Monday, March 31, 2014

Earthquakes and the Power of Women

Hello family and friends!

This week started off alright. We tried finding new investigators on
Monday and Latham night taught on awesome lesson. Tuesday we went to
the temple and tried to teach some lessons and find new investigators.
Not much success. Wednesday was hard. Sister Mattingley had a bad
headache so she rested while I update more into our electronic area
book app. I was also able to catch up a little in my journal...I've
really been lagging. We tried finding more new investigators by going
to old potentials and former investigators. No success there either.
Lots of people moved and current owners not interested or no one home.
But we are trying. On Thursday we taught the word of wisdom to an
investigator and that went well. It's hard to tell with her what she
is actually understanding. She says she gets it but she doesn't act on
anything. We were then able to stop by another investigator who
understands really well and say happy birthday! We made her day! Not
many family members remembered. So she was so thankful we did. She was
going to come to church Sunday for the second time but got a bad sore
throat and upset stomach. We visited her after church on Sunday and
taught her about the atonement because that's what everything in
church was centered around. Well, the whole gospel is centered around
the atonement of Jesus Christ. But it was really good. Friday we
taught a lesson but everything else fell through. Saturday we taught
two lessons and picked up a new investigator. He is interested in
learning what "our side of the story is". It went well. We will be
passing him off to the YSA elders. Sunday night we had another lesson
where we watched Finding Faith in Christ with the Jewish investigator
and his family at a members home. It went well. He is still having so
many questions and has so many Jewish traditions.

Now I want to talk about 1)the earthquake and 2) the General Women's Meeting.

So on Friday night I felt my very first earthquake! It was around 9pm,
time for daily planning, we had just gotten home and I was sitting at
our table in our room and Sister M. was washing her hands in
the bathroom. Our room has two of the walls faceing outside. (If that
makes since) so I hear this banging it seems like- like a big garbage
truck. And I thought someone was outside the house banging on the
wall. Then our closet mirror doors start shaking and moving and the
water on the table in front of me started swaying! I realized it was
an earthquake. I had no clue what to do! It lasted a little bit no
more than a minute. Nothing fell over just things shook. I opened our
door and Sister Mattingley was right there and we were both reply
scared. So we just hugged each other and laughed. We were both shaking
and our hearts were beating really fast. It was quite fun. We saw from
members posts on Facebook hat it was a 5.3 or something and the
biggest quake they'd felt for a while. We then began speculating what
would have happened if we were in a car or walking around or riding
our bikes. I really want to go to an earthquake simulator sometime and
try that out. But the next day we were teaching a lesson outside and
we felt another one! It wasn't that bad just felt a little rumble like
someone running on the level above us shaking the ground a little. The
Friday night earthquake reminded me of Freaky Friday...good thing it
wasn't that bad!

We were able to go to the stake center for the General Women's
Meeting. There was an appetizer and dessert social beforehand and it
was really nice to sit and watch all the young girls and other
sisters. It made me think of Sara and how she was at their social and
broadcast in New York. The broadcast was amazing! The spirit as so
strong and I am so happy that I am a daughter of God and that I have a
divine nature! I love being a woman of the gospel. We were supposed to
have two investigators come but one missed her ride and the other was
still traveling back from LA. The whole time we were saying how much
they would have loved the broadcast and felt the strong spirit of
sisterhood! I am so excited for general conference! If the women's
broadcast was that good conference is going to be amazing! I loved how
much they emphasized making and keeping sacred convents. Baptism,
receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, going to the temple, receiving
the endowment, and then being sealed in the temple, and constantly
returning to the temple. I am so happy for these saving ordinances
that are made possible by the restoration of the gospel  and he
priesthood! I was tearing up all throughout the meeting. I kept
thinking of mom and Sara and the blessing it is that we are all in the
gospel and faithful to our covenants. The spirit was so strong!
Especially with the songs and videos. It was so sweet how the 8-11
year old girls got up and sang "teach me to walk in the light". I was
so happy to know that Sara was one of those girls standing up and
singing out loud! I loved how Sister Oscarson said that we are not
Christians if we judge others and if we compare ourselves to others. I
know that judging others is not Christlike but I have never thought
about comparing myself to others is not Christlike. It was also cool
how there was a story about a girl named Sara who did service for a
lady with MS. I liked that. President Eyrings talk was so good. It's
so hard to imagine the love our Heavenly Father has for each and every
one of us. That He loves us more that our parents here on earth! It is
so comforting to know the the good pride that my mom and dad have for
me, which is so big, is multiplied so many times and that is the pride
that Heavenly Father has in me for keeping my convents and serving
Him. I also had the thought in have broadcast about the scripture,
"And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have
brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your
joy if you should bring many souls unto me! Behold, you have my gospel
before you, and my rock, and my salvation." (D&C 18:16-17). By keeping
my convents and later becoming a mother. I can raise my children in
the gospel and help bring them unto God. I had always looked at this
scripture as bringing others into the gospel, bringing investigators
and less actives. But never my own children. It is such a gift that
women have to bring children into this world and teach and nurture
them with a loving father. I learned a lot from this broadcast.
There's still so much I can learn from it too by reading it and
watching segments again.

I love this gospel and the peace and hope it has brought to my life. I
love my savior Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice that we can all
return to live with a God again as we do what is asked of us and make
and keep the covenants in baptism and the temple.

Love, Sister Celeste Riches

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