Tuesday, July 22, 2014

By Small and Simple Things!

Hello Family and Friends!

First off this is later cause we didn't have power this morning so we
had to go to the church and we went to a paleontology museum today
with the elders. It was way fun! I love dinosaurs and that type of
stuff with fossils and rocks!

This week has been really good. We taught 17 lessons! It doesn't feel
like we taught that many, we had time where we could have taught more
and some cancelled. We're trying to get 20 a week now! There were a
lot of miracles this week too!

So let's see, on Monday we hung out with the elders at the church and
played card games and sports. It was good. Then we went street
contacting before our dinner appointment with our investigator
We contacted 11 people on the street and got three numbers
and addresses! It was great! Then our dinner with our investigator
went well. She's been reading the Book of Mormon and is still praying
to know if God exists. She had a lot of good questions about the tree
of life. We explained it to her and she told us where she thinks she
is and how she wants to taste of the fruit. She wants to know if God
is there so bad! She thinks he's going to give her a sign first. She
needs to test her faith in him and have real intent to get her answer
then act on it. Then we saw our recent convert and read the Book
of Mormon with her. She got her limited use temple recommend so she
can do baptisms for the dead this coming Saturday! We are so excited
for her! Then we ran to a members house where my bike has been for the
past week so we could meet another member there with a truck to take
us and my bike home. Sister Thatcher doesn't have a bike yet and it
takes a while to bike back to our place, hence the need of help from
the members to drive us and it home.

Tuesday was good. We street contacted 14 people and got more numbers
and gave our ours. It was one of our newer investigators birthdays
so we made her a cake, it looked really good, almost
professional! We then went to see a less active lady then another lady
in the ward then tried to see one of our investigators, she
wasn't home. Then we went contacting, had dinner then taught our
investigator . It was a good lesson. She really enjoyed church
and we talked about baptism more. Then we had a lesson with our recent
convert and she was going through a hard time so we tried
calming her down and reading with her, didn't help much.

Wednesday we street contacted 14 people again! We had lunch with our
new investigator who is staying with her aunt and uncle, members of
our ward. Their family is the best!  Their kids treat us
like we are celebrities! They're the cutest ever! Three girls and two
boys, all between 11 years to 4 months! Then we went to a "Meet the
President Meeting". It was combined with the Glendora zone so I got to
see Sister Mattingley. She's doing pretty good. Having fun in the YSA
ward! It was so nice though to meet the Villanueva's! Each child gave
a little presentation about themselves as did Sister and President
Villanueva. They have three kids, one girl who's the same age as Sara
and her birthday is November 16th! Then two sons, 15 and 17 I think.
They are a very nice family. Presidents first language is Spanish and
he says he doesn't know English very well but he does. That is one of
his biggest worries is the English language here. They told them
they'd be called to serve in a Spanish mission, our mission is 40%
Spanish. But it also has Chinese, Filipino, English, and I think some
others. But they are so great! Our district is going to hike Mount
Baldy with their family in a few weeks for p-day! It'll be nice to get
to know them better. I feel like he already knows me a little better
than President Becerra does. We did some contacting after and
contacted our referrals. It was good. Then we had a lesson with
another one of our investigators at a members house.  then we went 
with those members down the street to have dinner with their friends 
who like to feed the missionaries. It was a good dinner and after 
I tried to play hymns on their baby grand and I know that The Lord 
was helping me because I didn't make too many mistakes. Granted I 
played right hand but I was able to sing and play smoothly both parts 
on some songs I had never played before. Very cool!

On Thursday we were supposed to have the new missionary orientation
meeting but that got changed till tomorrow. So we had district meeting
and then Sister Thatcher worked on cleaning up her Facebook. Then we
went to try our investigator again since she wasn't home
earlier in the week and hasn't returned our calls. Still not home,
sadly. We tried to street contact instead then went to dinner and
after dinner we tried to park contact. I don't like park contacting.
It's kinda awkward. Then we went to our recent converts with her
visiting teacher. The lesson went well. We committed her to read 
the Book of Mormon everyday and be accountable to The Lord through 

Friday was a decent day. We weekly planned then taught our newer
investigator. We taught the restoration and it was Sister
Thatchers first time outside of the MTC teaching it. It wasn't the
best we could have done. We didn't do how to begin teaching and needed
to role play it more to know what type of questions to ask. But she's
been praying if Joseph Smith is a prophet and is waiting for an
answer, so that's good! We learned a lot about the importance of role
plays and how to begin teaching and how doing those things help
lessons go smoothly and the spirit to be there. We had dinner with a
sister and her two nonmember friends. It was such a good dinner and we
invited the friends to church to hear me speak next Sunday! They
seemed pretty open to coming. Pretty exciting! Then we went to teach
an investigator. It went well and we talked about the
importance of reading and praying. She's blind so she has the Book of
Mormon on CD and we were trying to find her a CD player cause she
hasn't been able to listen to it on her TV cause she doesn't have the
right cord but her son got her a new TV! So she can listen now!

Saturday was a good day. We had to finish some things with weekly
planning then we went to teach an investigator but he didn't
answer the door. So we went to see the Jewish man and his family.  
The wife's sister passed away that day and they were
notified 30 minutes before we dropped by. We comforted the wife
and talked about the beauty and hope of the plan of
salvation. She is so ready for her gospel but the husband is not ready
any time soon. The son is ready but he might not if his dad doesn't
join. It's confusing to teach them and help them cause they are each
so different!!! After that we went to the stake pioneer picnic where
I'm pretty sure we talked and found most of the nonmembers there. We
gave a few referrals because of that! Pretty cool. It was fun too!
Then we went to teach our investigator . We helped her memorize
2 Nephi 31:20. It was fun. We've been through the lessons with her
twice now as we wait for legal things before she can be baptized. But
she has such a strong knowledge and testimony. She's been reading and
enjoying it all so much! She wants us to give her a topic for her to
teach us! She also wants to come out with us and help us teach, she's
so sweet!

Sunday was a bit tough for me. I was feeling a little down although we
had miracles occurring right before my eyes. Satan did not like how
well and how faithful we were being. But a few weeks ago we went to
try by a headquarters referral. We got there and the lady answered the
door and flustered said she wasn't interested and then wasn't a good
time but thank you kindly. So we took that as she wasn't interested
which was weird since she referred herself. So on Saturday we were
updating our headquarter referrals online and it had her email address
so we decided to send her an email. Later that day, while we were at
the pioneer picnic, she called us saying she wants to go to church
Sunday and needs a ride. So we hooked her up with a ride and she came!
Her whole extended family are LDS but her dad is anti. Now that she's
living on her own she can make her own decision. So we are going to
meet with her later this week! She enjoyed church as well! Awesome
miracle right there! We need new investigators so bad! After church we
stayed at the building had a quick meeting with the ward mission
leader after everyone and their dog wanted to talk to us or needed us
- super stressful- then ate lunch then did some companion study as I
was stressed and feeling super overwhelmed for no real reason. But I
was. That eventually went away and things started to fall in place as
I recognized the miracles and tender mercies of the day. Then our
investigator came to see a baptism the elders had. The spirit
there was so strong! They baptized a lady and her daughter. The lady
stopped the elders on the street and she is friends with a less active
in our ward who gave us the referral and little did we know the elders
were actually teaching her. Crazy! After the baptism we went to teach
the man that wasn't home Saturday. It was a really good lesson
about the 10 commandments. He doesn't like how much emphasis we put on
the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. So we wanted to show him the 10
commandments are in the Book of Mormon as well because how important
they are. We explained to him how the Book of Mormon is the keystone
to our religion. That is why we put a lot of emphasis on it. He
understood a little more and we promised him blessings and committed
him to read daily and pray about it. Then we went to dinner and then
another lesson with our newer investigator, the members niece.
This time it went really well. We taught the Book of Mormon
and how that can help her know if Joseph Smith is a prophet. Then we
went to teach a less active and his family. His kids come to church
every Sunday and this Friday his daughter turns 8! His older
son just was ordained a priest and can baptize her! So after
church the kids came and asked us if we could come over and teach them
a lesson. It was so cute! The little girl grabbed onto Sister
Thatcher's arms and begged her and puppy dog eyed her. It was perfect!
We've been wanting to go teach them for a while now! It was great! We
taught about baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost and talked to
their dad about church and his work schedule. It was a good day!

Sorry this is a long email. But I hope you all enjoy it. I love being a
missionary! My favorite part is when people accept the message and
they have a certain light about them, you can see the difference once
they've accepted and desire to learn more! It's amazing the difference
the restored gospel makes in people's life! I love it! I love sharing
it with others! Every invite is a success and it's amazing when that
invite turns into an action where the individual wants to learn and
progress! It's the small things that bring me joy, like the light in
someone, a referral, getting an unexpected ride, getting a seemingly
impossible lesson to happen, getting an unexpected treat from members,
and many other small things. I love this gospel and I am so thankful
The Lord has chosen me to be an instrument in His hands to share with
others what has brought me the most joy and happiness. I know this
gospel is true and that Jesus Christ is our Savior. I know the
Atonement is real and I am so thankful for it! I would not be who am I
and where I am without my Savior and His Atonement for each of us!

Love, Sister Riches

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