Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Breakfast with the Ponies!

Hello Family and Friends!

Well this past week has been a big learning experience for me. Let me start at the beginning of the week...

On Monday we were able to go play basketball and dodge ball with our Zone. It was a lot of fun! I was also able to catch up on some letters. 

On Tuesday I finally started editing my Facebook. Mom, Dad, family...I am sorry but my Mission President has asked that we delete our Family members from our Facebook as we are online missionaries. Otherwise we will not be able to work on Facebook. I'm sorry but I'll add you all again later. Thanks for understanding! This way we can stay on our purpose as missionaries. We were able to have an awesome lesson with a recent convert as well. It so amazing how things click because of the Spirit.

Thursday was the highlight of the week. We had a Mission Conference with a person from the Missionary Department. To start off it was Elder Donaldson who was the Mission President in the District 2 Videos. He's so awesome and inspired and bold! Secondly, he expressed to us how this Mission Conference is a very unusual thing to happen. First it is very odd that a member from the Missionary Department came to a mission to do a training. Normally it is a General Authority. Second of all, It is very odd that he came and trained the WHOLE mission. He told us this has NEVER happened before. He received permission to come help us in a new way of teaching. We are to teach 20 minute lessons and teach simply for understanding so that those we teach can learn by the spirit and we are their guides to help them on their journey of learning about Jesus Christ. This seems like common sense that this is how we are to teach but he was able to teach us HOW to do this. We are teaching from the pamphlets that President Gordon B. Hinckley created. In the first lesson about the Restoration it is to be done in 7 minutes!!! It can happen to. We're still practicing. It is very simple and uses the pictures in the pamphlets. He also taught us how to do really good street contacts. Normally people introduce the church and that we are missionaries...people aren't blind they can see our tag and there's a ton of us. If they don't know they'll ask. So we go and introduce Jesus Christ. We say, "Can I ask you a question?" People generally say yes, if they say no.."Okay you have a nice day!" so yes..."Do you feel Jesus Christ's love in your life?" and then either "Would you like to?" or "Would you like to feel His love more in your life?" if they say no "Would you bet your eternity or your family on that?" (Pretty Bold right!?) if they say yes we set up an appointment and get their information and start teaching. I am so excited to try this out and see it all play through! Did you know that there are about 1,700 people in every mission area around the world that would accept the missionary lessons tomorrow and 10% of that would be baptized tomorrow!? It was an amazing conference and as I went in I had some questions that I had been pondering for myself and it was amazing that as I listened and learned by the Spirit that they were answered. 

Lessons this week were hard to get. Sister P and I are still trying to figure out what we need to do or not do so this doesn't happen again. We've been praying and fasting for help and we have faith that this week will be much better. We are optimistic about this new way of teaching and finding. We also learned that this work cannot be done without the Lord's help-once again common sense but so true! 

But Today! We went with one of the office sisters, Sister W, and went to the Santa Anita Racetrack to have breakfast with the ponies! In the morning the jockeys will warm up and work the horses. I got hot chocolate and french toast and BACON! It was really fun! We were also able to get a lot done when we got home so now we have time for emails and some down time. Which is nice! 

Thank you all for your prayers and support! I really do appreciate everything you have done for me. I can not express how much it means to me to have such amazing family and friends that love and care about me! I pray for you all and hope those of you who are not in warm weather right now are safe and warm! 

Sister Riches

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