Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Week worth writing about...I guess

Monday October 12
Our zone had a BBQ for Zone Activity.  We did it at a member's house and it was a lot of fun.  There was a Volleyball Court, a trampoline, teatherball, and then a sword and a cake.  This family has the tradition of having someone cut their birthday cake with a sword.  Since my birthday was the day before, the Elders got me a cake, and sang the most off-tune happy birthday song.  It was great.  It was really fun to get the cake all smashed up with the sword, and whatnot.  Cake ended up in my face, and mainly in my eye.  It was not my most favorite thing.  But, that is okay cause it made Sister T2 and I bond a little more.  Bonding is always a good thing.  We were supposed to have FHE with a family, but they had to reschedule for a couple days later.
Tuesday October 13
High on the Mountain Top is all that could be heard in our little area of Apple Valley.  Our district leader found a spot that overlooks Apple Valley and so we had District Meeting up there.  It was really cool, and we are forever going to be going back to that training, and really focusing on our purpose as missionaries.  We had dinner with a Part Member family, and we were able to help the Mom distract her son while she did a little photo shoot of him.  It was great.  Little Ranger has never been more mad to be sitting in a pumpkin watching two sister missionaries try and get him  to laugh.  The struggle was real, and Sue is just going to have to deal with having pictures of screaming Ranger.
Wednesday October 14
We were contacting a potential investigator, and then we were standing outside and who drives up? Our recent convert that has fallen off the face of the earth...  We were all a little surprised, but it was so good to see her.  We found out that she just has been really busy, and that she is not intentionally avoiding us.  That was comforting to find out, but then she didn't come to church.  That was a little frustrating.  We also had  family home evening with a less-active family as well! It was really good to have the WHOLE family sit in on it.  They are wanting to invite investigators to their family home evening, so that was really cool!  I loved sitting there playing games, and then eating cookies with them.  It was really fun.  This coming week we are carving pumpkins, and talking about how Satan tries to cut us little by little before we notice what is happening.  It should be good.  I was watching a Mormon Message called Dangerous Tides, and I realized that it really goes with how Satan works hard to make somethings appear not a big deal, and that it won't harm us to just do it once.  
Thursday October 15
We were called before we could even do studies, and asked to help a part member family move.  When we got there, the house wasn't packed and they were planning on leaving the next morning. *insert chaotic parents and grumpy teenagers*  No one really wanted to be there, but it was good that we went or else all those little trinkets that we so precariously wrapped would not be safe in the moving truck.  It was good to help them move as well, because it seems that all the missionaries that have served in this ward have tried to teach him, and he just isn't ready.  It was good to be able to serve him, and help him realize that we are there for more than teaching the gospel.  The Ranchos ward also had their relief society party.  The topic was based off the Pear Tree Analogy.  The Sisters that did the video, and spoke did such a good job! They talked a lot about how as women, we really get down on ourselves but we shouldn't.  We just need to realize that everything happens at a specific time, and for a specific reason.  They talked about how in our lives, sometimes we are like the tree in the winter: dead, and not really appearing to grow.  But other times in our lives, we are like a tree in the summer: full of growth and reaching our potential.  It really made me reevaluate my attitude about somethings that are going on with being a missionary.  
Friday October 16
We were able to meet with a Less-Active that has really been struggling.  We went over, and there was a special spirit in her home.  The rain was POURING outside, and inside her home it was so cozy.  I was so grateful for the Spirit being there. The Spirit was not always there when we would go, but I know this time her being sober had a HUGE part of the Spirit being there.  We helped her clean her house, and decorate it for Halloween.  I asked if she had something I could dust with, and she handed me this pair of underwear.  I was so grossed out, but she told me that it was clean.  I can tell you all, it did not look or feel clean.  We came home, and I wanted to bleach my hands.  We also had dinner with a convert family.  They were telling us their conversion story, and I was so amazed.  It took 17 years of missionaries, but the last ones that taught them just served them becuase they didn't know what else to do.  We are slowly building more and more member trust in these wards.  I love it.  Referrals are going to come flooding in! 
Saturday October 17
The worst day of the whole transfer.  You sit around (okay, not really sit around, we still worked), waiting to hear if you are getting transferred.  Our district had two service projects, and they both were for Less-Actives! It was great! They both came to church the next day too! WHOOO! Anyways, we used sledge hammers to beat apart a swamp cooler, and the Elders used axes to take down a tree.  Then they fed us lunch.  At the next service project, the lady's fence fell down, and so we helped put it back up.  We dug holes, re-nailed all the boards, and made that fence safe again.  I am so grateful the Elders knew what they were doing, and that they were able direct us where to nail, and where to dig.  Later that night, the Granite Hills Ward had an activity.  We had a chili cook-off, and I learned how to rope a cow! It was awesome.  So many people came out that we invited.  I was so grateful to have an activity where we could invite people to come to.  We also had homemade dutch-oven cobbler.  It was SO good.  I limited myself to only tasting the desserts.  Then I didn't overeat.  
Oh, and transfer calls came when we were building the fence.  I am staying and finishing my mission in Apple Valley in Ranchos and Granite Hills Wards.  I am in a trio... AGAIN!!! And Sister S who I was companions with in Upland is coming with Sister T2 and me.  It is going to be a party!!! 
Sunday October 18
We went to church, and our Less-Active was there.  I was so surprised!!! She has been telling us for weeks that she is coming, and never comes.  I think the fact we did service for her, and the fact I used that nasty underwear, really was what brought her to church!  Just kidding, but it was so good to see her there.

I hope you all have a great week! Here is a link to the video I was talking about earlier.

Love you all!
Love, Sister Rietz
High on a mountain top with Sister T2

High on a mountain top with my district 


Reppin' the Sister Missionaries

In an abandoned car, with my district.  Because it was there.
The new tripanionship

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Alma 50:16. Black Widows. Scaring Sis. T2

Alma 50:16
Thank you so much for all the Birthday Wishes.  I really can't believe that I am 21 years old.  Where has the time gone? Haha, so anyways... This last week was really good.  Miracles were present everyday, and I know that it is just a small sliver of what the Lord can give us.
Monday October 5
Like any normal P-day.  It was fun! We really just sat around and emailed, played Savageball (dodge-ball where everyone is against everyone else), and ate dinner.  It was a really relaxed day.  It was nice.
Tuesday October 6
We had an amazing Zone Meeting.  The Spirit was so strong, and I really just wanted to go and focus on finding families to teach the Gospel to.  There was no way anyone in that room didn't feel the Spirit.  I know that it was there, and it was teaching us all the things we needed for our areas to become better missionaries.  We had a lesson with our Recent Convert Brenda.  She is so great! We showed up for our lesson, and she walks out and tells us that she has been trying to call us, but we weren't answering.  We continued talking, and she asks to reschedule, and tells us that she is just too stressed out at that moment.  We know what being stressed is like, but we also know that the Scriptures can bring the most peace.  We started reading scriptures, and just talking about how the Gospel can bring so much peace to us when we are stressed out.  I am so grateful that we didn't have our phone on to get that call not to come.  I know the Lord knew Brenda needed to just talk, and feel the Spirit.
Wednesday October 7
We had so many great lessons.  We met with 2 of our Investigators.  Rebecca is 13, and is just trying to figure out how life works.  She is cousins with Brenda, and really looks up to her.  We had a member from the Young Women's Presidency with us, and she invited her to mutual which was that night, and Rebecca accepted.  From what we hear, she loved it, and can't wait for the next one.  We also saw Lori.  She is not a member, but her husband is.  He doesn't like us, and told her that she can meet with us, but not when he is home.  So now we have to be gone by 4:30.  But we were able to talk about Moroni 7:47.  At the beginning of my mission, I feel like I would have been disappointed that we weren't able to check anything off on the teaching record, but I have really learned that those things will be checked off when the Lord is ready for them to be checked off.  He knows what they need, and we just need to follow the Spirit to fill that need.
We also had FHE with a Less-Active Family!  The Dad never sits in on the lessons, but this time he did, and he asked us when we were coming back!!! WHOO! Miracles are happening on Sitting Bull Road.
Thursday October 8
We met up with the Sister Training Leaders, and ate Baja Taco.  So good! As Elder Falabella of the 70 would say, "I love rice and beans."  We all love rice and beans.  Haha.  It was a good time, and lots of laughs were shared with these sisters.  We also had a great lesson with a Less-Active.  We were able to talk about church, and learn a little bit more about her fears of coming to church.  It was great.  I am so grateful for the Spirit, and how it really can teach us.  We also were able to meet up with a family from my first area: The R family.  We ate dinner with them at Red Robbin, and they got me a little mini cake, (see picture), flowers, and 2 pumpkins because last year we carved pumpkins at their house. It was so good to see them, and they are all really amazing people!
Friday October 9
We had a great lesson with an active member.  We watched the conference talk by Elder Holland talking about Mothers.  It was really good to see how the Spirit was able to work through us to help her know that she is making a difference in her children's lives.  I really love the Spirit so much, and I am so grateful for my own mother who really does so much for all of us.  I am so grateful to learn from all the Moms that are in my life.  We also had dinner with another family from my first area: The B family.  I found out they are going to the temple really soon because Samantha's year mark is almost done, and they want me to go!! I am so happy! It was the best Early Birthday Present!!!  I loved it!  They are such a humble family, and they really rely on the Lord to get through hard times.
Saturday October 10
I may have broken the Word of Wisdom.  We ate so much food.  I didn't eat anything I wasn't supposed to, but I did eat SO MUCH! We were doing service for a member in the Ranchos Ward, and she made so much food, and we felt like we needed to eat a lot of it.  But the service was great.  There were so many Black Widows.  They are so GROSS!  Our house also just got labeled as dangerous because of how many Black Widows there were in the garage.  They are just hanging out, and it is so gross.  They are going to be destroyed this week though.  There is  a pest control company coming.
Sunday October 11
Well, everyone and their shopping cart full of bottles for recycling wished me a happy birthday.  It was embarrassing.  But oh well.  The best was when the Granite Hills Elders Sang Opera to me.  Then the Sister Training Leader's sang to me, and we ate cake, ice cream, more cake, and we don't even care how many calories it all was.  I also was able to scare Sister T2 again. Kind of.  It was more of just me getting stuck in the cupboard.  This is how she described it... "So Sister Rietz has been getting even more creative in her attempts to scare me. I went to use the bathroom and when I came out all of the lights in the house were turned off and the house was silent, as expected. I went through turning them back on and got to the kitchen where I burst out laughing because one of our lower cupboards was open and there were two feet sticking out. Sister Rietz had emptied the shelf of all the cooking supplies and had crawled in, but had accidentally kicked one of the doors open. It was a perfect opportunity and I closed all the cupboard doors and sat in front of them for a couple minutes. Then sat and took lots of pictures while Sister Rietz inch-wormed herself out of our cupboards."  It was way fun, except for when I really was stuck, and I saw a Spider web under there.  I was so worried there was going to be a spider family also with it... But there wasn't that I saw.

Thanks again for all of you being amazing!!! We are so blessed in this area, and I am really worried that I am going to get transferred.  Transfers are this coming week, and I really hope that I can stay here for my last transfer as a missionary serving a mission for the Lord.  I love it so much! I am so grateful for my Savior, and all that He does for me.  Thanks again.
Have a great week! Enjoy the cooler weather! It has been in the 90's pretty much all week!
Love, Sister Rietz

Sister Amber Rietz
6541 Woodruff Place
Rancho Cucamonga, Ca
My latest scare tactic!

A little birthday treat!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Conference, Cops, Cowboys, Crabs

I loved General Conference.  I loved the Spirit that it brought, and I loved the opportunity to sustain the leaders of the Church.
I am going to just go through the week, because there were so many great things that happened and I really don't want to miss any of them.
We need to go back in time a little bit.
Sunday September 20 Mom you might not want to read this day...
Sister T2 and I were coming home, and then all of a sudden there were so many bright lights all around.  We continued driving, and there were more and more lights all around.  I was like who's bright lights are these!!! Who thinks that they are being cool?  Then we get inside, and we are looking outside and see there are more lights in the alley behind our house.  I was like oh my goodness!  THEN we see that they are in the backyard of our neighbor.  So we called him, and he told us that there were some break-ins in the neighborhood, and they are just looking around.  Sister T2 was freaking out.  I was laughing, cause I didn't think that anything bad was going to happen to us.  She wanted to check the house so I let her check it.  As she was walking down the hall, I told her I was going to scare her.  I think that she thought I was kidding.  I wasn't.  I literally walked up behind her, and said AHHH!  I think that the neighbors probably thought that we were getting murdered.  I got her so good!!! And then she continued searching the house.  Our house was pretty well lit once the helicopter started circling our house.  That was fun.  3 hours later, they decided to give up their search I guess.  So that was a pretty good night.  We aren't sure if they found them, but we did find out that the person living across from us was homeless, and really wasn't supposed to be living in the house that they were living in.

Monday September 28
We were able to eat cafe rio for dinner.  Well not real Cafe Rio, but homemade.  It was so GOOD! The family was not in the best mood, and I realized how awkward it is to have people at the house, and someone is in a bad mood.  One of their daughters were mad, and it made me think about how many times people were in our house and I was in a bad mood and I am sure that it was really awkward for those that were there.  I am so sorry for those that had to witness those moments when I was a "child".  We also were able to do family home evening with the H Family.  I am so grateful for the times that we had FHE as a family.  Their daughter Brie was in charge of doing the game.  She made up some game, and it was really hard to catch on with.  She told me that I should get the hang of it, because it was easy.  People, I can tell you so IT WAS NOT EASY! There were no real rules.  She was just making up things as we went along. I do know that I was the person that was losing ALL the time! Seriously, I think that I did lose every round of "HELLO KITTY, HELLO KITTY".

Tuesday September 29
We taught the Law of Chastity to Rebecca.  It was weird, because we were planning on teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ but the Lord had a different plan for us.  It was neat because Brenda her cousin that just was baptized was able to bear testimony to her that the Law of Chastity really can change her life.  I loved sitting back, and watching Brenda just testify about it.  It is amazing how the Spirit can work through anyone that is willing to listen.  We also were able to help them shell all these crabs.  It was fun to just sit there. I told them about how we would do this when we went to Oregon, and they now think that in Idaho we catch all of our food.  I may be setting up false expectations about Idaho on accident.

Wednesday September 30
We were on a run at 6:41 in the morning.  At that time, I am not always the most alert.  I was running, and then Sister T2 started running faster.  I looked ahead, and our potential investigator, Gus, was out walking with his dog.  We started talking with him, and he apologized for missing the appointment that we had set up with him.  We also were able to read D&C 89 with our Less-Active that has been struggling with the Word of Wisdom.  She actually asked us if we could read it with her, and I was so happy!!! The Spirit was really strong, and I know that something in it changed her perspective.  She told us that in 2 weeks she is going to be stop smoking.  We also had to go to Pepboys.  "I love that place!" said no missionary ever.  I wish that we didn't have to go there, but it is what it is.  Oh well.  While there other missionaries walked in, and so we all were in a line one studying book of Mormon, one the Bible, one writing in their journal, and the other studying PMG.  We were all just bringing that Spirit into that building.

Thursday October 1
We polished china for our neighbor.  She also had us wear cowboy hats.  I am not really sure what wearing the hats did, but it gave us great opportunities to take pictures.  I was so nervous that we were going to break something, but there was not even a chip in any of the china.  At least not from us!  We also got to see Gus.  he gave us back the pamphlets that we left him.  Although he did keep the Plan of Salvation one.  His wife was killed in their church 10+ years ago, and he misses her a whole lot.  I really hope that the something in that Plan of Salvation Pamphlet can help him.  I know that it has taught me a whole lot, and brought me a lot of comfort.

Friday October 2
We weekly planned, and really tackled our areabook.  We spent so much time on it, but now there is no way that anyone can get confused with it.  We also met a lady in the ward, and we were trying to get to know her.  I thought that her husband had passed away, so I asked how long they were together.  She said, "Too Long." I was like oh... And then she tells us that he lives in Temecula.  and that she never wants to see him again.  It was awkward.  All I could say was "oh I have friends from college from there."  I didn't know what else to say, so then I was like, "so do you like to knit?" Yeah, that was a good representation of our day.

Saturday October 3
CONFERENCE! We played soccer against our Recent Converts, and it was so great.  We were playing before conference started, and it was wet outside so my shoes were really wet all day.  We ate breakfast with Oneida, and watched conference with her.  IT WAS SO GREAT!!!  In between sessions we helped our neighbor move.  It was so great to see all these members helping people that they didn't know.  Teresa told us that when we are asked to bring man power, we really know how to do it.  I love these wards.  They are really good at helping those around them.  We then went to the Bishop's house in the Granite Hills ward.  There was everything under the sun flavored pumpkin.  We ate so many pumpkin waffles, and I don't even feel guilty about it! It was totally worth it! Then we watched the session with them.

Sunday October 4
We watched the conference with our less-active, and we had waffles AGAIN! Still not guilty about those either.  I really love waffles! They are so good!!!  I told our WML about waffles and ice cream, so that will be happening with their family soon.  We then went and watched the last session with another Less-Active.  She made homemade chili, and cornbread.  It also was really good, and I also don't feel bad about that either.  I am really grateful for the things that were spoken at conference.  I really know they are called of God.  This is what I sent to our mission president about conference:   I loved General Conference so much! So many of the talks really helped answer the questions that I have. I really appreciated the things that President Monson said to us. I really appreciated the things that he said about as the world gets farther away from the teachings of Christ, and how we will stand out. But there is nothing wrong with standing out, because that is when the light can shine from our eyes. I really appreciated him saying that, because I feel like sometimes the world really pulls us all down. The world wants to pull us down, and I think that as we let the gospel shine from our eyes then more people will be brought to the gospel. I really appreciated him saying that a lot. I also loved the talk about ponderizing a scripture. I thought that it was a good way to commit ourselves to learn the scriptures that much more. I know that the Spirit will bring these scriptures that we ponderize to our memories when they are needed. I am excited to start with the Jacob 5:47. I think that this has to do with being a missionary, and really being diligent. 
I am so grateful for the things that we were taught during it.  I know they are called of God to lead and guide us.  Later that night, we were able to have a little adventure, and this is the exact way Sister T2 feels about it...

"So last year in college my roommates and friends figured out pretty quick that I'm pretty jumpy if you sneak up on me and try to scare me. Unfortunately, my companion has figured that out too. Yesterday we stopped by the house to grab something late at night. I got what I needed and walked back out into the kitchen. And then I noticed that the front door was open, and it was dark, cold, and windy inside and outside the house. And then I realized that I couldn't hear Sister Rietz anymore. I called for her a couple times and she didn't answer. I figured she was hiding, waiting to scare me, so I yelled that I was not moving from the well-lit kitchen and I would wait for her to come out. Then I realized that if she was murdered I should probably go find her. She better be glad that she has such a brave and courageous companion. I went through the house, turning on all the lights and opening all the doors until, sure enough, she jumped out from behind one of the doors and scared me half to death. I was not happy about it. We need house-mates. 
It's okay though, we laughed about it afterwards. I'm so glad she's my companion!"
I promise that I didn't change anything in that email! It was really funny to get her so well.  She is really easy to scare, but she knows about my hate for feet and so I know that revenge is in the making.

Well, I really hope that you all enjoyed conference, as a past companion said: "Oh CONFERENCE WAS AWESOME!!!!! BEST OF MY LIFE!!!! IF YOU DID NOT WATCH IT THEN REPENT AND GO WATCH IT!!!! IF YOU DIDN'T PAY ATTENTION REPENT AND WATCH IT AGAIN!!!!!!! 
It will change your LIFE!!!!!"  I can promise you that they things Sister N said are true.  Conference really can change your life! I love you all, and I love being a missionary.  There are so many times that I think about how different my life would have been had I not served a mission.  I know this church is true.  I know our Savior lives, and that He loves each one of us.  I know we are all so important to Him.  I know that as we pray, and ask questions we will receive answers.  I love you all.  Have a great week! Stay Safe!
TREV: I hope that your arm heals, and that you get to play a couple more games before the season ends.  Welcome to the Broken Arm Club! ;) 
I hope that I covered everything.  I know that I always miss something that happened through out the week.
Sister Amber Rietz
6541 Woodruff Place
Rancho Cucamonga, Ca
Small me next to a HUGE cactus


Crab anyone?