Monday, January 6, 2014

"Tender Mercies and Smiles"

Hello Family and Friends!

This week has been alright...I guess first of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR! I think I said that last week too...Oh well, short term memory I guess. I hope you all had a good new year! It's a great time to start over and make changes and also to bring your lives in closer harmony with our Savior Jesus Christ. Think of one thing you can do better to come closer to our Savior and our Heavenly Father. He has given us this life, the least we can do is come closer to Him in some way.

It has been so cool to be on a mission and have people tell you that they recognize that we are representatives of Jesus Christ and that we have the Spirit with us. That is so rewarding to know that others can see it and feel it. It makes me happy. There have been a few experiences this week where those we work with have told us that they can see the Spirit of the Lord in our eyes and can notice a difference when our tongues are loosed and the Spirit takes over. I love when this happens. However, I can never remember what I said or what was said after this happens. 

My New Years Resolutions are to 1. Write in my journal every day, 2. Write down at least one Tender Mercy a day, and 3. Take 1 picture a day. So far so good! I have loved seeing all the Tender Mercies the Lord has given me throughout the day! Last week I lost my pen, this pen is a nicer pen that you buy refills for and I got it cause it's one that works really well to write on pass along cards. So I lost it and a few days later a member gave us a ride and guess what!? It was on the seat! Just chilling there on the seat in the car, it hadn't fallen down to the floor or gotten lost in the cracks on the seat! I was so happy!! 

We did a lot of service this week as well. We helped one of our neighbors clean up her ivy for a little bit on Wednesday then on Saturday on exchanges Sister P. and I helped our other side neighbor with cutting down a tree and bundling up the branches. I have a video of the tree coming down! It's pretty cool! He was very impressed with how we practice our faith and help all those around us not just those in our religion. It was a cool experience! 

One of the families we are working with is progressing really well! We hope that they will come back to church soon, they are such amazing, sweet people! I love them! They're just like family away from home! All those we work with are just like family! It's really great!

We had a confirmation on Sunday! You can see the Spirit in her smile! She's such an example to her family who her parents came to church on Sunday and at a lesson we had Saturday night they can feel the Spirit we bring as well as when we were at the baptism and the other baptism we went to with her family. I am so excited for their family and to see their progression! 

I love this gospel so much. Sunday was a really amazing day, hard because no one was home when we tried but good because of the tender mercies we saw. I love being a missionary and focusing so much on the Lord and doing His will. When we fully submit ourselves to Him, He will help us in all things and bless us so much more than we can ever imagine. 

Have a wonderful week and talk to those around you, family, friends, coworkers, those people at the store about the gospel. Or even just smile. There are so many people going through hard times that we can't see from the outside. Walking around today we talked with a man who goes running around Azusa everyday and knows just about everyone, especially those who live at the parks and in the streets. He is so friendly and happy. He complimented our smiles and I had a thought that I told him: If each of us smile to at least one person a day, that smile will travel around the world because it'll make them smile and pass that smile on to someone else. A smile is contagious. I think Shel Silverstine or Dr. Seuss or someone like that said something along those lines once. It is so true! Keep smiling and bring up the gospel and you yourself will ultimately be happier! 

I love you all!

Love, Sister Celeste Riches

PS. I should be on Facebook this week which means that it is for missionary purposes only and that casual communication to family and friends is to be done in email or letters, not on Facebook. 

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