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...

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