Well this week has been interesting. Whitewashing is not easy! The elders left us with a few investigators but we have only met three out of the 8 (two in a family, three in a family, and 3 individuals). It's so hard to know where everything is and where everyone is located and to know who to go visit and who might be progressing most and who needs our help most...all the normal missionary problems. We are praying for miracles daily! And the spirit to help guide us to where to go. Our daily planning takes about an hour to do because we try to figure who we should see and where to go. We have been able to dot out where all the members live and make our area into smaller areas and get a big map from the clerks office to put stickers and label who lives where so we can better use the Lord's time. I love our map!!
Sister M is awesome! She is so sweet and a really good teacher! I need to learn to not talk as much...I need to be better at letting there be some silence to give us time to hear the spirit and for the spirit to teach those we meet. I tend to get on the "oh they don't have much time and if we pause too long they'll get annoyed because they have other things to do", but what is more important than the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Nothing. There is so much I can and am learning from her!
The members here are awesome! I am being well feed, dinners every night--now we need to work on having nonmembers and less-actives feeding us or at dinner appointments so we are more on purpose. Although we have been able to create some good bonds with the members and trust for them to think we are good missionaries and give us names. We must be good missionaries since they trust us with names after meeting us for about an hour. I sure hope so!! Also I am safe and I am happy, I love being on a mission! The members are so missionary minded as well! The ward is doing a missionary specialists class where the bishop picks a few families to attend during Sunday school to learn from preach my gospel and then by the end of the 4-5 week class they are to have a name they give the missionaries to start teaching! The first bunch just ended so hopefully we'll be getting names soon! But everyone is so loving and willing to help. They're also super excited to have sisters because this ward has NEVER had sisters before. Another interesting fact.. In this stake they are number 1 for temple goers and for sending members out on missions but last place for convert baptisms...so we have to change that! The members are so ready for miracles to happen and so ready to fellowship people into the ward! I'm so excited for this ward!!
We walk a lot here because riding our bikes is only nice going south...downhill..like you don't have to pedal hardly ever! But going back home...that's a different story! It takes about 5 minutes to get somewhere downhill and about 45 min to go back up...not worth it!! Unless we bike down and bus back..that'll be faster. I hate biking now...hate's a strong word..strongly DISLIKE! So I looked on the map yesterday at how far approximately B is from me...he's home is about 2-3 miles away. His college is outside of my area however. Pretty crazy! At dinner this past week with a member we went in and introduced ourselves and after I said, "I'm Sister Riches" the father said, "So you're B's sister." And I said "Yup..WAIT! How do you know my brother?" Turns out they've had some classes together and see each other all the time. Other people are shocked when they find out he's so close!
It is so nice to get emails and letters from you guys!! They make my weeks!!! It's so nice to hear from others and hear their missionary moments! Pray for the opportunity to have missionary moments with friends and family and don't be afraid to open your mouth. If you don't open your mouth and tell them about the truth who will? I am so thankful for this gospel and all the blessing that it has given me and my family! I want to share it with everyone and help them have the same blessings and happiness. If you are struggling with anything just turn to our Savior. He is the one who can help you with anything that you are going through! He knows exactly how you feel and exactly what will help you. Humble yourself so you can listen to His words and study and pray until you have found the answer. I know that He truly does answer our prayers. He answers in His own time but it's for our benefit and our help. I know that this is the true restored gospel on the earth and that Heavenly Father are Jesus Christ love us very much and that Christ lives. He lives to help us in our times of need and to weep with us and rejoice with us, even over the small things like finding a lost sock to big things of comfort in hard times. I love all of you and pray you are all doing wonderfully and staying warm (those where it is below 70 everyday).
Sister Celeste Riches