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.
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!

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