Monday, December 23, 2013


Merry Christmas Family and Friends!! 

This has been an amazing week! President asked us last week to find 2 new investigators. Later that day our Zone Leaders asked us to find 3. And we succeeded. We found 3 new investigators last week. The first one was found on Tuesday. After we took the survey we were about to leave the library. The Spirit prompted me to go over and talk to this man in a wheelchair. Sister P. and I began talking with him and he accepted our invitation to hear our message. We tried doing the pamphlet teaching of the restoration-a short 20 minute lesson using pictures- but he had so many questions we helped him understand and got a return appointment. He has been very confused with religion and is looking for the truth. We met with him again on Thursday and made many calls trying to find a member to come with us. The one we hoped would come was not available, as were the other 5 we tried. We finally were able to get a hold of one and she came with us. Otherwise we would have had to cancel the lesson. It was wet and rainy but the lesson went well and we taught to the restoration. After this lesson, we felt we needed to pass him off to the elders. So we had a pass off lesson with them. 

The second investigator we found was a girl that we had taught before but gave her to the Hermanas to teach her with her mom who only speaks spanish. However, the mom was not interested and we had never 'picked her back up' as an investigator. We were able to meet with her and teach her about the Book of Mormon and she is very interested in learning more. 

The third investigator we found was a referral a member gave to the Spanish elders and we hadn't tried seeing her until Saturday. When we did she opened the door let us in we taught using the pamphlet had great unity as companions and she told us how she felt. She normally never lets people into her house and told us the Spirit told her to let us in. She expressed she has been wondering and praying if she should go back to church and learn more. She has been a few times to our church services about a year or two ago but is interested in learning more. 

These were all miracles that we have seen this week, along with one more...well there was many but these were my top picks!

We have a baptism this next Sunday!!!! A. IS GETTING BAPTIZED!! Her story is incredible. How she was found, how ready she is, and how 'golden' of an investigator she is. She has not only taught me a lot about missionary work but has strengthened my desire to serve a mission and has really strengthened my testimony that the field really is all "white and ready to harvest". Her parents have agreed that she can be baptized and they came with us to a Spanish baptism yesterday so her parents could understand. They felt the Spirit and we had been fasting and praying steadfastly like the Army of Helaman that everything would work out in order for her to be baptized this Sunday. At the baptism they played "Come Thou Fount" while a slideshow of temples played on the TV. This was inspired because that is what got A. interested in learning about the gospel in the first place- temple sealings and blessings. She loved it!! We will hopefully be taking her and her family to the LA Temple this week to see the lights...we're praying it all works out as we have tried MANY times before in this month.

Tuesday was an amazing day! Lots of tender mercies and seeing the progress of certain investigators!! 

On Saturday we had a zone breakfast one of the members in the stake gave us. It was SOO Good! We had eggs, bacon, sausage, hasbrowns, pinneapple, oranges, strawberries, canteloup, and milk, and orange juice! So good! They also gave us little stocking gift bags! They were so sweet to do that for us! We sand Called to Serve for them and it was awesome.

And one of our investigators family said that we are the only missinoaries that their daughter has sat through a lesson before! This is awesome to know that there is a reason my companion, Sister P., and I are together! 

OH! And Sunday's sacrament program was AMAZING!!! There's so much to tell! So we sang in the choir and I was a little bawl baby up there... There was one song that a group of sisters sang together. This reminded me of something S. and I would do. It was beautiful and made me cry...Then there was a story that President Monson or Utchdorf told that was very touching about a man giving up his seat to a soldier on an airplane. The last plane to go home so he could see his family. But the most amazing thing was the song the Young Women sang. They sang a beautiful arrangment of Silent Night. One of the Young Women knows Sign Language and we have a deaf man in our ward. I was  watching him all throughout the program and he looked bored and I was praying that he'd be able to feel the spirit and feel apart of the program. Sky began to sign the song and he lit up! He began signing along with her and mouthing the words to the song. As he did this tears streamed down his face. It was so sweet to see this happen from on the stand. It was so great to see the Spirit of Christmas touch his heart as S. signed for him. It was an amazing experience.

Something else from sunday that I feel prompted to share and strongly believe is that we can't change our circumstances but we can change our outlook on the circumstance. Also that we need to "Have Faith not fear" - Elder Ballard and that we need to "Doubt our Doubts before we Doubt our Faith" - Elder Uchtdorf.

I love being a missionary!! And I am so glad the Lord has chosen me to work as a tool in His hands that I can experience the changes in peoples lives and help them come closer to Christ by making covenants with God! 

I wish all of you a Merry Christmas! I love you all and pray for you always! 

Sister Celeste Riches

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