAPPENS! She invited us over last night, and we had such a great lesson talking about trusting in the Lord, and all that he has for us planned.  It was really good, and then to top it all off she said the prayer, and it was so humbling to listen to her really plead and ask Heavenly Father to help her become active, and worthy to go back to the temple.  Hearing her ask him to also lead us as we were teaching her so that we could know what she needed in her life really made me realize even more how sacred of a calling it is to be a missionary.  Heavenly Father trusted us to teach Marcella, and he knows what she needs, and he is going to work through us to help her.  I was so dumbfounded when we walked out of that lesson.

Well that was our crazy week! I would do it all in a heart beat again! Even the spider! Hahahaha, but this coming week is transfers, and I have no clue what is going to happen! At this point I have realized that when I think one thing the complete opposite happens, so I am just not even sure what to expect anymore.  I love being a missionary, and wouldn't trade it for anything!!!
I love you all! Have a great week! Good luck with school, work, and whatever else you have going on.  The Church is true even out in the middle of the desert where we were lost.  

Love, Sister Rietz

Pictures to give you a glimpse of Apple Valley and my life.

A new way to eat Otter Pops!

I don't recommend trying this.,,
...or this!

The spider formerly known as Gerald.

Out in the desert they wander...