Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The light of Christ in all of us

I am so grateful for our Savior, Jesus Christ.  I want all of you to know how much the Savior means to me.  He has been there when I have thought that there was no other way.  He has been there when I have just wanted to quit biking and go eat a popsicle (this one has happened a lot more than I thought it would).  He has been there when I have been reading the scriptures and been so confused at what is being taught.  He has been there when hard things were happening to my family, and I had no way of knowing what was happening with them.  He has been there when a person we were teaching, called to tell us she was just going to give up. That it was just too hard.  He was there for her, my companion, and myself.
He has been there for every single one of us, all at different times with different struggles.  I am so grateful that he never gives up on any of us.  He is never going to say, "Sorry, I had my hand reaching out to you for the last 22 years, and I am just going to pull it back now."  He has promised us that he will always be there for us.  He knows what we are going through and knows what additional tests, trials and road blocks that we need before us so that we can be able to grow.  I am honestly so amazed at the Love the Savior has for each one of us.  We are working with so many people, who are just stuck on thinking they are a lost cause.  They think no one cares about them, or really understands where they are at in their life.  I think they are forgetting the things the Savior did for us.  He stood there and was mocked for each one of us.  He walked with the cross on his back.  He suffered for every little mistake that we have ever, and will ever make.  He sacrificed himself so that every last person on earth could return to live with Heavenly Father.  I know that as we pray and tell the Lord the things that are really a struggle for us at that time, He will answer us.  I am so grateful for that communication that we still have here.  Okay, sorry that was just something that has been on my mind a whole lot recently.  I will now step off that soap box and proceed to tell you all about the exciting adventure of Sister Rietz in the middle of nowhere Apple Valley, California!
Nothing too exciting happened over here, expect Sister S was walking past a cactus and it shot a thorn at her leg.  Someone called it a spitting cactus, but we are not really sure if that is what happened to her leg.  It has been causing her "immense" pain, and so we are two normal missionaries and one wounded warrior.
Tuesday October 27:
We had another District Meeting... On the Mountain! Surprise, Surprise!  It is so peaceful and perfect up there.  It only took us 5 mins to get to the perfect spot to throw a pumpkin off a cliff.  No worries, no hiking was needed this time around.  I was asked to give a training based off a training that Sister T and I gave a couple transfers ago in Upland.  Apparently word spread around the mission that we had smashed plates.  In honor of Halloween and the fact that it was cheaper to buy one pumpkin than 7 plates, we smashed one pumpkin off of that mountain.  We all wrote the fears that we all face as missionaries.  We used scriptures, quotes, Preach My Gospel, and the nice little cliff to smash all of those fears.  It was a pretty successful meeting I would say.  We also had the Granite Hills Halloween Party that night.  But not before we had an amazing dinner with our Less-Active, and we were able to figure out a little bit more as to why she doesn't come to church.  We were amazed that she opened up, and her tear ducts were a flowin' as well.  The little triumphant trio was all a little teary eyed as well.  Judge us.  We don't care.  Then on to the Halloween Party.  Most of the people we are working with came and it was so exciting!  Yes, we dressed up. We live right next to the D family, who have become like grandparents to us. They are the funniest, most bickering out of love couple that I have ever met.  Brother D as a white mustache that he likes to wax up into a curl so for Halloween, we were Brother D! He let us use his cowboy hats and wool shirts and we wore stick-on mustachs! Everybody thought it was pretty funny.  We just needed the glass mason jars with overflowing ice and we would have been identical to him!
Wednesday October 28: 
We helped a woman in the ward, okay she is actually only 11 months older than me, paint chairs for her house.  She has 3 kids all under the age of 3.  It was a zoo, and I have never been so distracted while doing a service project for someone.    We also were able to see Brenda.  As I said last week, her mom passed away and Brenda is back in town.  We were over there talking about the Plan of Salvation, and then we were off to another appointment.  On the way into that appointment, I noticed there was a HUGE spot on the back of Sister S's skirt.  We didn't see Brenda's puppy the whole time we were there and we were sitting on the floor...  the puppy was not yet potty trained and Sister S had been sitting in it. It wasn't super noticeable and we like I said, we had those appointments that we really needed to get to so we just didn't worry her about it until we got home that night. She forgave us eventually.  I think.
Thursday October 29:
We had a lesson with 2 of our Investigators: Lila and Andrea.  They are so great! They are like sponges, and soak up everything that we say to them.  They have come to church now, and they LOVED it.  Andrea was pretty sick, and so the Elders came and gave her a blessing.  It told her that she could know the church was true if she asked God.  It was so great!  We also had another lesson with Larry.  He is progressing well.  We are just waiting for him to get off probation, and then he can FINALLY get baptized.  His next court date is January.  I feel like it is going to be a never ending court date.  We also are starting a scripture study class here.  Just like the one that we had in Upland.  It was pretty good for it being the first week.  We are more prepared now.  We have flyers, and we are ready to pass them out to everyone.

Friday October 30: 
We had another lesson with Lila and Andrea.  We taught the Plan of Salvation to them.  Andrea had a baby that passed away, and she is so happy to know that she can see him again.  I love the knowledge that the Plan of Salvation brings to us.  She kept asking, "Am I really going to see them!?"  It was such a tender moment, and I know she will see him again.  I also ruined another skirt, but Sister D saved it.  I was helping crack open Pomegranates when one exploded on me.  I was so sad to see all that red juice seep into my skirt.  We took it to the her, and lo and behold, Sister D is a magician! She was able to get it out.  So my skirt is saved.
Saturday October 31:
We helped Andrea reorganize her garage.  We found a lost member.  Sister S won musical chairs.  It was not just any normal musical chairs, but Ranchos Ward Musical Chairs.  Which means that everyone is SUPER competitive and wants to win.  It was hilarious to watch, and we also were assigned to help a less active woman pass out candy.  She has not been to the the church since 2010, and then she showed up at the Halloween Party.  So good to be able to build relationships with her, and we have a lesson set with her this week.  We dressed up as Brother D again, but everyone thought that we were just cowboys. 
Sunday November 1:
I bore my testimony about how great it is to serve a mission, and to serve others.  I accidentally said: "you can learn a lot about someone just from helping them clean out their garage.  We helped Andrea, and now her garage is a lot cleaner." Good thing Andrea loves the Gospel, or else we might have been no longer teaching her.  Everyone laughed, and thought it was funny.  I really didn't mean to say that, it just kind of happened.  Sister S, Sister T2 and I were talking about this and I brought up how cool it is that everybody's light is a little different. The three of us have very very different personalities, but we all have the light of Christ. Sometimes it just shines through us in different ways. We all have different strengths but when we work together we are able to do so much more than any of us could do on our own. I know that each of us is so important to God and that every person can have the light of Christ in them. Thank you all for your examples and all of the ways you have strengthened me. Being in a trio is not always roses, butterflies, and goldfish... it has those moments where you just want to eat all the chocolate in the world, and not even feel guilty. But, I am so grateful for these two crazy, funny, humble, diligent sisters as my companions for this last little bit of my mission.
I hope everyone has a great day.  If any of you are wondering, I am not trunky.  I think that some of the members are more trunky than I am.  They are always asking me what I am going to do with my life, and I tell them; "ehhh, be a missionary..."  I think that is the best go to answer, cause Every Member a Missionary.
It is still really warm here in California.  We woke up this morning to our house being 71 degrees.  There was a nice HOT wind and so I am thinking it will be the most perfect weather for the rest of the week.  Sorry for those of you who are freezing up in Utah and Idaho! Hahaha.
I love you all. Have a great week!
Sister Amber Rietz
6541 Woodruff Place
Rancho Cucamonga, Ca
Happy Halloween from Apple Valley

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