Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The best time of my life

Serving as a missionary for the last 18 months of my life, has been the Best.  I know that I have had a lot of really random emails saying that we did nasty service, had a terrible week, everyone dropped us and that I was just struggling but I would never in a million years, trade that for my mission.  Even if someone was offering for me to meet the Prophet.  Being a missionary has really been hard, but as I said a couple weeks ago it has made me really rely on the Spirit.  It has changed me.  Ask any of the members or missionaries that I served around at the beginning of my mission.  I am really different, but I am okay with that.  No, I am not any less hilarious or crazy, but I am more who Heavenly Father wants me to be.  I am this much closer to my divine potential.  I love this Gospel so much, and although I won't always have a badge on my clothes, there will forever be the badge that has slowly stitched itself to my heart.  I know that Satan really tries hard to get us to go against what we believe, but we have to stick with our faith to overcome those weaknesses.  I will save the rest for next week.
This last week was really crazy. Good crazy, and Bad Crazy.
Monday November 9th
We had a normal P-day with not a whole lot of crazy things going on, and we were able to get everything done. Even got the car cleaned!  Then we ate dinner at our Ward Mission Leader's house.  A couple weeks ago, they asked me what is something that I missed from home.  I told them I missed the few times that our family would eat waffles and ice cream.  At the same time... So that night when we walked in the door what was waiting for us? Waffles and Ice Cream with all sorts of nice things to put on top of it.  So that night I ate many a waffles with no shame.  Then we had a really great lesson with our investigator, Millie.  She has so much faith! The last 5 months for her has been TERRIBLE! She is always telling us though, that it is part of God's plan for her.  She has no doubt in her mind that this is the path that Heavenly Father wants for her.  We talked the whole time about faith, and then she said the closing prayer.  In the prayer she never once asked Heavenly Father for anything.  She just told him all the things that she was grateful for.  It was a real testimony builder to me, that gratitude prayers are sometimes the best prayers.
Tuesday November 10th
We had Zone Meeting! I loved Zone Meeting.  Until they asked me to bear my testimony on the things that I learned as a missionary... they let me go before the Elder who is also going home. How kind of them right?  We also were able to see the new Christmas Video that the church will be promoting this season.  It is so good! All these little children telling the story of Christ.  I love that you can see the little light in their eyes, and that they are all so happy! Really brought the Spirit into that room.  The whole time this meeting was going on, our little car was at Pepboys getting a tune up, so after the meeting, the Sisters all went and got Sushi and ate it while waiting for our car.  Then that night we were able to have a lesson with both our investigators, Jordan and Jesse.  It was really good! We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and Jordan told us that he wanted to be baptized on the 21st! Which is the same day as his brother.  We were so happy, and planned the whole baptism right there.  I was so grateful for their mother who was right there helping us teach the lessons to them.  Such a tender moment for their family.  The best part is that we thought their dad would have a problem with them getting baptized, and he doesn't! He is actually excited that they are choosing this themselves, and that they are following through with it.
Wednesday November 11th
We had a lesson with Lila and Martin (he is a new investigator!)  We were talking about baptism, and Lila told us that she wanted to push her baptism back till the beginning of the year.  It was really sad, but at least she didn't drop us.  She is still planning on getting baptized, but needs to get through these next 2 months she said.  We also did service for our Recent Converts family.  They are having a memorial for her mom, and so we were helping clean up the yard for them.  The Young Men from the ward came, and the Grandma was so happy.  She almost started crying, and she was just so grateful.  We also had another lesson with Jordan and Jesse.
Thursday November 12th
We went to the scripture study class, and it was so great! It was only the 3rd time having it, and there were over 20 people there! It was so great! Most of them were less-actives or investigators! It was so great to be in such a little room with so many people.  When we told people we were going to be having this class, we were told we would need a small room since not a lot of people would show up.  Haha, well I am so grateful that we broke the expectations that we had set.
Friday November 13th
There is a cold that is going around, and Sister S got it.  That morning we had gone and helped clean up the yard more for the same family mentioned above, and it was so great to meet all the extended family.  People could not believe that we were doing the yard for free and that we wanted to help them.  They didn't know what missionaries were, and now they do! It was such a cool moment when Brenda was telling everyone what we did.  She told everyone that we were the Mormons that she always talked about.  It was another testimony builder to me of how important member missionary work is.  The Ranchos ward also had a relief society activity but Sister S wasn't feeling the best, so we came home and she went to bed.
Saturday November 14th
Sister S woke up feeling more sick, so we let her rest until we had to go.  We had promised the day before to come and help set up for the memorial, so that is what we did.  It was again so great to talk with their family and tell them what we do as missionaries, and why we came on missions.  Brenda's dad is a pastor, so I was worried that he would want to bible bash or something, but he didn't.  We all just talked, and he asked us questions, and we told him what we could.  When we were leaving, they were all so grateful, and you could tell that it had meant a lot to them.  We then went to Jordan and Jesse's house.  The Elders had taught them the Law of Chastity, and they would not stop telling us what they had learned from the Elders.  9 and 10 year old versions of the Law of Chastity were taught with Pokemon cards.  I am not really sure how the Elders related it, but the boys sure got it.  
Sunday November 15th
I spoke in the Granite Hills Ward about the things that I learned on my mission.  I got a lot of quotes from the talk by Elder D. Todd Christofferson titled, When Thou Art Converted.  It was really good! It helped me to get a good base for my talk.  The members all said that I did a good job, but I think that there is a commandment that says to compliment missionaries.  We had dinner with our Bishop's family, and it was so good to talk with their son who returned from a mission not all that long ago.  He gave me some advice, and told me just accept that you are going to feel awkward for a few days.  I didn't even bring up that I was going home, but with another missionary going home in that ward it is inevitable that going home is going to be brought up.  We also practiced singing the song that we are singing at the baptism this coming weekend.  Three Baptisms in three hours.  You won't hear me complaining about that!  We are singing, Lead Kindly Light with a guitar.  It should be good!  Hopefully with us getting our flu shots today, none of us actually get the flu this week.  I really hope that we don't sound like rocks in a blender.  One of the Elders whenever someone hit a wrong note would make the worst noise and pretend to be turning on a blender.
I am so grateful for every single one of you! You have changed my life in some way.  I am sure of it!  have a great week! Stay warm! It is freezing here! The other day I had to turn the defroster on in the car.  Never thought I would have to do that on my mission...
Oh you all should watch the video called The Spirit of Thanksgiving! So great! I love the guy in the red shirt...http://www.mormonchannel.org/watch/series/mormon-messages/in-the-spirit-of-thanksgiving-1  He is my favorite.  "my bed.  Cause I don't have one." Maybe I'll start sleeping on the floor so that I can be more grateful for a bed.  It's the little things, that matter most in life.

Sister Rietz
Flu shot champions

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