Monday, January 26, 2015

Missionary: Someone who leaves their families for a short time so others can be with their family forever!

Hi everyone!

Let's see if I can remember the week. I feel like last Monday was FOREVER ago!

Last Monday we had a combined zone activity with the Arcadia zone and
we had a NERF WAR! It was so fun! We were all like little kids! We
were on two teams and went around the classrooms and gym and foyer
playing Nerf War! I died pretty fast, if we got hit twice we died. But
I had to stay with sister b. so I held all the amo! Pretty fun!
Then we had a good dinner at C. and S's then had FHE at the

Tuesday we went to the office for a meeting with the senior elder in
charge of the phones, it went well, we aren't in trouble so that's
good! Not much happened. We had a good dinner with the G's and
that was fun! We also were finally able to talk to a less active and
have a lesson with him cause his wife was home!

Wednesday was a crazy morning. But we went out and tried to find
people. We had a good dinner. Not much else happened.

Thursday we had a good district meeting and then we went out and
worked. We went out and had a few lessons and had a fun dinner with
the C's, their family is so stinking cute!!! I have a lot to learn
before I become a mother! They have three boys and they're so smart in
the gospel and so cute!

Friday we had interviews with president and weekly planning. Those
went well then we went out and had dinner then went finding some more
and saw F, a less active! She's Awesome! She has a pet kinkajou! So
cute! His name is Toby and I have a video of him yawning because he
has a super long tongue!

Saturday we went out to find people! But we had a good church tour
with our investigator G., hopefully he will be more comfortable
coming to church. Ummm, then we just went out to find. We talked to a
cute Spanish family at the park and shared Gracias A El....aka Because
of Him. Then we had correlation and dinner and had ice cream at
Carmela's! So good! They've won a lot of awards for the best of LA
stuff and food shows. It's yummy! Then we had a lesson with A. We
made a cute word of wisdom activity for her grandson to keep him
quieter in lessons and he got so shy that he was quiet! So it worked.

Sunday was busy! We had ward council then church and G. couldn't
come and then we had studies after church and then went and saw D.
and she got her temple recommend so she is going to do baptisms this
Saturday! We're so excited! And she was asked to think about a calling
for a primary teacher! She is going to pray about it and think about
it more. She has a memory problem that she can't remember words and
definitions. Then we had a good dinner with a new couple in the Ward
and C. and S. and then we went out to find people! Lots of
finding! Not much luck yet. But it will come!

On Saturday we had a cool talk together as companions and talked about
the purpose why we are out here and it made so much sense! We truly
did leave our families for a short time so other can be with their
families for eternity! We talked about how we love our families so
much and are so thankful we will be with them again and then we
compared that to our Heavenly Father. How because of the gospel and
baptism we can be with him again and it won't be a short "Hi Dad". It
will be a much different homecoming with our Father in Heaven if we
have those saving ordinances. And that's why we are on our missions.
Only we can invite others to be baptized and only during this time we
have which is so short! I want to help others have that warm welcome
with Heavenly Father and be with their families forever! That is my
biggest wish and hope for people and I pray they can make that choice
to learn.

I love you all! Have a good week!

Love, Sister Riches

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Challenge to Become

Hello All!

This is my week!

Last Monday for pday we went to Walmart and I bought a toy! I got a
little Toothless. Sister B.'s friend bought her one for Christmas
and I really liked it so I bought me one! :) and then we went to the
church and emailed. Then we had dinner at the Bishops house. They live
up in the hills so the house is huge and beautiful! It was my first
time ever over at their house and I've been in the Ward for 3 1/2
months! But that's okay, they've been busy with a whole bunch of
stuff. Then we had FHE at the K.'s and Elder B. taught. We had
to leave early because we were going on exchanges with the South
Pasadena sisters, our Sister Training Leaders. When we got home we
went into our garage which is being used for storage. The elders
stopped by earlier in the day to drop some stuff off and I wanted to
show the sisters the crazy giant gorilla one of the elders bought in
Chinatown and since then has used it to scare us. They put it in front
of the door so when we open it this gorilla is looking at us with his
huge yellow eyes. Luckily it only scared me to death once, since then
it was expected to be there. So when I went out to show the sisters
there was a note on his back from the other elders who dropped stuff
by earlier that said, "I like your dog". So funny! Sadly our gorilla
dog was taken away this morning. One of the office sisters wants to
give it to a family.

So on Tuesday I was on exchanges with Sister R. I stayed here in
Pasadena and Sister B. went with Sister A. to South Pasadena.
We contacted our two referrals we receive from headquarters. It's
crazy how people request something and then don't remember doing so.
So weird. But then we had lessons with G. and F. They went
well. They are both less active. That night we exchanged back.

On Wednesday Sister B. was sick so she slept for a while while I
studied. Then we went to Friends in Deed (the food pantry we help at)
and lots of people showed up right before close and we were there 45
minutes after closing getting orders for people. After that it was an
off day. I was out of focus. I also got my flu shot while we waited
for a ride to take us home at rite aid.

On Thursday we had district meeting and that was okay. At the end we
started talking about our problems. It was good I like SPA (Spiritual
Problems Anonymous). Then we had a quick zone meeting to figure out
our vision for our zone. We were invited to put together a vision for
ourselves. Afterwards I got some mail and a skirt for Christmas I had
to return! That was a pick me up!! Then we had lunch at In and Out and
talked to two guys there about the church for a long time. Sadly
they're not interested. Oh and on the bus ride over to In and Out I
sat next to a Chinese guy. I said hello and asked how his day was
going and he said "Chinese, no English" in broken English. A Sister
asked us to bring her some copies of the Chinese Book of Mormon. So I
had those in a bag on my lap so I pulled one out and showed him and he
saw it and got really excited! He pulled out his phone and went to the
google translate and typed in "I also of Jesus Christ of Latter-day!"
It was so cool! I had to then get off the bus but it was so cool that
the one person I talked to and sat next to was a member and even
though we didn't speak the same language we were still able to connect
because of the Book of Mormon! So cool! Make my day! Then later that
night we had an awkward lesson with a less active and then an awesome
lesson with our investigator G! He is now a progressing
investigator! First progressing investigator we've had in more than a
month! We have a church tour set up with him this next week! He said
he knows if he finds out this is true as he prays he will have to act
on it and tell us he knows and do something about it! He's a smart
guy! So we've been praying he prays and receives and answer!

On Friday I figured a few things out in companion study! Recently I've
been really hard on my self and picking myself apart. I've been
focusing a lot on my weaknesses and that has made my strengths kind of
disappear. I had a question answered in my personal studies of "how do
you measure spiritual progress and success?" Because in school your
success and progress is measured by grades. But in the gospel we don't
get grades or numbers for what we do or what we learn. I read the
talk, "The Challenge to Become" by Elder Oaks and my question was
answered! It comes as you see differences in your life as you are
changed. Sister B. still wasn't feeling well so she slept for a
couple hours and I established my vision. My vision is to be a
successful missionary and the scripture for my vision is Alma 26:2. We
then had a crazy bus ride to dinner where people were singing to
themselves out loud and people giving funny looks as we try to talk to
them. It was weird! Pasadena is crazy, I love it! We had dInner at the
B's and they made amazing food! We had comfort food, turkey,
mashed potatoes and gravy, steamed veggies, and peach cobbler! Yum! We
then taught A. and that went well.

Not much happened on Saturday. We weekly planned since Sister B.
was sick on Friday and we had correlation. Then had dinner with Sister
M. at Kabuki which is where a guy I talked to on the bus earlier
works. Pretty funny. He was going to work when I talked to him on the
bus and later we ended up eating there. It was yummy and we got good
sushi and I got teriyaki salmon, so good!  Then tried to find people.

Sunday was a good day! We had Ward conference. The bishop and stake
president gave really good talks! We sang in the choir and then had an
awesome relief society! We then had a lesson with Sister M. and
talked about tithing. She is working to go the the temple with the
stake relief society on the 31st! We are so excited for her! And she
wants to help in primary! We had dinner at the A. and taught their
friends, sadly they're not interested. Then we tried to find a few
members the Ward wanted us to go by. When we stopped by they were
drunk so we'll go back another day...haha! They were watching the
football game.

Today the sister training leaders came and studied with us and it went
well. Now it's pday we are going to the stake center to have a nerf
gun war. Pasadena zone Vs. Arcadia zone! It'll be fun!

Thank you all for your prayers and letters and emails! I really
appreciate them! I love you all and I am so happy to be serving a
mission. This is the only time I have to do this! I know this gospel
is true and I am so thankful for the blessings I've seen in my life
and the lives of others. That's one of the best things about serving
is that I get to see how the gospel blesses others, not only myself!

Love, Sister Riches

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

15 Months Serving in the Lord's Army

Hello All!

Crazy how time flies! I feel like I say that a lot in my emails! Didn't I JUST send out my "14 Month" email? Crazy! 

Well this week was pretty good. We had a few more lessons than the previous weeks. 

Monday night I taught the FHE lesson at the K's about Personal Progress and Agency. It went well. 

Tuesday we had an apartment cleaning check and the lady who checks is kinda strict so we cleaned for like 2 hours before she came so she couldn't cut us down and guess what we passed! Our apartment doesn't get dirty anyway and we aren't messy. Plus it takes a while for the two of us to clean a 3 bedroom and 2 1/2 bath apartment by ourselves. Crazy! Then we went and saw a former investigator who we haven't seen in a month and a half and he missed us so we sent the elders over. They're planning on going by this week. So hopefully he can make those changes. He agreed to a baptism date when I was teaching him and then he got scared we think cause he kept flaking on our appointments. Tuesday night we had dinner with the C's and the N's. I love them! Then Sister N came with us to see E. We had a good lesson on the Restoration. It's been a while since we've taught it but we've been role playing it a lot. 

Wednesday we went back to do service at the food pantry. They took a two week break for the holidays. That was good. Then we had three lessons in a row afterwards! We had an ultimatum lesson with one of our investigators, J and M. We planned on dropping them in that lesson but they came to the church and told us they needed to come back to church and meet with us cause their lives are going awful and its all becasue they aren't putting God first and so we told them okay don't just have it be words but SHOW us and Heavenly Father you mean it by doing something about it. So we committed them to come to church and they agreed and said they'd be there BUT they never showed up. We reminded them the day before and they said they'd be there. Then we sent them a text in the morning but they never got back to us. Sad. It's so sad, just devastating when people don't keep commitments when it is what they need most in their life! "[They] really need to sort out [their] proprieties". ~Harry Potter for all who didn't get my reference. I hope someone did or I look really lame... but that's okay! :)

Thursday was just crazy. We had a kinda chaotic Zone Meeting then we tried to find people but no one was home and it was just a really off day. But we move on! 

Friday was better. We had weekly planning then went to dinner at the D's who are AMAZING cooks. SO good! They gave us left overs which are still amazing! They're so sweet and so spiritual! Then we saw A. - a less active. We had a good lesson with her. Her family made things a little chaotic as they kept interrupting. But it went well. 

Saturday was rainy and cold. We tired to find people but no one was home or on the streets or interested. So we went to our correlation meeting with our ward mission leader and then had dinner with him and his wife and then we went out to contact a part member family in the ward and they weren't home and Sister B. started to feel sick so we went home. Not very eventful.

Sunday Sister B. was sick we went to Sacrament meeting and no one showed up of our investigators or members we are working with sadly. Then we went home and I studied for a while and caught up on some journal writing as Sister B. slept. We then studied some things together about the Atonement. It was pretty chill. Sister B. is feeling much better too so that's good! I love her! She's the best! We get a long really well. We act like sisters too which is good but sometimes not so good. But we communicate well with each other and support each other. However, I'm slacking on my patience and humility and charity. I've been trying to work on those three. Any ideas? Any tips? They would be much appreciated. 

Thank you all for your love and support. I love you all!!

Sister Riches

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Happy 2015!!

Hello All!

Happy New Year! It's crazy this is my third year being a missionary! I
was on y mission in 2013, 2014, and now 2015!!! I've loved serving as
a representative of Jesus Christ. Best decision I've made, despite the
hard times and stresses there are the wonderful days and experiences
that happen daily! Everyone always asks for a spiritual or
serendipitous experience. I have a few of my favorite moments on my
mission or things that I've learned a lot from but there are amazing
things that happen every day. It is so nice to have this time set
apart to see the tender mercies of the Lord and truly appreciate them.

Let's see, now what did I do this week? It was only last year! Let's see...

Monday we had pday. We went to the Santa Anita Racetrack for
breakfast! That's where Seabiscuit got famous. Then Sister Baker was
asked to sing at a funeral so she did. It was at the stake center but
for a woman who wasn't LDS and neither was her family. It was
interesting. There was no plan of salvation talk. It was really sad
those family members only hope to be with their mother, daughter,
friend, grandma, aunt again. I am thankful to KNOW I can be with my
family forever! We then played games with the other missionaries.

Tuesday we had the sister training leaders come to do studies with us.
It was really cool. Later, we helped a family move. We helped them
pack and they gave us dinner. And later that night we had a good
lesson with E! She is so excited to learn more. She wants to come
back to church and she is so excited to make church more of her life
this year!

Wednesday- New Years Eve- not much happened. We had dinner at a
members and then on our way home the K's (aka Grandma and Grandpa)
took us down Colorado Boulevard where people were camping out for the
rose parade! Crazy! It was hard to tell who was homeless and who
wasn't cause everyone looked like bums. People had blow up mattresses
out and blankets and silly string and people throw tortillas at other
people and it's just craziness! I took pictures! The cops just stroll
down the street to make sure things stay safe. There are rules also of
no drugs or alcohol. Which is nice!

Thursday was NEW YEARS! We were 2 out of the 12 missionaries allowed
to go to the parade. It was so much fun! The floats were incredible
and the bands were so good. There were people from Ohio, Texas, Japan,
Denmark, and other places. There were people from Hawaii and JACK
BLACK was there! It was so funny the float came by with the theme,
'Inspiring Teachers' and I took a picture and then sister baker said,
'oh my gosh! Is that jack black? That's totally jack black!' It was
crazy! He was on the the float with his drama teacher who helped him
become who he is today. One of the elders did the cowboy gun salut
thing with his fingers and winked at him and he did it back!! Pretty
cool! It was a lot of fun and people were so happy and so that made it
easy to talk to people before and after. My favorite part was when the
Stealth Bomer came down to signal the beginning of the parade! I
totally thought Batman was coming! So cool! It was a good day. We went
for brunch afterwards cause we had to catch the bus at 6am! Then we
had an awesome district meeting and then knocked some doors for a
while trying to find members and former investigators. Then we had
dinner with the K's and that was nice! They're such great people!

Friday was weekly planning day. We did that then went and saw G.
(A Less Active) who is going through some hard family things right
now. She's older and her children have been taking advantage of her.
It's so sad how some people are so careless and rude to their family
members. Then we saw A. (Returning Member) and had a good lesson with
her too.

Saturday was rough. All our lessons fell through! We were supposed to
have two lessons at the church and neither of them happened and then
we went out to find more. We need to find lots of people! Not many
people are willing to make and keep commitments. It's frustrating but
we all have our agency! Which I'm glad we do have agency.

Sunday was a good day! Church went well, no one showed up sadly but
the lessons were good. The heaters weren't working though so it was
freezing! It's been so cold lately! I'm such a Californian! I'll die
next winter! Yikes! After church we had lunch with an older couple
from the Ward and then we had a couple lessons. We went to see D.
(a returning member) and had a great lesson about prayer. She is so
great! We've been teaching her about the commandments and she wants to
do everything! She has given up coffee and tea and drinking with
family. She's so incredible! She told us how her son tried offering
her a beer and she said no thank you I'm not thirsty. Not to draw
attention or offend and he got frustrated and asked why not and she
explained its what the church teaches and it is given from Heavenly
Father and how that what she is choosing to do but she is not telling
him to do it it's her choice. It was awesome! Then after that we went
to that sons house, G.'s, and he was off. We think he may have gotten
into some anti stuff of has been listening to friends about negative
things about the church. He was very frustrating, pulling out his
phone and being slightly argumentative in answering questions. But
A., his wife, is amazing! She is so open and so in tune with the
spirit and so family driven! We were able to share a short message
about service with them and their two boys. We've been praying to meet
with them as a family so we can go over basics and not go into a ton
of detail because G. likes to go deep into stuff but he can't do that
unless he has that foundational things understood first. So we are
excited to be meeting with the family! A. is very open to this so
this will be great! Hopefully G. can become more open again. Then we
did more finding. It was a good day.

Today we went to the Arcadia mall, it's been fun. We wanted to go to
bath and body works and get their sale things and they had awesome
sales! So fun! I got a lotion for 1.25 when originally it's 5 and a
spray for $6.50 when normally $14. Awesome! It's been fun! And then!
Sister Baker got her ears pierced! Since I missed Sara getting hers
pierced I used sister baker instead! ;) it was her choice of course
... with a little lotta persuasion on my part! :) it was fun! They
look so good!

I love you all and before I end I want to share something's I've
learned this past week in my studies. Two days after Christmas Elder
V's dad passed away. Elder V was in the Pasadena Ward and got
transferred last transfer. I was able to serve with him for two
transfers and he is such a humble guy! He joined the church a couple
years ago with his brother and his mom later joined along with his
other siblings. When he left on his mission his dad was not a member.
A few moths ago his dad was baptized and joined the church! They had
it all planned out for when Elder V got home they would go and be
sealed together. He was able to talk to his dad on Christmas and Skype
his family. His dad's passing was very sudden and very unexpected.
Elder V is staying out on his mission and yesterday for fast and
testimony meeting. Chad- our old Ward mission leader- bore his
testimony about the plan of salvation and mentioned Elder V and his
dad  and I was in tears. Elder V is taking things very well and is
still happy and excited to be out here. I didn't understand why I
always cry so much with stories and testimonies like these because I
haven't lost anyone super close to me. And then it hit me this is what
I wrote in my study journal, "Even though we go through trials and
hard things in our life and we know it will only be a small moment, it
is okay to feel sad and anguish and heartache. Those feelings are
natural and they help us cope and also helps us to sympathize with
others. They help us keep our baptismal covenant of comforting those
that stand in need of comfort and mourn with those that mourn." It's
okay to cry and to feel sad and everything like that because how else
are we supposed to mourn and comfort? I know he will be with his
family again and when they are sealed it may be an ever more spiritual
experience! I'm glad I am a sensitive person so I can help others when
they need it.

I love you all! Thank you for your love and support! Happy New Year!

Love, Sister Riches