Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Families Can Be Together Forever

This week went  by really fast! But it was a good one. Monday after I
emailed we went to almost every grocery store in town! It was
crazy...I dislike shopping after busy p-days. But the zone activity we
went to was fun to play games with the other missionaries. We are a
pretty unified zone. Which is nice. I didn't get too close with my
last zone cause we never had time to go to the activities.

On Tuesday we taught an awesome lesson. We were able to have the
lesson at a members home that loved a few houses down. The spirit was
so strong. We talked about prophets and helped her understand that
Thomas S. Monson is not a false prophet and help clear up some
questions about who can be a prophet. It was a really good lesson!

On Wednesday we did service for a less active family. We then went to
visit a few investigators in the same apartment complex but we kinda
got kicked out by the manager. I guess we are supposed to call the
resident to meet us at the gate every time- first time ever hearing
this after 3 months. Our investigators have given us the code to get
in too. Oh well... So instead we started walking and we had no clue
who to go see next. It was a cold day and we were tired and had no
clue. So we ended up sitting on a bus bench an decided to go looking
for potentials on that street. We found a teenager who was the
daughter of the potential. Was figured out when we could come back and
when would be best. So we went back on Friday. First we made some
phone calls to get a member for a later lesson but no one answered and
everyone was having date night. As we were making calls we saw the
daughter and it liked like two friends leave the house. We got kinda
bummed cause she left. We figured maybe the mom would be inside. So we
we walked up to their apartment. The same time she was walking back up
to the apartment and the two other girls followed. We said hi to the
one in front and knocked on the door. The girl in front said hi I'm
here. Turns out she was the mom! She looked in her late 20s/30s. Not
mother age. But she is! She let us in right away and grabbed chairs
for us to sit down on. It was as if she knew how we taught lessons.
But the elders who had talked to them before never had a lesson. She
was always too busy with school which she just graduated. But she had
awesome questions for us. A lot about the Book of Mormon. So we
answered them then started to teach the restoration. When we go to the
apostasy people normally have no clue what famine or apostasy means.
Famine is in a scripture in the pamphlet we read with them. They did.
The mom knew right away what apostasy meant. We said that apostasy was
when people rejected Jesus Christ's teachings. And she said yeah it's
a turning away from God. It was cool! We told about Joseph smith and
then invited the mom to say a prayer and ask if he was a prophet. She
accepted the invitation and there was a long pause. We thought maybe
she was saying it in her head like a past investigator did. But after
a minute she began to pray. She asked if God would let her know if not
only Joseph Smith was a prophet of God but if he was real. When she
closed we looked at her and she said I got my answer. We were kinda
taken aback. We asked what the answer as thinking it would be a no or
you'll know in time type of answer. (Sad to see our lack of faith....)
but she said he told her yes, he was! Once she said that we weren't
shocked. We asked what that meant to her to know he was a prophet and
she said that she had a lot to learn and a lot to study. We then
invited her to be baptized and she accepted! We talked about how she
does have a lot to learn but we are here to help her understand and
learn. Her two daughters were there too. One 18 the other 15. The 18
year old who we talked to before said she prayed while her mom prayed
and hadn't gotten an answer yet but would keep praying then the 15
year old gave us a critic of our teaching. It was cute! She told us it
is very easy for her to believe what we had taught because we taught
with a lot of sincerity and there was a peace. She said we know what
we are talking about and that makes things more believable too. She
said she's also pray and ask. We are so excited to continue teaching
this family! They are all so prepared!

On Thursday we had an awesome zone meeting. It was all about setting
goals and having a vision. It is to be applied when planning for our
investigators and also good to have the investigator set goals and
make plans for their learning. It was very uplifting and motivational!
Made us excited to weekly plan the next day!

Saturday and Sunday was CONFERENCE!!!! I loved conference so much! I
got so much out of it! I have no clue what talk as my favorite. The
first these sessions we were at the stake center the last session we
went to a members home because another member was going there and
bringing a friend. We we're hoping one of our investigators could go
there too but she wasn't able to. I loved the emphasis on making and
keeping sacred covenants. Also the importance of family scripture
study and prayer and family home evening. Tons of messages about
charity and Christ's love. There was also a lot of attention about our
ancestors and their conversions. Mom, do you know who was our first
ancestor to join the church and their story? Does anyone know? I would
really like the name and story. Any actually of our ancestors who
converted and their story and their sacrifices.

Something cool at conference, the BYUI president Kim B. Clark was
released as a 70 and then my mission president Jorge T. Becerra got
called to be an area 70! Sister M. and I looked at each other
and were curious if we heard right. We turned around to look at the
elders three and they were freaking out so we figured we had heard
right. Also there's a cool picture one of his friends posted on his
Facebook it's funny! So that was exciting news, I knew people of the
names being said! That's never happened to me before!

Another cool thing about conference was at the Sunday morning session
we had 5 investigators there. We all filled a long middle row in the
stake center chapel! It was nice too cause the bishop came to that
session and said hi to them all. We were happy that he could see we
are working hard and doing the Lords work! We were so blessed to have
those investigators there! We are so thankful to God! It was the
Jewish man and his wife and son, an investigator who we've been
planning on dropping because she hasn't been reading or praying or
coming to church and then another investigator who may be closer to
baptism then we think. She's been keeping the word of wisdom and we
see this action and wonder if she will act on a few other things she
is struggling with. She already calls herself Mormon and this is her

I loved all the talks! I really can't pick a favorite this year...they
were all amazing! Elder M. Russell Ballards talk was perfect for
missionary work! President Uchtdorf was amazing as always! I loved how
there was such an emphasis on the temple. To me there was a lot of two
about temple sealings and I realized how important they are. I want
all my family to be with me in heaven. It will not be heaven without
them there with me. The only way they can be there with me is if we
are sealed together as a family in the temple and if we all make and
keep those sacred covenants! I could not bear that any of my family
members should endure endless torment, yea, even the very thought does
cause me to quake and tremble. If any of my family is reading this and
are not keeping their covenants made in baptism, priesthood, and or
temple, please come back. I love you all so much and I do not want any
one of my family members to be unhappy. I know that pure true
happiness comes from keeping the commandments and our covenants. And
that will enable us to live together in the celestial kingdom with
Heavenly Father. I know that families can be together forever. It's
all dependent on the choices we all make.

I am so thankful for the family and the standards that I have been
raised by. I am so thankful for the gospel and the teachings of Jesus
Christ and that we have these truths again on the earth. In different
things I have experienced so far on my mission I realize I have taken
so much for granted that most people do not home. Like a loving and
supportive family, mother, father, siblings, and extended family. I am
so thankful for my living situations that I have taken for granted.
There is so much chaos in the world and in homes. I'm glad we have the
gospel to help this!

Love, Sister Celeste Riches

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